Gaden Shartse Thubten Dhargye Ling, a center for the study of Buddhism and Tibetan culture, was founded in Los Angeles in 1978 by the late Venerable Geshe Tsultim Gyeltsen. Since being named “Land of Flourishing Dharma” by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the center’s mission has been to share with the world the precious teachings of the Buddha Dharma, and to extend assistance to exiled Tibetan monastic communities in India.
Establishing a vibrant urban dharma center requires diligence and patience, and GSTDL was housed in several locations throughout Los Angeles before settling in its current address in the Belmont Heights neighborhood of Long Beach in 1996. Throughout the years, what has been most constant is the clear vision and quiet determination of its humble founder, whose purpose was to share the Dharma as both lived tradition and personal experience.
For three decades, GSTDL has maintained a consistent and rigorous teaching schedule, with Geshela focusing on the major works of Nagarjuna, Shantideva, Atisha, Je Tsong Khapa, and the Kadampa masters. Known for his great personal warmth, Geshela held a very traditional and uncompromising approach in teaching essential Lam Rim (Stages of the Path) and lo-jong (mind training) texts. Geshela also invited eminent masters His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the late Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, and the late Kyabje Lati Rinpoche, to confer major and minor empowerments of deities such as Yamantaka, Vajrayogini, Vajrasattva, and Cittamani Tara, and to grant commentaries.