The Karma Kagyu lineage has been passed on for a thousand years from realised teacher to able student. Having an authentic Buddhist teacher is essential to one’s development in the Vajrayana.

Below you can read some details about the main teachers that are relevant from a Western perspective to the Diamond Way Lay Buddhism network. You can also find out more about the role of a Buddhist teacher.


Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, His Holiness the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa

A fully enlightened master, the 16th Karmapa was the main teacher of Lama Ole and Hannah Nydahl. He represents the qualities of the Buddha himself in the Meditation on the 16th Karmapa, the main practice in Diamond Way centers.


Kunzig Shamar Rinpoche, His Holiness the 14th Shamarpa

The Shamarpas are second in the Karma Kagyu lineage only to the Karmapas. The 14th Shamar Rinpoche, Mipham Chokyi Lodro, played a central role in the protection of the Karma Kagyu lineage, and was an accomplished teacher.


Thaye Dorje, His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa

The oldest reincarnate lineage of Tibetan Buddhist masters is that of the Karmapas. The current 17th Karmapa, Thaye Dorje, is responsible for over 900 monasteries and Buddhist centers around the world, including Diamond Way centers.


Lopön Tsechu Rinpoche

A key figure for Buddhism in Nepal, Lopön Tsechu Rinpoche had a huge influence in the West. He oversaw the construction of the largest Buddhist stupa in the West, and gave many teachings.


Lama Ole Nydahl

With his wife Hannah Nydahl, Lama Ole was given the task by his main teacher the 16th Karmapa to spread lay Karma Kagyu Buddhism in the West. Travelling constantly since the 1970s, he has founded the 640 Diamond Way Buddhist centers.


Hannah Nydahl

Friend, translator, and confidante to the highest lamas of the Karma Kagyu lineage, Hannah Nydahl was also a skilful and compassionate Buddhist teacher herself.


Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche

Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche Mingyur Drakpa Senge was born in 1995 as the son of the most senior and great Karma Kagyu master Beru Khyentse Rinpoche.


Lama Jigme Rinpoche

Lama Jigme Rinpoche received extensive teachings from his uncle, the 16th Karmapa, and was asked by Karmapa to be his representative in the West, which responsibility he still holds. Lama Jigme Rinpoche is a highly respected, warm and engaging teacher.


Nedo Kuchung Rinpoche

Nedo Kuchung Rinpoche (Nendo Rinpoche) is a widely recognized meditation master of the Karma Kagyu Lineage.


Maniwa Lama Sherab Gyaltsen Rinpoche

A highly respected master of the Karma Kagyu lineage, Lama Sherab Gyaltsen Rinpoche has led students to collectively recite billions of mantras, earning him the title “Maniwa”. Rinpoche often takes time from his work in the East to teach at Diamond Way events.


The Western Diamond Way Buddhist teachers

Lama Ole Nydahl travels around the world every year, but cannot be everywhere. He has empowered many of his close students to teach on his behalf. Between them they cover every country where there are Diamond Way centers, giving public lectures about Diamond Way Buddhist topics.