Daily Buddhist News
Lama Sangyay Tendzin, aka Lama Norbu Repa, was born in Europe in 1949, middle child amongst nine.
The repeated loss of his closest relatives brought him swiftly to realize the truth of impermanence while turning his mind towards the practice of Dharma.
From 1981 to 1996, he resided permanently in the Himalayas: Nepal-India-Ladakh-Tibet.
Since then, he stays mainly in France where he is Resident Lama at TNG-Centre - “THEG -CHOG NORBU LING”, a Dharma Centre that he established under the spiritual authority of His Holiness the XVIIth Gyalwang Karmapa.
- Having received the refuge at Bodh-Gaya, the Seat of Enlightenment in India, his formal spiritual training started in Sherab Ling, the Seat of His Eminence Tai Situ Rinpoche, who gave him personally the teachings on the Four Foundations. The blessings and realization received from Tai Situpa brought him to choose the life of an hermit. Leaving Sherab Ling for Tso-Pädma, the sacred lake of Guru Rinpoche, he then travelled for almost a year to several Buddhist Holy Places (Ladakh, Kashmir, Madhya-Pradesh, Nepal, Bengal) while completing the Ngöndro practices. Following this, he was blessed to meet and receive guidance, teachings and initiations from several precious Masters. Amongst them were H. H. Sakya Trizin Rinpoche, H. H. Drukchen Rinpoche, Their Eminences Gyaltsab Rinpoche, Jamgön Kongtrul Rinpoche, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, Tulku Urgyen, Very Venerable Kalu Rinpoche, Venerable Pawo Rinpoche, Dabsang Rinpoche, Salje Rinpoche, Dzogchen Pönlop Rinpoche, Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche, Thrangu Rinpoche, Tenga Rinpoche, Bokar Rinpoche, Drupön Dechen Rinpoche, Chogling Rinpoche, Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche and Chimey Dorje Rinpoche.
- In 1983, at Sonada, in West-Bengal, he was blessed to take part in the Precious Cycle of Initiations of the 'Rinchen Ter-Dzöd' given by Kyabje Kalu Rinpoche and was ordained as Getshul by H. E. Tai Situpa. For five years, Getshul Norbu Wangchug trained in the Vinaya discipline, following the teachings of Ven. Tenga Rinpoche, while practicing the Vajrayana Path.
- In 1990 at Bodh-Gaya, he took the commitment to lead the life of a yogi in presence of H. E. the IIIrd Jamgön Kongtrul Rinpoche who conferred upon him the name Repa Sang-Ngag Gompo. He pursued his meditation training in retreat under the guidance of the late Drupön Rinpoche, Lama Södnam Gyurmed, abbot of the Karma Kagyud Gompa at Swayambunath Stupa in the Kathmandu Valley.
- In June 1992, the recognition of H. H. the XVIIth Tsurphu Gyalwang Karmapa, Orgyen Trinley Dorje, was going to bring major change to his life. Lama Repa left his hermitage for Tibet where he would live for several years, after attending His Holiness’ enthronement ceremony.
- From 1992 to 1996 Lama stayed in Tibet: At the invitation of his Guru, he resided in the XIIth century Monastery of Tashi Khang, in Central Tibet, which he undertook to restore, giving the monks all the needed support to reinstate their daily routine. In order to collect the necessary funds, he initiated the NCF Foundation in Hong Kong. Simultaneously, he travelled and taught the practice of meditation, giving lectures on Vajrayana Buddhism and leading meditative workshops in Hong Kong, Belgium, France, England, Germany and United States. From 1994 to 1996, Lama established NCF in Kham, in NangXian, where he initiated several projects of assistance answering the persistent requests of the local authorities.
- Since 1997, he is involved in the creation and management of a Dharma Centre located in the Cathares region of France, where he currently stays in open retreat. In 1999, His Holiness Karmapa conferred to this place the auspicious name “THEG-CHOG NORBU LING” - "The Garden of Happiness of the Unsurpassable Jewel Path".
