Venerable Geshe TenDhar is the current director and resident teacher of Tibet Center Austria. Geshe cofounded the center, which is based in Knappenberg, at the behest of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in 2005. The center offers unique educational opportunities in Buddhist Philosophy, Psychology, Tibetan Medicine, and more…
Geshe TenDhar’s story begins at the age of nine, when he enrolled in the Sera-Mey Monastic University in South India for his spiritual education under the guidance of His Eminence the late Youngzin Ling Rinpoche, the 97th throne-holder of the Gelug tradition and senior tutor of H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama. By 18, he had already mastered his studies sufficiently to become a teacher—from 1986 to 1995—even as he himself finished his own studies.
In 1994, at the age of 27, he completed his final exam and received his “Geshe Lharampa” degree from Sera-Mey and the Gelug foundation—a title roughly equivalent to that of a PhD in Tibetan Buddhist academic and textual studies. A year later, Geshe TenDhar enrolled in Gyumed Tantric monastery, where he graduated with his second advanced degree (Ngarampa), this time in tantric studies. He taught there during his tenure as well, from 1995 to 1996.
It was in 1996 that Geshe TenDhar made his first visit to the West, conducting a variety of teachings on Buddhist philosophy, psychology, and religion in a number of countries in Europe. The next year, he was personally appointed as a Buddhist spiritual teacher by His Holiness the Dalai Lama for the Tibetan community of Dharamsala, India, where he gave many teachings related to Buddhist education.
At the same time, Geshe TenDhar traveled to give teachings far and wide, throughout Asia, Europe, and America. Thereafter, he earned a visiting professorship from 1999–2000 at one of the most prestigious, long-standing Tibetan studies programs in the West, the University of Virginia (UVA), where he collaborated closely with Professor Jeffrey Hopkins.
Following that, His Holiness appointed him to the post of spiritual teacher at the She Drup Ling Buddhist Center in Graz, Austria, where he served for several years. In particular, the organization of the Kalachakra event in Graz in 2002, for which Geshe TenDhar acted as spiritual director, stands out as a particularly successful achievement, with over ten thousand participants from more than 70 countries participating.
In 2003, Geshe TenDhar founded Thekchen Dhongag Choeling (TDC) Buddhist Center in Salzburg, Austria (now located in Vienna); Geshe continued his travels throughout these years, and it was in 2005, at the behest of His Holiness, that he settled in Huettenberg—the Tibet Center Austria was officially opened 3 years later, in 2008. We are blessed to have him as our spiritual guide, resident teacher, and director here to this day.