Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen | 303-245-4730

Khenpo | Associate Professor, Wisdom Traditions
Core Faculty


MA in Religious Studies: Indo-Tibetan Buddhism - Core Faculty
BA in Religious Studies - Core Faculty
Master of Divinity - Core Faculty
MA in Religious Studies: Contemplative Religions - Core Faculty


Acharya Degree, Nalanda Institute (Sikkim, India)

From the heart

For me, Naropa is a very unique place for humans to grow intellectually, spiritually, and experientially. Naropa is very precious to me because here I can exercise my intellectual understanding, meditative experience, and compassionate action. I like that Naropa students are diverse; they are different ages and have different  backgrounds but all choose to come here and exercise freedom to learn something a little different. This freedom to choose has really touched me. Even Naropa Alumni, wherever they are and whatever they are doing, they still express their gratitude for being a Naropa student. 

Your education

Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen was born in the region of Drakar, Nepal. At a very early age, he began studying dharma texts and meditation. At the age of 13, he entered monastic life. In 1981, Lama Tenpa was enrolled as a member of the first class of the Karma Shri Nalanda Institute at Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim, India, together with Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche and Sangay Nyenpa Rinpoche. He completed his studies and received the Acharya degree (Master of Buddhist studies) from the Karma Shri Nalanda Institute and Sampurnand and Sanskrit University jointly in March 1991.

After completing his studies, he was appointed as a junior Khenpo (professor) and taught Buddhist philosophy at the Karma Shri Nalanda Institute for two years. Under the guidance of Khenpo Tsültrim Gyamtso Rinpoche, he then entered a 3-year retreat in Pullahari, Nepal, in 1993.

From 1997 to 2004, Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen was the resident teacher at His Holiness the Karmapa’s center Theksum Tashi Chöling in Hamburg, Germany. During this time, he also traveled to various centers in Europe, the U.S., and Asia to teach. In addition, Lama Tenpa has been one of the main teachers at Nitartha Institute in Canada and Europe since 1998.

Since August 2004, Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen has been in the U.S. as a professor of Buddhist studies and Tibetan language at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado. He also works with several translators on the translation of Tibetan texts and has begun to train new translators. He is the main teacher at Nalandabodhi Boulder.

Courses taught

  • Mind and Its World 1 and 2
  • Meditation Practicum 1 and 3
  • Tibetan Language
  • I teach regularly at Naladabodhi in America and Canada, and annually at Nitartha Institute in American and Europe. I also teach regularly in Southeast Asia.

What's next?

Being a yogi of illusion.

  		Acharya Lama Tenpa