Geshe Samten Tsukphud
Geshe Samten Tsukphud has been one of the resident lamas at Shenten since the beginning. Currently, he also serves as the Secretary of the Congregation of Shenten Dargye Ling. At Triten Norbutse, his home monastery in Kathmandu, he is responsible for the library and has edited many doctrinal texts. He was involved in editing the most recent version of Bonpo Kangyur, an official collection of Yungdrung Bon tradition’s canonical texts. Geshe la presents his papers in scientific conferences dedicated to Yungdrung Bon and is also the editor of the monastery´s magazine, Melong Yeshe. ForSince many years, he has been Yongdzin Rinpoche’s personal assistant and is loved by many western students, both for his intelligence and for his subtle, fresh sense of humour.
Geshe Samten comes from a farming family in Khyungpo, East Tibet. He learned reading and writing from his father and got his basic education in the local school. In 1986 he received the twenty-five vows to become a monk from His Eminence Lopön Tenzin Namdak Rinpoche. After that he received the teachings of the preliminary practice and the introduction to the Natural State from his root masters Lama Sherab Gelek Rinpoche and Wöser Jinpa Phuntsog Rinpoche.
Geshe Samten studied the general tantric ritual cycles including the melodies and traditional ritual instruments in Tengchen Gompa. In 1989 he entered the Philosophy School and received sutra, cosmology, vinaya and madhyamika teachings from Löpon Drangsong Yungdrung and accomplished them excellently. He also did the oral examination of the root texts. He received the four great dzogchen cycles, important initiations and dzogchen pith instructions from Lungkar Lopön Drangsong Yungdrung, Drogpa Tsukphü Rinpoche, the abbot of the Meditation School at Tsedrug Monastery, and Ragshu Togden Drimed Yungdrung Rinpoche, and a great yogi Yungdrung Kalsang.
In 1992, he took the 250 vows to become a fully ordained monk (drangsong) from Yongdzin Rinpoche and Lopön Drangsong Yungdrung Rinpoche in Lungkar Monastery. In that year he visited Menri Monastery in Dolanji, India and met for the first time the 33rd Menri Trizin Lungtok Tenpai Nyima Rinpoche. He received very special teachings, pith instructions and initiations from Menri Pönlop Trinley Nyima Rinpoche and geshes in Menri Monastery, and studied philosophy for three years in the Monastery’s Dialectics School.
In 1994, Geshe Samten entered the newly established Dialectics/Philosophy School at Triten Norbutse Monastery in Kathmandu, Nepal. He received teachings of sutra, tantra and dzogchen, and the Five Tibetan Sciences from Yongdzin Rinpoche and Khenpo Tenpa Yungdrung Rinpoche and other teachers. He studied philosophy exactly according to the curriculum of the Dialectics School. He began then also teaching at the Dialectics School. He completed oral examinations of all the root texts, and the Oral Transmission of the Zhang Zhung Nyen Gyud. During three years he was responsible for the playing of the ritual instruments. He was also serving as an assistant of Yongdzin Rinpoche for many years.
From 1998 up until now he has been the head of Triten Norbutse Library. In this position he has corrected and published many old texts as well as stupa and thangkha books. He also compiled and published Yongdzin Rinpoche’s collected works.
In 1999, he worked and participated in the publication of Mandalas of the Bön Religion under the guidance of Yongdzin Rinpoche, Khenpo Tenpa Yungdrung Rinpoche, professor Samten G. Karmay, professor Yasuhiko Nagano and professor Musashi Tachikawa in National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka, Japan. In 2003, he participated in cataloguing the Bön Tengyur with professor Yasuhiko Nagano and professor Samten G. Karmay.
Geshe Samten graduated in 2001, and received his geshe degree at Triten Norbutse Monastery. After graduation he continued teaching at the Dialectics School.
From 2002, during many years, he has travelled with Yongdzin Rinpoche in many different countries and received many teachings from him.
In 2005, Yongdzin Rinpoche reached the age of 80 and Geshe Samten prepared with a small group of writers the biography of Yongdzin Rinpoche in the Tibetan language.
