Throughout my life I’ve been drawn to explore what seems more significant than the ordinary preoccupations of daily life. From the time I was a small child I’ve had mystical experiences that informed my life. This, along with the suffering of my habitual patterns, fueled my dedication to spiritual practice. As a nine year old my grandmother gave me two little books— one of Oriental wisdom, one of Occidental wisdom. My love for the wisdom contained in these books ignited my interest in all religious and spiritual traditions.
In my mid-twenties, after meditating, practicing, and studying in Zen, Christianity, Sufism, yoga, and Native traditions, I began to feel a profound longing to find my teacher. At 25 I was dragged by a friend to a talk by an ancient Tibetan master. Within five minutes, I knew he was the teacher I sought. He was Kalu Rinpoche, one of the preeminent Tibetan masters of the 20th century. Six months later I was on my way to Darjeeling, in the Himalayan foothills, to study with him. A year later, I was fortunate to move with my husband and son to the Kingdom of Bhutan, where I was able to continue my meditation and go frequently to stay with my teacher, and with the 16th Karmapa in Sikkim. I also met many other great meditation masters whose kindness and wisdom gave me sustenance and furthered my path.
In 1982 I entered a traditional Tibetan three year, three month retreat that my teacher held on Salt Spring Island in British Columbia. This intensive meditation retreat was the hardest work I had ever done, and was the best thing I have ever done.
Following retreat, I re-entered regular life, had another child, went to graduate school, and in addition to teaching and sharing the Dharma, I worked in community mental health, and then licensed as a psychotherapist. This deepened my professional interest, that I already had been working with personally for many years, in working with body, mind, and spirit simultaneously.
In 1997, I founded Sukhasiddhi Foundation in the SF Bay Area, a Tibetan Buddhist center in the Shangpa and Kagyu lineages. I have guided and trained many people in depth meditation, philosophy, and Tibetan yoga.
In addition to Kalu Rinpoche, in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, I have studied and trained with HH Karmapa the 16th, Jamgon Kongtrul, Tai Situpa, Bokar Rinpoche, Dezchung Rinpoche, Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche, HH Dudjom Rinpoche, and the Dalai Lama.
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Lama Palden founded Sukhasiddhi Foundation in 1997 - a Tibetan Buddhist center in the Shangpa and Kagyu lineages located in the San Francisco Bay Area.