Details of Ken and Katia’s visit have yet to be confirmed. In the meantime, here is some information on the two of them.
After a career in chemical engineering, Ken Holmes managed a project helping homeless addicts in central London. He then set out, in 1970, to find the Sufi and Tibetan mystics he had read about as a teenager. His travels led him through the Middle East and Afghanistan to India, where he spent 6 months in Dharamsala, studying with the monks and lamas around HH the Dalai Lama. From there he went to Kagyu Samye Ling in Scotland, the first Tibetan Buddhist centre established in the West. Kagyu Samye Ling has been his base for the past 36 years, during which time his life has been devoted to making Tibetan Buddhist meditation and philosophy available to the Western world. Ken is currently Director of Studies at Kagyu Samye Ling.
For a list of recordings of Ken’s talks, click here.
Following an education in France and America, Katia Holmes gained an M.A. in political science at SciencePo in Paris and went on to gain an M.Sc. in economics at the University of Paris. Her research at this time took her to India. Following a year of lecturing at Vincennes University in Paris, in 1970 she stayed for much of a sabbatical year in Kagyu Samye Ling Tibetan Centre in Scotland, which she had visited in 1969. Based in Samye Ling and France, she has dedicated her life since then to the study and preservation of Tibetan wisdom. In 1987 she gained a pre-doctoral DEA diploma in Religious Anthropology of Asia and Africa at the EPHE, Paris. Since 1993, she has concentrated on Tibetan Medicine and has worked in close conjunction with Khenpo Troru Tsenam Rinpoche, Tibet’s finest doctor and greatest scholar. Katia is the main translator and interpreter for the Tara-Rokpa College of Tibetan Medicine where she is working on a translation of the famous Fourfold Tantra, under the guidance of Khenpo Tsenam.
For a list of recordings of Katia’s talks, click here.
Ken and Katia have co-translated some of the main Kagyu Buddhist teaching texts into English, as well as much of the liturgy used in daily practice. In1977, after five years principally dedicated to the practice of meditation under the guidance of Choje Akong Tulku Rinpoche, Ken spent six months travelling with His Holiness the Sixteenth Karmapa as his assistant for the European tour. It was during this time that His Holiness encouraged Ken and Katia to study Kagyu texts intensively and to prepare accurate English translations based upon the traditional lineage explanations. During those six months and in the six months which followed, their studies were closely guided by Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche. Following that, they studied under, and interpreted for, Kalu Rinpoche, Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche, the Tai Situpa, the Goshir Gyaltsabpa, Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche and the other masters. In the 1990s, Ken studied the principal theories of traditional Tibetan medicine and astrology, under the guidance of the late Khenpo Troru Tsenam Rinpoche, former abbot of Katok and Troru monasteries and holder of two university chairs. The latter gave Ken the dharmacarya (DharmaTeacher) title in 2002. He has also lectured in elementology and astro-science for the Tara-Rokpa College of Tibetan Medicine.