The Jefferson TIbetan Society’s primary function is to provide teaching & meditation practice in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, as exemplified for His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s teachings. Our center has a long history from the Ri-mey (non-sectarian) tradition. For many years, we sponsored teachings from all 4 schools of the Tibetan tradition, as well as some Theravadan teachings. Our resident teachers have been from the Geluk-pa tradition.
Our first teacher was Khensur Yeshi Thupten, a renowned abbot from Drepung Loseling Monastery. He came from India to teach at U.Va. and we sponsored weekly classes for him in the community for many years to provide opportunities for the general public to have access to such a great lama.
After Khensur Yeshi Thupten returned to India, his student Geshe Jampel Thardo became the resident lama of Jefferson Tibetan Society where he taught for more than 25 years. H.H. the Dalai Lama had a deep fondness for Geshe-la & described him as one of his best monks in America. Geshe-la was a deep meditation practitioner & taught the classic Mahayana texts each week at our center, as well as leading retreats. At the time of his passing, Geshe-la demonstrated physical signs of a very high level of realization demonstrating the ability to have complete control of the death process. We are so grateful for all the guidance he provided to our sangha and the central Virginia community. As it was Geshe-la’s wish for our Dharma center to continue to function as a teaching & practice center, we continue to offer on-going opportunities for study and practice.