Tomek Lehnert was born on August 15, 1956 in Gdańsk, Poland. He studied Civil Engineering at the Polytechnics of Gdansk and English literature at the University of Poznań. He was active in the students’ Solidarity movement in Poland in the early eighties.
In 1983, Lehnert became a practitioner of Buddhism in the Karma Kagyu school. He left Poland in 1985 and during the next three years was co-director of the Karma Kagyu Buddhist center in Copenhagen, Denmark. During that time, he became a close associate and helper of Lama Ole Nydahl. Lehnert has contributed to the Buddhist magazines Kagyu Life in Germany and Diamentowa Droga (Diamond Way) in Poland. Since 1989, he has been involved in setting up Karma Kagyu centers in the Americas, Australia, New Zealand and Russia, as well as Western and Eastern Europe, traveling along with Ole Nydahl.
In 1998, Lehnert authored a book, Rogues in Robes, describing the conflict around the recognition of the 17th Karmapa Lama. The book contains distinctively critical descriptions of several well-known Tibetan Buddhist teachers, such as Kalu Rinpoche, ChÃ¶gyam Trungpa, and Akong Rinpoche.