K. Sonam Targee
Sonam was born in Tamil Nadir, South India into a Methodist missionary family, so even while growing up from the age of 2 in America, all things Indian felt like home to him. As a teenager, he was introduced to Hatha Yoga and meditation. At age 19, Sonam went back to India to study Indian music and culture. Upon returning to the States in 1976 he studied Buddhism with Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche and Jack Kornfield at the Naropa Institute in Boulder Colorado.
To further his spiritual training, he was accepted as a staff member at Karma Triyana Dharma Chakra Tibetan Buddhist Monastery In 1980, and it was there that he met His Holiness the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa*. With His Holiness’ instructions to become a doctor, Sonam left the monastery and enrolled at the New England School of Acupuncture in Boston, Mass.
In 1985 Sonam met Dr. Vasant Lad and began his (life-long!) training in Ayurveda. In order to widen the scope of his herbal practice, Sonam studied with Dr. Robert Svoboda (Ayurvedic Tradition), Dr. Mahadevan (Ayurvedic Tradition), Susun Weed (Wise-Woman Tradition), Dr. David Winston (Cherokee and Ethnobotany Traditions) and Dr. Yeshe Donden (TibetanTradition).
*With 33 years’ experience of clinical counseling, teaching seminars and classes, and a deepening personal meditative practice, Sonam is grateful for the opportunity to be of service and to fulfill the Karmapa’s wishes for him!
As of 2017, Sonam Targee has had a successful clinical practice of Pan-Asian herbal medicine for 35 years. Through these many years of teaching and borrowing liberally from the Ayurvedic, Chinese, Native American , Tibetan, and Wiccan traditions he has created an eclectic complimentary medicine practice.
“I have had the feeling throughout my career of being led to study certain information at certain times. I have felt truly blessed by this spiritual direction. Many experiences have “fallen into my lap”, and I am grateful!”
HEALING ARTS TRAINING
After training at Karma Triyana Dharmachakra Tibetan Buddhist Monastery in the Medicine Buddha ritual practice (1979-80), K. Sonam Targee was directed by His Holiness the 16th Karmapa to become a doctor. Three years later, Sonam received a Master’s Degree in Chinese Medicine from the New England School of Acupuncture in Boston, MA. When he returned to Rochester, he met and studied the Wu Style T’ai Chi Ch’uan and Chi Kung with Sonia Young and Dai Sifu Young from 1983-1992). During this time, Sonam also spent 1 ½ yrs studying herbal medicine in Flagstaff, AZ.
Sonam studied with Dr. Yeshe Donden, personal physician to His Holiness The Dalai Lama, in Boston and Northampton, MA and Woodstock, NY during 1979-81.
Sonam was fortunate to study the Microcosmic Orbit and Master Chia’s Healing Energy Through the Tao System directly with Taoist Master Mantak Chia in Boston in 1981, 1982 and 1983. In 1984, he also received a Practioner’s Certification in Neuro-Linguistic Programming from the Boston-based New England Center for NLP.
Our clinic “Ancient Universal Medicine” is so named as this encompasses so much of Sonam’s expertise. Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda, Wiccan, Tibetan and Native American all fall neatly within the umbrella of “AUM” : they all have ancient, deep prehistoric roots! These traditions all share a universal love and respect for Nature, especially the plants, and for all life! They all acknowledge that the qualities in Nature are also in the human body and that these qualities can be aligned to maintain god health!
Discovering the commonality and the divergences among all these major naturopathic traditions from around the globe has given Sonam a more unique universal perspective on health and healing than would have been afforded him from studying one or two traditions alone!
MOVEMENT STUDIES: T’AI CHI, YOGA, PILATES
At age 16 while studying at the Creative Music Studio in Woodstock, NY, Sonam was introduced to Hatha Yoga and modern dance as systems of movement, spiritual and aesthetic development. Also as a teenager Sonam was introduced to Yang Style T’ai Chi Chu’an by Jampa Mackenzie Stewart and went on to study T’ai Chi with such luminaries as K’ai Sung (Chen Style), Robert Smith and Maggie Newman (Naropa Institute, Boulder, CO 1975) and Gin Soon Chu (Yang Style, Boston, MA 1981-83). In 1983 upon returning to Rochester, NY, Sonam met and studied for seven years with Wu-Style T’ai Chi/Chi Gung master Sonia Young and her Father Dai Sifu Young. Currently Sonam is delighted to be studying Pilates and movement therapy with Addison Heffernan of Scottsville, NY.
Sonam received spiritual initiation in the Methodist tradition with Rev. Paul Fattaruso (1969), in the Shaivite tradition with Baba Muktananda (1979/80), and in the Buddhist tradition with Jack Kornfield and Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche (1975), Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche, Thrangu Rinpoche, Bardor Tulku Rinpoche, Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche, His Holiness the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa at the Tibetan Buddhist Monastery in Woodstock, NY Karma Triyama Dharmachakra…. And it was there that Sonam received his spiritual name from Khenpo Karthar (1978).
Currently Sonam’s major spiritual influences are Nisargadatta Maharaj, Ramana Maharshi, Ramana of Buffalo, NY and Dr. David R. Hawkins.