H.E. Trungram Gyalwa Rinpoche is the founder and spiritual director of the United Trungram Buddhist Foundation (UTBF) and the leader of the Buddhist Relief Services project.
Born to a Nepalese Sherpa family, Rinpoche has been recognized as the fourth incarnation of the Trungram Gyalwa line, one of the most prominent incarnate lamas of Tibetan Buddhism; he is also regarded as an emanation of the great yogi Milarepa. Known as a scholar, teacher and meditation master to thousands of students around the world, Rinpoche is the first incarnate lama to earn a PhD in the West, having completed his doctoral studies in Indo-Tibetan Buddhism at Harvard University in 2004.
As head of the Trungram Tradition, Rinpoche guides monasteries, meditation centers, schools, dharma centers and groups around the world - all while actively engaging in humanitarian and charity work.
He laid the foundation for this work in 1992, when he established UTBF in Nepal at the age of twenty-four. Its mission is to provide assistance in education, scholarships, medical help, disaster relief, basic spiritual help and other charity to those who most need help. The work is primarily focused on countries and areas with strong connections to Rinpoche. Rinpoche actively guides volunteers in such work, as well as engaging in it himself, providing material as well as spiritual help. His grand pujas after the 1999 earthquake in Taiwan left powerful, lasting impressions on all who were present.
In immediate response to the devastating earthquake in Nepal on April 25, 2015, even as the disaster was developing, Rinpoche created a new initiative: the Buddhist Relief Services. Under its umbrella, volunteers will provide disaster-relief to people in need.