Board of Directors

Learn about our dedicated leaders.

We are a collective of Buddhist monks and nuns who, during the Covid-19 pandemic found ourselves unable to work on our current projects to to social distancing constraints. At that point, we realized that we actually had a new mission; to see just how much we could do for those in need remotely with our computers, social media and our powers to organize and make things happen.
Board Member Kenpo Thutop

Khenpo Karma Thuthop

I am a Mahayana Monk from Nepal and my focus area is on orphanages. I dedicate my time to bringing compassion and less suffering to the children of India.
Board Member Mig Gurung

Venerable Mig Gurung

I have deepened my understanding of Buddhist philosophy with other graduated Buddhist monks including HH. The 17th Gyalwa Karmapa. Full bio below.
Board Member Venerable Ani Deachen

Venerable Ani Deachen

Venerable Ani Deachen is one of the cofounders of Palbar Ling Center in India. My focus in India is to help solve homelessness and poverty.
Board of Directors Member Rame Chiu

Rame Chiu - Secretary

On my path of studying Buddhism, there have been three turning points: the books I have read, the journeys I have traveled, and the people whom I have met. Full bio below.
Board Member Venerable Xianzhong

Venerable Xianzhong

My dream is to make Dharma and meditation teachings available to our brothers and sisters in every prison on the west coast of the United States. Full bio below.
Venerable Anid Sonam Chorol

Venerable Ani Sonam Chorol

Venerable Ani Sonam arranges the Sangha Dana, light offering and meal offering in Nepal.
Evonne Chang

Evonne Chang - Treasurer

I have been practicing Buddhism for 20 years. I found that Buddhism is very helpful to keep myself positive and practice compassion. It helps me in many ways. Therefore, I want to be part of this organization and help needy people. I have been volunteering as secretary since 2018. Amituofo.
Ven Esu Vati

Venerable Esu Vati

Esu Vati's  intention of becoming a nun was solidified by her desire to share the teachings of Buddha, which in turn would enable her to help people emotionally. Full bio below.
Lisa Kogan

Lisa Kogan - Assistant Secretary

In 2009, Lisa discovered Buddhism and the basic principles and teachings resonated with her. Since 2011, Lisa has been leading a children’s sangha at The Dharma Bum Temple. Full bio below.

Biographies of a few of our board members.

Ven. Raju Gurung
Ven. Mig Gurung
Ven. Xianzhong
Rame Chiu
Ven. Esu Vati
Lisa Kogan
Venerable Raju Gurung
Mr. Raju Garung was born on May 28th, 1985 at Manang. He is a fully ordained monk. At age 9 he became a monk at Karma Lekshey Ling Institute, because he wanted to study Buddhist philosophy at their well-known Shedra, a monastic Buddhist academy.

After attending it for many years he received a Master in Buddhist philosophy in 2011, and a PhD in Buddhist Philosphy in Buddhist philosophy in 2016. At age 14 he took is Sharmana vow from V.V. Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche. At age 20, he received full monk’s vow from V.V. Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche. Thus, he received three vows-the Pratimoksha, the Bodhisattva and mantryana vows. Furthermore he received many initiations and oral transmission from many genuine reincarnate Lamas and other master teachers of Buddhism.

After graduation he has become more involved in social work. He completed a graphic design course and did teacher training at the Nepal Buddhist Federation. In year 2011, according to the Choje Lama Phunstok Rinpoche, he started to teach the root text and commentary of Buddhist philosophy, history, grammar, etc. written by Indian and Tibetan Scholars of Buddhism. He has made several short movies and international documentaries (Vision of Manang). He is also General Secretary of the Karma Lekshey Ling School.

