Lama Gelong Sangyay Tendzin, aka Lama Norbu Repa, was born in Europe in 1949, middle child amongst nine. The repeated loss of his closest relatives brought him swiftly to realize the truth of impermanence while turning his mind towards the practice of Dharma.
- From 1981 to 1996, he resided permanently in the Himalayas: Nepal-India-Ladakh-Tibet. Since then, he stays mainly in France where he is Resident Lama at “THEG -CHOG NORBU LING”, referred to as TNG-Centre, a Karma Kamtshang Dharma Centre that he established under the spiritual authority of His Holiness the XVIIth Gyalwang Karmapa.
Having received the refuge at Bodh-Gaya, the Seat of Enlightenment in India, his formal spiritual training started in Sherab Ling, the Seat of His Eminence Tai Situ Rinpoche, who gave him personally the teachings on the Four Foundations. The blessings and realisation received from Tai Situpa brought him to choose the life of an hermit. Leaving Sherab Ling for Tso-Pädma, the sacred lake of Guru Rinpoche.
There, he completed the 100.000 prostrations practice in just about seven weeks before travelling for almost a year to several Buddhist Holy Places (Ladakh, Kashmir, Madhya-Pradesh, Nepal, Bengal) while completing the remaining Ngöndro practices.
Following this, he was blessed to meet and receive guidance, teachings and initiations from several precious Masters. Amongst them were H. H. Sakya Trizin Rinpoche, H. H. Drukchen Rinpoche, Their Eminences Gyaltsab Rinpoche, Jamgön Kongtrul Rinpoche, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, Tulku Urgyen, Very Venerable Kalu Rinpoche, Very Venerable Pawo Rinpoche, and Venerable Dabsang Rinpoche, Salje Rinpoche, Dzogchen Pönlop Rinpoche, Drubwang Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche, Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche, Dorlop Tenga Rinpoche, Bokar Rinpoche, Drupön Dechen Rinpoche, Chogling Rinpoche, Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche and Chimey Dorje Rinpoche.
In 1983, at Sonada, in West-Bengal, he was blessed to take part in the Precious Cycle of Initiations of the 'Rinchen Ter-Dzöd' given by Kyabje Very Venerable Kalu Rinpoche and was ordained as Getshul by H. E. Tai Situpa. For five years, Getshul Norbu Wangchug trained in the Vinaya discipline, following the teachings of Ven. Dorlop Tenga Rinpoche, while practicing the Vajrayana Path.
- In 1990 at Bodh-Gaya, he took the commitment to lead the life of a yogi in presence of H. E. the IIIrd Jamgön Kongtrul Rinpoche who conferred upon him the name Repa Sang-Ngag Gompo. He pursued his meditation training in retreat under the guidance of the late Venerable Drupön Rinpoche, Lama Södnam Gyurmed, abbot of the Karma Kagyud Gompa at Swayambunath Stupa in the Kathmandu Valley, who gave him the transmission of the Six Dharmas of Naropa.*
In June 1992, the recognition of H. H. the XVIIth Tsurphu Gyalwang Karmapa, Orgyen Trinley Dorje, was going to bring major change to his life. Lama Repa left his hermitage for Tibet where he would live for several years, after attending the enthronement ceremonies of His Holiness.
- From 1992 to 1996 Lama stayed in Tibet: At the invitation of his Guru, he resided in the XIIth century Monastery of Tashi Khang, in Central Tibet, which he undertook to restore, giving the monks all the needed support to reinstate their daily routine. In order to collect the necessary funds, he initiated the NCF Foundation in Hong Kong. Simultaneously, he travelled and taught the practice of meditation, giving lectures on Vajrayana Buddhism and leading meditative workshops in Hong Kong, Belgium, France, England, Germany and the United States.
- From 1994 to 1996, Lama established NCF Foundation activities in Kham-NangXian, where he initiated several projects of assistance the poor and needy nomads, answering persistent requests of the local authorities.
- Since 1997, he is involved in the creation and management of a Dharma Centre located in the Cathares region of France, where he currently stays in open retreat.
- In 1999, His Holiness Karmapa conferred to this place the auspicious name “THEG-CHOG NORBU LING” - "The Garden of Happiness of the Unsurpassable Jewel Path".
- In 2004, Lama went to Mirik Monastery in India, where he paid a last homage and took part in the funerals of the Venerable Bokhar Rinpoche.
- In the spring 2006, Lama paid respect to Their Holinesses Karmapa and Dalai Lama. Presenting the work done so far in establishing TNG-Centre, he requested both Holinesses to honour the Centre by their visit in the near future. Later in June, Lama attended the ceremony celebrating the 21st anniversary of His Holiness Karmapa, where he met worldwide representatives of Kagyud Monasteries and Dharma Centres.
