GELONG LODRÖ SANGPO (Jürgen Balzer) is a student of the late Ven. Trungpa Rinpoche and of Dzogchen Pönlop Rinpoche. Born 1952 in Germany, he got his first exposure to the Mahāyāna by playing soccer for a seemingly too long time, before focusing on his studies of educational science, political science and philosophy as part of his education as an elementary school teacher. He received his first ordination in the Karma Kagyü Sangha in 1984, France, and then moved to Gampo Abbey, Canada. From 1985–2002 he served as Secretary of International Kagyü Sangha Association of Buddhist Monks and Nuns and published its magazine The Profound Path of Peace.
He completed the traditional three year retreat in 1996 and a four year study retreat in 2003. He also served for a few years as Acting Director of Gampo Abbey, was one of the co-founders of Nitartha Institute and served as chair of Vidyadhara Institute, the monastic college of Gampo Abbey, since its inception.
His focus of study is in the systematic traditions of Buddhist Abhidharma.
He presently acts as head of the Chökyi Gyatso Translation Committee and is the general editor as well as one of the main translators of The Collected Works of Louis de La Vallée Poussin, of which Volume I: Abhidharmakośa-Bhāṣya of Vasubandhu, was published in 2012. He has also translated and published—under the supervision of Prof. Ernst Steinkellner—Erich Frauwallner’s The Philosophy of Buddhism (Motilal) and was engaged for several years in translating the Collected Works of Prof. Lambert Schmithausen.
Sangpo has a passion for practice and combining it with the key instructions of the Śrāvakayāna- and Yogācāra-Abhidharma as well as with the bird’s eye view of the pith instructions of Mahāmudrā and Tantra, all of which he likes to call: meditating backwards.
Being part of the first group of three year retreatants at Söpa Chöling, Sangpo received a number of teachings in the monastic arts (tormas, musical instruments, sandmandalas; as well as robes) and wrote various manuals and articles on these topics.
At present he is President of Karma Changchub Ling.
In the next three years, he hopes to be able to finish most of his work as a translator and editor so that he can then spend the rest of his life focusing on meditation practice and giving occasionally teachings.