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Our Guiding Teacher

Since 2013, Adzom Gyalse Rinpoche has been teaching Westerners in Europe and in South and North America. He has been connecting with the students of Adzom Paylo Rinpoche who holds the Adzom Drukpa Lineage. We are honored that Adzom Gyalse Rinpoche has included Copper Mountain Institute in his teaching tour of North America. He will return to teach here anually. He is planning to guide his Western students on a pilgrimage to the sacred places of Bhutan.

Adzom Gyalse Rinpoche is the reincarnation (tulku) of Adzom Gyalse Gyurme Dorje, who was the son of Adzom Drukpa Pawo Dorje. He was born into a nomad family in the year of the Iron-Monkey (1980) in Bumthang, a region of central Bhutan, which was blessed as a hidden sacred land by Guru Padmasambhava. He is the second son of seven, his father Kelzang Phuntsok and his mother Sonam Tsomkyi.

At the age of eight, Adzom Gyalse Tulku was recognized as the reincarnation of Adzom Gyalse Gyurme Dorje at Gelephu, southeast Bhutan, and HH Khyentse Rinpoche performed his hair-cutting ceremony. Then he was ordained as a monk at Kharbandi, Phuntsholing in Bhutan. Later at Shechen Monastery in Kathmandu – Nepal, the grand enthronement ceremony was conducted by HH Khyentse Rinpoche in the presence of HE Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche and HE Nyoshul Khen Jamyang Dorje Rinpoche.

The young monk was well taken care of with loving kindness by his root teacher HH Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. During that time he received many teachings, transmissions and empowerments from him, and from HE Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche, Lama Tserpo Rinpoche, and more recently, from HH Dilgo Khyentse Yangsi Rinpoche. He has also received from HH Dalai Lama, HH Trulshik Rinpoche, HH Penor Rinpoche, HE Chokling Rinpoche, HH Taklung Tshetrul Rinpoche,  HE Yangthang Rinpoche and HE Namkhai Nyingpo Rinpoche.

By 2004, under the guidance of HE Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche, he completed the extensive nine years course in Buddhist philosophy and graduated from Philosophical Collage (Shedra). After his graduation he started teaching and giving oral transmissions (lung) at Shechen Philosophical Collage in Nepal. By 2010 he was awarded the scarf of Khenpo (Doctorate Certificate). 

He now presides over all annual ceremonies at Shechen Monastery in Kathmandu, Nepal and at some branch monasteries in Bhutan. He also gives guidance at his retreat center in Bhutan to monks who are in three year retreat.

Ralph Steele will give a benefit talk entitled "MINDFULNESS IN THE BODY: Awakening to Life in Transition." He will speak about "dancing with the subtle and the physical bodies" in order to experience "global inner peace." 
This benefit is sponsored by COPPER MOUNTAIN INSTITUTE, Inc., a tax-exempt organization and registered New Mexico charity. Donations are tax-deductible. Donations will benefit Asian Buddhist people in need.

SATURDAY, MARCH 11, 2017 at 7:00pm
2401 12th Street NW, Albuquerque, NM 87104

Suggested donation: $15-20.00 at the door  or via Pay Pal

About Ralph Steele

holds degrees in Religious Studies and Humanistic Psychology, is a Marriage and Family Therapist and a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner. He is the Founding Director of Life Transition Therapy, Inc., a meditation-based multi-disciplinary  trauma healing center. He has taught meditation retreats since 1987. He was instrumental in establishing people-of-color retreats at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in California and at Insight Meditation Society in Massachusetts. He teaches courses in Buddhist Psychology.

He founded the first Hospice Care Associate Degree program in America at Northern New Mexico Community College, now a Master of Arts program at Southwestern College in Santa Fe, N.M., where he also served as Board Chair. Ralph is a Vietnam Veteran and a veteran of many Panchakarma intensives with Dr. Sunil Joshi in Nagpur, India. He practiced as an ordained monk for one year in the Theravadin Buddhist monasteries of Burma and Thailand. He has also studied with Tibetan Buddhist masters Lobsung Lhalungpa and Lama Thubten Yeshe.

Ralph is the founder and guiding teacher at Life Transition Meditation Center,, a non-profit organization with a global inner peace mission. Ralph was born on Pawley's Island, South Carolina speaking his native language, Gullah. He has been living in Santa Fe since 1982, where he lives with his life partner Sabine. He has a son forty-three years of age and a grandchild.

He is the author of TENDING THE FIRE: Through War and the Path of Meditation.

