Gelek Rimpoche

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Template:Infobox religious biography Kyabje Nawang Gehlek Rimpoche (Template:Bo) was a Tibetan Buddhist lama who was born in Lhasa, Tibet on 26 October 1939. His personal name was Gelek; kyabje and rimpoche are titles meaning "teacher" (lit., "lord of refuge") and "precious," respectively. He was a tulku, an incarnate lama, of Drepung Monastic University, where he received the scholastic degree of Geshe Lharampa, the highest degree given, at an exceptionally young age.[1] The 14th Dalai Lama said, "he completed his traditional Buddhist training as a monk in Tibet prior to the Chinese Takeover."[2]

Gelek was a nephew of the 13th Dalai Lama, Thubten Gyatso. He was tutored by many of the same masters who tutored the current (14th) Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso.

In 1959, Gelek fled to India from Tibet and gave up monastic life. He was one of the first students of the Young Lamas Home School. He is the founder and president of Jewel Heart, "a spiritual, cultural, and humanitarian organization that translates the ancient wisdom of Tibetan Buddhism into contemporary life."[3]

He moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1987 to teach Buddhism. He became an American citizen and founded Buddhist communities in Ann Arbor, Chicago and New York City. [4]

Beat-poet Allen Ginsberg was among the more prominent of Jewel Heart's members. Ginsberg met with Gelek Rinpoche through the modern composer Philip Glass in 1989.[5] Allen and Philip jointly staged benefits for the Jewel Heart organization. Professor Robert Thurman and Joe Liozzo are also Jewel Heart members and frequent lecturers.

Gelek Rinpoche died on February 15, 2017 in Ann Arbor, Michigan after undergoing surgery the previous month.[6][7][8]


  • Good Life, Good Death: Tibetan Wisdom on Reincarnation, (foreword by His Holiness the Dalai Lama), Riverhead Books, 2001, Template:ISBN
  • The Tara Box: Rituals for Protection and Healing From the Female Buddha (with Brenda Rosen), New World Library, 2004, Template:ISBN
  • Essentials of Modern Literary Tibetan: A Reading Course and Reference Grammar (with Melvyn C. Goldstein, Lobsang Phuntshog),Template:ISBN, Template:ISBN


External links

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Page is sourced from Gelek Rimpoche