Lama Gangchen Tulku Rinpoche
“Inner peace is the most solid foundation for world peace”
Lama Gangchen Tulku Rinpoche, Thinley Yarpel Lama Shresta, (7.7.1941-18.4.2020), was an important Tibetan lama belonging to the last generation of lamas from the ‘old Tibet’. Renowned as a spiritual guide, life teacher and peace educator he is and will remain a point of reference for thousands of people, not only Buddhists, all over the world.
Childhood and early years
Born in 1941 in western Tibet, he was recognised at the age of three as the reincarnation of Kachen Sapen, an important lama healer and holder of a long and uninterrupted lineage of healers and tantric masters. He entered the monastery at the age of five and at eighteen he completed the first period of study of Tibetan medicine, astrology, meditation and philosophy in two of Tibet’s major monastic universities: Sera Me and Tashi Lhumpo. He continued his studies at Gangchen Gompa, Tropu Gompa and Neytsong Monastery. In 1963 he went into exile in India, where he completed his monastic studies at Sera Me and Varanasi Sanskrit University (Bishwa Vhidhyana) in Benares, India.
He was a direct disciple of the greatest lamas of the Gelugpa school of the twentieth century, such as His Holiness Trijang Dorje Chang, his main guru, His Eminence Zong Rinpoche, his master of Tibetan medicine, tantric healing and astrology and His Eminence Ling Rinpoche. In 1970, he received the Geshe Rigram diploma from the monastic university of Sera Me in South India. He then began working as a healing lama in the Tibetan communities in India, Nepal and in Sikkim, where, having healed the mother of the king from an incurable eye disease, he was appointed physician to the Royal Family.
In the West
In 1981 he began to travel to the West, at the invitation of European friends, and decided to settle in Italy, first in Gubbio and then in Milan. After some years he became an Italian citizen, but continued travelling tirelessly to many countries of the world.
With particular skill he adapted and began to share the essence of the teachings of Buddha in a way suitable to the needs and capacities of people living modern busy lives in the West. His teachings were aimed at each person, in order to develop and achieve inner peace through the teachings of Buddha who he referred to as the “inner scientist”. “Inner peace”, he repeated tirelessly, “is the most solid foundation for peace in the world” adding: “all religions and spiritual movements contain methods to achieve inner peace, therefore, dialogue and cooperation between religions can bring great benefits to the achievement of world peace”.
He founded the Lama Gangchen World Peace Foundation in 1992, which is recognised as a United Nations Non-Governmental Organisation (in Ecosoc consultative status). On the 8th of June, 1995, in Santiago de Chile, at a round table at the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, he officially presented his proposal for the establishment of a Permanent Spiritual Forum, under the auspices of the United Nations, to collaborate with the General Assembly in order to develop a global peace education plan.
This proposal was presented by him in subsequent years, during meetings with important figures such as Butros Butros Gali, then UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, the subsequent Secretary General, heads of state such as the President of Venezuela Rafael Caldera in 1997, the Prime Minister of the People’s Republic of China Wen Jiabao in 2004, President Hu Jin Tao in 2005, Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa in 2007, President Xi Jinping in 2017 and others.
He organised and participated in hundreds of inter-religious conferences and on these occasions met important spiritual figures such as Pope John Paul II, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Desmond Tutu and many others.
NgalSo Tantric Self-Healing methods
In over forty years of life and activity in the West he founded and taught according to the NgalSo Ganden Nyengyu tradition: he transmitted the essence of traditional Buddhist teachings in an essential and synthetic way, adapting them to the needs of modern society characterised, unlike ancient Asian societies, by a shortage of time to devote to spiritual practice. The word NgalSo is composed of two syllables. The first syllable Ngal indicates the tired and polluted energies of the body, mind and environment (the Buddhist Noble Truths of suffering and its causes), So represents the regenerated and healed energies (the Noble Truths of the cessation of suffering and the path).
He offered many different methods, in the NgalSo lineage, to help people overcome their problems and suffering on both the gross and subtle levels by transforming negative tendencies into the positive qualities that are the causes for happiness, mental stability and personal inner peace.
The NgalSo Tantric Self-Healing techniques are available in books, CDs and DVDs.
His main association in Italy, Kunpen Lama Gangchen KLG (kunpen.ngalso.org), is recognised as a place of worship by the Italian government and is a member of the Italian Buddhist Union. KLG is also a member of the Forum of Religions in Milan.
