Sakya Monastery Recordings

Sakya Monastery is pleased to make many recorded lectures and services available to the public. We hope that you enjoy them all!


Chenrezi Services

Most every Sunday morning, Sakya Monastery holds a Chenrezi service. These services are recorded and then made available online for the benefit of everyone, especially those practitioners and supporters who are unable to attend in person.


Lectures and Teachings

Sakya Monastery is blessed to have several distinguished lamas, monks, and teachers give lectures and classes at the Monastery. We are honored to make many of them available online.

Speaker's Bureau


Sakya Monastery of Tibetan Buddhism has compiled a Speakers Bureau to educate groups and organizations about Tibetan Buddhism and Tibetan culture. Any organization or group wishing to have a speaker should contact Adrienne Chan at Sakya Monastery to discuss the best speaker, the lecture topic and speaking logistics in advance. An honorarium of is recommended.

For more information or to arrange for a speaker, contact Adrienne Chan, Co-Executive Director of Sakya Monastery via email at monastery@sakya.org 

H. E. Dagmo Kusho Sakya

H. E. Dagmo Kusho Sakya, known by her friends as Dagmola, was born in eastern Tibet and is the Acting Head Lama of Sakya Monastery. She was married to our Founding Lama, H. H. Jigdal Dagchen Dorje Chang. In 1959, Dagmola and Dagchen Rinpoche were forced to flee to India and in 1960 they moved to Seattle.  Dagmola is one of the few women Tibetan Buddhist Lamas in the world.  Co-author of the book, Princess in the Land of Snows (http://tinyurl.com/2by4243), Dagmola regularly bestows empowerments and teaches at Sakya Monastery. She has founded the Mother Tara Center/Tara Ling in San Gabriel, California and established centers in Kona, Hawaii; Flagstaff, Arizona; and Mexico City. 

Lecture Topics

  • What Americans Could Learn from Tibetan Culture
  • Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism
  • Folk Tales of Tibet
  • Customs of Tibet
  • Life of a woman and mother in traditional Tibet


Ven. Khenpo Jampa Tenphel

Ven. Khenpo Jampa Tenphel comes to Sakya Monastery from Dzongsar Institute in India, where he was the library director as well as a tutor for many years. He received a Degree of Acharya (equivalent to an M.A.) in Buddhist Philosophy in 2002 and was ordained as an Abbott in 2004. He has received many teachings and initiations from all four sects of Tibetan Buddhism (Sakya, Gelug, Kagyu, Nyingma). Many of those teachings and initiations were from H.H. the Dalai Lama and H.H. Sakya Trizin. He has also received the Lamdre teaching from H.H. Dagchen Rinpoche. His root lamas are H.H. Sakya Trizin, H.H. Luding Khen Rinpoche, and H.H. Dagchen Rinpoche. At Sakya Monastery, Khenpo Jampa teaches intermediate and advanced level curriculum on Buddhist philosophy and also serve as the librarian for the growing collection of Tibetan Buddhist scriptures.

Lecture Topics

  • How Tibetan Buddhist Can Help End the Cycle of Anger
  • The Definition of Buddhism
  • Keeping the Mind Clear in Difficult Situations
  • The Selflessness of Tibetan Buddhism


Ven. Lama Kelsang

Ven. Lama Kelsang was born in 1980 in India. In his early twenties, he entered Sakya College in Dehradhun, India where he took monastic vows. There, he studied Buddhist philosophy for about five years. During these years, he also received empowerments and teachings from H.H Dalai Lama, H.H Sakya Trichen Rinpoche, H.E Luding Khen Rinpoche, H.E Thartse Khenpo, and Khenchen Kunga Wangchok. He next went to Nepal's Tharlam Monastery and completed a Manjushri retreat for three months. He received the Lamdre from H.H. Jidgal Dachen Dorjechang Sakya in 2007. He was appointed as a Chinese language tutor to H.E Asanga Rinpoche, a position he held from 2008 until 2012. After 2012 he was on a three year retreat. He has completed five times the requisite one-hundred thousand accumulations for the preliminary practices (ngondro) and has also completed the preliminary and main practice of Luminous Great Perfection, and the ritual practices of the Longchen Nyingtik tradition.

Lecture Topics

  • Calm-Abiding Meditation


Chuck Pettis

Chuck Pettis is Co-executive Director of Sakya Monastery of Tibetan Buddhism. Chuck assists in the operations and administration of Sakya Monastery as well as teaching Sakya Monastery’s Orientation class and Vajrayana meditations.

Chuck Pettis, author of TechnoBrands, is President of BrandSolutions, Inc. (www.brand-solutions.com), a leading brand consulting firm. Chuck is also founder of Earth Sanctuary (www.earthsanctuary.org), a nature reserve, sculpture garden, and retreat center on Whidbey Island, near Seattle. Earth Sanctuary is home to the Tara Meditation Center, Sakya Monastery’s retreat center. Author of Secrets of Sacred Space, Chuck has built a sculpture garden of sacred spaces at Earth Sanctuary, including the world’s tallest stone circle, a labyrinth, a Buddhist stupa, Native American Medicine Wheels and minimalistic sculptures.

