Lama Thubten Nima
His Eminence Garchen Rinpcoche, Spiritual Director
Lama Bunima was born in 1963 in Gargon village in Tibet to a nomadic family. He had sincere devotion to the Dharma from the age of 8, and at 16 he met His Eminence Garchen Rinpoche, who came to Gargon for a brief visit. When Rinpoche returned for a second visit two years later, Lama Bunima received the refuge vows from His Eminence and great devotion arose. With this devotion and great faith, he completed the ngondro practice while still living as a nomad. He did prostrations and mandala offerings in his mother’s house and completed the Vajrasattva and Guru Yoga practices while tending the animals. Shortly thereafter he received the Ganges Mahamudra transmission and instructions.
He lived as a nomad until age 21, and from that time on he stayed with Rinpoche. Starting in 1982, Lama Bunima helped Rinpoche rebuild his monasteries, which had been destroyed during the turmoil in Tibet. He received his monastic ordination in 1982 from Khenpo Munsel and subsequently received Trekcho and Thogal transmission and many other teachings from Garchen Rinpoche. While in retreat, his primary practice was Nyungne. In 1997 he traveled with Rinpoche to America, and he subsequently became an American citizen.
Lama Bunima has been one of Rinpoche’s two attendants on his travels throughout Europe, Asia, and North America.
VenERABLE KONCHOG Thubten Nima
While at Gar Monastery Lama Thubten Nima studied tantric ritual practices of the Old and New Schools, and engaged in a wide array of other religious trainings. Lama Thubten Nima received special training from the Hlo Lungkar Monastery Chant-master (religious ritual master), Lama Yungthar, including the Eight Heruka Sadhanas, the Embodiment of the Masters' Realization, Vajrakilaya, and Essence of Great Bliss. He then served as chant master for Gar Monastery and later as the disciplinarian.
Gar Drolma Choling is a great place to practice and to meet other practitioners. My mind seems to naturally find calmness and mindfulness when I sit in the main meditation room.
In joining the board, I look forward to working on extending the range of teachings that the center offers. I am particularly interested in helping to establish opportunities for newcomers, both those interested in Buddhism and those just interested in learning meditation techniques.
Deb Jackson, President
I was led to Gar Drolma five years ago, seeking to find a teacher and begin studying Buddhism. There really are no words to describe my joy at finding the center and the beauty of meeting with the dharma. It's like walking in the scorching dessert and being given a cool glass of water to drink–you just can’t seem to get enough.
I knew from that point forward I would devote my life to serving the dharma in any way that would be of benefit. I was very fortunate to spend seven months at Garchen Rinpoche’s center in Arizona where I learned so much about living in community , serving, and engaging in the practice on many levels. I felt very blessed to have this precious time there and hoped it would be of help at Gar Drolma.
It is such an honor to serve on Gar Drolma's board and be part of such an incredible community. There is such a special group of members here who share their love for Garchen Rinpoche, the center and the dharma. For me, coming to Gar Drolma has been like coming home. Becoming a member of the center brings boundless blessings, for when you connect to the center you connect to Garchen Rinpoche. And when you connect to Garchen Rinpoche, you connect to love….what greater gift could there ever be?
I awakened my interest in Buddhism while spending time in Japan as a student in the early ‘80s. My interest was quite broad but heavily influenced by Zen. I spent many years reading about Buddhism and practiced “off and on” on my own. While living in Geneva, Switzerland my wife and I visited Rabten Choeling which was my first exposure to Tibetan Buddhism. Practice was conducted in 5 languages there and I wasn’t completely sure what was going on most of the time, but I did feel a connection.
Shortly thereafter we moved to Dayton and I remember thinking to myself, “There is no way there is a Buddhist temple in Dayton, I’ll probably need to drive to Columbus!”. Surprisingly enough, upon a quick Internet search I found Gar Drolma and was elated to see it was only 4 miles from my house. I came one Sunday morning for practice and everyone was so helpful and welcoming that I decided to come again.
I have now been a member here for a few years and am honored to be part of the Sangha. Through my service on the Board I strive to be of service to our teachers, members and visitors alike.