Lama Samten was born in West Tibet in 1944, fleeing his homeland with his family in 1959 when the Communist Chinese invaded. His entire family of 13 perished crossing the Himalayas. He took his ordination in India with the Very Venerable Khyabje Kalu Rinpoche and completed ten years of solitary retreat under his guidance in the Karma Kagyu tradition.
In 1980, Lama Samten was sent to New Zealand by H.H. 16th Gyalwang Karmapa and spent 24 years developing the Buddhadharma, publishing books and CDs, including the Grammy Award winner Sacred Tibetan Chant – the Monks of Sherab Ling. He now travels worldwide guiding his many students.