Chuck Pettis has a BA in psychology from Carnegie-Mellon University and an MS in design from Southern Illinois University.

Lecture Topics

  • Calm Your Mind in 60 Seconds: Learn eleven 60-second meditations you can use to relax anywhere!
  • Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism
  • Secrets of Sacred Space
  • Earth Sanctuary’s 500-year Plan to Create an Old-growth Forest


Jeffrey Schoening

Jeffrey Schoening (Upasaka), holds a PhD in Buddhist Studies, and is a longtime member and interpreter at Sakya Monastery of Tibetan Buddhism. Jeff is the author of The Shalistamba Sutra and Its Indian Commentaries (Vienna 1995), a two-volume study of teachings on dependent arising. He served as a health care chaplain at Swedish Medical Center and Northwest Kidney Center and is currently a private practice spiritual director.

Lecture Topics

  • Tibetan Buddhism
  • Indo-Tibetan Buddhism


Murray Gordon

Murray Gordon has previously served Sakya Monastery as the director of Virupa Educational Institute, its educational branch. Currently he continues to teach for VEI, coordinates the Sunday Chenrezi Omzes, darshan tour guides, and translators, as well as lead monastery tours, and speak to outside organization. He was a student of H.H. Jigdal Dagchen Dorje Chang beginning in 1986. Murray is also a published poet and spoken word performer.

Lecture Topics

  • Wheel of Life
  • Buddhism in Daily Life
  • Tour of Sakya Monastery
  • Refuge
  • Meditation for Beginners
  • Karma and Rebirth for Beginners


Ken Hockett

Ken Hockett is one of the senior Dharma students at Sakya. After much reading and study, he took refuge before H.H. Jigdal Dagchen Sakya in 1977. His principal interest is in the Mind Training methods and has been teaching these at Sakya Monastery for over 15 years. Having received teachings and initiations from Lamas of all four schools of Tibetan Buddhism, his main teachers are of the Sakya and Nyingma traditions. He has also produces many of the practice texts used at Sakya Monastery.


Thank You!

Thank you for joining Sakya Monastery's Mailing List. Your information will be added to our mailing database. Note that we never sell or share our list information!

Sakya Centers


The Mother Tara Sakya Center was founded by Her Eminence Dagmo Kusho Sakya on June 30, 2000 under the auspices and blessings of H.H. the Dalai Lama and her husband H.H. Jigdal Dagchen Sakya (Dagchen Rinpoche). Tara Ling Santa Barbara was later established on Losar (Tibetan New Year's Day) in February, 2012.

H.H. the Dalai Lama gave the center the blessing name of "Tara-Ling" and H.H. Dagchen Rinpoche gave it the name the "Mother Tara Sakya Center". Dagmola brings the teachings and blessings of Tara to her many students around the world. "The practice of the Buddha Dharma and in particular the practice of Tara has enriched my life, and it is my dearest wish to share this precious feeling with all those who come to me."
The Mother Tara Sakya Center/Tara Ling Santa Barbara are volunteer-based, non-sectarian, non-profit Tibetan Buddhist centers based at two locations in Southern California: San Gabriel and Santa Barbara.

The mission of "Tara-Ling" is to contribute to the preservation and teaching of Tibetan culture and philosophy to all who are interested.

Mother Tara Sakya Center "Tara-Ling"/Tara Ling Santa Barbara
Vidya Gauci, President (805) 448-8516, leading Monthly Classes by Donation



Sakya Heritage Society, USA

Sakya Heritage Society – Buddha Ashram, New Dehli, India

Sakya Tsechen Shide Chöling, Vietnam

Mailing address:
76, Tran quoc Thao Str.
Ward 7, District 3, Hochiminh city, Vietnam

Sakya Tsechen Phuntsok Chöling, Hong Kong

Sakya Tsechen Thupten Dekyi Chöling, Taiwan

Sakya Sonam Dargye Chöling, Taiwan

Tsechen Jigchop Drolma Dekyi Chöling, Mexico

Information on additional Sakya Centers around the world can be found at the following web site:


Important Terms used in Tibetan Buddhism:

