Venerable Lama Dondrup Dorje
A long time disciple and personal attendant of the late Holiness Penor Rinpoche, the 11th Throne Holder of the Tibetan Palyul Nyingmapa Buddhist Tradition, Ven. Lama Dondrup Dorje is the Principal of the Pathgate Institute of Buddhist Studies and the Founder of the Palyul Nyingma Buddhist Association in the United Kingdom, Greece and Australia.
Known for his devotion to the late Holiness Penor Rinpoche, Ven. Lama Dondrup Dorje was one of the selected few who had the blessing and consent of the late Holiness to accompany him on his travel outside the monastery.
Encouraged by the late Holiness Penor Rinpoche to propagate Buddha Dharma in the West, Ven. Lama Dondrup Dorje, has been actively teaching and establishing many Buddhist Communities around the world. He has also been tasked by the late Holiness Penor Rinpoche to oversee the discipline and education of the first Palyul Western Ordained Community in Europe.
Lama Dondrup Dorje's life directive to bring joyful living and liberation from suffering to anyone who has the karmic connection with him is aptly reflected by his first Tibetan refuge name Tenzin Gyalpo, which means 'The King who upholds the Lineage of the Dharma Doctrine'.
HH Pema Norbu Rinpoche later gave him two more Dharma names. The first one is Dakpa Gyaltsen - the name of a 12th century illustrious Tibetan Ngakpa Lama (Tantric Yogi), which means 'Famous Banner of Victory'. The second one is Dondrup Dorje. Dondrup is the personal name of Shakyamuni Buddha, while Dorje is the Vajrayana Symbol representing the Oneness of Nirvana and Samsara - that which transcends the boundary of liberation and suffering.
From his Root Guru, the late Holiness Penor Norbu Rinpoche, Ven. Lama Dondrup Dorje received extensive instruction on a range of Vajrayana practices, particularly that of the Dzogchen lineage, which includes Ngondro (the preliminary practice of Dzogchen known as 'Buddhahood In The Palm Of Your Hand'), Tsalung - (Tummo - mystic heat yoga which purifies obscuration), Togal (Leap Over - which cultivates pure vision of a realised Bodhisattva), and Trekcho (Cutting Through - which generates the recognition of naked awareness).
He also received many precious rare transmissions such as Rinchen Terzod (comprising the entire cycle of over 700 Nyingmapa practices), Namcho Dzogchen (over 800 practices unique to the Palyul Lineage); Nyingthig Yab Zhi (the four most profound teachings from the Longchen Nyingthig Lineage) and Terzod Kagyama (the secret empowerment given only to Lineage Holders or High Lamas).
From the senior Khenpos at Namdroling Monastery such as Khenpo Tsewang Gyatso who teaches extensively in the west, and Khenpo Sangye Wangdi, the former Principal of the Ngagyur Nyingma Institute of Higher Buddhist Studies, Lama Dondrup Dorje has received many additional transmissions of Buddhist Treatises and Commentaries by the ancient masters such as Acharya Nargajuna, Acharya Shantideva, Acharya Shantarakshita, Acharya Chandrakirti, Mipham Rinpoche, Patrul Rinpoche, Lord Maitreya, Longchenpa, Dudjom Lingpa among many others.
To propagate Buddha Dharma for the benefit of all sentient beings, Ven. Lama Dondrup Dorje travels regularly to give Dharma teaching to students in Europe, Australia and the Far East. He has, to date, produced and made available worldwide many educational media for free distribution, such as Audio Dharma Teaching, Thangka and the DVD film 'The Compassionate World of His Holiness Penor Rinpoche' that has a selection of 12 different languages in commentary.
Over the years, Ven. Lama Dondrup Dorje has actively sponsored the translation, printing and free distribution of Dharma books in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, USA, UK, Greece, Ireland, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Mongolia and many other countries. He is the editor for three translated Tibetan Prayer Texts: 'Wish-Granting Attainments - Namdroling Monastery Daily Prayer', 'The Wish-Granting Tree of Enlightenment - Prayer for the Annual Nyingma Monlam Chenmo', and 'The Stairway to the Pure Lands - Prayer of the Palyul Nyingma Tradition'.
The compassion of Ven. Lama Dondrup Dorje has also extended to the support of a diversity of Dharma projects, charities, and countless different individuals from around the world. These include making financial assistance available in response to requests for providing new constructions, new accommodation, new facilities and emergency support for monasteries, nunneries, dharma centres, retreat centres, nursery, primary school and children's home; sponsorship for pujas, empowerment, transmission, ritual offerings and life releases; vaccines, medical equipment, generator, clean water supply and running expenses for hospitals and clinics; education and scholarship for the under-privileged; food for the homeless and humanitarian aid for disaster relief.
Inspired by the trust and confidence of His Holiness Pema Norbu Rinpoche in him to promote the propagation of Buddha Dharma, Ven. Lama Dondrup Dorje tirelessly applies himself by utilising a variety of skillful means to help all beings in accordance to their karmic condition to attain not only temporal happiness in this life but also lasting happiness in future lives.
As part of the manifestation of his compassionate activities, Ven. Lama Dondrup Dorje's skill in Buddhist Medical Qigong, which is the direct result of his Dharma practice and the clear sign of the lineage blessings he received, has been credited for the miraculous recovery of many severe medical cases. Equally renowned is his ability to bring true the fruition of Classical Buddhist Chan Ding Qigong practice (Calm-Abiding Meditative Energy Yoga) in both the Chinese Internal Arts and External Arts, which he employs as a skilful means to cultivate discipline and mindfulness in his students and to propagate Dharma Teaching to the public, Ven. Lama Dondrup Dorje's teaching on how to develop awareness and application of 'Being of the World yet not being affected by the World' - the All-Embracing Attitude that leads to the Attainment of True Happiness and Harmony through the Dissolution of Conflict and Suffering - is well reflected by the phenomenal accomplishment in both spiritual and worldly undertaking by his students of whom many, under his guidance, have become ordained as Buddhist Monks and Nuns, while others have attained successful accomplishment in their chosen field.
For example, between 1992 and 1998, he guided 72 students to become International Champions in Chinese Martial Arts in both the UK & the USA, winning a total number of 370 Gold, 262 Silver & 129 Bronze Medals. Events of victory covered the full range of Taiji Quan, Xingyi Quan, Bagua Zhang, Liu He Ba Fa, Wing Chun Gongfu, Shaolin Gongfu, Shuai Chiao, Push Hands, Sparring, Chi Sao and Weaponry. To see a full medals table and read more, click here.