Geshe Dakpa Topgyal
"Geshe-la obviously has all the Buddhist knowledge and personal experience, and he reflects that with calmness, but also with an incredible sense of humor. He uses his amazing vocabulary to express complex concepts according to everyone's individual mental activity"
The Venerable Geshe Dakpa Topgyal was born in the Western region of Tibet in 1962, but fled to India at the age of six due to the Chinese invasion of Tibet. He entered Drepung Loseling Monastery, which was relocated to India after the invasion, at the age of ten and received his Geshe Degree twenty two years later. The Geshe Degree (Doctorate of Religion and Philosophy) is the highest earned degree in the Buddhist system of higher education.
Geshe-la is on the faculty of the Drepung Loseling Monastic University. He has also traveled throughout the U.S. and Europe as the official interpreter of the Drepung Loseling World Tour, visiting 120 American cities between 1993 and 1994. During this tour he gave lectures on Tibetan Buddhism and culture and assisted many western scholars in their translation of Buddhist texts.
He has published three practice books on Samatha meditation, including "A Diamond Key for Opening the Wisdom Eye". He has also published works on Vajrasattva purification and Guru Yoga of Lama Tsongkhapa. His latest title is "Essnetial Ethics: A Buddhist Approach to Modern Day Life and Social Action". All of his books are available from the Charleston Tibetan Society.
He teaches students year round at the Charleston Tibetan Society Dharma Center where he is also the resident teacher. Since 2001, He has also been traveling to Columbia, SC on a regular basis, offering both teachings on meditation and an introduction to Tibetan Buddhism at the South Carolina Dharma Center.
It is useful to consider the extreme rarity of English language skills among those who, like Geshe-la, have devoted their entire lives to mastering the vast and profound sciences of Buddhism in their canonical languages. Until recently, there were no Tibetan Geshes who spoke English. Geshe-la speaks fluent English and has a broad understanding of western people and culture. Besides his years of education and experience, Geshe-la brings to the teachings a kind heart and a sense of humor that is both disarming and endearing.