- In 2004, Lama went to Mirik Monastery in India, where he paid a last homage and took part in the funerals of Venerable Bokhar Rinpoche.
- In the spring 2006, Lama paid respect to Their Holinesses Karmapa and Dalai Lama. Presenting the work done so far in establishing TNG Centre, he requested both Holinesses to honour the Centre by their visit in the near future. Later in June, Lama attended the ceremony celebrating the 21st anniversary of His Holiness Karmapa, where he met worldwide representatives of Kagyud Monasteries and Dharma Centres. He took this opportunity to spread the word of TNG Centre. The rest of 2006 was focused on intensifying the Dharma at TNG: an annual calendar of rituals and events was instituted and major publication works on sadhanas and teachings took place.
- In 2007, TNG Centre was graced by the visit of Most Venerable DorLop Benchen Tenga Rinpoche, who consecrated the Temple and gave the transmission (Lung, Wang and Thrid) of the Mingyur Dorsem Practice, a practiced that Lama Sangyay Tendzin wishes to see progressively established as the main practice of TNG Centre.
- In 2008, the focus was put on developing ties with the Lineage as Lama travelled to collect blessing material needed to fill the stupas, which he wishes to erect on the centre’s premises over the coming years. a set of nine stupas make this project: a large 8-meters-high one and a series of eight 3-meters-high ones.
¤ In 2009, maintenance work took place to complete a close-retreat house intended for more intensive practice as well as to improve other boarding facilities offered to the Sangha members.
In the summer, new Dharma venues (‘Dzongs’) established by Lama were registered at the Tsurphu Labrang:
- TNG-PHOENIX: a Dharma Study Group in Arizona;
- TNG-IPOH: a Dharma Centre in Malaysia;
- KONCHOG TSEGPA PARKHANG: a Dharma Publishing House in France.
- In 2010, answering the invitation of Naljorpa Zödpa Norbu from DagShang Kagyud Ling in Sao Paolo, Lama spent three weeks there, teaching the precious Dharma and conducting Pujas. He then visited TNG-PHOENIX and TNG-IPOH where he conducted week-long Dharma teachings. He also paid several visits in Switzerland, where he established TNG-SUISSE, a Dharma Study Group in the French Canton of Valais.
- Year 2011 was dedicated to meditation practice and teaching. It started in Cameron Highlands, Malaysia, where Lama conducted a NyungNay Retreat. The success of this event led him to renew the experience in September. In August, Lama paid a short visit to Samye-Chimphuk, and to Tsurphu Monastery in Central Tibet. During the year, Lama Norbu visited and gave support and teachings to all TNG Centre and Dzongs (Malaysia, Switzerland and Phoenix), as requested.
- Year 2012 was quite full of events, with three trips to Asia:
- The second one, a few months later, was to attend Rinpoche's funeral ceremony after which, Lama went for a month retreat at Gyurtö monastery, in India, where H.H. Karmapa currently resides
- During the third trip, Lama took a group of 40 students to attend the 'Kagyud Ngag-Dzöd' transmission given by H. E. Gyaltsab Rinpoche in Sikkim, Northern India. This was followed by a short pilgrimage including a visit to His Eminence Jamgön Kongtrul Rinpoche in His Monastery of Lava in West-Bengal, as well as a visit to His Holiness Karmapa in Gyurtö and to His Eminence Tai Situpa in Palpung Sherab Ling. To each of these eminent masters, Lama requested words of advice and the Bodhisattva Vows were given to the students by His Eminence Tai Situpa.
- Year 2013 saw the renovation and extension of TNG Centre Lhakang. At the same period, Lama attended the transmission of the ‘Chig-Shey Kun-Drol’, compiled by the IXth Karmapa Wangchug Dorje, given by H. E. Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche at the request of Lama Rinchen from Benchen-Poland. As scheduled, Lama also visited TNG-IPOH and TNG-SUISSE in order to give teachings to these local sangha members.
