In 2001, a native Minnesotan in her mid-fifties began a curious claim.1 It started quietly but gradually became louder and bolder. Tara Wangchuk, a Tibetan Buddhist nun for nearly 10 years, began telling attendees at her small talks that despite appearing to be an American woman, she was in fact a Tibetan man.
Tara claimed her teacher, respected Tibetan lama Domo Geshe Rinpoche, had transferred his consciousness to her. This was no mere act of channeling. According to her, he performed an ancient yogic feat called drong-juk – permanently transferring his mind to her body – while he continued on in his own body. Even in a tradition as magical and mystical as Tibetan Buddhism, one finds few examples of such a story.2
It isn’t surprising that in the following years, she gained critics. What may surprise you is that she gained some devoted followers.
I was one of them. For over 10 years, I was an ordained member of her community and part of her inner circle. I knew Tara during most of her career as Domo Geshe Rinpoche – from the earliest public events until just a couple years ago. I lived with her, traveled with her, transcribed over 100 of her lectures, worked to bring more students into her fold, and stood by her side as she tried to gain recognition within Tibetan Buddhism. Even though I learned and had valuable growth experiences in her group, I also witnessed the true extent of her narcissism and gross manipulation of students. At a certain point, I simply could not lend my name to her or her organization.
This site was created to inform the public of Tara’s claims about herself and her ethics as a spiritual teacher. It provides a summary of her story of becoming Domo Geshe Rinpoche, something her current site glosses over, as well as her years-long quest for recognition. You’ll find responses to her from the actual Tibetan Buddhist community, how she has responded to criticism, and just a few of her incredibly grandiose claims. If you read nothing else on this site, read the Grandiose Claims page. It presents the simplest and clearest insight into the kind of teacher she is.
The TLDR version is this:
- Her story of becoming Domo Geshe Rinpoche has countless red flags and inconsistencies.
- No Tibetan lama has officially recognized her, yet this hasn’t stopped her from claiming to be recognized – by a lama who in reality disavowed her years ago.
- In responding to critics, she and her organization have shown a lack of consistency, honesty, and – in some cases – maturity.
- She has made countless grandiose statements about her spiritual attainment and that of her students.
In collecting the material for this site, I’ve been grateful for the collaboration of another ex-member of her group, who also spent years ordained with her, lived with her, and shared many of the same experiences with her. This friend helped confirm, complement and correct my memories of Tara.
This site allows Tara’s words to speak for her whenever possible. We believe drawing from her own words provides the most powerful and incisive view into her character.
If you have relevant information regarding Tara Wangchuk, or would like help healing after leaving her organization, we welcome you to contact us.