For the past seven years, Seattle-born 13-year-old Asanga Rinpoche Sakya has been training at Tharlam Monastery in Kathmandu, Nepal. Asanga was born into a royal line of Sakya lineage holders and entered the Nepalese monastery at age 5, a time when other children his age were starting kindergarten. He is a prince by birth and, as is customary in the Sakya tradition, he has been training in the monastery so that he can continue passing on the teachings of his bloodline. His grandfather, Jigdal Dagchen Sakya, is one of the Sakya lineage’s most venerated leaders.
In June of this year, for the first time since entering the monastery, Asanga returned home to Seattle, where he will become reacquainted with his family and teach for the summer. He is getting to know his younger sisters, and the family is planning a trip to Disneyland. Depending on the health of his aging grandfather, Asanga will also participate in a teaching tour with the elder Sakya throughout Asia in the coming year.