The Venerable Lama Gyaltsen is a well known, respected spiritual leader on Maui. He is the Spiritual Director of the Maui Dharma Center lives and works there full time. Lama maintains a full schedule of serving the community as a Spiritual Mentor of people of all faiths.
The Venerable Lama Gyaltsen was chosen by the late Venerable Lama Tenzin (1938-2001) to be his successor as resident teacher of the Maui Dharma Center. Lama Gyaltsen arrived on Maui to begin that work on the full moon day in June 2003.
Lama Gyaltsen was born in 1968 in Darjeeling, India. He became a monk at the age of five after his parents were advised by the great Nyingmapa Lama, Chadral Rinpoche. Lama Gyaltsen's root teacher is the Lord of Refuge Kalu Rinpoche. He grew up in Kalu Rinpoche's monastery, Samdrup Darjay Ling in Sonada, as one of Rinpoche's first fifteen monk-students.
Along with Kalu Rinpoche, Lama Gyaltsen's main teachers, all accomplished Tibetan masters, were born and trained in Tibet in the Mahamudra and Dzokchen traditions of Tibetan Buddhism. He completed the traditional Three Year Retreat in the Karma Kagyu and Shangpa Kagyu traditions at Kalu Rinpoche's monastery and for some time after coming out of retreat extended his meditation practice, alone, in the solitude of the mountains behind the monastery. Before coming to Maui Lama Gyaltsen had already faithfully served his monastery as spiritual mentor and administrator for many years.
Lama Gyaltsen represents the new generation of Tibetan Buddhist teachers in the West. He is an exceptional teacher, accessible, articulate, artistic, humorous, a master story-teller, and keenly aware of the importance of mixing pure spiritual practice with the complexities of high-tech, modern every-day life. Though highly disciplined, Lama Gyaltsen's composed and peaceful nature blends well with the relaxed aloha life-style of Hawaii.
Lama Gyaltsen is the spiritual leader of two important projects of the Maui Dharma Center. He has already directed the completion of the Great Paia Lha Bab Peace Stupa, the door way to the Center and now is giving full attention to the construction of the Center's new Temple. A master plan and the capitol campaign will be formally announced in 2011.