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Tibetan Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism, form of Buddhism prevailing in the Tibet region of China, Bhutan, the state of Sikkim in India, Mongolia, and parts of Siberia and SW China. It has sometimes been called Lamaism, from the name of the Tibetan monks, the lamas [superior ones]. The religion is derived from the Indian Mahayana form of Buddhism, but much of its ritual is based on the esoteric mysticism of Tantra and on the ancient shamanism and animism of Bon, an older Tibetan religion. It is also called Tantrayana [tantra vehicle] or Vajrayana [vehicle of the thunderbolt].

Beliefs and Practices

The most dedicated Tibetan Buddhists seek nirvana, but for the common people the religion retains shamanistic elements. The worship also includes reciting prayers and intoning hymns, often to the sound of great horns and drums. A protective formula of esoteric significance, Om mani padme hum [Om, the jewel in the lotus], is repeated; it is inscribed on rocks and walls, tallied on prayer wheels, and displayed on banners and streamers. In addition to a large pantheon of spirits, demons, and genii, many Buddhas and bodhisattvas (future Buddhas) are worshiped along with their ferocious consorts, or Taras. The monastic orders include abbots, ordained religious mendicants, novices (candidates), and neophytes (children on probation). The standing of nuns is inferior.

Early History

The traditional account of its origin is that Buddhism was introduced into Tibet by a Nepali and a Chinese princess, devout Buddhists, who became (7th cent. AD) the wives of the Tibetan king Srongtsen Gampo. The new religion was actually established, however, by one of the successors of that king when he called from India the Padmasambhava, a Tantric mystic and teacher who founded (c.750) a Buddhist monastery near Lhasa. Buddhist writings were later translated from Sanskrit in two sections: the Kanjur [translated word], a collection of sacred texts, and the Tanjur [translated treatises], a collection of commentaries (see Buddhist literature).

The early lamas and their successors, constituting the so-called Red Hat sects, rapidly built up power. The Bon shamans, however, fought back successfully, and for over a century the new faith was suppressed. In 1042 a reformer, Atisa (982–1054), a monk from India, arrived in Tibet, unified the priesthood, improved the moral tone by enforcing monastic rules, and tried to eliminate any vestiges of Bon ritual from the religion. He was the founder of the Kadampa sect. Another sect, the Kargyupa, was founded by the translator Marpa (1012–97) and his famous disciple Milarepa.

Tibetan Theocracy

In the 13th cent. Kublai Khan, after his conversion, bestowed temporal rule upon the abbots of the Sakya monastery (and leaders of the Sakyapa sect), who subsequently ruled W Tibet from c.1270 to 1340. The lama Tsong-kha-pa (d. 1419), a great reformer, subsequently reorganized the orders, strengthened monastic discipline, introduced a rigid rule of celibacy, and prescribed rigorous routines for meetings, confessions, and retreats. This reform movement called itself the Gelukpa [virtuous] sect and is generally known as the Yellow Hat sect.

Soon Yellow Hat influence spread to Mongolia, and in 1641 a ruling Mongol prince bestowed temporal and spiritual control of all Tibet upon the fifth grand lama of the order, whose title was Dalai or Ta-lai [ocean-wide] Lama. The Dalai Lama was proclaimed a divine reincarnation of the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara, ancestor of the Tibetan people, and was installed in the Potala (palace) in Lhasa. He soon became the temporal leader of Tibet, while spiritual supremacy resided with the chief abbot of the powerful Tashi Lumpo monastery near Xigazê, who is known as the Tashi or Panchen Lama. The Panchen Lama is regarded as a reincarnation of Amitabha, the Buddha of Light.

The succession to grand lama, either Dalai or Panchen, depends on direct reincarnation. Upon the death of either, his spirit is believed to pass into the body of some infant just born. An exacting series of tests and divinations determine the proper boy, who is then carefully trained for his great responsibility.

The 14th Dalai Lama was installed in 1940 and the 10th Panchen Lama in 1944. In 1959, following the Tibetan revolt against Chinese rule (see Tibet), the Dalai Lama went into exile in India, and the Chinese installed the Panchen Lama (d. 1989) in his place as ruler. Until the Chinese repression of Buddhism in Tibet in the 1960s, nearly a fifth of the population resided in lamaseries.

Since the 1980s there has been greater tolerance of religious practice in Tibet, although the Chinese government has attempted to exercise control over the religion. In 1995 China rejected the boy who was confirmed by the Dalai Lama as the new Panchen Lama and forced the selection of a different boy, and in Jan., 2000, the head lama of the Karmapa order fled Tibet for India. China subsequently announced (2007) that it would approve any future reincarnation of a Buddha and that only monasteries within China could apply for approval, a move clearly intended to assert China's control over the Dalai Lama's successor.