  • Adhi – a white and purple/red shawl for meditation, a symbol of respect for the spiritual practice.
  • Bodhicitta – the enlightenment attitude – the resolve or intent to attain enlightenment of a Buddha for the benefit of all beings, not just oneself.
  • Bodhisattva – one worthy of nirvana who postpones it to help others.
  • Buddha – “Awakened One.’ A Buddha is a person who is completely free from all faults and mental obstructions. The Buddha who is the founder of the Buddhist religion is called Shakyamuni Buddha.
  • Buddhism - the teaching of Buddha that life is permeated with suffering caused by desire, that suffering ceases when desire ceases, and that enlightenment (obtained through right conduct, wisdom, and meditation) releases one from desire, suffering, and rebirth.
  • Chenrezi – the Bodhisattva of Compassion.
  • Dharma – the teachings of Buddhism.
  • dharma – phenomena
  • Enlightenment – A blessed state in which the individual is free from suffering, understands the nature of the mind and reality, and enjoys complete bliss, delight, and peace. The causes of enlightenment are: great compassion, wisdom (the realization of emptiness and insight through one-pointed calm abiding meditation), and the accumulation of great amounts of merit and wisdom.
  • Founding Lama – the founder of a monastery. The founder of Sakya Monastery is H.H. Jigdal Dagchen Sakya (1929 – 2016)
  • Four Immeasurables– 1) Loving kindness. 2) Compassion. 3) Appreciative or sympathetic joy. 4) Equanimity.
  • Four Noble Truths: 1) The noble truth of suffering (and stress). 2) The noble truth of the origin of stress and suffering. 3) The noble truth of the cessation of suffering. 4) The noble truth of the way of practice to cease suffering.
  • Head Lama – the head teacher and leader of a monastery. Sakya Monastery’s head lama is His Eminence Sakya Khondung Avikrita Rinpoche
  • Insight – the right discernment of all phenomena, whether external or internal, material or spiritual.
  • Lama – in Sanskrit “guru,” a teacher, someone important for the student.
  • Katag – a white scarf, symbolizing purity, offered a Lama as a “good wish” or at a ritual.
  • Mala – a string of beads for keeping track of how many mantras you have recited.
  • Mantra – a sacred word or syllable repeated in prayer or meditation.
  • Merit – the purification of past unwholesome deeds and the attunement of the mind to the stages of holiness by training in the “Six Perfections,” i.e., giving (generosity), moral conduct, patience, diligence (enthusiasm for performing virtuous deeds), meditation, and the perfection of wisdom.
  • Retreat – a special time of solitude and silence to engage in reflection, meditation, personal renewal, and spiritual practices (e.g., the Four Preliminary Practices).
  • Sangha: Bodhisattvas, Tulkus, Lamas, monks, nuns.
  • Samsara – the cycle of death and rebirth
  • Six Perfections: Generosity; morality, patience, diligence/persistence, meditation/concentration, wisdom/mindfulness.
  • Six realms of existence: Hell realm, hungry ghost realm, animal realm, human realm, demigod realm, god realm.
  • Tantra – the esoteric (secret) teachings of the Buddha.
  • The Three Jewels – the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha.
  • Tsok – an offering such as food, flowers, incense, candles or money.
  • Tsok Kor – a prayer service whereby we make offerings of foods, flowers, incense, etc.
  • Vajrayana – comprehensive set of spiritual practices that utilize the body, voice and mind to most quickly attain Buddhahood (enlightenment).

Board of Advisors


Sakya Monastery Board of Advisors

His Eminence Avikrita Sakya - Head Lama
His Eminence Abhaya Sakya - Associate Head Lama
His Eminence Asanga Sakya - Associate Head Lama
Venerable Minzu Sakya - Phuntsok Phodrang Representative
Venerable Ani Sakya - Phuntsok Phodrang Representative
Venerable Mati Sakya - Phuntsok Phodrang Representative
Venerable Zaya Sakya - Phuntsok Phodrang Representative
Venerable Sadu Sakya - Phuntsok Phodrang Representative
Her Eminence Dagmo Kusho Sakya - Acting Head Lama, Tibeten Buddism Teacher & Tibetan Cultural Advisor
Khenpo Jampa Tenphel - Tibetan Buddhism Teacher
Lama Migmar Tsering - Monastery Manager, Religious Artist, Ritual Officer
Lama Kelsang - Tibetan Buddhist Teacher, Ritual Officer
Adrienne Chan - Co-Executive Director
Chuck Pettis - Co-Executive Director
John Vichorek - Construction Manager
Dennis Oliver - Program Manager; Padmasambhava, Medicine Buddha & White Tara Coordinator
Michelle Hamilton - President
David Spiekerman - Vice-President, Online Dharma Shop Co-Manager
Samantha Branca
- Secretary
Gillian Teichert - Treasurer, Dharma Shop Co-Manager
Larry Lamb - Maintenance Co-Chair
Nyima Choedhar - Maintenance Co-Chair
Seline Albee - Sanctuary Committee Chair
Teresa Lamb
- Education Co-Chair, Development Chair, Teen Dharma
Michael Morris - Membership Committee Chair
Alyssa McFarland - Volunteer Committee Chair, Education Co-Chair

Other Committee Chairs

Rhiannon Mayes, Karen Kopper, and Virginia Hassinger
- Children's Dharma School
Celia Sullivan - Tara Meditation Center Treasurer
Tim Tapping - Ambassador Program, NW Dharma Association Board Rep, Ryther, Thurs Chenrezi
Murray Gordon
- Sunday Oomze & Darshan Coordinator
Greg Davenport - Friday Calm Abiding Coordinator
Laura Ellis
- Sakya Chronicles, Next of Kin Coordinator
Gail Frederickson - Green Tara Coordinator
Stephanie Prince - Vajrayogini Coordinator
Ron Hogan - Shitro/Ngondro Coordinator
Marilyn Harris
- Sakya Heritage Society, New Delhi
Ashley Toney - Sakya Heritage Society, New Delhi
Ken Hockett - Tibetan Text Editor
Marianne Kenaday - Landscape Coordinator
Tashi Paljor - Photographer


Dagmo Chimey Sakya
Dr. Jeff Schoening
Rigdzin Tingkhye
Thubten Jampa

Sakya History

The profound and vast teachings of Buddhism were expounded for our present age by Shakyamuni Buddha. These doctrines were preserved for over a thousand years in India by a succession of unsurpassed masters of the tradition. During the eighth century this fully developed canon of teachings was firmly established in Tibet by Guru Padmasambhava. And since that time there has been a great flourishing of both the Sutra and Tantra traditions of Buddhism.