He took this opportunity to spread the word of TNG-Centre. The rest of 2006 was focused on intensifying the Dharma at TNG: an annual calendar of rituals and events was instituted and major publication works on sadhanas and teachings took place.
- In 2007, THEG-CHOG NORBU LING was graced by the visit of Most Venerable DorLop Benchen Tenga Rinpoche, who consecrated the Temple and gave the transmission (Lung, Wang and Thrid) of the Mingyur Dorsem Practice, a practiced that Lama Sangyay Tendzin wishes to see progressively established as the main practice at TNG Centre.
- In 2008, the focus was put on developing ties with the Lineage as Lama travelled to collect blessing material needed to fill the stupas, which he wishes to erect on the centre’s premises over the coming years. a set of nine stupas make this project: a large 8-meters-high one and a series of eight 3-meters-high ones.
- In 2009, maintenance work took place to complete a close-retreat house intended for more intensive practice as well as to improve other boarding facilities offered to the Sangha members. During the summer, new Dharma venues (‘Dzongs’) established by Lama were registered at the Tsurphu Labrang.TNG-PHOENIX: a Dharma Study Group in Arizona; * TNG-IPOH: a Dharma Centre in Malaysia KONCHOG TSEGPA PARKHANG: a Dharma Publishing House in France.
- In 2010, answering the invitation of Naljorpa Zödpa Norbu from DagShang Kagyud Ling in Sao Paolo, Lama spent three weeks there, teaching the precious Dharma and conducting Pujas. He then visited TNG-PHOENIX and TNG-IPOH where he conducted week-long Dharma teachings. He also paid several visits in Switzerland, where he established TNG-SUISSE, a Dharma Study Group in the French Canton of Valais.
- Year 2011 was dedicated to meditation practice and teaching. It started in Cameron Highlands, Malaysia, where Lama conducted a NyungNay Retreat. The success of this event led him to renew the experience in September. In August, Lama paid a short visit to Samye-Chimphuk, and to Tsurphu Monastery in Central Tibet. During the year, Lama Norbu visited and gave support and teachings to all TNG Centre and Dzongs (Malaysia, Switzerland and Phoenix), as requested.
- Year 2012 was quite full of events, with three trips to Asia. The first was in Nepal, for what will be his last meeting with the late Most Venerable Tenga Rinpoche as well as the opportunity to order the metal work for the Stupa project. Copper and gilded articles were carefully ordered from a senior artisan in the town of Patan. The second one, a few months later, was to attend Rinpoche's funeral ceremony after which,
Lama went for a month retreat at Gyurtö monastery, in India, where H.H. Karmapa currently resides. During the third trip, Lama took a group of 40 students to attend the 'Kagyud Ngag-Dzöd' transmission given by H. E. Gyaltsab Rinpoche in Sikkim, Northern India. This was followed by a short pilgrimage including a visit to His Eminence Jamgön Kongtrul Rinpoche in His Monastery of Lava in West-Bengal, as well as a visit to His Holiness Karmapa in Gyurtö and to His Eminence Tai Situpa in Palpung Sherab Ling.
To each of these eminent masters, Lama requested words of advice and the Bodhisattva Vows were given to the students by His Eminence Tai Situpa.
- Year 2013 saw the renovation and extension of TNG Centre Lhakang. At the same period, Lama attended the transmission of the ‘Chig-Shey Kun-Drol’, compiled by the IXth Karmapa Wangchug Dorje, given by H. E. Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche at the request of Lama Rinchen from Benchen-Poland. As scheduled, Lama also visited TNG-IPOH and TNG-SUISSE in order to give teachings to these local sangha members.
- In 2014, Lama took part in the transmission of the 'Chöd Wang Gya Sa' bestowed by H. E. Drubwang Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche at his Monastery of Swayambunath, Chauni, Katmandu, Nepal. Later in May, Lama attended the reception welcoming His Holiness Karmapa's first visit in Europe, at Kamalashila in Germany, gathering the representatives of the European Kagyüd Centres. Karma Lekshey who represented TNG-SUISSE accompanied him. In July,
Lama paid a personal visit to His Holiness Karmapa at Gyurtö Monastery. In the fall, Lama attended the transmission of the 'Dam-Ngag Dzöd' from Jamgön Kongtrul Lodrö Thayay, given by H. E. Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche in his Seat of Benchen Monastery in Nepal. During this journey, he briefly went to Sherab Ling to receive the full Gelong ordination from His Eminence Tai Situ Rinpoche. It is there that he received the name Gelong Sangyay Tendzin. At that time, During those trips, Lama was accompanied by a small group of disciples, some of whom took particular vows as per their ability, namely:
- Getshul Thrinlay Tobden;
- Upasika Lekshey;
- Upasika Yeshey Wangmo;
- Upasika Döndrub Gyalmo;
- Upasika Jangsem Drolma.
