The lineage of Karma Kagyue has been passed down from a realised teacher to a capable disciple for thousands of years. Having a credible teacher is essential for our development on the Diamond Way.
Below you can read some excerpts about the main teachers who are important for the Diamond Way lay Buddhist network from a Western perspective.
The fully enlightened master, the 16th Karmapa, was the main teacher of Lama Ole and Hanna Nydahl. In the 16th Karmapa meditation, the main practice in our Diamond Way centers, Karmapa represents the qualities of the Buddha himself.
The oldest lineage of reincarnations in Tibetan Buddhism is the Karmapa lineage. The current 17th Karmapa, Trinley Thaye Dorje, is responsible for over 900 monasteries and Buddhist centers around the world, including the Diamond Way centers.
Shamarpas are the second most important lamas in the Karma Kagyu transmission lineage, after the Karmapas. Mipham Chokyi Lodro, the 14th Shamar Rinpoche, played a pivotal role in protecting the Karma Kagyu lineage and was a realized teacher.
Lopon Tsechu Rinpoche, a key figure for Buddhism in Nepal, had a tremendous influence in the West. He oversaw the construction of the largest Buddhist stupa in the West and taught extensively.
Lama Ole and his wife Hanna were given the task by their main teacher, the 16th Karmapa, to spread the lay Buddhism of the Karma Kagzu lineage in the West. Since the 1970s, Lama Ole has been travelling continuously, and in that time has established over 640 Diamond Way Buddhist centers.
As well as being a friend, translator and confidante of the highest lamas of the Karma Kadju lineage, Hannah Nydahl was herself a highly qualified and compassionate Buddhist teacher.
Lama Jigme Rinpoche trained with his uncle, the 16th Karmapa, who asked him to be his representative in the West. He still has this responsibility today. Lama Jigme Rinpoche is a highly respected, warm and inspiring teacher.
The highly revered master of the Karma Kaji lineage, Lama Sherab Gyaltsen Rinpoche, has recited billions of mantras with his students, earning him the title "Maniva". Rinpoche often takes time away from his work in the East to teach at Diamond Way events.