Founder and spiritual guide of many centres and organisations in various parts of the world (Asia, Europe, the United States, Brazil, Argentina and Chile), dedicated to the study of his “non-formal peace education” methods and NgalSo Tantric Self-Healing techniques, in 1999 Lama Gangchen chose Albagnano di Bee, on Lake Maggiore, as the main location for his activities. He founded the Albagnano Healing Meditation Centre with its extraordinary “Temple of Heaven on Earth” also known as “Borobudur”, inspired by the eight century Indonesian stupa mandala, a UNESCO heritage site.
Every year, among the many pilgrimages to sacred places in various parts of the world, he led hundreds of friends and disciples to Borobudur, revealing the profound meaning of the Indonesian mandala even in the presence of great scholars of Asian spiritual traditions including Professor Lokesh Chandra, the most important of contemporary scholars.
The Temple project in Albagnano, nearing completion, also includes a large space destined to become one of the largest Buddhist libraries in the West.
Cultural projects in the West
During his years of activity in the West Lama Gangchen promoted multiple initiatives in support of traditional Himalayan arts and culture, on one hand safeguarding these traditions and on the other adapting them to the culture of modern society. The group United Peace Voices produces audio visual materials of the NgalSo Self-Healing practices, as well as recording traditional Tibetan melodies and songs in a modern style. In the same way, he promoted various arts, such as painting, to adapt the canons of the sacred pictorial tradition of Tibet to the contemporary era.
In 2004 he organised a world tour of the sacred Buddha relics offered by the governments of Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Thailand. The tour concluded in New York where the relics remain on permanent display at the United Nations building. The Buddhist Vesak celebration has become a holiday recognised by the United Nations agenda. Over the years in the West, he organised numerous artistic and spiritual programmes with monks and lamas from monasteries in Tibet, Nepal, India, Mongolia, Sri Lanka and Thailand making available to the general public the traditional sacred Cham dances and the construction of sand-mandalas.
In 2018, he hosted two hundred lamas and monks in Albagnano for the great Vajravali event organised in order to transmit the ancient lineage of tantric initiations and teachings of the Vajra Garland, compiled by Abhayakaragupta in the twelfth century.
Humanitarian projects in the East
He organised numerous fundraisers for the reconstruction of monasteries, the main custodians of the spiritual and artistic culture of the Himalayas. Among the most important are the reconstruction of Gangchen monastery in Tibet (China). His Foundation Lama Gangchen Help in Action Onlus (www.helpinaction.net) has been carrying out humanitarian projects in favour of Himalayan communities in Tibet, Nepal and India since 1992: financial aid in emergencies and natural disasters, the building and maintaining of schools and health clinics, vocational education and training projects, aid for rural communities, aqueducts and reforestation work, support for monasteries, preservation of the traditional artistic and medical culture, long distance adoptions to support the education of children from the poorest families.
Meetings and awards
During his life Lama Gangchen has met important figures and international organisations to give his message of brotherhood, love and peace. He has received over two hundred and fifty official awards for his commitment to peace, for dialogue between religions and cultures, for the care of the natural environment and for the preservation of traditional medicines.
– Honorary Diploma of the Community Association of the European Order of Merit, for the promotion of human dignity, solidarity and democracy in the construction of European unity, 1995
– Certificate of Appreciation for his Peace Work from the City of Miami, USA, 1996
– Appreciation, Peace Commission, ECLAC (Economic Commission of Latin America and the Caribbeans), Chile, 1996
– United Nations Society of Writers Award of Excellence, New York, USA,1996
– Recognition for the contribution to the United Nations’ 50th anniversary celebrations presented by Habitat II, Istanbul-Turkey 1996
In 2019 the Unesco Chair of Health Anthropology – biospheres and healing methods – of the University of Genoa certified that the NgalSo healing teaching and the practices transmitted by Lama Gangchen at the Borobudur site in Indonesia and at Albagnano Healing Meditation Centre implement the goals of the United Nations 2030 agenda. These purposes are the protection of traditional medicines, healing practices and cultural traditions, the development of local economies and the revitalisation of the natural environment.
Lama Gangchen will always be remembered as Lama Marco Polo because of his immense work of creating a reciprocal exchange between East and West and for his great love of Italy, a country chosen by him among the many who would have welcomed him with great joy. It is in Italy that he lived the last forty-five years of his life.
