Tempa Dukte Lama

Genyen Tempa Dukte Lama is an ordained Tibetan Bon lama. He is the founder and spiritual director of Olmo Ling Bon Center and Olmo Ling Publications. He is an artist, poet, and the author of Heart Drop of the Loving Mother, Journey into Buddhahood Inexhaustible Miracles and The Intimate Mind.

Tempa Lama was born in the Humla valley of Nepal, close to the Tibetan Border into a family of Bon and Nyingma practitioners. His grandfather was a village shaman priests called Drang Rig. Tempa lived closely with his grandfather and often accompanied him on his visits to sick and dying people. At the age of six, Tempa entered Menri monastery in Dolanji, India, where he was placed under the care of H.H. Lungtok Tenpai Nyima Rinpoche, the spiritual head of the Bon tradition. He commenced studying and practicing meditation practices, Bon philosophy under the close guidance of H.H. the 33rd Menri Trizin, Lungtok Tenpai Nyima Rinpoche and Chongtul Rinpoche. For several years he served as monitor for younger monks and as training supervisor at the Dolanji orphanage. Tempa Lama was the first child to leave Humla to receive an education.


In 1998, Tempa Lama followed his deep interest in traditional healing practices and spent a year in Humla researching traditional Bon healing practices of shamanism in his family lineage.

In Summer 2000 Tempa Lama accepted an invitation from Joan Halifax Roshi, the abbot of Upaya Zen Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico to live and teach at Upaya. Tempa Lama assisted in facilitating Upaya’s Project on Being with Dying, served for several years as Director of Upaya temple, and taught on topics including death and dying, meditation, Bon contemplative practices and Buddhist view and philosophy. He also served as instructor at the Upaya Zen Center Childrens’ Program. With Roshi Joan and visiting teachers he co-taught a variety of retreats at Upaya, including Upaya’s annual professional training program on Being with Dying and annual retreats on The Human Encounter with Death. Outside of Upaya he taught at Omega Institute, the Taos Retreat Center, the California Institute of Integral Studies, and Ligmincha Institute. At Santa Fe County Jail Tempa Lama offered regular classes on meditation, stress reduction and self-compassion. During his time at Upaya he also accompanied several pilgrimage trips to Tibet, India and Nepal.

Since his departure from Upaya in 2005, Tempa Lama has been living and teaching in the US, Canada, Mexico, and Europe. In 2007 Tempa Lama founded the non profit organization Olmo Ling in Pittsburgh PA. At Olmo Ling Center, Tempa Lama is working to make the ancient teachings of the Bon tradition available and accessible for all who wish to bring a practice of compassion, healing and happiness into their lives. Central areas of his work include translations and commentaries on Bon teachings and practices, and the creation of an educational program geared toward the needs of psychologists and medical professionals in the areas of healing, compassionate care and spiritual support for the dying. As the founder of the Bon Cultural Society of Humla and co-founder of Humla Fund Tempa Lama is engaged in ongoing projects to preserve the ancient culture of his home valley Humla.

nights are not old
nor are the days
they come and they go
yet the coming and going of day and night
whispers into my ear to wake up
so that you and I
could dance with the miracle
of each moment
in this journey of living life
before we return

Tempa Dukte Lama