The above painting depicts the Five Sakya Founders; the Ngor and Tsar Founders; Meditational Deities; and a Protector Diety.

Four main schools developed within Tibet: Nyingma, Sakya, Kagyu, Gelug, each with its own incomparable lineage of teachers and emphasis on particular practices. The Sakya tradition, which developed from the early Nyingma teachings, has been preserved to the present day through the pure and unbroken succession of Khön lineage holders and through the transmission of the profound Sakya Lamdre (Path and Fruit) teachings. Due to the unimaginable compassion of masters throughout the centuries, the limitless teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha are maintained as potent and viable methods of spiritual realization.



His Holiness Jigdal Dagchen Sakya Rinpoche (the founder and Principal Guru of Sakya Monastery of Tibetan Buddhism in Seattle, WA) was born into the Phuntsok branch of the Khön lineage in 1929 in southwestern Tibet. As imminent successor to the throne of Sakya and future head of the Sakya School of Tibetan Buddhism, under the guidance of his father and other distinguished Lamas, Dagchen Rinpoche received instructions in the Hinayana, Mahayana, and Vajrayana systems of Buddhism. Upon completion of this comprehensive training, Dagchen Rinpoche received the unbroken Sakya lineage transmission of the Sakya Vajrakilaya and Hevajra initiations and the complete Lamdre Tsogshe (Path and Fruit), which are the main teachings of the Sakya tradition. Following this period of intensive study and initiations, Dagchen Rinpoche went into a long series of study and meditation retreats. He then conferred the Lamdre Tsogshe to monks, nuns, and lay people of Sakya.

After the passing of his father, Dagchen Rinpoche took a leave of absence as ruler of Sakya in order to travel to East Tibet to increase his knowledge and experience of the Dharma, by studying with the renowned teachers of that area. Two of these lamas also became Dagchen Rinpoche's root gurus, Dzongsar Khyentse Jamyang Chökyi Lodrö and Dilgo Khyentse Rabsal Dawa. These two highly realized masters helped to formulate Dagchen Rinpoche's non-sectarian approach to Buddhism. After completing his major religious studies, Dagchen Rinpoche bestowed initiations and teachings throughout East Tibet and established 17 Sakya colleges and 10 retreat centers in that region. In 1955, he conferred the Lamdre Tsogshe, for a second time, to over 1200 practitioners in Minyag, East Tibet.

Entrance to the Phuntsok Phodrang Sakya Heritage Society in New Delhi, India.

In 1959 Dagchen Rinpoche, his wife H.E. Dagmo Kusho Sakya, and their family were forced to flee to India, where Dagchen Rinpoche became the Sakya representative to the Tibetan Religious Office in Exile, which was instrumental in arranging for the resettlement of Tibetan refugees. The following year he was invited to participate in a research project on Tibetan civilization at the University of Washington sponsored by a Rockefeller Foundation grant.

Dagchen Rinpoche has resided in Seattle since 1960 along with his wife, five sons and other family members. Appreciating the benefits of American freedom and prosperity, he works actively to help preserve and share the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. To this end he has given extensive empowerments and teachings throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia. In 1974 Dagchen Rinpoche co-founded with Dezhung Rinpoche the original Dharma Center called Sakya Tegchen Choling. In 1984, the group reorganized and the name Sakya Monastery of Tibetan Buddhism was adopted. H.H. Jigdal Dachen Sakya established Sakya Monastery as a seat of cultural and religious learning in the West.

H. H. TRINLEY SAKYAPA (1934 - 1997)

His Holiness Trinley Sakyapa was born in the Phuntsok Palace of Sakya in the third month of the Wood Dog year. His father was Trichen Ngawang Thutop Wangchuk, throne holder of Sakya, and his mother was Gyalyum Dechen Dolma. Rinpoche had one older brother, H. H. Jigdal Dagchen Sakya, and five sisters: Thubten Wangmo and Kalzang Wangmo, who have passed away; Tsegen Wangmo and Chime Wangmo, both Seattle residents; and Konchog Yangki, who lives in Indiana.

In Rinpoche's previous birth he was the monk Jamyang Thubten Zangpo, the younger brother of Sakya Trichen Dragshul Trinley Rinchen, who was the grandfather of the present Sakya Trizen. His residence was the mansion Nagtse Labrang, a branch of the Dolma Podrang. In that life Trinley Rinpoche took both novice and full monk's vows from the 13th Dalai Lama, Thubten Gyatso, and because of his monastic commitment he brought into this life a propensity for becoming a monk once again.

