Ven. Namgyal Rinpoche


Namgyal Rinpoche was born in Toronto, Canada, in 1931, to parents of Irish-Scottish descent. After attending a Christian Seminary College and participating in politics, he travelled to England where he pursued his interest in the sciences and arts, especially modern psychology and metaphysics. In the late 1950’s, he travelled to Bodh Gaya and Burma where he was ordained and given the name of Ananda Bodhi. After intensive meditation in Burma, Thailand and Sri Lanka, he received the title Acariya. Invited by the English Sangha Trust to teach, he returned to England in 1962 and while there, founded several retreat centres. He returned to Canada in 1965 and a year later, with a group of students, established the Dharma Centre of Canada, a study and meditation centre near Kinmount, Ontario.

For the next five years, Rinpoche taught in Canada, mostly in Toronto and at the Dharma Centre. During this period he also travelled abroad, accompanied by many of his students. During visits to the principal Tibetan monasteries in India and Sikkim, he met H.H. the Dalai Lama and H.H. the XVIth Karmapa, who, recognizing him as fully enlightened, enthroned him.


Namgyal Rinpoche’s dedication to the liberation of all that live, along with his interest in all formations (including this planet and its flora and fauna) is as tireless as it is vast. A master of Mahamudra, he is unique in his ability to encompass and bridge the traditional methods of Buddhism and western forms of unfoldment and transmit the path of awakening in universal terms according to beings’ interests and proclivities.

Rinpoche travelled extensively throughout the world giving teaching, most frequently at centres established by his students in Canada, United States, Guatemala, England, Ireland, France, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, New Zealand and Australia. His love of travel and over 40 years of teaching finally took a toll on his health. Some long-standing health problems caught up with him on October 22, 2003, when he passed away at one of his favorite places, a small private cottage on a lake in Switzerland.

This biography of Ven. Namgyal Rinpoche is from the Dharma Centre of Canada’s website: