I am Karma Tsewang Samdrup. I first became a sramanera (novice monk) in April of 1977. Afterwards, I discovered my life as a monastic in Canada was to be different from my teacher’s experiences in Asia. For five years I moved around to several cities looking for a supportive environment in which to practice. In 1982, Kalu Rinpoche allowed me to enter into his first Canadian three year retreat near Vancouver, British Columbia on Canada’s west coast.
After finishing the three year retreat, I acquired a mobile home and continued to engage in solitary retreats. After some time, I returned to Vancouver and gave back my bhikshu (full monk) precepts. I got married and had a son in 1995. When my son was five, he expressed some interest in becoming a monk. When he was nine years old, myself being divorced, we both received novice monk (sramanera) ordination.
Last summer, I became a bhikshu again. Upon receiving my ordination, many people have been inspired by my decision and have come forward with many generous forms of support including the renovation of my home into a monastic center.
Realizing that many Western monastics do not have the support to fully pursue their study and practice of the Dharma, Lama Tsewang has graciously opened his home with a view to create a monastery for Western ordained