Trinley Rinpoche's education was the traditional one for members of the Khon lineage - it began with the transmission of a Manjushri empowerment from his father, underscoring the close connection between Manjushri and the Sakya hierarchs. Then, after being taught to read and write, Trinley Rinpoche memorized the Hevajra Tantra. When he had recited it to the satisfaction of his father and the officials of the North Monastery in Sakya, he was presented the written text and other gifts by his father. Like Manjushri, Hevajra has an especially important connection with the Sakya lineage.

As his root lama, Trinley Rinpoche's father gave him the scriptural reading, the explanation, and the empowerment for all the tantras which Trinley Rinpoche learned in Sakya. After receiving each of these, he performed the requisite meditational retreats. In addition, he received from his father the Lamdre Tsogshe, the main teaching of the Sakya Tradition. During his youth Trinley Rinpoche accompanied his father on journeys to religious sites in Western and Central Tibet, India, and Nepal.

Guiding Trinley Rinpoche's education was Ponlob Shedrup, who belonged to the Pentsangpa, a group of the 16 foremost Buddhist practitioners from Sakya's North Monastery. Ponlob Shedrup directed Trinley Rinpoche's memorization of tantras and his study of religious dance, music, philosophy, and kingkor (mandala) drafting - the laying out of the yidam's palace.

Trinley Rinpoche received instructions from the former Abbot of the South Monastery of Sakya, Champa Jampal Zangpo, in such texts as the Bodhicaryavatara and the Madhyamikavatara, and commentaries on these two treatises.


His Eminence Khöndung Avikrita Vajra Sakya, the Head Lama of Sakya Phuntsok Phodrang, was born in Seattle on May 26, 1993, the elder son of H.E. Khöndung Zaya Vajra Rinpoche and Dagmo Lhanze Youden. At the age of six, he began his training in India to follow in the footsteps of his noble Khön forebears. He has received an uninterrupted stream of transmissions and teachings from his late grandfather, H.H. Jigdal Dagchen Sakya Dorje Chang (1929-2016), including the Lamdre Tsogshay; from H.H. Sakya Trizin, including the Lamdre Lobshe; and from many high Lamas of the Sakya tradition.

Having mastered the intricate rituals of the Sakya lineage, completed meditation retreats, and presided as Vajra Master of the annual Vajrakilaya ceremony in Ghoom, Darjeeling, H.E. Avikrita Sakya enrolled in 2010 at Dzongsar Institute of Higher Buddhist Philosophy and Research. There he is successfully building on his extensive learning in the Buddha Dharma with a program of study and dialectics to gain proficiency in the classic treatises of the Sakya philosophical tradition. As well, since 2016, he has assumed the role of revision teacher (teaching assistant) at Dzongsar Institute.

For more than eight years, H.E. Avikrita Sakya has been sharing his rich Dharma teachings with warmth, clarity, and wisdom around the world.


His Eminence Khondung Asanga Vajra Sakya is the son of H.E. Dhungsey Ani Vajra Rinpoche and Dagmo Chimey Drolkar. He is also the grandson of H.H. Dagchen Rinpoche and therefore a direct descendent of the unbroken Khön lineage which dates back to 1073. Asanga Rinpoche was born on May 1st, 1999 in Seattle, Washington. In April of 2005, at the age of five, Asanga Vajra Rinpoche left Seattle to begin his new life to live, study and train as a future Tibetan master who will further the Sakya Khön lineage. While at Tharlam Monastery in Nepal, Asanga Rinpoche has been receiving religious training from selected Tibetan monk scholars. In 2007, he received the Lamdre Tsogshay teaching from his paternal grandfather, H.H. Dagchen Rinpoche. The following year, Asanga Rinpoche received the Lamdre Lobshe teachings from his paternal grand-uncle H.H. Sakya Trizin. He has also received many other very important empowerments, teachings and religious instructions from other great masters such as H.H. the Dalai Lama, H.E. Chogye Trichen, H.E. Appey Rinpoche, H.E. Luding Khenchen as well as his maternal grandfather, H.E. Garje Khamtul Rinpoche, who is a Nyingmapa master.


His Eminence Khöndung Abhaya Vajra Sakya, the younger son of H.E. Zaya Vajra Sakya and Dagmo Lhanze Youden, was born in Seattle in 1997. At the age of 11, he joined his brother H.E. Avikrita Vajra Rinpoche in India to pursue his education in the Sakya tradition. At the age of 12, he expressed his strong wish to receive monastic ordination. He received his monastic vows from H.E. Luding Khenchen Rinpoche in an ordination ceremony witnessed by H.E. Luding Khenshon Rinpoche, H.E. Khangsar Shabdrung Rinpoche, Ven. Antro Tulku and the Abbot of the Sakya Vajrayana College, Khenpo Konchog Gyaltsen, at the Ngor Luding Ladrang in Manduwala, India. He has devotedly studied the Tibetan Buddhist rituals, literature and grammar, and has received teachings from his late grandfather H.H. Jigdal Dagchen Sakya Dorje Chang, H. H. Sakya Trizin, H. E. Luding Kenchen, and other high Lamas of the Sakya tradition. He now studies at Dzongsar Institute of Higher Buddhist Philosophy and Research.

