Ngari Institute Foundation

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About Venerable Geshe Tsewang Dorje

      Geshe Tsewang Dorje was born in Stok, Ladakh, India in 1966. He started school at age 6 in Stok and at 14; he went to South India for Buddhist studies at Sera Jey Monastery, one of the four great monastic colleges in Tibetan Buddhism.  During his time at the monastery, he studied meditation practice as well as Buddhist philosophy. He received full ordinance from His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and took his novice vows from Ling Rinpoche (tutor of His Holiness the Dalai Lama). In 1994, he received his Bachelor of Art in Buddhist Philosophy.  In 1996, he received his Master Degree and then in 1999, he was bestowed the highest degree of the monastic educational system, Geshe Lharampa (equivalent to a Ph.D. degree in Western educational system). In 2000, he studied at the Gyudmed Tantric College for Vajrayana, which led to a Master of Tantric Degree.  In 2001-2003 he was appointed Philosophy Lecturer at Kopan Monastery, Nepal.

From 2004 to 2006, Geshe la served on the Committee of Sera Philosophical Studies & Board of Examinations. In 2010, he became the first Ladakhi monk to ever be elected to the post of Geko (similar to an academic dean) of Sera Jey Monastic University.

In 2006, he started to travel and came to the United States for the first time. He taught at the Vietnamese Buddhist centers in San Francisco and Oregon. Over the years, he has returned to the U.S. many times to teach and share his experience at universities like NYU and North Yarmouth Academy, Maine.

Geshe la has organized Mandala tours in France, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, Poland, and the U.S. 

Geshe-la has also taught and given lectures at several dharma centers in the international Buddhist community, including Theken Choling in Singapore, and Jamtseling Dharma Center in Malaysia. He has completed a pilgrimage to Indonesia and Thailand.

In addition, Geshe la founded a small temple in Leh, Ladakh called Jamtseling Buddha Relics Temple, which exhibits the sacred relics tours. Geshe la has taught about the life of Buddha to thousands of Ladkhis.

Geshe la is currently the Director and President of Ngari Institute of Buddhist Dialectics in Saboo Village of Ladakh. Ngari Institute provides free shelter and modern education for the underprivileged Ladakhi children and young monks, who could not otherwise afford school education. 

His vision is to disseminate love and compassion and to teach Buddhist Philosophy to Buddhist communities around the world.

Venerable Ngawang Rigdol's Personal Statement

Dear Friends,

My name is Ngawang Rigdol, I was born in the Indian Himalayan region, in Ladakh. At the age of seven, I was ordained as a Buddhist monk at the Sera Jey Monastery.  Before enrolling in the higher Buddhist Studies at Sera Jey Monastic University, I did my secondary education at Sera Je School.

Presently, I am enrolled in the Rigram Geshe program (equivalent to a Master’s Degree in Buddhist Philosophy). During these 20 years in the program, I have been serving as the Tibetan Secretary for Sera Jey Monastery’s Administration office.  I have also served a full three-years term as the Administration Officer at Sera Jey Ngari Education Society. In addition, I have also volunteered at many NGOs.

As president of Ngari Institute Foundation, I would like to take this opportunity to extend my sincere appreciation to Executive members: Mr. Duyet Do and Mrs. Bibi Do for their steadfast commitment and dedication of their precious time in support of children in the Himalaya region, as well as their efforts with the UCI–Tibet Initiative, an Exchange Program at the University of California in Irvine.

Ngari Institute Foundation, a non-profit organization in the state of California, would like to invite friends and supporters to join and work towards a progressive and successful Foundation.

As His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama says:

“Right from the moment of our birth, we are under the care and kindness of our parents, and then later on in our life when we are oppressed by sickness and become old, we are again dependent on the kindness of others. Since at the beginning and end of our lives we are so dependent on other’s kindness, how can it be in the middle that we would neglect kindness towards others?

To preserve our Ladakhi cultural and religious tradition, we invite Buddhist scholars from Tibetan monasteries in India to visit and provide teachings to the underprivileged children at Ngari Institute of Buddhist Dialectics. Alongside modern education, Buddhist studies with ancient values will help nurture the children with strong values and help them become happy individuals.