For six months each year, Don Handrick serves as the resident teacher at Thubten Norbu Ling, in Santa Fe, NM, a center affiliated with the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT). During that time, he also teaches at Ksitigarbha Tibetan Buddhist Center in Taos, NM, and volunteers for the Liberation Prison Project, teaching Buddhism once a month at a local prison. Since 2012 he has been an active member of the Interfaith Leadership Alliance of Santa Fe.
Don spends the other half of each year as a touring teacher for the FPMT, visiting centers around the world. In 2015, Don had the honor of being selected to lead the renowned November Course, a one month teaching and meditation retreat held annually at Kopan Monastery in Kathmandu, Nepal.
Don's study of Buddhism began in 1993 after reading The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying by Sogyal Rinpoche. Over the next two years he practiced with Sogyal Rinpoche's organization, until he began attending classes in 1996 with Venerable Robina Courtin at Tse Chen Ling in San Francisco.
Don left the Bay Area in 1998 to attend the FPMT's Masters Program of Buddhist Studies in Sutra and Tantra, a seven-year residential study program conducted at Lama Tzong Khapa Institute in Tuscany, Italy, taught by the scholar and kind Spiritual Friend, Geshe Jampa Gyatso. He successfully completed all five subjects of this program in 2004, receiving an FPMT final certificate with high honors. Don then moved to Santa Fe, serving as the Spiritual Program Coordinator for Thubten Norbu Ling before being appointed resident teacher in 2006.
Don has received teachings from many esteemed lamas in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition including His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Ribur Rinpoche, Choden Rinpoche, and Khensur Jampa Tegchok.