The Venerable LAMA YESHE LOSAL RINPOCHE
Chairman of Rokpa Trust
Abbot and Retreat Master of Samye Ling
Executive Director of The Holy Island Project
Born in 1943 in Kham, East Tibet, Lama Yeshe Losal spent his formative years
in education at Dolma Lhakang Monastery, where his brother
Akong Tulku Rinpoche was Abbot.
After escaping from Tibet in 1959, Lama Yeshe continued his education at the Young
Lamas Home School in Dalhousie, India, before leaving in 1967 to serve as Private Secretary
to His Holiness the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa, at Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim.
In 1969. Lama Yeshe joined
Akong Tulku Rinpoche and Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche in Scotland, where they
had founded Kagyu Samye Ling
( www.samyeling.org ).
Five years later, he accompanied H.H. Karmapa on a tour of the United States. At this
point, he and Lama Tenzin Chonyi were asked to establish and run Karma Triyana
Dharmacakra Centre in Woodstock, New York, which is H.H. Karmapa's main seat in America.
In 1980 he took full ordination as a Gelong monk from His Holiness, on the
auspicious date of the anniversary of Lord Buddha's Nirvana and Parinirvana.
Following his ordination, Lama Yeshe entered a long-term solitary retreat
under the guidance of the Abbot of Karma Triyana, Khempo Karthar Rinpoche.
In 1985, at the request of his brother
Akong Tulku Rinpoche, Lama Yeshe returned to Scotland to continue his retreat
at Samye Ling Purelands Retreat Centre, and in 1988 became Retreat Master with responsibility
for the western practitioners who were in the cloistered four year retreat.
Despite his heartfelt wish to remain in retreat for twenty years, Lama Yeshe was obliged, towards the end of 1991, to return to the world to take
responsibility for the running of Samye Ling and also to direct The Holy Island Project
( www.holyisland.org ) .
Since its acquisition in April 1992, Holy Island has been home to a small group of volunteer
workers from several different countries, whose imagination has been fired by Lama Yeshe's
vision of building an Interfaith Retreat Centre where people of all beliefs can come
to develop themselves physically, mentally and spiritually in a pure and natural environment.
As the first and largest Tibetan Buddhist Centre in Europe, Samye Ling is home
to an increasing number of resident ordained sangha and lay practitioners. The centre also
continues to attract thousands of visitors who come to tour the beautiful temple and grounds,
or to attend one of the many courses on offer. Under Lama Yeshe's guidance, the ordained
Sangha has grown to its present membership of more than 40 monks and nuns, and in 1995
the title of "Abbot" was conferred upon him.
Since a young boy, Lama Yeshe Losal has received teachings from many
of the highest Kagyu Lamas, including extensive teachings and initiations
from his root guru H.H. the 16th Karmapa, and teachings from the 12th Tai Situpa,
Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche, Gyaltsap Rinpoche, and the Very Venerable
Kalu Rinpoche. More recently, he received teachings from Tulku Urgyen who
supervised his 49 day Bardo retreat of solitude and darkness in Nepal.
Rokpa Trust ( www.samye.org )
has many parts including Samye Ling, The Holy Island Project and
numerous charitable projects both at home and overseas. Lama Yeshe Losal is
the Trust's indefatigable Chairman whose energy and inspiration fuel its far - reaching activites, which benefit so many people in so many ways.