Bibliography

See W. Y. Evans-Wentz, Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrine (1935, repr. 1958); P. H. Pott, God and Demon in Buddhism (1962); L. A. Waddell, Buddhism of Tibet (2d ed. 1939, repr. 1973); C. Bell, The Religion of Tibet (1931, repr. 1987); I. Hilton, The Search for the Panchen Lama (2000).

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Tibetan Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism Distinctive blend of Mahayana Buddhism and Bonism (a pre-Buddhist shamanism). It mixes meditative monasticism with indigenous folk-religion and involves a system of reincarnating lamas (monks). Both spiritual and temporal authority reside in the person and office of the Dalai Lama. King Srong-tsan-gampo (b.617 or 629) sought to bring Buddhist teachers from China and India to Tibet. The Bon priests opposed the new Buddhist ways, and Buddhism was not thoroughly introduced into Tibet until the 8th century. Following reforms initiated by the 11th-century Indian master Atisha, four major sects emerged in Tibetan Buddhism. Of these, the Gelugpa order, to which the Dalai and Panchen Lamas belong, was politically dominant from the 17th century. There are now two Gelugpa sects, the Red and Yellow monks. The Dalai Lama, a member of the latter, became revered as the ‘Living Buddha’ and the spiritual and temporal ruler of Tibet. Each new Dalai Lama is believed to be a reincarnation of Avalokitesvara. The Panchen Lama heads the Red monks.

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Tibetan Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism

Amitabha Foundation

Aro Gar

BodhiPath

Center for Dzogchen Studies

Chagdud Gonpa Foundation

Chokling Tersar Foundation USA (CTF)

Deer Park Buddhist Center

Dharma Centre of Canada

Diamond Way Buddhist Centers

Drikung Kagyu Order

Dzogchen Foundation

Ewam Choden Tibetan Buddhist Center

Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT)

Kampo Gangra Drubgyudling

Karma Triyana Dharmachakra (KTD)

Kathok Gonpa

Kunzang Palyul Choling (KPC)

Ligmincha Institute

MahaSiddha Dharma

Mahasiddha Nyingmapa Center

Namgyal Monastery Institute of Buddhist Studies

Namo Buddha Seminar

Nechung Dorje Drayang Ling

New Kadampa Tradition (NKT)

Padmasambhava Buddhist Centers

Palyul Changchub Dargyeling

Rigpa Fellowship

Rigpe Dorje Foundation

Rime Foundation

Sakya Monastery of Tibetan Buddhism

Shambhala International

Tara Mandala

Thubten Dhargye Ling

Tibetan Buddhist Learning Center

Tibetan Nyingma Institute

Unfettered Mind

United Trungram Buddhist Fellowship

Vajrakilaya Centers of North America

Vajrayana Foundation

Yeshe Khorlo USA

Yeshe Nyingpo

Yongey Buddhist Center

Yun Lin Temple

Amitabha Foundation

8246 Garibaldi Ave., San Gabriel, CA 91775

The Amitabha Foundation, is a Tibetan Buddhist organization of the Drikung Kagyu school founded in 1986 by H. E. K. C. Ayang Rinpoche. He began traveling in the West in general and the United States in particular in the early 1980s at the request of several Tibetan leaders primarily for the cause of Tibetan culture and the Tibetan peoples now residing outside of their homeland. He discovered that he could not separate the more secular cultural and political concerns from his presentation of Buddhism, and Buddhism was, for many supporters of the Tibetan cause, Tibet’s most attractive asset.

The Drikung Kagyu lineage looks to Kyoba Jigten Sumgon, in the middle of the twelfth century c.e., as its founder. Jigten Sumgon, the recipient of secret oral transmissions from his teacher, Phagmodrupa, composed a set of teachings and instructions for practice, which he in turn passed on to his chief disciple, Gurawa Tsultrim Dorje. All these enlightened energies, blessings, and teachings have been handed down through the great spiritual masters to the present 37th and 36th lineage holders, His Holiness Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang Rinpoche and His Holiness Drikung Kyabgon Chungtsang, from whom Ayang Rinpoche receives his authority to teach.

Ayang Rinpoche was born to a nomadic family in Tibet, but as a child he was recognized as a lama by a delegation of important lamas and subsequently raised to assume his role as a teacher. He studied at a Drikung monastery and eventually became a master of Phowa, or the “transference of consciousness at the time of death.”This teaching centers on a method for attaining enlightenment after bodily death. It includes a combination of breath, mantra, and visualization techniques used as one is dying. It is believed that the individual consciousness is ejected from the body and subsequently avoids reincarnation.

