Bön is Tibet’s oldest spiritual tradition. It includes teachings and practices applicable to all parts of life, including our relationship with the elemental qualities of nature; our ethical behavior; the development of our higher spiritual self; and how to cultivate happiness, peacefulness, compassion and joy.
The Bön tradition, founded by Buddha Tönpa Shenrap (Supreme Teacher), is said to date as far back as 18,000 years ago.
Bön was recognized as the 5th School of Spirituality in Tibet by the 5th Dalai Lama, Lozang Gyatso.
Until very recently, the ancient teachings of Bon were offered to very few students of any generation. Now, its Lamas (Teachers) are reaching out to teach fortunate Western students about the rich Bon spiritual traditions and practices.
7th Kundröl Namkha Thinley Wangyal Rinpoche
Visiting Teacher of Bön Buddhism of Long Island
Kundrol Rinpoche is the seventh reincarnation of the great Kundrol Jatson Nyingpo of Tibet. Kundrol Jatson Nyingpo was a great terton, revealer of hidden treasures and founder of the great seat of learning Mongyal Monastery in Tibet. Since the birth of the first Kundrol Rinpoche in 1700 AD, reincarnations of the Rinpoche have successively appeared to uphold the wheel of compassionate teachings of the Bon for the benefit of all sentient beings. The depth of the great deeds of Kundrol Rinpoche and the vastness of his knowledge are the signs that he is truly the great Terchen Kundrol Hung Chen Dodhul Lingpa in a different physical form. Kundrol Rinpoche is a non-sectarian and has received teachings and empowerments with highly venerated Bon and Buddhist masters such as H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, H.H. Menling Tri Rinpoche, H.E. Dodrup Rinpoche and many others.
Geshe Murig Nyima Kunkyap Rinpoche
Head Teacher / Spiritual Advisor of Bön Buddhism of Long Island
Geshe Nyima Kunchap Rinpoche is the founder of Dolpo Bon Society and Nepal Bon Religion Association. He is a master of Sutra, Tantra and Zogchen of Bon tradition. Rinpoche presently works as a senior lecturer in CIHTS. He is also the head lama of Nepal Bon Religion Association, Nepal and Dolpa Youngdrung Committee, which was founded by him. He was born in 1964 at Nepal-Tibet border in Dolpo Techurong, Nepal, which was once a province of Zhang Zung. Rinpoche started learning Tibetan language, literature and measurement of thanka painting at the age of eight from his grand father. From the age of fourteen to seventeen, he learned to make sacramental cakes, ornamenting them with molded butter, ritual offerings. He also received oral instructions on preliminary practice and initiations of few deities from his root lama Bar Le Rinpoche. Thereafter he decided to go to Menri monastery and become monk. Rinpoche arrived at Menri Monastery in 1982 and got ordination from His Holiness the Menri Trizin Rinpoche and His Eminence the Yongzin Tenzin Namdak Rinpoche on the auspicious birth day of The great Bonpo master Nyamed Sherab Gyaltsen. From then till he was thirty one in 1994, he learned major philosophical text such as prama stages and path (Bhumi marga), Yanakarma (stages of Yana), Prajnaparamita, Madyamika, Abhidharma, Venay, Tantra and Zogchen for thirteen years from Bonpo masters like His Eminence Lopon Tenzin Namdak Rinpoche, Lopon Trinley Nyima Rinpoche and Ven Tsundue Gongphel Rinpoche.
Takla Tashi Lama
Guest Translator of Bön Buddhism of Long Island
Takla Tashi Lama (Ashaktsang) is the second of five sons of Chosang Dadul Ashaktsang and Tsewang Tendol Gyalpontsang. Takla was born on the Full Moon / Good Friday during the 10th month of the Tibetan Calendar, the month of medicine. He was born in Boudha Stupa, Kathmandu, Nepal. Takla’s full name was given to him by Gelong Sonam Gyaltsen, known as the Great Healer and Tantric Yogi of the Bon Buddhist Tradition, and former Abbot of Dhorpatan Monastery. Takla and his family are Bon Buddhist practitioners. Takla attended high school in Kathmandu and later studied at the Central University of Higher Tibetan Studies in the Department of Bon. During this time he was under the direct tutelage of His Holiness 33rd Gyal Wa Menri and His Eminence Yongzin Menri Wa Rinpoche. He spent seven years studying Bon Philosophy and Tradition, English, and Political Science. At the University he was involved with charities, journalism, and spent time as Union Vice President and Secretary of Bon Department, commission of freedom of Tibet. Currently, Takla is one of the personal assistants to His Eminence 7th Kundrol Namkha Thinley Wangyal Rinpoche during his United States visits.
Khenpo Ratsa Geshe Tenzin Dargye
Visiting Teacher of Bön Buddhism of Long Island
Khenpo Ratsa Geshe Tenzin Dargye was born on 6th April, 1965 in Jomsom Mustang. As a child he was tutored at home by his father and send to India at the age of 9. As higher education wasn’t available at that period of time, he studied till grade 5 in India and decided to become a ‘Monk’ at the age of 14 being inspired by his grandparents. He was quite generous and always aimed to help poor people and disable people. In Bon dialectic school, he studied Lama and spent his days like all the other lamas in there. In April 1996, he achieved his Doctor of Philosophy from the same school. Then after he worked as a organizer of Bon Children Welfare centre and the dispensary for 6 years. As he worked well, he was transferred to Dhorpatan of west Nepal. Getting back to his nation, he was able to help renovate Bon Monasteries and help poor old-aged and homeless people by donating. In addition, he supports poor children to get their education and he is still working for the dispensary in Dhorpatan. He also preaches about Bon to the foreigners to help spread Bon culture to other nation. More ever he established a Tibetan medicine centre in Nov, 97 to provide good health services in rural areas. Khenpo Ratsa Geshe Tenzin Dargye still aims to help poor people in Nepal and eliminate poverty in Nepal.