- In 2014, Lama took part in the transmission of the 'Chöd Wang Gya Sa' bestowed by H. E. Drubwang Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche at his Monastery of Swayambunath, Chauni, Katmandu, Nepal. Later in May, Lama attended the reception welcoming His Holiness Karmapa's first visit in Europe, at Kamalashila in Germany, gathering the representatives of the European Kagyüd Centres. Karma Lekshey who represented TNG-SUISSE accompanied him. In July, Lama paid a personal visit to His Holiness Karmapa at Gyurtö Monastery. In the fall, Lama attended the transmission of the 'Dam-Ngag Dzöd' from Jamgön Kongtrul Lodrö Thayay, given by H. E. Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche in his Seat of Benchen Monastery in Nepal. During this journey, he briefly went to Sherab Ling to receive the full Gelong ordination from His Eminence Tai Situ Rinpoche. It is there that he received the name Gelong Sangyay Tendzin.
During those trips, Lama was accompanied by a small group of disciples, some of whom took particular vows as per their ability, namely:
- Getshul Thrinlay Tobden;
- Getshul Damchö Trinley;
- Upasika Lekshey;
- Upasika Yeshey Wangmo;
- Upasika Döndrub Gyalmo;
- Upasika Jangsem Drolma.
By the end of the year, Lama Sangyay Tendzin visited TNG-IPOH, accompanied by Getshul Damchö Trinley. On this occasion, Lama offered a copy of the 18 volumes of the 'Dam-Ngag-Dzöd' Collection as well as a large statue of Mahakarunika Thousand-Arms-Chenrezig. The opportunity was given to bless it by a short NyungNay Retreat.
- 2015 was taken by major renovation work after the damages caused by a major flooding occurred late November 2014 at TNG Centre. The opportunity was thus provided to engage in new construction works and create the needed facilities to host proper buildings for storage, mechanic and workshop, as well as major infrastructure works preventing future damages in case of weather hazard. On a Dharma note, Lama attended most of the events of the visit of His Holiness Karmapa in the East Coast, in the State of New York, as well as in Germany later in the summer. During his visit to the US, Lama stayed several days at Palchen KunKhyab ChöKhor Ling to receive the complete transmission of 'Rigzin Drildrub', a Terma practice from the Venerable Tertön Barway Dorje, commonly known as the Third Bardor Rinpoche.
- In 2016, Lama Sangyay Tendzin's program started by a visit to TNG-Dzong Ipoh in Malaysia, where he conducted a series of teaching as well as the usual NyungNay Retreat held there every year. Since his return to France in mid-February, Lama has stayed in open retreat at TNG Centre, where he conducted a cycle of 8 NyungNay for a 17 days retreat, attended by his European sangha. Lama also attended the visit of His Holiness Karmapa in Europe, taking part in the events that took place in Geneva and Paris. Later in June, Lama spent five weeks in Asia. Upon landing in India, Lama attended an event organized by Hong Kong sangha. Following a short visit to His Eminence Tai Situ Rinpoche at His Monastic Seat of Palpung in Himachal Pradesh, Lama met H. H. Gyalwang Karmapa to establish future Dharma transmissions at TNG Centre by Lineage Masters. He then flew to Nepal to meet H. E. Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche at Benchen Monastery in Swayambunath and Most Venerable Karma Trinley Rinpoche in Jorpati-Bodnath. In early July, Lama went to Malaysia to conduct a scheduled seminar at TNG-IPOH. In October, Lama took part in the visit of His Eminence Tai Situpa in New York. He pursued his journey visiting TNG-PHOENIX in Arizona, where he conducted a Ganachakra Puja of Guru Rinpoche on the 10th day of the lunar calendar. Lama then returned to TNG Centre, where he is in residence until the end of the year, guiding students and conducting seminar.