Venerable Lama Karma Dorje was born in a village near Gangtok, Sikkim. He began his Buddhist training at the age of twelve and became a novice monk at the age of 30, at Sonada Monastery in Darjeeling with H. E. Kalu Rinpoche. He later took full ordination at Rumtek, Sikkim, the monastery of His Holiness the Karmapa, and then completed the three-year retreat in Sonada. He is an accomplished painter in the thangka tradition, the sacred art of Tibet. In 1980 His Eminence Kalu Rinpoche and H.H. Karmapa requested that Lama Dorje visit various centers in Europe, France, New York, Los Angeles, and Seattle. In 1981 His Eminence Kalu Rinpoche asked him to come to Santa Fe, where he has remained as director of KSK Buddhist Center. Venerable Lama Dorje is also the director of the Dharma Center in Taos, Kagyu Degyi Choling, where he supervised the construction of a 30-foot Stupa, the Gonpa, and the Kangyur building.