Mr. Raju Gurung is very experienced in every religious field, especially regarding world peace. Any cooperation extended to Mr. Raju Gurung to be able to perform the Buddhist vital prayers is appreciated.
Venerable Mig Gurung
I was born on 7th October 1981 in the village of Pinding belonging to the Village Development Community Mokot in the district of upper Dolpa, Nepal. My father’s name is Gyaltesen Gurung and my mother’s childhood village, Tachin. After my father’s passing away I attended on the first class of primary school in Tachin and spent one more year supporting my mother and my younger sister with the daily work. In 1991, I moved to Kathmandu with my uncle and aunt and there joined into the Karma Lekshey Ling Monastery. I began my studies at the the Karma Lekshey Ling Institute and for the first four years studied Nepali, English, Sanskrit, Tibetan and Mathematics. After thatI focused only on the monastic education, which included further study of Tibetan grammar, first aspects of Buddhist philosophy and participation in the traditional debate classes, which are guided discussions on various topics of Buddhist philosophy, such as impermanence and interdependence. I continued my studies at Karma Lekshey Ling institute until 2006 and in the meantime also attended classes at other monastic institutions: in 1997 and in 1998 I studied Madhyamaka (emptiness) and the Thirty-seven Practices of Bodhisattva under Nyenpa Rinpoche at Benchen Monastery in Swayambhu, Kathmandu. 2001, I studied Madhymaka for three months at Sherab Ling Institute in Keori, Himachal Pradesh, India and in winter 2005/2006 studied Vinaya at Varja Vidya institute in Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh, India. On 3rd March 2006 I received the Acharya-degree, the monastic degree for a master of the Buddha’s teaching in the Sutra tradition, for the successful completion of my studies at Karma Lekshey Ling Institute in Sitapaila, Swayambhu, Kathmandu.

After receiving the Acharya, I pursued further studies and deepened my understanding of Buddhist philosophy with a small number of graduated Buddhist monks including HH. The 17th Gyalwa Karmapa at Gyuto Tantric University in Dharmasala, Himachal Pradesh, India. In 2006 I attended six months of studay of the Vinaya. In 2007, two months discussions of Trisamvara. In 2008 and 2009 and three months’ discussion on Bodhisattva Samvara in 2010.

In the same period while in Nepal I worked as a teacher for Tibetan Language and Buddhist philosophy at the Karma Lekshey Ling Institute. I taught classes from the fourth to tnigh grade of the institute in the subjects of the Jewel Ornament of Liberation, Vinaya.
Venerable Xianzhong
Venerable Xian Zhong was born in Ladakh, India. Though born in a Buddhist family, he did not receive much of an opportunity to learn about the Dharma. At the age of 22, he departed his hometown with the mission of finding a place to study and practice Buddhism.

Eventually, his path led him to Taiwan where he studied Buddhism under the guidance and tutelage of Venerable Master Huei Guang. In 2004, he was officially ordained as a Buddhist monk. In 2007 he arrived in the United States with the objective of working with the IBS Prison Program. Since joining the program in Janurary 2008, Venerable Xian Zhong has established 48 sanghas and created 103 libraries within 33 different prisons.

Additionally, Ven- Xian Zhong has coordinated several multi-day meditation retreats in California prisons. These meditation retreats were the very first of their kind to be approved by the warden in California.

Since joining the prison program, Ven Xian Zhong has been given the opportunity to visit 22 California prisons on a regular basis, in addition to visitation to 11 out of state prisons. Opening his heart to those who have lost their way, he continues to support individuals who are incarcerated realize their true nature. With the belief that everyone deserves a second chance and that many incarcerated individuals can benefit from the Buddha teachings, Ven Xianzhong’s dream is to one day offer Dharma and meditation teachings in all state prisons in the west coast of United States.
Board of Directors Member Rame Chiu
The successes and failures of life; the gains and losses, can be said to have three turning points: books, traveling, and people encountered on life’s path.

On my path of studying Buddhism, there have been three turning points: the books I have read, the journeys I have traveled, and the people whom I have met.

When I was a teenager, I read the book "The Collection of Buddhist Wisdom Quotes.” After reading this book, I began to have a keen interest in Buddhism. Soon after, by chance, I heard of a lecture on Buddhism at the Hong Kong City Hall. I was eager to learn more about Buddhism! Afterwards, I studied Buddhist classes organized by the Buddhist Association of Dhamma and the Buddhist Youth Association. My karma was mature, and I took the refugee vows in 1987 with Venerable Chang Xia whose given name is Ding Zhen. (皈依三寶上暢下懷 法師,法名定珍).

