Lama Choyin Rangdrol
Lama Rangdrol is the only African-American teacher of Buddhism recognized by the First Conference of Tibetan Buddhist Centers in North and South America, convened by the Office of Tibet and attended by the Dalai Lama. He was honored as a special invited guest to the Dalai Lama’s teachings on “World Peace Through Inner Peace” in Miami, Florida.
Before entering the dharma stream, Lama Rangdrol worked as a licensed counselor for thirty years and Drama Therapist in departments of psychiatry including UCLA Neuropsychiatric Hospital, USC University Hospital, and numerous acute psychiatric hospitals and outpatient clinics serving severely mentally ill, developmentally disabled, and homeless populations.
He complimented his mental health career with studies in the arts including the University of Redlands School of Music (B.A.), graduate work in Ethnic Theater at Sacramento State University, and certificates of study from the National Shakespeare Company (New York), and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (London).
In 1995 he entered Vajrayana retreat in the Nyingma tradition at Pema Osel Ling under the tutelage of Dzogchen lineage holder Lama Tharchin Rinpoche where he remained immersed in the Dudjom Tersar lineage for two years. During this time he also received teachings from Khenpo Orgyen Tinly Rinpoche (Khenpo Chozod), Tulku Thubten, Lama Nawang, Lama Gyaltsen, Lama Namkhar, Lama Yeshe Wangmo, Thinley Norbu, and Khenpo Yurmed Tinly. He became Khenpo Yurmed Tinly’s private student in 1998 and remained with him until the Khenpo’s death in 2005.
Known for his clarity of insight, Lama Rangdrol has taught Buddhism to Tibetan, Zen, Vipassana, SGI, ecumenical, non-sectarian, Christian, Interfaith, and secular communities. He has authored five books, two music albums, is a signed music artist with BMI and his recent documentary, Festival Canceled Due to Heavy Rain has been screened at five film festivals and won the Aloha Accolade Award from the Honolulu International Film Festival.
Lama Rangdrol has lived the complexities of family life that he teaches about. He is a householder who has survived marriage, divorce, remarriage, estrangement, and reconnection. Today he joyfully shares in his multi-generational family’s evolution into loving, healthy, stable, human beings. Lama is sought after and respected for his clarity of insight. His heartfelt enthusiasm brings healing to the hearts and minds of those committed to meet the most challenging issues of their family life.