Tsering Gyaltsen: An inside job

By Carol Reeves, Corvallis Gazette-Times, April 9, 2007

To a Buddhist lama, teaching peace means helping others reach a state of inner tranquility

Corvallis, OR (USA) -- Tsering Gyaltsen has come a long way to settle in Corvallis as the teacher of a small but devoted group of students interested in learning the ancient practices of Tibetan Buddhism.

<< Scobel Wiggins/Gazette-Times
A candlelit shrine in Tsering Gyaltsen’s Corvallis home transports visitors to a land far away. Born in western Tibet, Gyaltsen hosts a group of students every Saturday morning.

Born in western Tibet in 1945, Gyaltsen went into exile to India with his family at the age of 16. They lived in a settlement managed in part by the Dalai Lama, who fled Tibet in 1959 after the Chinese invasion.

He attended the Varanasi Tibetan Institute of High Studies within Sanskrit University and, in 1982, he received an Acharya degree — a type of master’s degree in Buddhist studies.

For six years, Gyaltsen worked for the Dalai Lama as a representative of the Nyingmapa school of Buddhism within the Tibetan government in exile, operating in Dharmasala, India.

Gyaltsen then spent three years “in retreat” in Orissa, India, an intense period of total isolation dedicated to meditation and learning Buddhist practices from an experienced teacher. When the retreat was over, he moved his family to Nepal, where he built a retreat center.

“My family was poor,” he explained, “and this way I could take care of them. Others can stay there, too, and I don’t charge them.”

Gyaltsen came to the United States in 1996 at the invitation of a friend, Lama Tharchin Rinpoche, who lived at the Pema Osel Ling Retreat Center near Santa Cruz, Calif. He and his wife arrived intending just to visit, but while they were there the couple’s only child was born.

Concerned about their son’s health and welfare if they were to move back to Nepal, they decided to stay. Ten years ago, they moved to Corvallis, and Gyaltsen has become a U.S. citizen.

Every Saturday morning, a small samgha of students gathers in his living room in northeast Corvallis, where a candlelit home shrine, a china cabinet full of golden statues of Buddhist deities and large fabric thngkas on the wall transport visitors to a land far away.

“Lama Gyaltsen has a great sense of humor, and he’s well-educated,” said Robin Heatherington of Corvallis, one of his students for many years. “He’s just such a wonderful, kind and simple person.”

Gyaltsen is often invited to teach at retreat centers throughout the country and was asked to help lead the Tibetan New Year celebration in Hawaii last month. His last trip to Nepal was in 2006, when he spent four months making improvements to his retreat center and visiting his 82-year-old mother.

Asked what he enjoys most about teaching Buddhism, he said, “I wish to teach peace. Peace is not from looking outside. If you have peace on the inside, then you have peace.”

Tsering Gyaltsen
Age: 61.
Residence: Corvallis (hometown: Kharag, Tibet).
Occupation: Buddhist lama (teacher).
Education: Varanasi Tibetan Institute of High Studies at Sanskrit University in India.
Family: Wife Chhiri Amgmo; son Pema, 10.
Misc.: Born in Tibet, Gyaltsen went into exile with his family to India when he was 16.

We Need Your Help to Train the
Buddhist AI Chat Bot
(Neural Operator for Responsible Buddhist Understanding)

For Malaysians and Singaporeans, please make your donation to the following account:

Account Name: Bodhi Vision
Account No:. 2122 00000 44661
Bank: RHB

The SWIFT/BIC code for RHB Bank Berhad is: RHBBMYKLXXX
Address: 11-15, Jalan SS 24/11, Taman Megah, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Phone: 603-9206 8118

Note: Please indicate your name in the payment slip. Thank you.

Dear Friends in the Dharma,

We seek your generous support to help us train NORBU, the word's first Buddhist AI Chat Bot.

Here are some ways you can contribute to this noble cause:

One-time Donation or Loan: A single contribution, regardless of its size, will go a long way in helping us reach our goal and make the Buddhist LLM a beacon of wisdom for all.

How will your donation / loan be used? Download the NORBU White Paper for details.

For Malaysians and Singaporeans, please make your donation to the following account:

Account Name: Bodhi Vision
Account No:. 2122 00000 44661
Bank: RHB

The SWIFT/BIC code for RHB Bank Berhad is: RHBBMYKLXXX
Address: 11-15, Jalan SS 24/11, Taman Megah, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Phone: 603-9206 8118

Note: Please indicate your purpose of payment (loan or donation) in the payment slip. Thank you.

Once payment is banked in, please send the payment slip via email to: editor@buddhistchannel.tv. Your donation/loan will be published and publicly acknowledged on the Buddhist Channel.

Spread the Word: Share this initiative with your friends, family and fellow Dharma enthusiasts. Join "Friends of Norbu" at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/norbuchatbot. Together, we can build a stronger community and create a positive impact on a global scale.

Volunteer: If you possess expertise in AI, natural language processing, Dharma knowledge in terms of Buddhist sutras in various languages or related fields, and wish to lend your skills, please contact us. Your knowledge and passion could be invaluable to our project's success.

Your support is part of a collective effort to preserve and disseminate the profound teachings of Buddhism. By contributing to the NORBU, you become a "virtual Bodhisattva" to make Buddhist wisdom more accessible to seekers worldwide.

Thank you for helping to make NORBU a wise and compassionate Buddhist Chatbot!

May you be blessed with inner peace and wisdom,

With deepest gratitude,

Kooi F. Lim
On behalf of The Buddhist Channel Team

Note: To date, we have received the following contributions for NORBU:
US$ 75 from Gary Gach (Loan)
US$ 50 from Chong Sim Keong
MYR 300 from Wilson Tee
MYR 500 from Lim Yan Pok
MYR 50 from Oon Yeoh
MYR 200 from Ooi Poh Tin
MYR 300 from Lai Swee Pin
MYR 100 from Ong Hooi Sian
MYR 1,000 from Fam Sin Nin
MYR 500 from Oh teik Bin
MYR 300 from Yeoh Ai Guat
MYR 300 from Yong Lily
MYR 50 from Bandar Utama Buddhist Society
MYR 1,000 from Chiam Swee Ann
MYR 1,000 from Lye Veei Chiew
MYR 1,000 from Por Yong Tong
MYR 80 from Lee Wai Yee
MYR 500 from Pek Chee Hen
MYR 300 from Hor Tuck Loon
MYR 1,000 from Wise Payments Malaysia Sdn Bhd
MYR 200 from Teo Yen Hua
MYR 500 from Ng Wee Keat
MYR 10,000 from Chang Quai Hung, Jackie (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from K. C. Lim & Agnes (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from Juin & Jooky Tan (Loan)
MYR 100 from Poh Boon Fong (on behalf of SXI Buddhist Students Society)
MYR 10,000 from Fam Shan-Shan (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from John Fam (Loan)
MYR 500 from Phang Cheng Kar
MYR 100 from Lee Suat Yee
MYR 500 from Teo Chwee Hoon (on behalf of Lai Siow Kee)
MYR 200 from Mak Yuen Chau

We express our deep gratitude for the support and generosity.

If you have any enquiries, please write to: editor@buddhistchannel.tv