"A beautifully written, humbling, uplifting, and profoundly sweet and electrifying life story illustrating the transformative value of the cultivation of mindfulness..."
 -Jon Kabot-Zinn, author of Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness

"Ralph's revealing honesty about the deep-seated racism he encountered in this country, his own struggles with drugs, and his profoundly transforming spiritual practices illuminates so much of our human condition. One can't help but marvel at his extraordinary life." -Joseph Goldstein, Author of Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Awakening

"Ralph Steele offers an inspiring invitation to all of us to get it together. Truthful and spacious, he's your brother. Funny, deep and wise, he's an elder. Do pay attention with love!" - Amadea Morning Star, Author of The Ayurvedic Guide to Polarity Therapy; Hands-on Healing, A Self-Care Guide; and Ayurvedic Cooking for Westerners

Ralph's Odyssey of evolving mindfulness is nourished by an impossibly enormous heart, which he shares freely and generously with all who cross his path. Most importantly, Ralph shows us how to tell the truth- about the wars in the world and about the wars in our own hearts. I cannot begin to explain what Ralph has given us. It is raw, it is magnificent, and it is real. He is a kind and patient guide. And if you walk beside him for a while, you will learn more about yourself than you ever imagined."

- Wayne Muller, M. Div., Author of Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal and Delight in Our Busy Lives and A Life of Being, Having and Doing Enough

"In these pages, Ralph Steele leads us...from the traumas of racism and war to the peace and bliss of mindfulness. -Jan Willis, Author of Dreaming Me: Black,Baptist and Buddhist- One Woman's Spiritual Journey

Our Founding Directors

Carol A. Hoy/Gendun Drolma began Buddhist meditation in 1976. She has studied and practiced under Theravadin, Sutric, Tantric, Mahamudra and Dzogchen Masters. She has been on pilgrimage led by Lama Tsultrim Allione (1996) and Lopon Anne Carolyn Klein/Rigzin Drolma (2001) to many sacred sites of Buddhism and has visited great teachers in India, Nepal and Tibet.

As a Meditation Instructor at Vajradhatu in Boulder, Colorado and later in Albuquerque, New Mexico, she taught Shamatha-Vipassana and Tonglen under Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche (1983-90.) She also taught Fine Art classes and co-taught Creative and Expressive Therapies with Arawana Hyashi (dance,) Jerry Granelli (music,) Lee Worley (theater,) and Cynthia Kneen (philosophy) at Naropa Institute.

She had the good fortune and blessing to study and practice with Lama Tsultim Allione and to serve Tibetan Masters who taught at Tara Mandala Retreat Center near Pagosa Springs, Co. (1995-2007.) She led a meditation group in the Albuquerque area for the teachings of Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche (1996-1999.)

She met Adzom Rinpoche in 1999 and became his formal student. She has been Co-founder and Resident Teacher at his Dzogpa, Copper Mountain Institute in Corrales, NM since 2000. She teaches Green Tara and Chod tantric practices as well as Beginning Meditation and The Sutra of the Heart of Transcendent Knowledge.

She holds an MA in Visual Arts. In her journey as an artist, meditation practice has been foundational to her creative process. The capacity to remove obstruction, to open one’s heart and to discover a fresh state of being are invaluable means to liberate the flow of energy for expression of one’s true self.

She is also an LMT in New Mexico. Her body-work modalities encourage and empower embodied presence. They include Cranio-Sacral, Polarity, Solfeggio Tuning Fork (Soma Energetics) and Aroma Therapies, Shiatsu, Heart-Body Healing and Lymphatic Massage combined with contemplative breathing and movement.

David Paul Boaz Dechen Wangdu is Co-Founding Director and Vice President of Copper Mountain Institute, Inc., a tax exempt  Buddhist temple and Buddhist and contemplative studies research institute. He is also founder of the Institute's Mindfulness Prison Project where he teaches Buddhist, Hindu, Christian and secular mindfulness meditation practice in correctional settings.

He has a doctorate in philosophy (Religious Studies), and has lectured in Western philosophy at California State University, and Eastern philosophy at the American Institute of Oriental Medicine. He has studied and practiced with both Eastern and Western meditation masters, and has taught mindfulness, meditation and contemplative studies for over forty years. He has been a student of Tibetan Buddhist Dzogchen and Mahamudra master Ad Zom Rinpoche since 1999.

David is author of the forthcoming book, The Noetic Revolution: Toward an Integral Science of Matter, Mind and Spirit. His other works include The Problem and Opportunity of Consciousness, Phenomenology of Transcendental Consciousness (an unpublished doctoral dissertation), Being and Time: Toward a Post-Standard Model Noetic Reality, Pictures from Cathedral Peak (a book of poems and photographs), Shoshin (a book of Haiku),and The Zen of Wine (a mindful introduction to wine). He is a philosopher of physics and cosmology with a special interest in our emerging Noetic Revolution—the 21st century rapprochement of objective Science and subjective Spirit. He has authored more than fifty essays and articles.  Please visit and