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Our Sangha

Our Sangha, or those who have taken vows, are most precious to us here at Kadampa Center.

Geshe Gelek Chodha was born in Sikkim, India, the oldest of five children. At the age of seven, Geshe-la went south to live at Sera Jey monastery and become a monk. He achieved the degree of Geshe Lharampa in 1997, continuing on to the Gyume Tantric College to learn the intricacies of tantric rituals. At the suggestion of his classmate, Yangsi Rinpoche, Geshe-la was requested by Lama Zopa Rinpoche to come to Kadampa Center and be our resident teacher. Since his arrival in 1999, we have been privileged to have Geshe-la as our spiritual friend while he teaches us the Buddha Dharma with sincerity, humor, and patience. In response to Kadampa Center's request for a long life prayer for Geshe Gelek, Khen Rinpoche Jetsun Lobsang Delek, one of Geshe Gelek's closest teachers, recommended that we recite at least 200,000 Tara mantras annually and dedicate them to Geshe Gelek's long life. We will be reciting these regularly at the Center, and invite those who feel a close connection to Geshe-la to recite mantras on their own. You can add your mantras to our count here.

Geshe Palden Sangpo was born in 1972 in Kham Karze, eastern Tibet. He left his hometown at the age of 12 and  crossed the Himalayan mountains on foot to be educated in Sera Jey Mahayana Monastery in southern India. He received his novice vows in 1987 from Gaden Tripa Lobsang Nima at Drepung Monastery. In 1995, he received his full ordaination vows from His Holiness the Dalai Lama at Sera Monastery. In 2001, after 17 years of studying the five major Buddhist texts at Sera Jey Monastery, he graduated as one of the youngest people ever to receive a Geshe degree. At the guidance of his teacher, Sera Jey abbot Geshe Lobsang Delek, Geshe Sangpo then went to Gyudmed Tantric Monastery for a one year course of study on tantra. After completing this course, he returned to Sera Jey Monastery and was elected to a three year position as the Administrator of Sera Jey Healthcare Community.

Ritual practice, particularly Haya Girva ritual practice, is Geshe Sangpo’s area of expertise. For five years he was one of the leaders of the Haya Girva practice group in Sera Jey Monastery. In 2008, Geshe Sangpo moved to Raleigh North Carolina where he teaches several classes and provides guidance on ritual practice at the Kadampa Center, FPMT. He has lectured on the topic of Tibetan Buddhism and its rituals at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Duke University, Elon University, Meredith College, University of North Carolina-Asheville and Winston Salem State University. In October 2014, Geshe Sangpo was officially approved by FPMT as a resident teacher at Kadampa Center.

After Geshe Sangpo became one of our teachers, Kadampa Center requested advice from Khen Rinpoche Jetsun Lobsang Delek, Geshe Sangpo's teacher,  for a long life prayer. Rinpoche advised us to dedicate recitations of Green Tara mantras for Geshe Sangpo's long life. You can add your mantras to our count here.

Ven. Lhundub Tendron took refuge at the FPMT’s Kadampa Center in Raleigh, NC in 1997. With the guidance of Geshe Gelek Chodha, she requested ordination. Following Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s advice, she took ordination with Geshe Lhundub Sopa at Deer Park in 2002. She joined the Chenrezig Nuns Community in Australia to develop a stable foundation for living in vows and learn from the senior nuns in residence. Here she met her teacher Gyumed Khensur Rinpoche Geshe Tashi Tsering and studied the Basic Program. Venerable Tendron completed the FPMT Basic Program in 2007. At the request of Geshe Gelek she returned to Kadampa Center as a spiritual program coordinator and teaching assistant. In 2012, returning to Chenrezig Institute she studied the Master’s module on Lama Tsongkhapa’s text, Illumination of the Thought. She then cared for her father for a few years before his death in 2015. In 2016, she became the resident teacher at Thubten Kunga Ling in Deerfield Beach, Florida. Currently she continues her teaching in Florida and follows Rinpoche’s advice to incorporate more time in retreat. According to Venerable Tendron, she teaches from “her experience of learning to counter self-centered, disagreeable, angry, impatient, lazy states of mind with the golden teachings of the Buddha, Lama Yeshe, Lama Zopa Rinpoche and all her patient, kind teachers”.



Venerable Ngawang Lhamo became a member of the Kadampa Center in October 2004.  Gyurme Khensur Rinpoche Jetsun Lobsang Delek presided over Kadampa Center’s first ordination ceremony on Saka Dawa 2009, at which time Ven. Lhamo was one of the students who took robes.  Ven. Lhamo has served in many important volunteer roles at the center, including puja coordinator, chantmaster, one of the Sunday morning meditation leaders, and occasionally teaches Meditation 101.
Choekyi-la first came to Kadampa Center in 2003 and has been a huge fan ever since! She began as a Discovering Buddhism student, then as a Kadampa Board member and Basic Program student, and now as an ordained nun. Under Geshe Gelek's kind guidance, Choekyi-la lived in India in 2009-2010, took ordination with Khensur Rinpoche Jetsun Lobsang Delek, and received teachings from His Holiness the Dalai Lama and other wonderful masters. In 2018, she returned to India and took Getsulma vows from Khensur Rinpoche Jetsun Lobsang Delek.

I began coming to teachings and took refuge in 2001. Under the kind and wise guidance of Geshe Gelek I was able to ordain in 2013. I study and practice the dharma as best I can.