biography of patrick sweeney, trimé lhawang
Patrick Sweeney, Trimé Lhawang (b. 1959), is the holder of the transmission of the Karma Kagyü lineage of Tibetan Buddhism given by Vidyadhara Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche to his Western lineage holder, Vajra Regent Ösel Tendzin, and then conferred upon Mr. Sweeney. Satdharma is the name of the organization established by the Vajra Regent Ösel Tendzin to propagate the teachings of this lineage stream.
Mr. Sweeney began his Buddhist practice and study in 1982 at the San Francisco Zen Center, and shortly after became a student of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. In 1989 he was empowered as lineage holder by the Vajra Regent Ösel Tendzin, receiving extensive instructions on the various transmissions and teachings given to the Vajra Regent by the Vidyadhara. After the Vajra Regent’s death in 1990, Mr. Sweeney studied extensively with the Venerable Thrangu Rinpoche, and with Khenpo Tsültrim Gyamtso Rinpoche.
As a lineage holder living in post-modern Western society, Mr. Sweeney’s teaching is informed by his knowledge and understanding of the relationship between Buddhism and psychology, philosophy, and science. He continues to transmit the traditional teachings and empowerments of tantra and mahamudra, but emphasizes that the realization of their essence both transforms and transcends any cultural form or identity. The Satdharma curriculum provides a contemporary framework that ensures students’ understanding does not stop at the cognitive level, and that relates to their physical, emotional and mental states as the working basis of transformation. Gentle yoga and energetic body work are an important part of the curriculum. Small groups meet regularly to study and practice, to refresh personal intention, and to receive mentorship when needed.
Mr. Sweeney is married and has a son. He continues the householder tradition that is strongly represented in both the Kagyü and Nyingma lineages. Currently Mr. Sweeney teaches extensively at the Pullahari Retreat Center on the central California coast and elsewhere, and continues to lead the Satdharma community as lineage holder, President of Satdharma and the spiritual leader of the Satdharma three-yana mandala..