He will be remembered by all those who met him as a great teacher, an example of love, attention, respect for others and profound wisdom. He was constantly looking for loving solutions for everyone, for the solution to everyone’s physical and mental problems. He gave with immense generosity help and advice to solve the simplest daily life problems, for the realisation of small and large peace projects and for the growth of each one on their spiritual path.
The material and spiritual inheritance of Lama Gangchen, his centres, foundations and related organisations, as well as the heritage of his NgalSo teachings, will be taken care of by his spiritual children, Lama Michel Rinpoche and Lama Caroline.
Lama Michel Rinpoche
Lama Michel Rinpoche (born in 1981 in San Paolo, Brazil) -Losang Nyendrag Jangchub Chopel- བློ་བཟང་རྙེན་གྲགས་བྱང་ཆུབ་ཆོས་འཕེལ།, “An illustrious mind who spreads the Dharma of enlightenment,” is the spiritual son of T.Y.S. Lama Gangchen Tulku Rinpoche and the holder of his lineage NgalSo Ganden Nyengyu, a lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. He is also responsible for and the spiritual guide of twenty NgalSo centers around the world, eight foundations and the Help in Action, founded by Lama Gangchen Tulku Rinpoche during the forty years he spent in the West. He is also the United Nations Representative for Lama Gangchen World Peace Foundation (UN NGO- ECOSOC).
Lama Michel Rinpoche was born into a Jewish-Christian family which, after their first meeting with Lama Gangchen Rinpoche, never separated from him, actively participating in his life projects and demonstrating a deep bond with him.
Bel Cesar, Lama Michel’s mother, is a psychotherapist and writer. His father, Daniel Calmanowitz, is an engineer and currently a Buddhist monk as well as the director of the “Lama Gangchen para a Cultura de Paz” Foundation. His sister, Fernanda Lenz Cesar, is a photographer and documentary filmmaker.
At merely five years old, Lama Michel Rinpoche met his root Guru, T.Y.S. Lama Gangchen Tulku Rinpoche, who was invited by his mother to Brazil, and already on that occasion, he took refuge with him, receiving the name of Jangchub Choephel བྱང་ཆུབ་ཆོས་འཕེལ །, “He who increases the Dharma of Enlightenment.” Lama Michel describes his first meeting with Lama Gangchen as “falling in love – I didn’t want to part from him and I even slept in his room on the first day.”
Recognized at the age of eight as a tulku – the reincarnation of a Buddhist master – by prestigious masters such as Lama Gangchen Tulku Rinpoche, Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Kachen Losang Zopa Rinpoche (Abbot of Tashi Lhunpo Monastery in India), Lama Gosog Rinpoche (Abbot of Sera Me Monastery in India) and Ven. Geshe Yeshe Wangchuk Rinpoche, Lama Michel was enthroned and publicly recognized at the age of twelve.
In the company of Lama Gangchen and under his guidance, he has made pilgrimages to the most important sacred places in India, Nepal and the main monasteries of the Gelugpa tradition in Tibet, together with his parents and disciples from all over the world.
From an early age he demonstrated great skill as a speaker, Guru devotion and a natural familiarity with the foundations and deeper concepts of Buddhist philosophy alike.
Encouraged by his teacher, he began early to participate in lectures and public events during his travels, giving teachings.
In 1993, he went for the first time to the Borobudur Stupa-Mandala in Indonesia and in the same year, he received his first vows and the name of Losang Nyendrag བློ་བཟང་རྙེན་གྲགས། by Ven. Kyabje Dragon Rinpoche in Samtenlin Monastery in Nepal, as well as the first initiation of Anuttarayoga Tantra, the initiation of Yamantaka Vajrabhairava by Gelek Rinpoche.
At the age of twelve, after a period of silence and reflection on life and the path to choose, Lama Michel Rinpoche decided to follow the example and inspiration of his Master and took the decision to enter the monastery (Sera Me Monastic University, founded in 1419 by a disciple of Je Tsongkhapa) in order to follow traditional monastic studies. In the same year, he received the commentary on the Guru Puja and the Lamrim from H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama in Dharamsala, India.