Leaving Tibet after the Chinese takeover, Ayang Rinpoche settled in India, where he founded two monasteries. He currently resides at the refugee community he assembled in Bylakuppe, Karnataka State.

The foundation sees itself as carrying out a twofold mission and has created programs designed both to spread Buddhist teachings and to raise money to preserve the Tibetan culture. Thus it works with many people who do not consider themselves Buddhists but have a concern for the Tibetan people.

Membership

Not reported. In 2008 the foundation reported centers in Los Angeles, New York City, and Vancouver, British Columbia. Additional centers were found in France, Germany, Australia, and Taiwan.

Sources

Ayang Rinpoche/Amitabha Foundation. http://ayangrinpoche.org/

Amitabha Foundation Los Angeles. amitabhafoundationla.blogspot.com/.

Aro Gar

PO Box 3066, Alameda, CA 94501

Alternate Address

PO Box 724, Kila, MT 59920.

Aro Gar (known as Sang-Ngak-Cho-Dzong in Great Britain) is a Western representative of the Tibetan Aro gTer (or Mother Essence) Nyingma lineage, a lineage that traces its origin to a succession of enlightened women culminating in the visionary Khyungchen Aro Lingma (1886–1923), and her son Aro Yeshe (1915–1951). Aro Lingma received transmission from Yeshe Tsogyel, an enlightened female tantric. Aro Gar and Sang-Ngak-Cho-Dzong are headed by Ngak’chang Rinpoche (Ngapka Chogyam) and Khandro Dechen, the current holders of the Aro gTer line-age.

Rinpoche was born in Germany in 1952 and raised in England. He developed an interest in Tibetan Buddhism at the age of 13 and went on to become an art teacher, with a particular interest in thangka painting (tantric iconography). At age 19 he went to the Himalayas to study with some of the living tantric Buddhist teachers in a nonsectarian manner, though with particular attention to Nyingma teachers, and completed four years of solitary retreat in a cave. He was eventually recognized as the incarnation of Aro Yeshe, the son of Khyungchen Aro Lingma. In this life Ngak’chang Rinpoche, together with his wife Khandro Dechen, are the holders of the lineage of “treasure-teachings” given in vision to Aro Lingma by Yeshe Tsogyel, the enlightened consort of the tantric Buddha Padmasambhava.

Ngak’chang Rinpoche began to teach in the West in 1979. In 1989 he was awarded a doctorate from the University of West Bengal. He is the author of numerous books, including Rainbow of Liberated Energy (rewritten with Khandro Dechen and republished as Spectrum of Ecstasy), Journey into Vastness (rewritten with Khandro Dechen and republished as Roaring Silence), and Wearing the Body of Visions. He has been a lecturer at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in California and has contributed articles to several books, journals, and magazines on the subject of tantric psychology and its interface with therapy.

Khandro Dechen was born in 1960 and has been a committed Vajrayana practitioner since the age of 21. She is the spiritual wife of Ngak’chang Rinpoche, who describes her as his most important teacher. She specializes in sKu-mNye, the Dzogchen Long-de psycho-physical practices which generate profound experiences of the inner elements. She teaches primarily through “personality-display” and is known for her Mirror-transmission; a powerful method of giving direct introduction to the nature of the mind. She is writing a book with Ngak’chang Rinpoche on the path of romantic love and relationship in Tibetan Tantra, entitled Entering the Heart of the Sun and Moon.

The Aro gTer is a nonliturgical, nonmonastic tradition that specializes in the teaching and practice of Dzogchen, a practice that offers direct experience of mind. It emphasizes the importance of everyday life as practice. It is unique in the emphasis it places on integration with everyday working life, sexual equality, and the spiritual dimension of romantic relationships and artistic creativity.

Membership

Not reported. Practitioners in the Aro tradition reside in Great Britain, the United States, Canada, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Finland.

Sources

Aro Buddhism. www.arobuddhism.org/.

Morreale, Don. The Complete Guide to Buddhist America. Boston: Shambhala, 1998.

BodhiPath

c/o Santa Barbra BodhiPath Center, 113 West Gutierrez St., Santa Barbara, CA 93101

BodhiPath is an international community of meditation centers founded by the fourteenth Kunzig Shamar Rinpoche (b. 1952), a leading teacher of the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism Karma. He is a nephew of the sixteenth Gyalwa Karmapa (1924–1981) and holder of the Shamarpa lineage, which dates to the fourteenth century. The close relationship between the Sharmapa and the Kermapa is symbolized by the identical red crowns they wear at official functions. The Sharmapa’s crown was a gift of the third Karmapa to the first Sharmapa.

