Born in Lhasa, Tibet, in 1939, Kyabje Gelek Rimpoche was recognized as an incarnate lama at the age of four. Carefully tutored by some of Tibet's greatest living masters, Rimpoche gained renown for his powers of memory, intellectual judgment and penetrating insight. He is among the last generation of lamas educated in Drepung Monastery before the 1959 Communist Chinese invasion of Tibet.
Forced to flee India in 1959, Gelek Rimpoche later gave up monastic life to better serve the lay community of Tibetan Buddhist practitioners. He edited and printed over 170 volumes of rare Tibetan manuscripts that would have otherwise been lost to humanity. In the late 1970s, Rimpoche was directed to teach Western students by his teachers, the Senior and Junior Tutors to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Kyabje Ling Rimpoche and Kyabje Trijang Rimpoche. Since that time, he has taught Buddhist practitioners throughout the world.
Gelek Rimpoche is an example of kindness, generosity, good humor and inspirational insight. He is particularly distinguished for his thorough knowledge of English, familiarity with modern culture and special effectiveness as a teacher of Western practitioners of Tibetan Buddhism.
In 1988, Rimpoche founded Jewel Heart, a Tibetan Buddhist and Cultural Learning Center. On June 24, 1994, Rimpoche became a U.S. citizen. He is author of Good Life, Good Death(Riverhead Books 2001) and The Tara Box: Rituals for Protection and Healing from the Female Buddha (New World Library 2004).