Spiritual Director – Affiliated Spiritual Sangha
Lama Choedak Rinpoche
Founder and Spiritual Director of Phuntsok Choeling and many Australian Sakya Centres.
Lama Choedak’s teachings, retreats and public talks offers profound explanation of subjects of interest making reference to everyday relevance. He is renowned for his in-depth understanding of human nature that is always delivered with good humour, entwined with the wealth from his experiences, dedication and realisation.
Born in Tibet in 1945, Rinpoche escaped with his family to Nepal in early 1960s where he completed his secondary education, the first of many Tibetan refugees to complete Nepalese schooling.
He undertook 12 years rigorous training as a Buddhist monk of the Sakya Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism and under the guidance of His Eminence Chogye Trichen Rinpoche. In 1980, sponsored by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Rinpoche completed a tradtional three-and-a-half year solitary Lamdre meditation retreat. He has translated for some of the most important teachers of all four traditions of Tibetan Buddhism including the late tutors of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
Rinpoche is one of the few Tibetan Buddhist Meditation Masters living in Australia and has been teaching meditation in the West for more than 25 years so has developed a good understanding of the western mind and living in a western cultures.
Rinpoche travels widely throughout Australia and to New Zealand for teachings at many centres he heads, giving public talks, running weekend workshops and conducting residential and non residential retreats. Rinpoche continues his travelling throughout the world and most recently trips to Canada for teachings and public talks where hundreds of people came to hear him speak.
Lama Choedak Rinpoche continues to dedicate his efforts and commitment over many years to the fundamental authentic Buddhist practices that are most effective and relevant to the western attendees. The practice of Calm Abiding Meditation has proven to be one of the most popular meditation techniques and Rinpoche has taught this to thousands of people. Another practice Ngondro preliminaries of Tibetan Buddhism Rinpoche draws on the traditional scriptural teachings. Given his vast experience of teachings over many years Rinpoche delivers in ways that are unique so that newcomers to Buddhism find the instruction clear and meaningful while experienced practitioners discover tools for engaging with their practices with more skills and knowledge to take them even further.
Rinpoche has published a number of books under the title Lama Choedak Yuthok. Rinpoche has a particular interest in the works of Rongton Sheja Kunrig. Founder of Nalendra Monastery in Phenpo, Tibet. Rongton was known for the vast breadth and quality of his commentarial literature covering Mahyanasturalankara, Perfection of Wisdom and Kamalashila’s Stages of Meditation to mention a few. Lama Choedak has translated all three of these texts and they represent important publishing projects for Buddhism.
In recognition of his propagation of the Buddhadharma in the west, and in particular the promotion of the Tsarpa tradition of the Sakya Lineage, in 2001 His Eminence Chogye Trichen honoured Lama Choedak with the title Tsarpa Lochen Lama Choedak Rinpoche.
While Rinpoche is based in Canberra and teaches Buddhist philosophy each week, there are a number of DVDs and CDs recorded so that centres such as Phuntsok Choeling that are located some distance from these resources can still share in Lama’s teachings with the use of technology. Lama Choedak visits Phuntsok Choeling usually twice yearly, in June for the Annual Calm Abiding Retreat and around September for specific teachings relevant to requests made by members of the Centre.