Person:Brunnhölzl, K.

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Full Name[edit]

Karl Brunnhölzl


Other Information[edit]

Born in Germany, Karl Brunnhölzl, M.D. was trained as a physician in Germany. He studied Tibetology, Buddhology, and Sanskrit at Hamburg University. He received training in Tibetan language and Buddhist philosophy and practice at the Marpa Institute for Translators, founded by Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamsto Rinpoche.

Ashé Journal Article

Nalandabodhi teacher page

Brief Biography:

Karl was originally trained, and worked, as a physician. He took Buddhist refuge vows in 1984 and, in 1990, completed a five-year training in higher Buddhist philosophy at Kamalashila Institute, Germany, receiving the traditional Kagyü title of "dharma tutor" (Tib. skyor dpon). Since 1988, he received his Buddhist and Tibetan language training mainly at Marpa Institute For Translators in Kathmandu, Nepal (director: Khenpo Tsültrim Gyamtso Rinpoche) and also studied Tibetology, Buddhology, and Sanskrit at Hamburg University, Germany. Since 1989, Karl served as a translator, interpreter, and Buddhist teacher mainly in Europe, India, and Nepal. Since 1999, he has acted as one of the main translators and teachers at Nitartha Institute (director: Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche) in the USA, Canada, and Germany. In addition, he regularly taught at Gampo Abbey's Vidyadhara Institute from 2000-2007. He is the author of several books on Buddhism, such as The Center of the Sunlit Sky, Straight from the Heart, In Praise of Dharmadhātu, and Luminous Heart (all Snow Lion Publications).

Karl met Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche in 1986 during Rinpoche's first teaching tour through Europe, receiving extensive teachings as well as pratimoksha vows from him during the following years in both Europe and Nepal, and later also in Canada and the USA. He served as Rinpoche's personal translator during his teachings tours in Europe (particularly at Nitartha Institute in Germany) from 1999-2005. In 2005, he was appointed as one of five Western Nalandabodhi teachers and given the title "mitra." In 2006, he moved to Seattle and works as a full-time Tibetan translator for Tsadra Foundation. Since his arrival in Seattle, Karl was instrumental in creating the new introductory NB Buddhism 100 Series, leads NB Study Path classes, presents weekend courses and open house talks at Nalanda West, offers selected teachings to the Vajrasattva and Mahamudra practice communities, and provides personal guidance as a PI. He also teaches weekend seminars and Nitartha Institute courses in NB centers in the US, Canada, and Mexico as well as other locations.

Within the Mitra Council, Karl is the current Dean until 2010 and is mainly supervising and revising the NB Study Path (which includes revising the Hinayana and Mahayana study path and creating a Vajrayana study path). While enthusiastic about all facets of the dharma, his main interests are the teachings on Mahamudra, Yogacara and Buddha Nature, and to make the essential teachings by the Karmapas and other major Kagyu lineage figures available to contemporary Western audiences. Source