H. E. DEZHUNG RINPOCHE (1906 - 1987)

In 1906, the Fire Horse Year, H. E. Dezhung Rinpoche was born in the mountainous Ga region of East Tibet into a family famous for its skilled physicians. When he was only five years old, Rinpoche appealed to his parents to be sent to a monastery so that he could devote his life to the Buddhist path. Impressed by his request, Dezhung Rinpoche's parents realized that this was no ordinary person, but one destined to a very special religious role. He then went to study and live with his uncle, Ngawang Nyima, a monk who spent most of his life in retreat at the Thaglung Monastery in Ga. Dezhung Rinpoche began to learn letters and memorization and did chores for his uncle.

As a boy Dezhung Rinpoche read the biography of Milarepa in whom his uncle had strong faith, and he was so inspired by the life of this great saint, Dezhung Rinpoche himself wished to become a yogi. Instead, his future responsibilities bounded him to a more traditional approach to the Dharma. Much later in life, Dezhung Rinpoche expressed his continued devotion to Milarepa with a pilgrimage to all places of importance in that saint's life.

The lama from whom Dezhung Rinpoche took the vows of Refuge was Kunga Nyima, who along with Ngawang Nyima, practiced the meditation on Vajrayogini. He therefore instructed Dezhung Rinpoche in the practice of the Black Demchog, a preliminary to Vajrayogini meditation. At age ten Dezhung Rinpoche finally met the great Sakya lama Ngawang Legpa Rinpoche, who had just emerged from a fifteen year retreat. This master was to become Dezhung Rinpoche's root lama, of whom he spoke with the greatest devotion and gratitude. When Dezhung Rinpoche was fifteen years old, Legpa Rinpoche gave him his novice monk's vows, and Dezhung Rinpoche subsequently became Lama Legpa's main disciple.

Dezhung Rinpoche's early education included instructions in spelling, etymology, versification, and rhetoric, Mahayana and Vajrayana treatises, and in particular on the Madhyamika or Middle Way. Among his lamas at this time were the Gelugpa lama, Lozang Chokyi Gawa, and a Nyimgmapa lama, Shenga Chokyi Nangwa.

When Dezhung Rinpoche was eighteen, he was recognized by the officials of the Dezhung Monastery to be the third rebirth of Dezhung Lungrig Nyima, and was accorded the appropriate wealth, position, and quarters in the monastery. He remained in residence at the Thaglung Monastery, however, rather than interrupt the precious teachings he was receiving from Legpa Rinpoche. Lama Legpa grounded Dezhung Rinpoche in the traditional method of listening to the Dharma, contemplating the teachings, and then practicing them, and he directed Dezhung Rinpoche to meet as many great lamas as possible.

Dezhung Rinpoche describes Legpa Rinpoche as a very kind lama who kept the strict vows of a Bhikshu monk. Because of his great faith in Legpa Rinpoche, Dezhung Rinpoche chose for his personal practice the development of compassion through meditating on Chenrezi, Legpa Rinpoche's primary practice. Lama Legpa's daily recitation of mantras of Chenrezi greatly inspired Dezhung Rinpoche, who seemed always to have this mantra on his lips.

Following the guidance of his lama, Dezhung Rinpoche received extensive teachings and empowerments from over forty additional lamas, including the renowned Rime master, Jamyang Chokyi Lodro. These teachings included the major texts of Tibetan Buddhism. For example, Dezhung Rinpoche received the Sakya Lamdre Tsogshe and Lamdre Lobshey four times and became a recognized master of these teachings. He was given the transmissions contained in the Druptap Kundu, a fourteen volume collection of meditational texts on a thousand deities, and as a part of his devotional tantric practices, Dezhung Rinpoche completed over ten years of retreats.

Dezhung Rinpoche's journeys took him to monasteries throughout Tibet, and his reputation as a scholar and skilled practitioner led to numerous appeals for teachings and empowerments. In Sakya, Dezhung Rinpoche visited more than twenty monasteries where he expounded on a vast range of subjects. He imparted the Chenrezi empowerment to over ten thousand monks. During his late thirties Dezhung Rinpoche lived and traveled among the nomads of East Tibet who constituted the supporting community of his Dezhung Monastery. When lay people expressed the desire for explanations of the Dharma, Dezhung Rinpoche held public meetings in East Tibet at which thousands gathered to hear him teach about Chenrezi. When his niece married Dagchen Rinpoche, a close relationship developed between Dezhung Rinpoche and the Sakya Hierarchy, and Dezhung Rinpoche later served as lama-tutor to Dagchen Rinpoche's eldest son, Minzu Vajra.

At the time of Legpa Rinpoche's passing, he appointed Dezhung Rinpoche to succeed him as Abbot of Tharlam Monastery. However, soon after, Dezhung Rinpoche and one hundred of his monks were forced to flee the approaching armies of Communist Chinese, and only forty monks survived the lengthy and dangerous escape to India.

