Patrick Sweeney was born in 1959 in Chicago. He attended Lake Forest College and Columbia University, where he majored in
philosophy and political science. He began studying Buddhism in college in 1980 and was first introduced to formal Buddhist
practice at the San Francisco Zen Center in 1982. He began studying buddhadharma and Shambhala dharma in the tradition of
the Vidyadhara ChÃ¶gyam Trungpa Rinpoche in 1983 at the Chicago Dharmadhatu. He took the refuge vow with the Vajra Regent
Ã–sel Tendzin in 1984 while living at KarmÃª Choling in Barnet, VT. He attended the 1986 Seminary where he received the
bodhisattva vow from the Sawang Ã–sel Rangdrol Mukpo, who was performing those vows for the first time at the request of his
father, the Vidyadhara ChÃ¶gyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Mr. Sweeney received Vajrayana transmission from the Vajra Regent, who was
asked by the Vidyadhara to give the transmission at that seminary.
Following the Seminary, Mr. Sweeney became a close student of the Vajra Regent, and served the Vajra Regent until his death
in 1990. The Vajra Regent asked Mr. Sweeney to be his lineage successor and dharma heir in January of 1989. This was
confirmed in a private ceremony at that time in Newport, Rhode Island. In May of 1989, Mr. Sweeney moved with the Vajra
Regent to Ojai, California. During that time, the Vajra Regent gave Mr. Sweeney extensive teachings and instructions on the
various transmissions and teachings he had received from the Vidyadhara. The Vajra Regent also specifically instructed Mr.
Sweeney on how to fulfill his responsibilities as a lineage holder and a teacher.
In August of 1989, Mr. Sweeney received the Vajrayogini Abhisheka from the Vajra Regent. At that time, the Vajra Regent
empowered him to bestow that abhisheka on students in the future, and authorized him to bestow the refuge vow, the
bodhisattva vow and Vajrayana transmission. In October of 1989, the Vajra Regent‘s choice of Mr. Sweeney as his lineage
successor and dharma heir was confirmed by H. H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche in Paro, Bhutan.
After the Vajra Regent‘s death in August of 1990, Mr. Sweeney was instructed by H. H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche to focus his
energy on understanding, practicing, realizing and eventually teaching the Karma KagyÃ¼ mahamudra path. His Holiness
encouraged him to study with H. E. Jamgon Kongtrul III and the Venerable Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche. From 1991 to 1996, Mr.
Sweeney studied extensively with Thrangu Rinpoche and also began studying with Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche.
In 1992, Mr. Sweeney founded the organization now known as Satdharma, which contains the Ojai Valley Dharma Center,
Pullahari Retreat Center, and the Vajra Regent Ã–sel Tendzin Library and Archives. In 1997, Mr. Sweeney began teaching at
Pullahari Retreat Center. He began entering students into refuge and bodhisattva vows in 1998. In February of 2001, Thrangu
Rinpoche authorized and encouraged Mr. Sweeney to enter a small group of students into vajrayana discipline, and guide them
through the ngÃ¶ndro. Since that time, Mr. Sweeney has continued to study with the Thrangu Rinpoche and Khenpo Tsultrim
Gyamtso Rinpoche, the main spiritual advisors to both Mr. Sweeney and the Satdharma organization in Ojai, California.
Mr. Sweeney is married and has a son, and he continues the householder tradition that is strongly represented in both the
KagyÃ¼ and Nyingma lineages. Currently Mr. Sweeney teaches extensively and continues to lead the Satdharma community as
lineage holder, President of Satdharma and the spiritual leader of the Satdharma three-yana mandala.