Spiritual Director and Founder Awakening Vajra
Devotionally learned from and served his Guru H.E. Choden Rinpoche for 25 years
Geshe Gyalten was born in Lhasa, Tibet in 1967. While still in his mother’s womb he received his Dharma name, Tseten Gelek, from his teacher, the great yogi, scholar and his eventual spiritual mentor H. E. Choden Rinpoche. Geshe Gyalten’s grandmother, mother and father had irreversible faith and devotion for H. E. Choden Rinpoche, and they served Rinpoche during his 19 years of retreat in Tibet.
Even through Geshe la from childhood had a strong wish to be ordained as a monk, his parents sent him to a Chinese school for nine years and there he learned general subjects including the Chinese language. Choden Rinpoche advised Geshela to leave Tibet for India so he could meet H. H. the Dalai Lama and receive his blessing; and act according to His Holiness’ advice. Geshela and Choden Rinpoche left for India in 1985. Geshela had the good fortune to have an audience with H. H. the Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lama instructed him to study at the TCV School in Dharamsala, India, which he attended from 1985 to 1990. There Geshela studied modern subjects including English and Hindi, and became top student in his class. He also excelled in athletic pursuits, receiving many gold and silver metals for track and field.
In 1990, much to the surprise of many of his teachers, classmates and friends, Geshe Gyalten realized his childhood dream and became a monk. H. E. Chodën Rinpoche gave him the ordination name Gyalten Kunga and he became a close personal student of Rinpoche. Under Rinpoche’s guidance and instruction, Geshela studied and mastered the five great classical treaties of Buddhist philosophy: The Perfection of Wisdom, Middle Way, Logic and Reason, Treasury of Knowledge and Vinaya (monastic discipline). He also studied lam-rim, mind training and tantra at Sera Monastery for 15 years. Geshe Gyalten received the Geshe Degree (equivalent to a western PhD) in 2005. Additionally Geshela learned Tibetan Medicine.
For 25 years Geshe Gyalten traveled around the world with H. E. Choden Rinpoche acting as Rinpoche’s assistant and translater. Geshela also teaches Buddhist philosophy, meditation, Tibetan medicine and yoga. Geshe Gyalten speaks Tibetan, Hindi, Chinese and English fluently. Geshe Gyalten, through the blessings of H. E. Choden Rinpoche has established several Dharma centers around the world including in the USA. It is through the blessings of Rinpoche’s deep heart that the warmth of Geshela’s smile and knowledge brings the lineage forward to help all sentient beings through the Dharma.