About Us

About KTP

Shangpa and Karma Kagyu lineages

Kagyu Takten Puntsokling (formerly Gold Ridge Sangha) is a community of Vajrayana Buddhist practitioners in the Shangpa and Karma Kagyu traditions. We are dedicated to the preservation, study and practice of the undiluted and authentic Buddhadharma and we are committed to the development of the wisdom that sees things as they really are and the goodness of heart which transforms us into kind, compassionate and joyful human beings.

To fulfill this vision we support Dharma practice at all levels of experience and commitment by offering:

  • instruction in simple sitting and walking meditation and the fundamentals of Buddhist philosophy
  • access to the foundational and the pith instructions for realizing Mahamudra
  • access to empowerment and the essential teachings for accomplishing the expedient practices of the Vajrayana
  • methods for sustaining these practices in our lives and living in accord with the Dharma

We provide an open, friendly and harmonious environment in which one may practice in short sessions, day-longs or in extended retreat. We also maintain an extensive library of Dharma texts in both English and Tibetan and offer instruction in the reading and translation of Tibetan texts.


Kagyu Takten Puntsokling is one of many Vajrayana Buddhist centers worldwide established by Kyabje Kalu Rinpoche for the purpose of making the teachings and practices of the Kagyu lineage available to students in the West.

Kalu Rinpoche is universally esteemed by Tibetans of all schools as one of the most accomplished meditation masters of his time. He held both the Dakpo and Shangpa Kagyu traditions which are distinct branches of the Kagyu tree sharing a common root in the teachings of the yogin Naropa and the yogini Niguma. These teachings were brought to Tibet by Marpa of Lodrak and Kyungpo of Shang. The Dakpo teachings are very broad and comprehensive, while the Shangpa teachings are said to be particularly pure.

Kagyu Takten Puntsokling (K.T.P.) (formerly Gold Ridge Sangha, GRS) was established in Sebastopol, CA in 1993. KTP was under the direction of Lama Edward Kunga Van Tassel until his death in 2001. Lama Kunga was a long time student of His Eminence Kalu Rinpoche, Very Venerable Bokar Rinpoche and the Venerable Lama Tsang Tsing. He left a rich collection of Tibetan texts translated into English which survive him to benefit many students in their practice.

Our Teachers


Kagyu Takten Puntsokling is under the spiritual guidance of the Venerable Lama Tsang Tsing. A native of Sikkim, Lama Tsang Tsing studied at Tsurpu and Rumtek monasteries and completed the traditional three year retreat under H.E. Kalu Rinpoche in Sonada, India. Lama Tsang Tsing, a meditation master in the Shangpa and Karma Kagyu traditions, lives and directs a center in Eugene, Oregon and travels to GRS several times a year to teach and bestow empowerments.

Resident Teachers

Lama Damtsik & Lama Zik Lama Damtsik & Lama Zik

Lama Zik, Victoria Whitehand, artist and translator, was a student of H.E. Kalu Rinpoche and Lama Kunga. She completed the Shangpa Kagyu three year retreat under the direction of V. Lama Lodu. She has been authorized to teach by V.V. Bokar Rinpoche, Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche,
V. Lama Tsang Tsing and V. Lama Lodu.

Lama Damtsik, was a student of Lama Kunga and completed the Shangpa Kagyu three year retreat under the direction of the V. Lama Tsang Tsing. She continues to study and practice under his guidance.

Contact Lama Damtsik at damtsik@gmail.com

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Kalu Rinpoche

"All phenomena are without independent existence and become objects of happiness and suffering according to how they are perceived."

"When these illusory experiences are finally recognized as similar to a magical projection or dream, the fixation that attaches existence to them is diminished."

-- Kalu Rinpoche