Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen was born in Nepal and entered a monastery at the age of thirteen. In 1981, Lama Tenpa was enrolled in the first class of the Karma Shri Nalanda Institute at Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim, India, together with Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche. He completed his studies with an Acharya degree in 1991 and following his graduation taught Buddhist philosophy at the Karma Shri Nalanda Institute for two years.
Under the guidance of Khenpo Tsültrim Gyamtso Rinpoche, he then entered a 3-year retreat in Pullahari, Nepal.
From 1997 to 2004, Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen was the resident teacher at HH Karmapa’s center Theksum Tashi Chöling in Hamburg, Germany. Furthermore, Lama Tenpa has been one of the main teachers at Nitartha Institute since 1998.
Since August 2004, Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen has been a professor of Buddhist studies and Tibetan language at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado and teaches regularly at various Nalandabodhi centers.