Biography of Sangjie Tieba Rinpoche (Glenn Gauvry)

Sangjie Tieba was born in Washington D.C. on June 28th, 1950. His parents are of French, Italian ancestry on his father’s side, and English, Welsh, German and Swedish on his mother’s. He has European roots in America predating the American Revolution and is related to the oldest signer of the “Declaration of Independence.” Stephen Hopkins of Rhode Island.

Due to his father’s military service, he began traveling at a very early age, living between the United States, the Hawaiian Territory and Japan before he was 12. He was raised in the Christian Methodist tradition and took an active role in the church until graduating from High School in 1968, whereupon he began to explore eastern religions and philosophy.

In 1972, after serving 4 years as an Air Traffic Controller in the United State Air Force he attended the Philadelphia College of Art, receiving a BFA in woodworking and furniture design. During this time he was introduced to Zen Buddhism. Although not a serious practitioner, its teachings began to influence both his art and his philosophy on life. For 15 years he worked as an independent artist and designer.

In 1989 he began volunteer work with an international nonprofit organization whose mission is to rescue and rehabilitate animals affected by oil spills. He would ultimately hold a senior position in this organization, traveling around the world rehabilitating oiled wildlife, conducting training workshops and designing task related tools and equipment.

In 1995 he started a nonprofit organization whose mission is the conservation of the world's four horseshoe crab species, an ancient mariner who has survived in harmony with its environment for over 450 million years.

In 2000 he began looking for a spiritual teacher; years of yoga and Japanese martial arts training in Aikido, although a disciplined practice, did not lead him closer to the truth he was seeking. He briefly attended a Zendo before being introduced to a Vajarayana Buddhist teacher of the Nyingma tradition. However, it was reading Female Dharma King Dorje Amang Nopu Pa Mu’s book Dharma That Every Buddhist Must Follow, that ultimately changed his life and brought him to Venerable Zhaxi Zhuoma, disciple of H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III.

In 2004 he began studying with Venerable Zhaxi Zhuoma and in 2005 took refuge through her and received his first Buddhist precepts and the Buddhist name Nanda. 

In 2009 the International Buddhism Sangha Association awarded Nanda a Master of Dharma-listening Sessions. 

In 2011 the Commission of Holy Virtuous Ones From Around the World respectfully invited by the International Buddhism Sangha Association, recognized Nanda as a reincarnated one, who has in many past lifetimes learned Buddhism and engaged in cultivation, with the qualifications of an rinpoche who transmits dharma, and gave him the dharma name Sangjie Tieba. 

In 2014 he took refuge through H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III. He will strive to serve all living beings so that they may realize enlightenment.

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