When I was younger on long weekends and holidays, I often went to Po Lam Monastery. There I would follow the monastic schedule and participate in the morning and evening chanting ceremony and practiced evening Chan meditations until the last incense burned out. There I discovered the awareness that could be found in meditating in the morning: without any words, without any social activities; just being aware of every movement in the body at that moment. There was no joy; no sadness; no happiness; no suffering. I felt very peaceful and happy.
In February of 1989, Venerable Shengyi taught me the Five Precepts in Baolin Monastery, and I took the precepts. (寶林禪寺 上聖下一法師傳授五戒,戒名衍定)

Later on, I was busy taking care of my children and family while developing my own career. I often traveled to various provinces in mainland China and had the opportunity to visit local Buddhist monasteries. I was grateful because my business friends knew that I studied Buddhism and every time I traveled for business, there were monasteries nearby and we would go to worship together. Despite taking care of my family and busy with work, I never forgot that I am a disciple of the Buddha, and I diligently made offerings to the Three Jewels and practiced good merits. After retiring, I devoted myself to charity activities, participated in poverty alleviation and education, supported monk retreats, donated doctors and administers medicine, followed Venerable Xianzhong to prison visitation program, participated in various public welfare activities, and practiced good deeds. My hope is that in my later years of life, the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas will bless me in my old age so I will be healthy and continue to have the strength to do more and help more people all of which will be of benefit to the Three Jewels. I hope to continue to participate in the meaningful activities of Palbar Ling Center until my last breath. I wish to make my life has meaningful as possible and be a benefit to all those in need. This is my hope.
Buddha Disciple Rame Chiu (衍定)
Venerable Esu Vati
Esu Vati was born in a Buddhist family in Yangon, Myanmar. She graduated from Dagon University in 2008 with a degree in Geography. In her late 20s, she began a meditation practice. Approximately 5 years later, she became ordained as a nun in 2015. 5 years later, Esu graduated with a BA from the International Theravada Buddhism Missionary University in 2020. Her intention of becoming a nun was solidified by her desire to share the teachings of Buddha, which in turn would enable her to help people emotionally. As Covid 19 ravaged many countries, Esu also realized that people needed help physically as well. Through Ven. Xian Zhong, she started volunteering with Palbar Ling Center in July 2020. During the pandemic, Palbar Ling Center helped hundreds of temples in Myanmar. Esu is thankful to be part of this compassion-in-action project and has made it her lifelong commitment to help as many people as she can before she dies.
Born in Texas and raised in sunny California, Lisa Kogan graduated from National University with honors with a degree in Criminal Justice. She has been married for the past 15 years to her best friend, Gene. Together they have two happy dogs. Lisa enjoys playing softball, traveling, hiking, and spending time with friends.

Lisa has been a special education teacher for the past 14 years. She currently spends her days as a special education teacher at Fred Finch Youth and Family Services working with young people who have intellectual and emotional disabilities. She loves her job and making a difference in young people’s lives.

Lisa has been a dedicated volunteer with LightBridge Hospice since 2006. She has been providing companionship, Healing Touch, Aromatherapy, and serving as an 11th Hour volunteer for those in the final moments of life. In addition, she has been instrumental in creating end of life wishes for her hospice patient, such as putting on a Buddhist wedding, finding long-last family members for one hospice friend and creating a garden for another before they passed away.

As advocate for the homeless, Lisa strongly believes that everyone deserves a safe place to sleep. During the past 10 years, Lisa has been providing food for the homeless community in downtown San Diego with several organizations. Six years ago, Lisa set out to build shelters for people experiencing homelessness. She joined the nonprofit, Amikas, and they are currently in the process of building shelters for our cities most vulnerable: homeless women and children.

Lisa has been a volunteer with the Palbar Ling Center for the past 2 years. Through PLC, Lisa teaches English to children living at a temple in Bangladesh. Additionally, she participates in the PLC’s feeding and clothing redistribution program, offering food and clothing to those in need in various cities in California, including Skid Row, which contains one of the largest populations of homeless people in the U.S. Currently, Lisa is serving on PLC’s Board of Directors as assistant secretary.

In 2009, Lisa discovered Buddhism and the basic principles and teachings resonated with her. Since 2011, Lisa has been leading a children’s sangha at The Dharma Bum Temple teaching meditation, mindfulness, compassion, and peacefulness through stories and art.

Lisa has been awarded The Presidential Volunteer Award by President Obama, Volunteer of the Year at LightBridge Hospice, and Employee of the Year with Fred Finch Youth and Family Services.
Lisa is passionate about helping those in need and has made this her lifelong mission.

May the merit be used to pray for world peace, and the benefit repay the kindness of all danas.


Our Mission

Our main mission is to teach Buddhism and meditation in the community and correctional facilities by practicing engaged Buddhism. 
The Palbar Ling Center is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit org
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