Hungkar Dorje Rinpoche
Serving as Abbot of Thubten Chokor Ling Monastery in Golok, Tibet, Tulku Hungkar Dorje was born into a nomadic family of great and realized yogins. Rinpoche was recognized early in his life by such Buddhist masters as H.H. Orgyen Kusum Lingpa, H.H. Dodrupchen Rinpoche, H. H. Penor Rinpoche, Akong Khenpo, and later, by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, as the reincarnation of Do Khyentse Yeshe Dorje. After Rinpoche’s education at Drepung Buddhist University, he returned to his homeland of Eastern Tibet to continue working to restore Tibetan traditions, which were rapidly being assimilated.
Rinpoche has initiated numerous charitable projects for better education and cultural preservation in Tibet. He teaches with incredible humility and lucidity. Today, Rinpoche is a leading exponent of the Ri Med (non-sectarian) School of Tibetan Buddhism and is the key organizer of the largest yearly Ri Med festival in his homeland.
Hungkar Rinpoche is the founder of the Dharma Institute, a nine-year advanced Buddhist training program for lay people. In 2005, he founded the first Buddhist nunnery in Golok. In recent years he established the Mayul Vocational School, a newly built elementary school, and a Community Care Hospital.
In the ancient land of Tibet, cultural traditions that have endured for millennia are rapidly being lost. In rural Golok, better education, good economic planning and environmental preservation are necessary for the continuation of those traditions. The Blue Valley Foundation has been established to help preserve traditional Tibetan culture and society and to improve the quality of life for Tibetans in Qinghai Province, The State of Golok, and elsewhere in Tibet. Our mandate is to support education, environmentalism, Tibetan language and crafts, scalable livelihood and clean energy production. In the words of our founder:
The objective of this Foundation is simply to do the utmost to promote altruistic activities for the general welfare of Society. The most pressing need, and thus the principal focus of the Foundation at present, is to support Tibetan educational development and Tibetan students. The Foundation also will provide support in the form of food, housing, health care and other necessities of life to the elderly lacking caretakers, to disabled individuals, and to the poor. The foundation aims to research and preserve, maintain and fulfill the true and correct history and culture of Gesar of Ling (Tibet). Another aim is to restore the natural environment as well as endangered species. In these highest mountain regions on the roof of the world there are few effective means of communication and the means and conditions for obtaining material resources are scarce. The people are beset by many kinds of hardships and difficulties. This is apparent.” -Tulku Hungkar Dorje Rinpoche, Abbot of Thubten Chokorling Monastery, Golok
Karen holds a Masters Degree in Psychology and Bachelors Degree in Business Management and Marketing. After years in upper management in Corporate America Karen left to pursue her interest in helping others. She has been studying Neuroscience and it’s applications to Psychology and Meditation for 13 years. As President of a Board of Directors for Community Counseling & Education Center for 5 years, she led a re-branding campaign, developed annual fund-raising strategies and effectively grew the Board’s presence. Karen has hosted retreats and teachings in the Nyingma Lineage of Tibetan Buddhism in the Santa Barbara, CA area since 1995. In 1994 she was introduced to His Holiness Orgyen Kusum Lingpa and became part of the sangha hosting him during his annual US travels.
Justin is an attorney in private practice in Longmont Colorado. Since 1995 he has focused his legal work on estate planning,estate settlement,and charitable planning. Justin has assisted in the organization of a number of churches and charities, particularly in the process for application and approval as a exempt organization by the Internal Revenue Service. Justin has been a committed Buddhist practitioner since 1978, studying in the Tibetan traditions with both Kagyu and Nyingma teachers. During that time he has had a strong interest in Tibet and has traveled to the Golok region of Amdo on two occasions. Justin is an active member of the Boulder Colorado Rotary club. He lives with his wife, Judy (married 29 years) and long haired dachshund, Tashi, in Lafayette, Colorado.
Tulku Sherdor is the Executive Director of Blazing Wisdom Institute, a non-profit dedicated to the preservation of the wisdom teachings of Tibet. Born in Montreal, Canada in 1961, he has completed, among other studies, a 3-year lama retreat in the Karma and Shangpa Kagyu schools of Tibetan Buddhism. Over the past 17 years he has traveled far and wide, teaching and working with and translating for a great number of distinguished Tibetan meditation masters. He has practiced law as a Federal Judicial Law Clerk and more recently as Counsel to the prestigious law firm of Boies, Schiller & Flexner. He has worked closely with His Holiness Orgyen Kusum Lingpa and Ven. Hung Kar Dorje Rinpoche to advance many philanthropic projects dedicated to world peace.
Howard Stahl, LCSW
A graduate of U.C. Berkeley, Howard Stahl helped pioneer (1972 -1994) the development of community based care for the aged and hospice care for the critically ill and people with AIDS in The San Francisco Bay Area. Trained by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross (1974) Howard sat on the original board of “The Shanti Project” – America’s first group of trained volunteers providing counseling and support to the critically ill. After two decades as an educator and frequent lecturer in Hospitals and Universities throughout California, he is now focusing on the philanthropic work of preserving Tibetan culture and pushing forward on issues of ecology and environmentalism in Tibet. As a practitioner and key organizer, Howard has played an active role in The Bay Area Buddhist Community since 1968.