Ngari Institute Foundation


Meet Our Staff Members

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.

About Lama Yeshe Jinpa

Lama Yeshe Jinpa, spiritual director and resident Teacher of Lion’s Roar Dharma Center, co-founded the center with Lharampa Geshe Lobsang Gyatso of Lawa Khangtsen, Sera Jey in 1992. Meeting Geshe Lobsang Gyatso marked a pivotal moment in Lamala’s life. In 1995 Lamala received direct heart/mind transmission from Geshe Gyatso after 25 years of Dharma practice and study. 


Lion’s Roar Dharma Center offers chaplaincy and diverse programs, including hosting Teachers from Sera Jey Monastery, daily meditation classes, a Buddhist Studies program, weekly dharma talks, Recovery groups, and Expressions, a monthly arts event. Lama la and Geshe Tsewang also place great value on providing a secular education and sacred education. Their shared vision includes restoring JamtseLing, the Buddhist Relics Temple and building and supporting  educational/spiritual  institutions like the Jamgon Shedrup Thekchog Ling Monastery in Ladakh and Do Nga DargeyLing / Lions Roar Dharma Center in Sacramento, California. Through these endeavors, they aspire to work together to fulfill His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s aim to preserve Buddhist teachings and contribute to a more peaceful, equitable and harmonious 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.

About T. Conor McCann

In 2018 I began attending Lion’s Roar Dharma Center/Do Nga Dargey Temple in Sacramento, California.  There I met my teachers and received many precious teachings. I have dedicated most of my time to furthering the dharma community and studying dharma. I was very fortunate to spend many months at Sera Jey Monastery in India in 2022.  I continue to study Tibetan and hope to return to India in the future. 

I met Geshe Tsewang Dorje when he came to give dharma teachings at Lion’s Roar Dharma Center. Geshe Tsewang’s dharma activities in Ladakh have always inspired me.  Geshe la is looking out for his community’s future by ensuring children’s ethical education.  Geshe Tsewang bares this mantle with joy and happiness! His efforts to teach, build and rebuild, and fundraise for these activities are astonishing! 

In 2023, when Geshe Tsewang asked me to help him in these efforts, I enthusiastically agreed. To expand my support from not only the Sacramento dharma community as well as the dharma community in Ladakh is an amazing opportunity. I hope that my contributions to the Ngari Institute Foundation Board of Directors will be fruitful and supportive of the mission of the Ngari Institute in Ladakh.  

About Patty Marcotte

Patty (Yeshe Jamyang) is Dharma Secretary to Lama Yeshe Jinpa where she is responsible for correspondence with international Buddhist Teachers and a weekly newsletter, The Roar. She provides Speech Therapy to children with language delays in the Natomas Unified School district. Patty serves on three boards including Lions Roar Dharma Center, the Ngari institute Foundation and Middleway Health Foundation, an organization founded by Lama Jinpa dedicated to providing free mental health counseling to people without access who would not otherwise receive critical care.

Patty completed the Two Year Foundations of Buddhist Thought program through Geshe Tashi of Jamyang Buddhist Center in London. Currently Patty participates in a Buddhist Studies Program with a small cohort of students led by Lama Jinpa. Each  week, under the guidance of Lama Jinpa Patty teaches meditation and serves the community as a Buddhist Chaplain.