Khen Rinpoche Geshe Thubten Chonyi has been the Resident Teacher of Amitabha Buddhist Centre since 1999, serving as spiritual guide and teacher of all aspects of Buddhist philosophy to hundreds of students.
In July 2011, Khen Rinpoche was also appointed the abbot of Kopan Monastery and Nunnery in Nepal.
Khen Rinpoche was born in the Solu Khombu region of Nepal in 1962. He joined Kopan Monastery when he was 12, and was ordained by Lama Zopa Rinpoche. At the age of 17, Khen Rinpoche entered Sera Je Monastery in south India where he advanced his studies on the great treatises of Buddhist philosophy. After 18 years of intensive study, Khen Rinpoche graduated as Geshe Lharampa, the highest Tibetan Buddhist doctorate conferred in the Gelug monastic tradition.
Khen Rinpoche then spent a year at Gyudmed Tantric College in south India where he furthered his studies on Buddhist tantra. Again, Khen Rinpoche excelled in his studies there and was awarded first position in his class. In the history of the Gelugpas, to achieve a double first, both in the study of sutra and tantra, is uncommon.
At Amitabha Buddhist Centre, Khen Rinpoche teaches and mentors a variety of education programmes, notably the FPMT Basic Program. With patience, skill and wisdom, Khen Rinpoche guided the first cohort of Basic Program students from August 2003 to their graduation in October 2010, and presently teaches the 2nd Basic Program which started in June 2011. Khen Rinpoche also teaches a weekly Sunday lam-rim class that caters to Mandarin speakers and a monthly Dharma for Seniors class for the benefit of the elderly. Besides these on-going courses, Khen Rinpoche has led the students in annual group retreats at Kopan Monastery.
Khen Rinpoche is greatly appreciated by his students for his depth of analysis of profound philosophical topics, and for his gentle good humour.