Nalandabodhi is a Buddhist organization founded in the United States by Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche in 1997 and named after the historic Nalanda university of India. Today, there are also Nalandabodhi centers and study groups in Brazil, Canada, Mexico, and throughout Europe and Asia. "Nalanda" translates literally as "the place that confers the lotus ," and Bodhi translates as "enlightenment." The stated goals of Nalandabodhi are to provide a curriculum of study for students of the Dharma, publish commentaries by contemporary teachers, translate and publish historical teachings, and support the communication between western and international Buddhist practitioners. In 1998, Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche's teacher Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche was named Spiritual Director of Nalandabodhi and has worked closely with Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche in developing the Nalandabodhi Path of Study and Path of Meditation courses.
The first Tibetan Buddhist lama to have American students was Geshe Ngawang Wangyal, a Kalmyk-Mongolian of the Gelug lineage, who came to the United States in 1955 and founded the "Lamaist Buddhist Monastery of America" in New Jersey in 1958.
Among his students were the future western scholars Robert Thurman, Jeffrey Hopkins, Alexander Berzin and Anne C. Klein.
Other early arrivals included Dezhung Rinpoche, a Sakya lama who settled in Seattle, in 1960, and Tarthang .
Buddhist monasticism is an important part of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, all the major and minor schools maintain large monastic institutions based on the Mulasarvastivada Vinaya (monastic rule) and many religious leaders come from the monastic community.
That being said, there are also many religious leaders or teachers (called Lamas and Gurus) which are not celibate monastics.
This list contains some of the most well known Tibetan Buddhist organizations around the .