The following article is from the Autumn, 1991 issue of the Snow Lion Newsletter and is for historical reference only. You can see this in context of the original newsletter here.



Respected. Elder and Teacher

The Bonpo people hold the original tradition and culture of Tibet. Rinpoche Tenzin Namdak is the Lopon (Head Teacher) of the Bonpo people. He was born in 1926 in Kyung-po Province in Kham territory, in southeastern Tibet. Rinpoche began his studies at an early age and took his vows at age 15. He continued his studies at the two major Bonpo monasteriesgYung-Drung-Ling and Manri in Central Tibet. Rinpoche Namdak rose to the position of Lopon in 1953 at the young age of 27. At the time of the Communist Chinese invasion of Tibet, Rinpoche was forced to flee into exile in India. In 1961 he was invited to London by Professor David Snellgrove under the auspices of the Rockefeller Foundation Visiting Scholar Program. He collaborated with Professor Snellgrove on the translation of The Nine Ways of Bonan extensive outline of the Bon Tradition. Returning to India in 1964 Rinpoche founded New Manri in Northern India, the principal seat of the Bonpo people in exile. In 1987 he founded another Bonpo Monastery and International Education Center in Kathmandu, NepalTritan Norbutse. Rinpoche came to the United States in the Spring of 1989. Finding people in the US interested in helping to preserve the Tibetan Bonpo culture, he formed an organization to serve this purpose the Tibetan Bon Temple Foundation located in Southern California.


The Bon Monastic Center in India now has 120 monks permanently resident, engaged in many fields of traditional learning. They come from various pans of Tibet as well as from Dolpo, the Tibetan-speaking region of Nepal where the Bon religion is dominant.

The Monastic Center functions as the continuation of the former centers in Tibet; the monasteries of Menri and Yungdrungling, located in Tsang, Central Tibet, which were totally destroyed during the Chinese Cultural Revolution. Our present establishment follows the monastic tradition of Menri founded by the Lord Menriba (1356-1415). The present abbot is the 33 rd in the line of the abbots of this monastery.

Rinpoche Namdak has been invited by His Holiness the Dalai Lama to teach in New York in October 1991. After teaching on The Nature of the Mind and attending the Kalachakra Initiation, Rinpoche will travel to Washington, DC and the western US.

If you are interested in sponsoring a visit and speaking engagement with this beloved master and respected elder this November/December please contact: Susan Clarke, Tibetan Bon Temple Foundation, 2020 Stanley Ave, Signal Hill, CA 90806; 213-498-6574.

Rinpoche Namdak's Schedule

October 11, 1-6 PM, Madison Sq Garden, NYC, Nature of Mind Teachings, contact: Tibet Center 212-353-9391

October 12 & 13, New York City, contact: Phil Mardin 718-627-1925

October 25-29, Conway, MA, contact: Des Barry 413-625-9820

Nov 1-3, Healing Light Ctr Church, Los Angeles, call: 818-244-8607

Nov 7 & 8, Yun Lin Temple, Berkeley, call: 415-841-2347

Nov 9 & 10, San Francisco, contact: Mark Liebermen 415-334-4921

Nov 12 & 13, Sacramento, contact: Gloria Luz 916-443-5414

Nov 15-20, Coos Bay, Oregon, contact: Susan Clarke 213-498-6574

Nov 21-24, Portland or Seattle, contact: Susan Clarke 213498-6574

Dec 6-8, El Paso, TX, contact: Mary Walsh 915-544-9355

The rest of the schedule is not yet fixed.