Lama thubten Nima (Gape Lama)
Lama Thubten Nima was born in the Kham (eastern) Region of Tibet in 1965. When he was 14, Lama Thubten Nima had the good fortune to receive instruction on the effects of virtuous and harmful actions by the great Yogi Damga, and he completed the four hundred thousand accumulations of the preliminary practices (Ngondro) according to the Buddhist Yangzab terma.
Lama Thubten Nima made great efforts to travel to Gar Monastery where he received refuge ordination from the profoundly loved and respected Garchen Rinpoche. He then received full monastic ordination and the bodhisattva vow from the great siddha Karma Norbu, and was then admitted to Gar Monastery.
While at Gar Monastery Lama Thubten Nima studied tantric ritual practices of the Old and New Schools, and engaged in a wide array of other religious trainings. Lama Thubten Nima received special training from the Hlo Lungkar Monastery Chant-master (religious ritual master), Lama Yungthar, including the Eight Heruka Sadhanas, the Embodiment of the Masters' Realization, Vajrakilaya, and Essence of Great Bliss. He then served as chant master for Gar Monastery and later as the disciplinarian.
Thereafter, Lama Thubten Nima sought-out and received teachings from many of the greatest living Buddhist masters including: Dzogchen Trekchod and Thogal from the highly-renowned and respected Khenpo Munsel Rinpoche; the entirety of the Drikung Kagyu protectors and the higher and lower tantra sections from His Eminence Garchen Rinpoche.
Lama Thubten Nima also received personal, one-on-one instruction from the great Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok Rinpoche. Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok Rinpoche also gave Lama Thubten Nima the Kalachakra Empowerment and teachings and Kilaya cycle of teachings from Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok Rinpoche's own terma (mind treasure).
At Drikung Thil, Lama Thubten Nima studied with the very venerable Drupon Tenzin Nyima and received some of the most profound teachings of the Drikung Kagyu linage, including the Fivefold Mahamudra and the Six Yogas [of Naropa]. He studied the Gong Chig (Single Intention), Essence of Mahayana, The Bodhisattva Way of Life, and the Thirty-Seven Bodhisattva Practices with Drikung Khenpo Namzig.
Under the elder Drikung Chantmaster Konchok Samten, he trained in the ritual practices of Chakrasamvara, Varahi, the Yangzab, Sarvavid and Akshobhya. Lama Thubten Nima also received empowerment, teachings and pith instruction on the Yamantaka practice from the great Yanga Rinpoche.
Thereafter, H.E. Garchen Rinpoche asked Lama Thubten Nima to undertake a series of assignments to help reorganize and reestablish Buddhist practice and monastic discipline in monasteries throughout the region – after, in some cases, a twenty-five year breach in the Buddhist practice tradition.
Some of the monasteries Lama Thubten Nima helped reestablish include: Hlo Miyel Monastery, Khargo Monastery and later Tseri Monastery in Sichuan -- where he reestablished the Great Accomplishment (Drupchen) practice of Yamantaka and gave other teachings.
He next served (again at the request of H.E. Garchen Rinpoche) as Lama (religious teacher and minister) for two years at Tamgo Monastery in Central Tibet, the former dwelling place of Chung Dorje Dragpa -- the fourth lineage holder of the Drikung Kagyu.
There Lama Thubten Nima established the summer retreat, set up a yearly teaching schedule and appointed a chant master, disciplinarian and shrine master. Subsequently, at Gar Monastery, Lama Thubten Nima took responsibility for instructing the nuns at the Fivefold Mahamudra Meditation Center of Gargon Nunnery.
In the year 2000 Lama Thubten Nima went to India and received the complete Drikung Kagyu empowerments, transmissions and teachings during the Drikung Snake Year teachings. There he received teachings directly from His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche, His Eminence Garchen Rinpoche, Drubwang Konchok Norbu Rinpoche, and many other high Lamas.
Thereafter, Lama Thubten Nima went to Singapore, Malaysia and Taiwan. He then came to America to do a Yamantaka Retreat with H.E. Garchen Rinpoche. At present, he serves as a Resident Lama and Chant Master for the Garchen Institute in Arizona, as well as continuing to serve as Resident Lama for the Mercy and Treasure Buddhist Foundation (southern California).
H.E. Garchen Rinpoche has also requested Lama Thubten Nima to serve as Chant Master at all the Garchen Buddhist Dharma centers in the West. Click the "next" link below to see the letter H.E. Garchen Rinpoche wrote about Ven. Lama Thubten Nima.