Venerable Lobsang Phuntsok was born in the state of Arunachal Pradesh in Northeastern India in 1971. Due to family challenges, he was raised by his grandparents until the age of seven. At that young age, they sent him to study at Sera Je Monastery near Mysore, Karnataka in South India.
At the monastery, he intensely studied Buddhist philosophy and practice; social & political science; Hindi, Sanskrit & Tibetan languages; and Tibetan culture. In 1997, he was one of only 10 people selected by His Holiness The Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government in exile to undertake intensive English translation training courses on Buddhist philosophy held in Dharamsala, India.
In 2000, Venerable Lobsang was invited to attend the Millennium World Peace conference at the United Nations in New York City. After the conference he spent extensive time in the United States and Canada teaching Buddhist philosophy. He gave talks and workshops on education, peace, nonviolence, leadership, and integrating the universal principles of love and compassion in diverse fields. He has given talks on these subjects at Harvard University, Boston University and Clark University among other educational institutions.
While in the United States, Lobsang often visited public and private schools to talk to children about love and compassion. He believes that if seeds of compassion are sown early in children, they have an opportunity to flourish in adulthood. He discussed this extensively at a conference held by Essential Schools, a group of schools started by Theodore R. Sizer, a former Dean of Harvard University.
Lobsang has a deep love for children. It pained him to see young children on anti-depressant medications and with a history of drug and physical abuse. He often met with children struggling with these challenges to help them overcome their limitations and blossom into their true nature.
He has also worked with doctors and medical professionals to help them incorporate compassionate thought and action in their professional practices. He volunteered regularly at hospice care facilities to help people come to terms with end of life anxieties and have peaceful lives in the time they had left.
He has visited Canada and held talks, retreats and teaching workshops there. He has given talks on compassion in education, peace and nonviolence at the Carlton University in Ottawa and the University of Calgary.
Through his teaching he created a community of Buddhist study and meditation groups (sanghas), and founded Jhamtse Buddhist Center in Concord, Massachusetts, USA. In 2003, with the help of his dedicated students and many individuals, he established Jhamtse International, a non-profit organization in the USA, dedicated to educating and nourishing hearts and minds in love, compassion, wisdom, and tolerance.
In August 2006, Lobsang started Jhamtse Gatsal Children’s Community near his home village in Arunachal Pradesh, India.