Leslie George Dawson was ordained Ananda Bodhi Bhikkhu in 1958 in the Great Ordination Hall at the South Gate of the Shwe Dagon Pagoda in Burma. His initial teacher was the Venerable U Thila Wunta Sayadaw, meditation master and Abbott of Dat Pon Zun Aung Min Gaung Pagoda, Yangon, Myanmar (formerly Rangoon, Burma).
In 1965, the Bhikkhu established a new independent 'Contemplative' centre in Scotland called Johnstone House. This centre was eventually offered to the Tibetans and it became Samye Ling, and was the first Vajrayana centre in the West.
The Dharma Centre of Canada, founded by the Bhikkhu in 1966, purchased 400 acres near the village of Kinmount, Ontario, Canada and established a teaching and meditation centre there.
Bhikkhu Ananda Bodhi was recognised in 1972 as a Rinpoche, in the traditional manner, by HH the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa, the then head of the Karma Kargyu School of Tibetan Buddhism in Rumtek monastery. He received the full Tibetan ordination as the Venerable Karma Tenzin Dorje Namgyal Rinpoche (Victorious One). Rinpoche, with many disciples, made a number of pilgrimages to HH Karmapa, HH Dalai Lama, HH Sakya-pa, HE Chogye Trichen Rinpoche and Kalu Rinpoche. Many wongkur and other transmissions occurred.
Ven. Namgyal Rinpoche is the founding teacher of a network of students worldwide. There are now several centres, founded by his students, developing their universalist approach to the dharma. Each centre is unique and operates and interprets as it wishes. There is no central governing body but a strong sense of a common ground. Each centre is financially independent. Now there are other, new expressions emerging.
Ven. Namgyal Rinpoche passed from this life on 22 October, 2003.