His enthronement and his recognition as the reincarnation of Drubchok Gyalwa Samdrub, great yogi and philosophy teacher of the Tibetan monastery of Gangchen Chöpel Ling, took place in the monasteries of Sera Me, Tashi Lhunpo and Kailashpura, in southern India. It was at Sera Me Monastery where Lama Michel undertook the traditional philosophical studies for the tulkus of the Tibetan Gelugpa Buddhist tradition, under the spiritual guidance of three of the most illustrious contemporary masters: Ven. Kachen Losang Zopa Rinpoche (Abbot of the Monastery of Tashi Lhunpo), Ven. Geshe Thubten Rinchen (main teacher of philosophy of Sera Me Monastery) and Ven. Geshe Thrinley Thobgyal (Abbot of Gyume Monastery), and lived under the guidance and tutelage of Geshe Tenzin Wangdak – “Gen Lhagpa-la.”
During the yearly holidays, Lama Michel Rinpoche would reunite with his Guru and travel with Him around the world, further demonstrating his teaching skills, commitment and progress in philosophical studies.
In 1994, one year after entering the monastery, he went to Brazil and was welcomed as a Lama for the first time, teaching at the Centro de Dharma da Paz- Shi De Tchö Tsog.
In 1999 he received teachings on the creation of ceremonial and artistic mandalas and stupas, on the main ceremonies such as Rabne Chenmo at the tantric college of the Gyume Monastery རབ་གནས་ཆེན་མོ། – great blessing ceremony – and yangchok སྦྱངས་ཆོག ། – main practice of accompaniment in the bardo – by Master Gen Chime Dorje.
In 2006, at the age of 24, he completed the twelve years of study in which he explored philosophical issues such as grammar, dialectics and philosophy – the basis of Buddhist psychology – logic, the stages and the path of the three vehicles of Buddhist practice, the four schools of thought, the seventy topics of the Abhisamayalamkara text, transmissions, commentaries and training in Lam Rim, Lo Jong, Guru Puja, Guru Yoga and Vajrayana meditation practices such as Vajrabhairava Yamantaka and Tara Chittamani. In addition, in this same period he completed meditation retreats of Yamantaka and Tara Chittamani.
After this period of study, Lama Michel Rinpoche decided to live in Italy to put himself at the service of his Guru, Lama Gangchen Tulku Rinpoche, and to continue his training for ten years with annual visits to Tibet under the guidance of Ven. Kachen Losang Phuntsog Rinpoche, Abbot of the Tashi Lhunpo Monastery in Tibet. From the latter he received an extensive curriculum of teachings, transmissions, commentaries and instructions on philosophy, tantra, medicine and astrology, thus completing his training in Buddhist philosophy, in the practice of meditation, on Lam Rim, Lo Jong and the Vajrayana.
In 2009 he completed his studies in Tibetan astrology with the creation of the first astrological almanac – The Gangchen Chophel Tibetan Calendar, with a calculation of 111 years: from the earth-ox year of 2009 to the metal-dragon year of 2120, which he published and donated for free to Institute of Astrology and Tibetan Medicine of Lhasa and to the most important masters and monasteries of the lineage. Today this is the reference calendar for the astrological calculations of the Tashi Lhunpo Monastery in Tibet.
Since settling in Italy, Lama Michel Rinpoche has shown great enthusiasm in sharing his knowledge and experiences, teaching in a traditional but at the same time unique, easy and innovative way, adapting to the Western mentality and circumstances.
Thanks to his great generosity, as well as his interest and curiosity for technology, in 2014 he created a streaming project (video broadcasts) to offer free teachings on the NgalSo YouTube channel (currently with a total of seventy two thousand followers and thousands of hours of teachings).
In order to have study material and share his words even more, in this same year the publishing house Lama Gangchen Peace Publications and Publicações Ngalso (of the Brazilian branch) began to publish the transcripts of some of his formal teachings and extracts from public lectures in five languages, for a total of thirty-four booklets in seven languages to date.
He has thirty-nine publications to his credit, including four books in Portuguese: Uma jovem ideia de paz: conversas com o Lama Michel Rinpoche (Sarasvati Multimidia, 1996), O sutil desequilíbrio do estresse, (in collaboration with Bel Cesar and Dr. Klepacz, Editora Gaia, 2011), Coragem para seguir em frente (Editora Gaia, 2006) and Grande amor: um objetivo de vida (in collaboration with Bel Cesar, Editora Gaia, 2015).
