• Growing Up in Howell

    Growing up in Howell, New Jersey, H.E. Tsem Tulku Rinpoche received
    education at Land O’Pines School, where he excelled, winning the annual science awards and art competitions. Even from a young age, Rinpoche loved animals and worked in a pet shop during the summer to earn money

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  • Finding the Dharma

    Since early childhood, H.E. Tsem Tulku Rinpoche’s powerful imprints of a Tulku manifested in his natural devotion towards Buddhist Masters, deities and prayers, and his all-consuming longing to learn Buddhism and practice the Dharma

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  • Abused for the Dharma

    His foster parents were strictly opposed to his passion for Dharma and H.E. Tsem Tulku Rinpoche received the harshest physical and psychological punishment every time he was caught at the temple or reciting mantras in his room

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  • Running Away

    Studying worldly subjects, the idea of getting married and pursuing a career felt like a complete waste of his life to Rinpoche. Being deprived of his calling despaired him

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  • Going to L.A.

    With just US$50 in his pocket, Rinpoche left New Jersey for good, walking out to the highway and hitchhiking all the way across America to L.A., California, to look for a temple or a Dharma center

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  • Thubten Dargye Ling

    H.E. Tsem Tulku Rinpoche came across Thubten Dargye Ling during his search for an altar to do his prayers and meditation…

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  • Working Three Jobs

    Without any financial support from his family or friends, Rinpoche had to work in order to make ends meet. While still in school, Rinpoche worked evenings in 3 different jobs

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  • Living in L.A.

    While living in L.A., Rinpoche would go out to many clubs in one night, driving around Sunset Boulevard and West Hollywood. He always looked too young for his age and the doormen often thought his ID was fake

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  • Meeting Zong Rinpoche

    It was at TDL that Rinpoche met H.H. Kyabje Zong Rinpoche who changed his whole life. When Zong Rinpoche arrived to teach at the centre for six months, Rinpoche immediately recognised him as his root Guru

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  • Losing Root Guru, Making Choices

    The loss of his root Guru was devastating to Rinpoche. The day had started normally, with the usual routine of serving breakfast, tidying up and then leaving for work. While he was at Fotomat, a call came through from the centre, telling him that H.H. Kyabje Zong Rinpoche had entered clear light

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