Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo

Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo

Born Oct 12, 1949

Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo is an enthroned tulku within the Palyul lineage of the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. In the late 1980s, she gained international attention as the first Western woman to be named a reincarnate lama. She continues to serve as Spiritual Director for Kunzang Odsal Palyul Changchub Choling, a Buddhist center in Poolesville, Maryland, which includes one of the largest communities of Western monks and nuns in North America.… Read More

related links


Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo.


1949 Birth Born in 1949.


1980 31 Years Old In 1980, she met Michael Burroughs, a graduate student in religions at the University of Virginia.
1981 32 Years Old She and Mulloy separated in 1981.
1983 34 Years Old Zeoli moved with Burroughs and her two sons to Kensington, Maryland. She married Burroughs in 1983 and changed her name to Catharine Burroughs. … Read More
1984 35 Years Old In 1984, Zeoli’s growing group of students met a Tibetan man named Kunzang, Penor Rinpoche's main lay attendant, who was selling rugs to support Namdroling Monastery. … Read More
1986 37 Years Old Beset by health problems, she also made a trip in 1986 to Ashland, Oregon to visit Gyatrul Rinpoche, one of Penor Rinpoche’s other hosts on his American tour the previous year. … Read More
1987 38 Years Old 1 More Event
The Third Drubwang Padma Norbu (“Penor”) Rinpoche, 11th Throneholder of Palyul Monastery, former Supreme Head of the Nyingma tradition, described as a rather unassailable figure in Tibetan Buddhism, officially recognized Ahkon Lhamo in 1987 as the tulku of Genyenma Ahkon Lhamo during her visit to his Namdroling Monastery in Bylakuppe, Karnataka, India. … Read More
He had it preserved in a crystal lotus and presented it to Jetsunma just prior to the occasion of her enthronement ceremony at Kunzang Palyul Choling (KPC) in 1988. … Read More


2004 55 Years Old 1 More Event
Jetsunma’s connection with Mandarava was further reinforced in a long life prayer composed for her in 2004 by Dorje Lopen Ngawang Tenzin Rinpoche, one of the most highly respected lamas in Bhutan. … Read More
Original Authors of this text are noted on
Text is made available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.