Vajra Yoga Yamantaka Intensive

with the 11th Lelung Tulku Tendzin Phüntsok Löden Rinpoche, Robert Thurman and Michele Loew | July 31-August 06, 2023

We are honored and delighted to welcome to Menla His Eminence the 11th Lelung Rinpoche, who will bestow the Yamantaka abishekam “empowerment” to participants and give precious teachings on the mild and fierce Mañjushrī deity practices.

Rinpoche will open the door to these wisdom teachings during this practitioners’ retreat, which will include Mañjushrī mantra accumulation, mild and fierce, and fire offering pujas. This is a very special and rare opportunity to learn from one of the highest lineage holders in the Tibetan tradition.

The Lelung Reincarnation line begins with the Lhodrak Khenchen Namkha Gyaltsen, who was known as an emanation of Vajrapani Bodhisattva. In the 1390s, he became an important teacher and colleague of the great Lama Tsong Khapa Losang Drakpa (1357-1419), who was key to the Tibetan Ganden Renaissance of the 15th and following centuries that resulted in the spiritual “inner modern” Tibet which flourished from the 17th century until the Chinese invasion and occupation from the 1950s and still persists in exile diaspora in India and other free countries around the planet.

Like most of the greatest teachers of Tibet, the Lelungs have a nonsectarian history of linking Nyingmapa Dzogchen traditions and Gelukpa Unexcelled Yoga traditions. Subsequently the Lelungs interconnected frequently with the Dalai Lama and Panchen Rinpoche incarnations, therefore being considered among the top reincarnation lineages. In this special Vajrayoga retreat, Rinpoche will also offer some rare Vajrapaṇi and even Sārasvatī permissions. Robert Thurman will support him in clarification and engaging dialogue, and Michele Loew will guide the morning sadhana and Vajrayoga physical practices. We hope you will join us for this wonderful and transformational retreat.

This page is for registration for online/virtual attendance. If you would prefer to attend in person, please click here.

The 11th Lelung Tulku Tendzin Phüntsok Löden Rinpoche was born in the 16th rabjung of the Iron-Dog year 1970. Since childhood he had visions of deities and lamas as well as many distinctive and wondrous signs. He attended primary school until the third class after which he left for monastic education. In the 16th rabjung of the Iron Bird 1981, seeking the audience of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, he went to Dharamsala to receive a blessing. He then joined Trehor house within Drepung Loseling, one of the three great monasteries (Gelugpa seats) in the South of India. As per the instructions of the Sixth Kyabje Yongzin Ling Rinpoche, Geshe Pedma Ludup took him under his wing. He also attended regular school classes at the monastery. In the 16th rabjung, 1984, in his 14th year as requested by his house, Kongpo Khangtsen in Drepung Loseling Monastery, HH Dalai Lama recognized him as the unmistaken former incarnation of Lelung Jedrung Tulku, one of the three principle incarnations of Tibet. HH Dalai Lama looked upon him with esteem and consideration.

He was enthroned at both Loseling’s Kongpo Khantsan and Loseling’s monastic college. Ling Gumbar Rinpoche Thupten Ngodup, as per the written instructions of HH Dalai Lama, became the tutor of Lelung Tulku. Beginning with the five collected Buddhist texts, and gradually as he matured, he studied the main Buddhist texts. Furthermore, he also received teachings from teachers such as Geshe Menla Tsering and others. All his tutors were peerless and he received extensive teachings - hearing, learning and contemplating them extensively. In 1993, when he was in his 23rd year, according to the wishes of HH Dalai Lama, he went to Tibet and received teachings on the Sangwa Yeshe cycle of teachings as well as others. While receiving teachings, people of Lelung valley were rebuilding his predecessors' monastery Olkha Tekchok Namdroling.


To read His Eminence’s full bio, please click here.

Robert Thurman is Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies at Columbia University as well as co-founder and President of Tibet House US and it's Menla Retreat & Spa. A world-wide lecturer on Tibetan Buddhism, activist for the plight of the Tibetan people, translator of Buddhist texts, and writer of popular Buddhist books. He recently has been awarded the Padma Shri Award, India’s fourth highest civilian honor for achievement in enriching Indian education and literature. His most recent book is the 300 page graphic novel, Man of Peace: the Illustrated Life Story of the Dalai Lama of Tibet. Suggested Books & Audio by Robert A.F. Thurman: Man of Peace: Illustrated Life Story of Tibet’s Dalai Lama (Book), Infinite Life: Awakening to Bliss Within (Book), Anger: The Seven Deadly Sins (Book), Inner Revolution (Book), Circling the Sacred Mountain : A Spiritual Adventure Through the Himalayas (Book),  Essential Tibetan Buddhism (Book), The Tibetan Book of the Dead: The Great Book of Natural Liberation Through Understanding in the Between (Book)  The Jewel Tree of Tibet: The Enlightenment Engine of Tibetan Buddhism (Book),  The Central Philosophy of Tibet (Book),  The Holy Teaching of Vimalakirti: A Mahayana Scripture (Book), Life & Teachings of Tsong Khapa (Book), Why the Dalai Lama Matters: His Act of Truth as the Solution for China, Tibet, and the World (Book) & Liberation Upon Hearing in the Between: Living with the Tibetan Book of the Dead (Audio). 

Michele Loew is an international yoga teacher and the founder and director of The Yoga Space in Portland, Oregon. She is known as a teacher’s teacher and is respected for her 200 Hr. & 500 Hr. Yoga Schools and her ability to combine Western knowledge of the body (anatomy & physiology and modern kinesiology techniques) with the Eastern tradition of yoga.   She has practiced and taught Hatha & Vinyasa yoga since 1998, having studied extensively in the Iyengar and Ashtanga traditions as well as the Sri Vidya lineage & since 2014, the Kalachakra Yogas. She is known for her keen observation skills and her ability to guide students toward aligning the physical and energetic body through the use of expert hands-on assists and intelligent verbal cues. She brings to her teaching a warm and engaging style that reflects her own internal understanding of the practice.   Michele is an avid student of Eastern & Western Philosophy and continues to study with her principal yoga teacher Richard Freeman with whom she has practiced with since 2000. She has been Richard’s assistant in his teacher trainings and workshops and has a close understanding of his brilliant middle path teaching. She practices Tibetan Buddhist yogas and has received initiation from a number of Tibetan teachers, including several Kalachakra initiations with HH The Dalai Lama. She practices Vajrayana as guided by her beloved teacher in Buddhist inner science, Dr. Robert Thurman.   Michele teaches regular classes and trainings in Portland, as well as retreats and workshops internationally. For more information on Michele please also visit and follow her on instagram @micheleloew Please feel free to email Michele with any questions or to let her know about former injuries or modifications you might be working with in your practice. [email protected]

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