Maui Dharma Center

Stupa & Templs

Established In 1974

Karma Rimay O Sal Ling, the Maui Dharma Center, was founded by the highly respected Tibetan Buddhist Master, The Lord of Refuge Kalu Rinpoche, a Mahamudra meditation master. At the invitation of Hawaii residents, Rinpoche visited the Hawaiian Islands in December of 1974. He established the Center on Maui in the Tibetan Buddhist Vajrayana tradition emphasizing the Karma Kagyu and Shangpa Kagyu lineages. He ascertained the purpose of the Center, gave teachings and advice, directed which prayers and practices should be maintained and sent his own disciples to be resident teachers.

For more than 35 years, through the blessings of Kalu Rinpoche, the dedication of its resident teachers, the late Lama Tenzin and presently, the Venerable Lama Gyaltsen, the Center has become a symbol of spiritual enrichment and a source of spiritual comfort to numerous people around the world.

These humble teachers represent an authentic unbroken lineage within the Tibetan Buddhist tradition which originates with the historical Buddha who lived and taught in India more than 2,500 years ago.

An Unbroken Heritage From Teacher To Disciple


The Lord Of Refuge Kalu Rinpoche (1904-1989)

Kalu Rinpoche established the Center on December 9, 1974. By that time many outstanding Tibetan Lamas had already visited the Hawaiian Islands and given teachings in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition.

However, one of the most famous and remarkable Tibetan teachers among them was the founder of the Maui Dharma Center, the Lord Of Refuge Kalu Rinpoche.

Kalu Rinpoche was born and raised in Tibet. Already considered an elder yogi-master by the time he reached Hawaii, Rinpoche's life story reads like the ancient wisdom beings who brought Dharma to new lands. In his youth he spent 12 years in solitary retreat in the formidable mountains of Tibet. The myth like stories say that Rinpoche befriended the animals and ate the sparse indigenous plants for nourishment. These dramatic accounts of his life in retreat match the Dharma biography of the celebrated “Yogi Of Tibet”, Milarepa, who lived over one thousand years ago.

Kalu Rinpoche was an extraordinary teacher of our time and his Dharma fame spread throughout the Western world as one of the first Tibetan Lamas to have made a deep and lasting connection with Westerners, thus he was able to firmly plant the Buddha-Dharma in the West. Over the course of his amazing life, Rinpoche was able to establish over 80 Dharma Centers throughout the world, open many Three Year Retreat Centers, build monasteries, stupas and author numerous books. Kalu Rinpoche passed away at his monastery in Darjeeling at the age of 85. His reincarnation, Yangsi Kalu Rinpoche, was born in the fall of 1990 and resides in Darjeeling, India at his monastery Samdrup Darjay Ling in the small village in Sonada.

Kalu Rinpoche

Yangsi Kalu Rinpoche

The Rebirth Of The Lord Of Refuge

Yangsi Kalu Rinpoche was recognized by Khentin Tai Situ Rinpoche as the rebirth of Kalu Rinpoche just eighteen months after his birth on September 17, 1990, in Darjeeling, India. Yangi Rinpoche took his first trip abroad at the age of two when he visited some of the Dharma Centers established by his predecessor. The precocious young Lama visited the Maui Dharma Center in late 1995 and awed overflow crowds with his amazing presence.

Rinpoche has spent most of his formative years studying in Darjeeling, India. In September, 2008, just before his 18th birthday, he completed the traditional Three Year Retreat at Bokar Ngedon Chokhor Ling Monastery in Mirik, Darjeeling, the seat of the late Bokar Rinpoche (1940-2004). Upon leaving the retreat compound Yangsi Rinpoche was received by hundreds of Lamas and students in a welcome ceremony, one of many celebrations that would continue for many days. Rinpoche is an intelligent, disciplined young Lama, destined to touch the hearts and minds of countless beings.

Yangsi Kalu Rinpoche

The Venerable Lama Tenzin (1938-2001)

The First Full-Time Resident Teacher

It was an anguished time in the history of the Maui Dharma Center when the Venerable Lama Tenzin was diagnosed with a terminal illness at the start of the new millennium. He passed away on February 13, 2001 after serving the Maui Dharma Center as the first full-time resident teacher for over twenty years.

Lama Tenzin was sent to Maui in 1981 by his root Lama, Kalu Rinpoche and spent his precious time, until death, establishing the foundation for the Buddha Dharma to take root on Maui. As a young monk, Lama Tenzin studied in the Geluk tradition at the great Tashi Lhungpo Monastery in Shigatse, Tibet. He met Kalu Rinpoche in India and as his disciple trained in the Karma Kagyu and Shangpa Kagyu traditions, completing the Three Year Retreat at Kalu Rinpoche's monastery in Sonada, India.

Lama Tenzin's legacy will be honored by all who knew him. Reflecting the qualities of a Bodhisattva, Lama Tenzin will be remembered for his disciplined practice, his gentle nature and equal kindness to everyone. He gave his life to the Dharma.

The Venerable Lama Tenzin

The Venerable Lama Gyaltsen

Maui Dharma Center's Present Resident Teacher

The Venerable Lama Gyaltsen Tamang arrived on Maui at the auspicious time on the full moon day of June 2003 to begin work as the new resident teacher. Lama Gyaltsen was chosen by the late Lama Tenzin as his successor.

Lama lived and studied at Kalu Rinpoche's monastery in Darjeeling India before coming to Maui. He is trained in the Mahamudra traditions of the Kagyu and Shangpa Kagyu lineages. He completed the Three Year Retreat in India under the guidance of Kalu Rinpoche.

Lama Gyaltsen has been the spiritual director of the Maui Dharma Center for many years now, and lives full time at the Center on Maui. He maintains a full schedule of serving the community as Spiritual Friend and Mentor to people of all faiths. Lama Gyaltsen directed the construction of the Great Paia Lha Bab Peace Stupa, dedicated to the late Lama Tenzin. He is currently leading the effort to build a new, larger temple at the Center. Lama has been at the center of this project, directing the master plan and architectural style of the new temple.

The Venerable Lama Gyaltsen

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