Choje Lama Yeshe Losal Rinpoche
Venerable Choje Lama Yeshe Losal Rinpoche was born in 1943 in Kham, East Tibet. He spent his formative years in education at Dolma Lhakang Monastery where his brother Dr. Akong Tulku Rinpoche was Abbot. After escaping from Tibet in 1959, Lama Yeshe continued his education at the Young Lamas Home School in Dalhousie, India before leaving in 1967 to serve as Private Secretary to His Holiness the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa at Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim.
In 1969, Lama Yeshe joined Dr. Akong Tulku Rinpoche and Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche in Scotland where they had founded Kagyu Samye Ling. Five years later he accompanied H.H. Karmapa on a tour of the United States. At this time, he and Lama Tenzin Chonyi were asked to establish and run Karma Triyana Dharmachakra Centre in Woodstock, New York, which is H.H. Karmapa's main seat in America.
In 1980 he took full ordination as a Gelong monk from His Holiness. Following his ordination Lama Yeshe entered a long-term solitary retreat. In 1985, at the request of his brother Dr. Akong Tulku Rinpoche, Lama Yeshe returned to Scotland to continue his retreat at Samye Ling and in 1988 became Retreat Master with responsibility for the western practitioners who were in the cloistered four year retreat.
Despite his heartfelt wish to remain in retreat for twenty years, towards the end of 1991 Lama Yeshe was asked to take responsibility for the running of Kayu Samye Ling and the Holy Island Project which he consented to do and took on with characteristic vigour and determination. Lama Yeshe's vision of building an Interfaith Retreat Centre on Holy Island where people of all beliefs can come together to develop themselves physically, mentally and spiritually has inspired numerous people. Many visit Holy Island to benefit from the pure and natural environment and to restore themselves and others come to stay and work, giving their time voluntarily to further this most precious and unique project.
Kagyu Samye Ling also continues to attract thousands of visitors each year who come to view the beautiful temple and grounds or to attend one of the many courses on offer. Under Lama Yeshe's guidance, the number of resident ordained sangha has grown to more than 40 monks and nuns and in 1995 the title of "Abbot" was conferred upon him by Khentin Tai Situpa.
Rokpa Trust has many parts including Samye Ling, The Holy Island Project and numerous charitable projects both at home and overseas. Lama Yeshe Losal is the Trust's indefatigable Chairman whose energy and inspiration fuel its far-reaching activites, which benefit so many people.