Latri Khenpo Geshe Nyima Dakpa Rinpoche
Visiting Teacher / Spiritual Advisor of Bön Buddhism of Long Island
Latri Khenpo Geshe Nyima Dakpa Rinpoche is the Abbot and lineage holder of the La Tri Monastery in Kham/Dege, Eastern Tibet. Latri Khenpo Geshe Nyima Rinpoche is the author of, “Opening the Door to Bon”, a guide and introduction for Western students to Bon Buddhism and some of its most important teachings. His father was a lama of the Te-Wa monastery in Tibet and the third reincarnation of Tsultrim Phuntsok, a great Bon practitioner of Eastern Tibet. Latri Nyima Dakpa entered Menri Monastery in Dolanji, India, the seat of Bon religion and education. There he was taught by His Holiness Lungtok Tenpai Nyima Rinpoche, the 33rd Menri Trizen receiving empowerment, transmissions and teaching instruction. He studied as well with Lopon Yongzin Tenzin Namdak, who held the position of chief teacher of all Bon education. In 1978 he joined the first graduating class of the Menri Bon Dialectic School in Dolanji where he completed his studies and received his Geshe degree in 1987. Geshe Dakpa is the founder and Director of the Bön Children’s Home in Dolanji, where he is in charge of providing for the physical and educational needs of Bon orphan children. He is the founder of the Yeru Bon Center in Los Angeles; the Shen Ten Ling Bon Centre in Vienna; the Shen Chen Ling in Minsk (Belarus); and the Bon Shen Ling in Moscow, and travels regularly to these centers to give teachings. His organization Aid to Bon Children raises funds to assist with the needs of the Bon Children’s Home. Geshe Dakpa is tireless in his compassion for others, his care for the needs both of Bon orphan children and of Western lay spiritual seekers, and his devotion to spreading the teachings of Bon for the benefit of all sentient beings.
Geshe Tenzin Drukdak
Visiting Teacher of Bön Buddhism of Long Island
Geshe Tenzin Drukdak is a very knowledgeable and beloved Bon lama, doctor and healer who has studied Tibetan medicine from the age of 12 with teachers of Tibetan medicine including Darma Gyaltsen. Geshe-la received his Geshe degree from the Bon Dialectic School at Menri, India in 1994. Geshe-la is spearheading several very large Bon projects in Tibet. These include the translation of the Bon Canon into Chinese, regular conferences with representatives of the ca 360 Bon monasteries in Tibet, a web portal about the Bon tradition in Tibetan, Chinese and soon also English, and efforts to recover as much knowledge as possible about the original Tibetan Bon culture and civilization of Zhang Zhung. Since 2001, Geshe-la has served as the Khenpo of the new Bon Dialectic School at Togden Monastery in Amdo, Tibet. Following H.H.’ vision, Geshe-la wants to operate this school in the same way as the Dialectic School at Menri with a 13-year course of study toward a Geshe degree. Geshe-la has worked extensively as an editor and is author of the book “Introduction of Yungdrung Bon for Newcomers” (in Tibetan, with translation into Chinese). He is currently working on an encyclopedia of Bon terminology and a Zhang Zhung-Tibetan dictionary. Geshe-la teaches worldwide, in Tibet, China and the West, with a deep intention to benefit people of all backgrounds.
Dean Telano - Sukh Shabad Singh
President of Bon Buddhism of Long Island
Dean Telano is co-owner of True Living Yoga Healing Center, Founder and Director of the Yoga Teacher Training Program at the Rahini School of Yoga and Meditation, and President of Bön Buddhism of Long Island. Dean, a Certified and Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT 500), Registered Chidren’s Yoga Teacher (RCYT) and Registered Prenatal Yoga Teacher (RPYT), has been teaching yoga, meditation, and wellness for more than 20 years. Dr. Telano’s yoga experience ranges from teaching children as young as 3 and adults as old as 102. Moreover, his therapeutic yoga teaching experience includes helping people with a wide range of ailments such as Anxiety, Depression, Fibromyalgia, Multiple Sclerosis, Arthritis, Cancer, Osteoporosis, Low Back Pain, Hypertension, and Diabetes. Dr. Telano has studied and holds certifications in Rahini, Hatha, Kundalini and Tibetan Yoga; and Meditation, Buddhism, Qigong, Reiki, and Ayurveda. He has studied under Ravi Singh, Shri Anandi Ma, Shri Deleepji, Dr. Rao, Grandmaster Dr. Warner Chen, Master Tianyou Hao, Alejandro Chaoul-Reich, Geshe Murig Nyima Kunchap Rinpoche, Khenpo Ratsa Geshe Tenzin Dargye, and the 7th Kundröl Namkha Thinley Wangyal Rinpoche. Dr. Telano has authored several yoga teacher training manuals and is a former college adjunct professor. Furthermore, he is a Naturopath with a PhD in Natural Health, Exercise Physiologist, Reiki Master, and Qigong Master. He has appeared on television, and at colleges, hospitals and other wellness settings teaching yoga, meditation, and wellness.