Venerable Gyaltan Yarphel (John Jackson) has been a student of Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche since 1977. Ven Yarphel was one of the founding members of Vajrapani Institute, and later fulfilled the responsibility for the establishment of Land of Calm Abiding. He has been ordained as a gelong since 2002 and have been residing at Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s retreat place, Buddha Amitabha Pure Land since 2003.
Ven. Yarphel met his root teacher, Venerable Geshe Tsultim Gyeltsen, in 1976, and was his attendant in the months prior to his passing in 2009 (read Ven. Yarphel’s inspiring account of his teacher, the “tong-len geshe”, and the signs of his spiritual attainments here). Ven. Yarphel began a “lifelong retreat” in 2008, with “interruptions” from time to time to support various projects for Lama Zopa Rinpoche, including helping to build the stupa in Tonasket under direction from Lama Zopa and Yangsi Rinpoche.
Overall, he says, “I have been able to accumulate about seven years of solitary retreat focusing on the Lam Rim. This past year I was honored to teach the November Course at Kopan and am now back into my solitude.”