Dezhung Rinpoche accompanied H.H. Jigdal Dagchen Sakya to the U.S. in 1960 to participate in a University of Washington research project on Tibetan culture and religion. In 1974 Dezhung Rinpoche co-founded in Seattle with H.H. Jigdal Dagchen Sakya Rinpoche the original Dharma Center called Sakya Tegchen Choling--which eventually became Sakya Monastery of Tibetan Buddhism. During his twenty years in this country, he gave countless teachings and empowerments at centers across the U.S. and Canada and founded Sakya centers in New York City, Minneapolis, and Boston. Members of Sakya Monastery in Seattle have been most fortunate to receive extensive teachings from Dezhung Rinpoche and to be inspired by his great compassion. Dezhung Rinpoche spent most of 1981 in Katmandu, Nepal supervising the building of the new Tharlam Monastery and teaching the numerous Tibetan and Western students.

In the ensuing years between the founding of Tharlam Monastery and his passing in 1987, Dezhung Rinpoche traveled between the US and Nepal giving teachings and raising funds for the new monastery. All who were fortunate enough to be able to see him were affected by his great knowledge and compassion.

Dezhung Rinpoche's reincarnation, Sonam Wangdu, was born in Seattle, Washington on November 12, 1991. He was formally enthroned at Tharlam Monastery on March 8, 1994. His tonsure ceremony was performed by H. H. Sakya Trizin on April 6th of that year. At the same time he was given his formal name, Ngawang Kunga Tegchen Chokyi Nyima, by H. H. Jigdal Dagchen Sakya. He now resides and studies at Tharlam Monastery.



H. E. Dagyum Chenmo Kusho, known by her friends as Dagmola, was born in eastern Tibet. Raised in a loving family of moderate affluence, her way of life and education were pervaded by the spirit of Buddhism. In a society in which most education was of a religious nature, available chiefly to monks, she had the unusual good fortune to receive a fine education from an early age.

Dagmola's childhood came to a swift end. As a very young woman she went on pilgrimage from Kham, her homeland, to Sakya, the headquarters of one of the four major orders of Tibetan Buddhism. She was introduced to the politics of the Sakya ecclesiastical hierarchy, and she was eagerly courted by a young religious nobleman of the Phuntsok Palace who was being prepared to become the Head Lama of the Sakya Order, H. H. Jigdal Dagchen Sakya. As a result of her marriage she accepted the heavy burden of entering the ranks of Tibetan nobility and of representing the ancient tradition of this spiritual lineage.

While the young Dagmola accustomed herself to her new way of life, the freedom of the Tibetan people began to be eroded by the infiltration of Chinese Communists into eastern Tibet. Before long, open hostilities between the communists and the Tibetans became more prevalent, and the Chinese responded with increased oppression and flagrant disrespect for the native culture. The carefree days of Dagmola's youth had now vanished.

Upon returning to Central Tibet, Dagmola witnessed the severe oppression, deceit, and manipulation the communists perpetrated upon her people. As violence erupted in Lhasa, where she and her family were visiting, they were forced to flee for their lives. Optimistic like many other Tibetans that they would return home once hostilities had subsided, they fled south, but as they received reports of the growing violence in the Tibetan capital, these hopes vanished. Enduring extreme hardship and fear in their flight from Tibet, her family frequently relied on prayer for their safety and looked to divinations and omens to guide them to freedom. Even in such dire circumstances her family displayed a resilience and courage common among the Tibetan refugees. With an abiding faith in the Buddha, they opened themselves in trust to an unknown future which presented itself in an offer to H.H. Jigdal Dagchen Sakya to come to the United States to collaborate in research at the University of Washington.

During the years since their arrival in the United States, Dagmola selflessly devoted herself to bringing up her five sons and assisting her husband in his many religious activities, in particular, the establishment of Sakya Monastery. She also quietly devoted herself inwardly to spiritual practice under the guidance of her revered uncle, H.E. Dezhung Rinpoche. H.E. Dezhung Rinpoche encouraged her to begin teaching Buddhism and granting empowerments. Thus, Dagmola is authorized to accept the role of Lama by one of the foremost Tibetan Buddhist masters of the Sakya Order and by other esteemed Tibetan Lamas.

Dagmola regularly bestows empowerments and teaches at Sakya Monastery. She has founded the Mother Tara Center/Tara Ling in San Gabriel, California and established centers in Kona, Hawaii; Flagstaff, Arizona; and Mexico City.



Khenpo Jampa Tenphel Rinpoche comes to us from the Dzongsar Insitute in North India, where he taught and served as library director for many years. He received his Degree of Acharya after nine years of study and was graduated as Khenpo in 2004 after thirteen years of study. He spent seventeen years studying with his main teacher, H.E. Khenchen Kunga Wangchuk. He has received empowerments from all four schools of Tibetan Buddhism and from many great masters including H.H. the Dalai Lama, H.H. Sakya Trizin, H.H. Dagchen Rinpoche, H.H. Karmapa, and H.E. Dzongsar Khyentse. He now teaches intermediate and advanced level classes on Buddhist philosophy, sutra and highest yoga tantra all over the world.