By the end of the year, Lama Sangyay Tendzin visited TNG-IPOH. On this occasion, Lama offered a copy of the 18 volumes of the 'Dam-Ngag-Dzöd' Collection as well as a large statue of Mahakarunika Thousand-Arms-Chenrezig. The opportunity was given to bless it by a short NyungNay Retreat.
- 2015 was taken by major renovation work after the damages caused by a major flooding occurred late November 2014 at TNG Centre. The opportunity was thus provided to engage in new construction works and create the needed facilities to host proper buildings for storage, mechanic and workshop, as well as major infrastructure works preventing future damages in case of weather hazard. On a Dharma note, Lama attended most of the events of the visit of His Holiness Karmapa in the East Coast, in the State of New York, as well as in Germany later in the summer. During his visit to the US, Lama stayed several days at Palchen KunKhyab ChöKhor Ling to receive the complete transmission of 'Rigzin Drildrub', a Terma practice from the Venerable Tertön Barway Dorje, commonly known as the Third Bardor Rinpoche.
- In 2016, Lama Sangyay Tendzin's program started by a visit to TNG-Dzong Ipoh in Malaysia, where he conducted a series of teaching as well as the usual NyungNay Retreat held there every year. Since his return to France in mid-February, Lama has stayed in open retreat at TNG Centre, where he conducted a cycle of 8 NyungNay for a 17 days retreat, attended by his European sangha.
Lama also attended the visit of His Holiness Karmapa in Europe, taking part in the events that took place in Geneva and Paris. Later in June, Lama spent five weeks in Asia. Upon landing in India, Lama attended an event organized by Hong Kong sangha. Following a short visit to His Eminence Tai Situ Rinpoche at His Monastic Seat of Palpung in Himachal Pradesh, Lama met H. H. Gyalwang Karmapa to establish future Dharma transmissions at THEG-CHOG NORBU LING.
He then flew to Nepal to meet H. E. Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche at Benchen Monastery in Swayambunath and Most Venerable Karma Trinley Rinpoche in Jorpati-Bodnath. In early July, Lama went to Malaysia to conduct a scheduled seminar at TNG-IPOH. In October, Lama took part in the visit of His Eminence Tai Situpa in New York. He pursued his journey visiting TNG-PHOENIX in Arizona, where he conducted a Ganachakra Puja of Guru Rinpoche on the 10th day of the lunar calendar. Lama then returned to TNG Centre, where he is in residence until the end of the year, guiding students and conducting seminar.
- In 2017, after taking part in the 8th Mahamudra Transmission given by His Eminence Tai Situpa, Lama Sangyay Tendzin made a short piilgrimage to Borobodur in Indonesia and conducted two seminars in Malaysia. The rest of the year, Lama stayed in open retreat in France, furthering the development of TNG Centre.
- 2018 was a year of intense Dharma activity:
- Lama Sangyay Tendzin started the year with his annual visit to TNG-IPOH during which, he had the blessing to meet with Khenchen Thrangu RInpoche and Tulku Damchö Rinpoche. In Ipoh, Lama gave a talk at the Mahayana Nunnery. This was follwowed by a short visit to Singapore and Indonesia.
- Upon his return to France, Lama celebrated Losar and conducted a NyungNay retreat.
- By the end of March, Lama went to Delhi to take part in the fourth year of the 8th Mahamudra transmission by His Eminence Tai Situ Rinpoche.
- In early June, Lama took part in New York to the Kagyu Monlam presided by H. H.The Karmapa, Orgyen Thrinley Dorje, under the auspices of the Danang Foundation.
- In November, Lama attended the Ka-Wang transmission bestowed in Bodh-Gaya by His Eminence Tai Situ RInpoche. He was there accompagnied by some members of the TNG community. Two Upasikas took the opportunity to take further commitment during this stay and receive the Getshulma ordination from His Eminence.
- 2019 was again the year of many activities:
- Lama went to India in April, accompanied by Upasika Lekshey to follow the fifth year of the 8th Mahamudra transmission given in Delhi by his Eminence Tai Situpa Rinpoche.
- In June, Lama accompagnied by TNG Resident Sangha members went to Paris to participate in the 'French Kagyud Monlam' chaired by The Venerable Ringu Tulku,
- By the end of August, Lama Sangyay Tendzin accompanied by 25 students of various nationalities, fulfilled a long-standing wish and went to Tibet to make a pilgrimage around Mount Kalaish.
- During the year, Lama gave the four annual seminars at THEG-CHOG NORBU LING.
- By mid-November Lama went to TNG-IPOH where he conduct his annual seminar as well as a NyungNay retreat.
- In 2020, Lama Sangyay Tendzin will stay mainly in closed retreats at the exception of seminars and group retreats as scheduled on his annual agenda posted on this website.