Venerable Lama Losang Samten


Our Spiritual Director is the Venerable Losang Samten, Rinpoche, a renowned Tibetan scholar and a former Buddhist monk, born in Chung Ribuce, in central Tibet. In 1959, Losang and his family fled to Nepal, and later moved to Dharamsala, India. His education includes studies at the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts, and the Namgyal Monastery in Dharamsala, the monastery of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. In 1985, Ven. Losang earned a Master's Degree from Namgyal Monastery (the equivalent of a Ph.D. in the U.S.) in Buddhist Philosophy, Sutra, and Tantra.  

In 1988, at the direction of His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama, Ven. Losang traveled to the U.S. to demonstrate the meditative art of Buddhist sand painting - the first time a Tibetan sand mandala had ever been shown in the west.  Since then, Losang has created sand mandalas by invitation across the U.S., including at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, the Chicago Field Museum, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology of University of Pennsylvania, the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, Harvard University, Columbia University, New York University, Trinity College of Hartford, Connecticut, and numerous others (see partial list below).  Losang also served as the religious technical advisor and sand mandala supervisor, as well as a featured actor, in Martin Scorsese's Academy Award winning film, Kundun.

In 1994, Losang received an Honorary Doctorate of Divinity from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. He was granted an Honorary Doctorate of Art from the Maine College of Art in 1995. He taught Tibetan Language at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia from 1994 – 1997, and, in 2002, was awarded the National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.  In 2004, Losang was awarded a Pew Fellowship in the Arts.

Losang is the spiritual director of Chenrezig Tibetan Buddhist Center of Philadelphia; Chenrezig Himalayan Cultural Center of El Paso,Texas, and a frequent visiting teacher in Lake Tahoe and Chico, CA. He travels extensively, joyfully sharing his knowledge of Buddhist philosophy and meditation, and his skill in the Tibetan ritual arts. His ability to embody the qualities of loving kindness, patience, and understanding with all those he meets, has touched the hearts of many.  Please also visit Lama Losang's own, beautiful website at, where you will find many beautiful offerings, images, and stay up to date with all of his upcoming events, both at our center and around the world.