About Us

Important Resources:

Sakya Monastery provides access to the Buddha’s teachings and guidance in a community of practitioners. We offer a wide variety of classes on Tibetan Buddhism spiritual practices, philosophy and culture.

Sakya Monastery, founded by His Holiness Jigdal Dagchen Sakya (1929-2016), provides a place to learn from highly qualified Tibetan Lamas in a beautiful traditional setting. We are blessed to have His Eminence Sakya Khöndung Avikrita Vajra Rinpoche as our Head Lama. He is supported by Her Eminence Dagmo Kusho Sakya, Khenpo Jampa Rinpoche, our sangha of monks and lay practitioners, and our Board of Advisors.

Sakya Monastery, founded by His Holiness Jigdal Dagchen Sakya (1929-2016), provides a place to learn from highly qualified Tibetan Lamas in a beautiful traditional setting. We are blessed to have His Eminence Sakya Khöndung Avikrita Vajra Rinpoche as our Head Lama. He is supported by Her Eminence Dagmo Kusho Sakya, Khenpo Jampa Rinpoche, our sangha of monks and lay practitioners, and our Board of Advisors.


Compiled by: His Holiness Jigdal Dagchen Sakya

For more information on Blessing & Ceremonies contact Sakya Monastery.

Taking Refuge
Taking refuge is the first step on the Buddhist Path to Enlightenment. It is a formal ceremony during which a person officially becomes a Buddhist. For most, it is a natural outgrowth of learning about Buddhism and comes about because of an inner sense of connection with the teachings. In short, taking refuge is a very special blessing that makes it easier to do the spiritual practices that make oneself a better person and ultimately become enlightened.

To Sponsor a Deity Empowerment – Call the office or see Adrienne Chan

Dedication of Merit (Both Simple & Elaborate Versions)

  • Helps heal and relieve the suffering of a loved one or animal who is sick, ill or with a serious disease.
  • As a mourning practice, Dedication of Merit assists the person or animal to have a quick and successful rebirth.
  • Celebrate your anniversary as a Buddhist.
  • Celebrate world events and important occasions.

Green Tara, Mandala Offering, 21 Tara, or Mahakala

  • Remove obstacles and negative forces for important events like a business meeting, a trip, an exam, a big sporting event, etc.

  • "Clear the path.”

Blessing or Consecration of Land, Home, Business or Store

  • Harmonious energy
  • Happiness
  • Reduced sickness
  • Long life

Consecration of Statues, Stupas, Tangkas, Malas and Other Religious Objects
A statue or stupa without consecration is empty. It is not correct to leave religious objects empty on a shrine, they need to be filled with “tsung shu” – valued items like secret relics, fragments of special stones, mantras, jewels, medicines, grains, etc.
This spiritual practice turns empty objects into sacred objects. Consecration is only available to Buddhist practitioners.

Note: A limited number of consecrated statues are available for purchase at Sakya Monastery; see Gillian Teichert.

“Sur” – The Complete 49-Day Spiritual Practice as Described in “The Tibetan Book of the Dead”

  • Facilitates person’s passage through the Bardo.
  • Purges attachment to objects.

Chak-Mo – Divination
Get a direct “Yes” or “No” answer on important decisions, i.e., home, business, marriage, relationship, etc. Any doubt you want to resolve. Note that this is only available to Buddhist practitioners.

Contact Sakya Monastery Monday – Friday, 8:00 am – noon to arrange for a blessing or ceremony.

Note: There is a brochure and a notebook available upon request that provides complete details on all the above ceremonies.


Sakya Monastery of Tibet Buddhism
108 NW 83rd Street
Seattle, WA 98117 USA
(206) 789-2573

Spiritual Services

Sakya Monastery provides a wide range of spiritual services to help you in your personal, spiritual, family and work life. Below is a listing of these services. For complete information on these spiritual services, download Services Offered by Sakya Monastery: Spiritual Practices, Blessings, and Ceremonies (PDF).  More information can be found on our Blessings webpage.

  • Becoming a Buddhist: Taking Refuge
  • Sponsoring a Deity Intiation
  • Baby Blessings
  • Weddings
  • Blessing or Consecration of Land, Home, Business, or Store
  • Consecration of Statues, Stupas, Thangkas, Malas, and Other Religious Objects
  • Dedication of Merit at the Monastery for healing and relief of suffering
  • Shitro Practice for those who have passed away
  • Medicine Buddha prayers for those who are sick
  • “Sur” – The Complete 49-Day Spiritual Practice as Described in “The Tibetan Book of The Dead”
  • Green Tara or Mahakala Practice to remove obstacles
  • Divination – “Chak-Mo”
  • Retreats


Next of Kin Guide

Because we do not know the time of our death, it is important that we clarify our thoughts and wishes and write these down in the form of a testament. This end of life guide provides spiritual prayers and services that can be done at the time of death.  It also includes a checklist for your end-of-life wishes. Download: Next of Kin Guide (PDF)


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Make a Donation

Help support Sakya Monastery through a donation or by becoming a Member.


Dharma Shop

Purchase select books, CDs, and other items at our online Dharma Shop!