In the Shangpa and Kagyu traditions the transmission and teaching of Buddhism comes to us from an unbroken awakened lineage that goes back to the Buddha, Shakyamuni.

From the Buddha down to our current day, the teachings and practices have been personally actualized and then transmitted and taught from master to disciple. The masters have mentored their students in this personal, yet universal process. We are very fortunate that in the Shangpa and Kagyu lineages some of the disciples in each generation have fully actualized the transmission, and in complete awakening have become the master, the guru, who transmits the teachings and mentors the next generation. In this way the teachings and lineage have remained vital and unbroken.

khyabjekalurimpoche25pxShangpa Kagyu teachings were given to students, both Eastern and Western, by Khyabje Kalu Rinpoche, the lineage holder, until his death in 1989. He was the root teacher (tsawai lama) of Lama Palden Drolma. Thus, Sukhasiddhi Foundation is a natural Center for the study and practice of both the Shangpa and Karma Kagyu traditions in the West.

kalurinpoche125px Lama Palden received the Shangpa lineage transmissions, including empowerments, teachings and personal guidance from her root guru, Khabje Kalu Rinpoche, as well as from his heart disciple Bokar Rinpoche. She also received teachings and guidance from Tai Situ Rinpoche, a primary Kagyu lineage holder and the root guru of both the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa Urgyen Trinley Dorje, who is the head of the Karma Kagyu lineage, and of the 2nd Kalu Rinpoche, the current head of the Shangpa lineage. Learn more about Kalu Rinpoche and the Shangpa lineage.

Sukhasiddhi and Niguma: Awakened Female Masters

KyungpoNaljorThe Shangpa lineage was founded by Khyungpo Naljor, an 11-12th c. Tibetan who traveled several times to India to study with the Vajrayana Buddhist gurus. He had 150 teachers, but said that he had four primary gurus whose transmission and teachings manifest as the Shangpa lineage: Niguma, Sukhasiddhi, Rahula and Métripa. Of these Sukhasiddhi and Niguma were primary.

Most of the practices and teachings in the Shangpa come from one of these fully and completely awakened women. These, as well as the entirety of the Shangpa practices, are engaged as part of the long-term practice programs at Sukhasiddhi Foundation.