Our Teachers

One of the main features of Tibetan Buddhism is the importance placed on access to a genuine teacher. We are very blessed to have available to us truly excellent teachers who visit our center to teach and inspire us. In particular, the Piedmont KTC is devoted to the Karma Kagyu lineage. The head of our lineage is His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje. The Venerable Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche is Abbot of Karma Triyana Dharmachakra in Woodstock, NY, which is the seat of His Holiness the Karmapa in the U.S. and is our home monastery. We are fortunate to have a number of other lamas and teachers who visit us on a regular basis.

His Holiness The 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje

His Holiness, the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, Orgyen Trinley Dorje, is the spiritual leader of the Karma Kagyu lineage, one of the major traditions of Tibetan Buddhism. Born in Eastern Tibet on June 26, 1985, he was recognized at the age of seven through a prediction letter, known as the Last Testament. Written by his previous incarnation, it indicated the place and year of his future birth along with the names of his parents and the special signs that would appear. The Karmapa’ s early years were divided between the pastoral life of his large nomadic family and Buddhist training at the nearby Karlek Monastery. Read full bio »

Venerable Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche (1924-2019)

We were very fortunate to have Rinpoche visit us in April, 2013. Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche was born in Rabshi, east Tibet, in the province of Kham. He was born in the second Tibetan month of 1924, the fourth child to a modest but self-sufficient nomad family. His parents practiced Buddhism diligently, and his father taught Rinpoche the Tibetan alphabet and various scriptures. Thus, he learned to read and write, and began to memorize texts. Read full bio »

Khenpo Ugyen Tenzin

Venerable Khenpo Ugyen Tenzin

Khenpo Ugyen Tenzin was born on the 15th of March in 1955, the Year of Wood Sheep, in the Chumey Zungney village in the Bumthang valley of central Bhutan. As his mother had passed away during his very early childhood, he was raised by his father and maternal aunt. His father sent him to a new primary school that had just opened near their village so he could receive modern education. Read full bio »

Karma Drodhul

Lama Karma Drodhul

Lama Karma Drodhul is Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche’ s principal attendant and assistant. He became a monk when he was nine years old and at twenty received both getsul (intermediate) and gelong (full) ordination from Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche. Lama Karma excelled in all aspects of dharma study and completed his education in five years. Thrangu Rinpoche sent him to the U.S. to deepen his understanding under the tutelage of Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche. Read full bio »

Lama Losang

Lama Losang

Lama Losang completed the traditional three year retreat at Karme Ling Retreat Center under the direction of Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche. He received getsul (intermediate) and gelong (full) ordination from Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche. He is currently serving as the Resident Lama for the Gainesville KTC. In addition, he received a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Florida. He is a licensed Acupuncture Physician, A.P. and Director of the Traditional Acupuncture Center in Gainesville, Florida. He is also serving on the Board of Trustees at KTD. Read full bio »

Lama Yeshe Gyamtso

Lama Yeshe Gyamtso

Lama Yeshe Gyamtso completed two three-year retreats under the direction of Lama Norlha. Since then, he has served as an interpreter for many eminent Kagyu teachers, including His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, Thrangu Rinpoche, Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche and many others. Lama Yeshe serves as a translator at KTD and travels to KTD affiliate centers as a translator for Bardor Tulku Rinpoche and Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche. He has accomplished a number of written translations that are being published by KTD publications. Read full bio »

Lama Kathy Wesley

Lama Kathy Wesley

Lama Kathy Wesley (Gyurme Chotso) has been a student of Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche since 1977. She participated in the first three-year retreat led by Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche at Karme Ling Retreat Center in upstate New York, and thus earned the title of ‘ retreat lama.’ Lama Kathy serves as the resident teacher at the Columbus KTC (Ohio), and travels to other Buddhist centers throughout the country to teach. She is a graduate of Ohio State University with a bachelor’ s degree in journalism and lives in Newark, Ohio with her husband, Michael. She is also on the Board of Trustees at KTD. Read full bio »

Lama Jinpa

Lama Jinpa

Lama Jinpa last visited us in January, 2020. Lama Karma Jinpa was born in Germany in 1978. He became a student of Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche in 1999. In 2012 he completed the traditional three-year retreat at Karme Ling Retreat Center under the direction of Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche. Since that time he lives in Washington, D.C., serves as the center lama for Greenville, N.C. KTC and travels regularly to the KTCs in the Carolinas. Lama Jinpa has also helped at programs at E-Vam Buddhist Institute, the Potomac MD Ocean of Merit group, as well as informal teachings in the D.C. area. Read full bio »