Lobsang Rapgay

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Lobsang Rapgay is research psychologist at UCLA and director of the Clinical Training program for Mental Health Professionals at the Mindfulness Awareness Research Center, UCLA. He was a Tibetan Buddhist monk for 18 years and formerly served as the Dalai Lama’s deputy secretary and English-language interpreter.

Born in Lhasa, Tibet, in 1958 the 4-year-old Rapgay and his family fled the approach of Chinese soldiers with a caravan of refugees on a seven-day trek into the Himalayas. They settled in Dharamsala, India, which would become the home-in-exile of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government. After completing studies at a Catholic boarding school and Delhi University, where he trained as a Buddhist monk, Rapgay in 1978 became a deputy secretary and English-language interpreter for His Holiness. At the Dalai Lama's Tibetan Medicine and Astrology Institute, Rapgay began learning ancient Buddhist meditative practices. He earned a doctorate in clinical psychology and wrote four books, including "Tibetan Medicine: A Holistic Approach to Better Health," before coming to California to study psychoanalysis. Rapgay joined the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior in 1996 and kept his monastic vows until 2000.

Selected publications