Lama Tsering Gyaltsen was born in Western Tibet in 1945 as the son of Chöying Dorje and Sherab Drolma. When he was young, he studied with his father, who was an accomplished Tröma Nakmo practitioner. The family came to Ladakh in the 1960s, as his mother was Ladakhi, and they settled in Orissa, India in 1964.
Over the course of his life, Lama Gyaltsen has received numerous teachings and empowerments, including teachings on The Words of my Perfect Teacher from Khenpo Dhazer; the Nyingma Gyud Bum (One Hundred Thousand Tantras of the Nyingma), the Rinchen Terdzöd, and the complete Dudjom Tersar empowerments, reading transmissions, and instructions from Kyabje Dudjom Rinpoche; the empowerments of Konchok Chidü and Dzinpa Rangdrol from Kyabje Dilgo Khentse Rinpoche; the full cycle of Nyingma Kama empowerments from Namkha Drimé Rinpoche and the reading transmission from Tulku Rigdzin Pema; the complete empowerment of Karma Lingpa from Yangtang Rinpoche; and the entire Northern Treasures empowerments and reading transmission from Kyabje Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche.
In 1966, he was among those chosen by Kyabje Dudjom Rinpoche to attend the Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies at the Sanskrit University in Varanasi, from which he graduated after six years with an Acharya degree.
In Dharamsala, he worked for six years as the representative of the Nyingmapa School. Then he returned to Orissa, where he completed a three-year retreat under the guidance of Kyabje Dudjom Rinpoche and Ripa Rigdzin Chögyal Rinpoche. During the retreat, his father passed away.
In 1985, Lama Gyaltsen moved to Nepal with his family. During that time he received various teachings and empowerments by Kyabje Dungse Trinley Norbu Rinpoche. In 1991, Lama founded the retreat center Tsogyal Gephel Jong in Yangleshö, a holy place of Guru Rinpoche, about 20 km from Kathmandu.
In 1996, he was invited by Lama Tharchin Rinpoche to the Vajrayana Foundation near Santa Cruz, California, where he stayed for two years. In 1998, he moved to Oregon with his wife and son.
In Oregon, he wrote a Tibetan history book The Golden Scalpel that Removes Cataracts. At the request of Lama Tharchin Rinpoche, he edited several Tibetan Dharma texts and helped with and gave advice on translations from Tibetan into English.
He founded the Padma Charitable Foundation to help needy people in Tibet and Nepal. Together with Lama Tharchin Rinpoche and Lama Sonam, he founded the Saraha Nyingma Buddhist Institute in Eugene, Oregon in 2011.
Lama Gyaltsen was in Nepal during the devastating earthquake in April 2015. Sadly, his retreat center was badly damaged, and he is now actively raising funds to repair and rebuild the retreat center. Please visit this page to help in this effort.