Since 2018, Lama Michel Rinpoche is the “architect” – responsible for the design and construction of the Temple of Heaven on Earth in Italy and the Templo do Grande Amor in Campos do Jordão, Brazil.
An exemplary disciple in his relationship with the Guru, Lama Michel Rinpoche dedicates his life to the service of the centers and disciples, to carry out all visionary projects and all initiatives for the maintaining and dissemination of Buddhist teachings and the “Culture of Peace” of Lama Gangchen Tulku Rinpoche, sharing his experience, his wisdom and the deep and vast Buddhist philosophy in a clear, accessible and modern way, adapted to the needs of contemporary society.
Contact Lama Michel
Get in contact with Lama Michel Rinpoche
Due to his tight schedule, it’s hard to make a personal appointment. However you can participate at the events and teachings given by Lama Michel and get the opportunity to meet him. There will be some time after the teachings to offer a khata (traditional tibetan scarf), ask for blessings and have a short personal talk. Check out the programme at Kunpen, Italy or at any of our centres worldwide.
Invitation to events, television, radio or to participate into projects
Lama Michel is very happy to participate where invited and where he sees benefit for people.
Program manager Italy: +393486937071 | email@example.com
Brasil secretary: Lmbrasil@kunpen.it
Leave a message or ask for advice
You can send an email to Lamamichel@kunpen.it
We will ensure that your message gets to Lama Michel and you will receive an answer.
Write a letter to Lama Michel
Albagnano Healing Meditation Centre
Via Campo Dell’ Eva, 5
Albagnano di Bee – VB – Italia
To make a prayer request, email firstname.lastname@example.org
If it concerns a sick, dying, or deceased person please mention the full name.
Lama Michel has committed to reading the list of names and prayer requests during his personal prayers.
Make a private donation for Lama Michel
This donation goes to support the Swift Return fund.
PayPal or credit card: http://bit.ly/swiftreturn
Bank: Banca Intesa San Paolo,
Ag. 55000- FILIALE ACCENTRATA TER SABI:03069
Piazza Paolo Ferrari, 10 – 20121 Milano
Lama Caroline, Dorje Khanyen Lhamo, was born in England in 1965. As a child she was fascinated by science and space exploration. Whilst studying physics at the University of London, she became interested in Buddhist meditation and philosophy to experientially explore inner space.
She developed an interest in Buddhism in 1986 and in 1991 she met her principal spiritual master, Lama Gangchen Rinpoche, and, impressed by his modern and open approach to spirituality, began to study and collaborate with him. He also kindly introduced her to many other great masters of the Ganden NyenGyu lineage.
From 1991 to 2019 she accompanied him on numerous teaching tours and pilgrimages worldwide, promoting the NgalSo Tantric Self-Healing methods, non-formal education and inter-religious dialogue.
In 1993 Lama Gangchen made her a lineage holder of his Ngalso Tradition and in 2000, in Tibet, she was publicly recognised by Lama Gangchen Rinpoche as a lama.
Over the years she has participated in and guided numerous meditation retreats. She teaches worldwide on Buddhist philosophy, tantra, medicine, yoga and astrology.
Lama Caroline since 1993 helped Lama Gangchen Rinpoche to write most of his books and sadhanas. Amongst other projects, she is presently editing the Lama Gangchen Sungrab Ngalso Gyatso – the collected works of Lama Gangchen that form the basis of the NgalSo tradition.
She has a diploma in Inter-religious Studies from the Open University (UK), an MA (with merit) in Buddhist studies from the University of Sunderland (UK). She studied Tibetan and Sanskrit translation at ITAS The Institute of Tibetan and Asian Studies, which is now part of the University of Malaga, Spain. She presently spends her time teaching, translating, guiding Ngalso retreats and is busy with pastoral care for the international Ngalso family.
Get in contact with Lama Caroline
To leave a message, request for a prayer or ask for advice you can send an email to email@example.com
We will ensure that your message gets to Lama Caroline.
Or you can write a letter to:
Albagnano Healing Meditation Centre
Via Campo Dell’ Eva, 5
Albagnano di Bee – VB – Italia
Invitation to events, television, radio or to participate into projects
Lama Caroline is very happy to participate where invited and where she sees benefit for people.
Please contact the Program Manager
firstname.lastname@example.org | +393486937071