Starting in 2009, Geshe Samten was teaching in the newly established Shenten Dargye Ling’s gomdra on the dzogchen A-Khrid cycle for the western practitioners during four years. In 2014, he was teaching in the second four-year gomdra on the Zhang Zhung Nyengyud Gyalwa Chagtri. He also taught Tibetan for the westerners. In 2015, Khenpo Tenpa Yungdrung started the dzogchen meditation school, held three times a year, on Gyalwa Chagtri in Germany and in 2016 he started the second group led by Geshe Samten. Geshe Samten has also given teachings in Yeshe Sal Ling, Austria and in Hungary.
In 2010, he studied English at Oxford House College in London. In 2014, he continued his English studies in Los Angeles.
In 2010, His Holiness the 33rd Menri Trizin Lungtok Tenpai Nyima Rinpoche gave Sherab Chamma teaching and initiation at Shenten Dargye Ling, and Geshe Samten was the chanting master in this event.
In 2011, Geshe Samten received the title: Lopön, who holds the root text.
In 2013, Geshe Samten received the title: Vinaya Khenpo at Triten Norbutse Monastery.
In 2014, Triten Norbutse performed Great Healing Medicine Rituals and Ceremony (Mendrup). Geshe Samten participated in a small group writing a book on the Mendrup Ceremony. He has also worked many years as an editor for the publication of Triten Norbutse Magazine.
In 2015, Geshe Samten opened a new website called Melong Yeshe, the Mirrow of Wisdom, which he is currently managing.
In 2019, His Holiness the 34th Menri Trizin Lungtok Dawas Dhargyal Rinpoche gave the Red Garuda teaching and initiation at Shenten Dargye Ling, and Geshe Samten was the chanting master in this event.
In 2020, Triten Norbutse celebrated the 25th Anniversary of the Dialectics School and Yongdzin Rinpoche’s 95th Anniversary. Geshe Samten arranged an exhibition at the occasion and participated in the organization of the ceremonies. He held also the main responsibility in the publishing of Yongdzin Rinpoche’s pith instruction called the Thiglé of Heart, the Mouth Instruction of the Pönse Lama. He has also participated in the documentary called Pönse Lama.
In 2020, Geshe Samten finished three important retreats. From February 20 to March 22, he did one-month Sherab Chamma retreat according to the ritual text, performing exactly the offerings, generosities, and accumulations and recitations of the mantras and prayer. In the mornings he did Sangcho, and in the evenings he did dharma protectors without missing anything.
From March 23 to May 28, he did a two-month retreat Kunzang Asal Shenla Odkar practice according to the five-cycle Shenla Odkar practice of Kuntu Zangpo of Clear Luminous A. In the mornings and evenings, he practiced the three essential practices according to the Mother Tantra, the spiritual master, Yidam, and Khandro without missing anything and exactly according to the five-cycle of the Luminous A, the practice of Kuntu Zangpo. He did every day four sessions.
From May 29 to June 29, he did a one-month DU TRI SU practice and retreat exactly according to the daily practice of the ritual cycle of DU TRI SU and accumulating the mantra. He also practiced the three essential practices of the Mother Tantra.
Geshe Samten has participated in several consecrations of stupas, gompas and statues in various western countries: in 2009, the consecration ceremony of the stupa at Shenten Dargye Ling, France; in 2010, the consecration ceremony of the stupa in Mexico; in 2013, the consecration of Chamma Ling’s Yungdrung Köleg stupa and gompa in Poland; in 2016, performing the inside preparations, rituals, and mantras for the consecration of the second stupa at Shenten Dargye Ling; in 2016, performing the inside preparations, rituals, and mantras for the consecration of the stupa for Georgina Teran in Spain; in 2016, performing the inside preparations, rituals, and mantras for the consecration of the statue of Buddha Tönpa Shenrab at Lama Khyimsar Rinpoche’s Center Kusum Ling in London, the UK; in 2019, performing the inside preparations, rituals, and mantras for the consecration of the stupa in Yeshe Sal Ling, Austria.
Geshe Samten has participated two international conferences on the Bön tradition and presented following articles in these occasions: Bön Art, Education in the Bön Monastery, and Deeds of Buddha Tönpa Shenrab. He has also published many poems and articles in several journals, and an e-book in Tibetan called “Divine and Art” in internet. The book has been highly appreciated.
Currently, Geshe Samten is a resident lama in Shenten Dargye Ling practicing, and helping to preserve the Buddha’s doctrine, and working for the benefit of all sentient beings.