In 1982, Khenpo Pema was sent to the West by His Holiness Sakya Trizin, as the first of the younger generation of Tibetan teachers in America from the Sakya School. In 1989, he founded the Vikramasila Foundation, which encompasses the Palden Sakya Centers in New York City, Woodstock, NY, Philmont, NY, Cresskill, NJ, Jamaica, VT, and Dayton OH. The Palden Sakya Centers offer courses in Tibetan Buddhist studies and meditation.
Khenpo Pema is the creator of “Bur Yig”–Tibetan Braille, and the founder of Pema Ts’al (English for Lotus Grove) School in Mundgod, India (for Tibetan lay children); and the Pema Ts’al Sakya Monastic Institute in Pokara, Nepal (monastic schools for boys); and Pema Ts’al School in New York City, with a curriculum modeled on that of Sakya College, India. The Pema Ts’al School in New York City provides a traditional Buddhist education of monastic training and study in the format of Western university teaching.
In 2007, Khenpo Pema was recognized with the title of “Khenpo” by His Holiness Sakya Trizin. He received the distinguished “Ellis Island Medal of Honor” award by the National Ethical Coalition of Organizations in May, 2009 at Ellis Island for his humanitarian work around the world. Khenpo Pema is the first Tibetan ever to have received such an award. Khenpo Pema has been guiding Western students for the past 29 years and continues to travel and teach extensively to Dharma centers around the world. His command of the English language and familiarity with Western culture, along with his wisdom and compassion make him an outstanding role model and teacher in today’s world.
For more information please visit http://vikramasila.org/