The Venerable Losang Samten, a renowned Tibetan scholar and a former Buddhist monk, was born in Chung Ribuce, of central Tibet. In 1959, he and his family fled to Nepal and later moved to Dharamsala, India. His education includes studies at the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts and the Namgyal Monastery which is the monastery of the 14th Dalai Lama. In 1985, he earned a Master's Degree in Buddhist Philosophy, Sutra, and Tantra, from the Namgyal Monastery, which is equivalent to a Ph.D. In 1994, Losang received an Honorary Doctorate of Divinity from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. He was granted an Honorary Doctorate of Art from the Maine College of Art in 1995. He taught Tibetan Language at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia from 1994 – 1997 and was awarded the National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts in 2002. In 2004, he was awarded a Pew Fellowship in the Arts.

In 1988, Samten came to the US as instructed by His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama, to demonstrate the meditative art of sand painting. This was the first time a Tibetan mandala was shown in the west. Since then, he has created sand mandalas at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, Chicago Field Museum, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology of University of Pennsylvania, Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, Harvard University, Columbia University, New York University, Trinity College of Hartford, Connecticut, among numerous others (see list below). He has served as the religious technical advisor and sand mandala supervisor as well as actor for Martin Scorsese's film Kundun.

Losang Samten is spiritual director of the Tibetan Buddhist Center of Philadelphia, Chenrezig Tibetan Buddhist Center of Middletown, Connecticut, Chenrezig Himalayan Cultural Center of El Paso, Texas, and a frequent visitor and teacher in Lake Tahoe and Chico, CA, as well as in Canada. He travels extensively, sharing his knowledge of Buddhist philosophy and meditation, as well as his skill in Tibetan ritual arts.


  • Albuquerque Museum of Art
  • American Museum of Natural History, New York City
  • Asian Art Museum, San Francisco
  • Chicago Field Museum
  • Helena Art Museum, Montana
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
  • Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania
  • Museum of International Folk Art, Santa Fe
  • Nevada Museum of Art, Reno
  • Philadelphia Museum of Art
  • Phillips Museum at Franklin, Pennsylvania
  • Santa Barbara Art Museum
  • Smithsonian Institute, Washington DC


  • Butte College, Chico
  • Colby College, Maine
  • Columbia University
  • Georgetown University
  • Harvard University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • New York University
  • Rhode Island School of Design
  • Smith College, Massachusetts
  • State University of Louisiana at Shreveport
  • Temple University
  • Trinity College of Hartford, Connecticut
  • University of California, Santa Barbara
  • University of Chico, California
  • University of Columbus, Ohio
  • University of Delaware, Pennsylvania
  • University of El Paso, Texas
  • University of Nevada, Reno
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
  • University of Arizona, Tucson