Lama Jampa Thaye

Lama Jampa Thaye

Biography of Lama Jampa Thaye


Lama Jampa Thaye is a scholar and meditation master trained in the Sakya and Karma Kagyu traditions of Buddhism. He is authorized as a lama by his two masters, Karma Thinley Rinpoche and His Holiness Sakya Trizin.

Lama Jampa was born in England in 1952, he became a student of Karma Thinley Rinpoche at the age of 20 and met His Holiness Sakya Trizin a year later.

In 1977 Lama Jampa was appointed by Karma Thinley Rinpoche as his dharma-regent.  In 1988, as a result of his completing the necessary retreats and textual studies, he was given the authority to carry out the activities of a lama and give vajrayana initiations.

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Teachings from Karma Thinley Rinpoche

Karma Thinley Rinpoche has bestowed Lama Jampa with many initiations, transmissions and instructions from the Kagyu, Sakya, Nyingma and Kadam traditions of Buddhism. 

In particular he received from Rinpoche the famous collection of vajrayana initiations known as the One Hundred Sadhanas of Bari Lotsawa and the One Hundred Lojong Teachings. He also received the complete cycle of Konchog Chindu and various works on Kagyu philosophy.

“One of the great Western dharma teachers is my dharma regent, Lama Jampa Thaye.
He is not only a great scholar, but also a great dharma practitioner.”

Karma Thinley Rinpoche, Millennium Letter, Toronto 1999

Teachings from His Holiness Sakya Trizin 

From H.H. Sakya Trizin, Lama Jampa has received many initiations and transmissions from all four sets of tantras, most notably the Thirteen Golden Dharmas, Lamdre Tsokshe, the esoteric teachings of Vajrayogini, the Jonang Transmission of the Eighty Four Mahasiddhas and the One Hundred Sadhanas of Narthang.

“I would like to commend Lama Jampa Thaye for the unflagging enthusiasm and effort that he has devoted to the noble cause of making the dharma available to all those who have an interest in it, and encourage him to continue his good works.”

H.H. Sakya Trizin in his foreword to Rain of Clarity, March 2005

Teachings from Phende Rinpoche

A third master who was particularly important in Lama Jampa’s education was Ngor Phende Shabdrung Rinpoche (b. 1934), from whom he received numerous initiations, textual transmissions and instructions, such as Vajrayogini, Vajrapani and White Tara.

Buddhist Training and Activities

Lama Jampa completed the Kagyu Mahamudra preliminaries by 1975 and went on to complete the retreat of the development and completion stages of Konchog Chindu and the retreat of Amitabha. Over the following years he completed retreats on White Tara, Vajrayogini and Hevajra, the chief practices of the Sakya tradition.

In 1974 His Holiness the Sixteenth Gyalwa Karmapa appointed Lama Jampa to the Karma Kagyu Trust (UK) and he is now a member of the international teaching faculty of the Karmapa International Buddhist Institute in Delhi. Lama Jampa regularly contributes articles to Tricycle magazine’s on-line blog.

He maintains a busy program of teachings and initiations for Dechen and other international Buddhist organizations and gives personal interviews at the request of his students.

He holds a doctorate from the University of Manchester for his work on Tibetan religious history and lectured for over twenty years at the University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University.

Lama Jampa Thaye lives in Bayswater, London with his family.


Lama Jampa Thaye is the author of various works including Garland of Gold (1990), Way of Tibetan Buddhism (2001) and Rain of Clarity (2006). His books and essays have been translated into German, Polish, Spanish and Bulgarian.He edited and wrote the introduction for Karma Thinley Rinpoche’s The History of the Sixteen Karmapas of Tibet (1980) and composed the entries on Tibetan religions for The Dictionary of Religions (1980).

“Everywhere spreading the activities of the guru,
With reasoning, intelligence, faith, diligence, effort and power,
Master of mantras, Jampa Thaye, may your life be long,
And may you be able to raise the victory banner of the teachings everywhere.”

From the Long Life Prayer for Lama Jampa Thaye by Karma Thinley Rinpoche