In 1994 Shamar Rinpoche, in his role as the second highest lama of the Karma Kagyu lineage, officially recognized the seventeenth Gyalwa Karmapa Trinley Thaye Dorje (b. 1983). In succeeding years Sharmar Rinpoche was one of the young Karmapa’s most important instructors.

The fourteenth Shamarpa Mipham Chokyi Lodro was born in Tibet and was formally recognized by the sixteenth Karmapa in 1956 and by the Dalai Lama in 1961. Meanwhile, in 1959 the young lama fled Tibet for Sikkim. He completed his studies at Rumtek Monastery and in the 1980s undertook the task of overseeing the reprinting of the Tengyur, a multivolume set of books by Indian and Tibetan masters. He later founded the Karmapa International Buddhist Institute in New Delhi and the Shri Diwakar Vihara Institute in Kalimpong, India.

In the 1990s he traveled extensively, founding the BodhiPath Buddhist centers. The centers follow the common beliefs and practices of Karma Kagyu Buddhism. The fourteenth Shamarpa has recruited a number of Tibetan teachers (rinpoches and khenpos) and has been joined by some American students who have become Dharma teachers. The BodhiPath now consists of a worldwide network of centers under the general oversight of the fourteenth Sharmapa.

Membership

Not reported. Centers in the United States are located at Natural Bridge, Virginia; Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts; Washington, D.C.; Chicago, Illinois; Eugene, Oregon; and Buena Park, Pasadena, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Menlo Park, California. Additional centers are located in India, Nepal, Australia, and across Europe.

Sources

BodhiPath. www.bodhipath.org/; www.bodhipath-west.org/.

Coleman, Graham, ed. A Handbook of Tibetan Culture. Boston: Shambhala, 1994.

Center for Dzogchen Studies

17 Tour Ave., New Haven, CT 06515

The Center for Dzogchen Studies constitute a worldwide community of practitioners dedicated to the teachings and practices of the Nyingma lineage centered at the Pukang Monastery in Kham, Tibet. The center teaches what is known as the Nine Yanas of Nyingma Tibetan Buddhism. Such practices gradually introduce a nature of mind to the practitioner. The view from which one approaches the Nine Yanas teaches that the awakened state already exists within. Through continued use of the practices, direct experiences of one’s Great Completeness (Dzogchen) becomes possible.

The Center for Dzogchen Studies was established in New Haven in 1993 after three practitioners invited Lama Padma Karma Rinpoche (b. 1952) from Asia to act as the center’s spiritual guide. Raised as a Christian in the Virgin Islands, Rinpoche had a diverse religious background that culminated in his initial study of Buddhism beginning in 1985 after settling in China as a teacher. He was given the titles of Vajra Master and Rinpoche in 1992 by Ksertok Padma Dorje Tulku with the authorization to teach under the auspices of the Nyingma and Kagyu schools of Tibetan Buddhism and, more specifically, within the Longchen Nyingthig lineage of Kalsang Monastery, Tibet. Lama Padma Karma Rinpoche continued studies with H. H. Chadral Sangye Dorje in Pharping, Nepal, and Serdok Tulku in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

After settling in New Haven, Lama Padma Karma established a teacher training program and thangka (Tibetan sacred art) painting program. The center is also visited by a Tibetan herbalist every month.

Membership

Not reported.

Sources

Center for Dzogchen Studies. www.dzogchenstudies.com.

Chagdud Gonpa Foundation

PO Box 279, Junction City, CA 96048

Chagdud Gonpa Foundation was established in 1983 by Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche (1930–2002), a meditation master, artist, and Tibetan physician born in eastern Tibet. As the abbot of Chagdud Gonpa monastery, established in 1131, Rinpoche received extensive instructions in all aspects of Tibetan Buddhism. He then fled Tibet at the time of the Chinese occupation in 1959 and helped to establish and administer several refugee camps in India and Nepal.

He was contacted by Americans who made pilgrimages to northern India, and at the request of several American students he came to the United States in 1979. From his American headquarters he concentrated on developing Padma Publishing for the translation and printing of sacred texts and teachings of Buddhist masters, for the founding of centers for practicing and preserving Vajrayana teachings, and for the training of students in Vajrayana philosophy, practices, and rituals.

The foundation’s headquarters, Rigdzin Ling, located in the mountains north of Redding, California, is home to the Mahakaruna Foundation, a nonprofit organization devoted to supporting Tibetan practitioners in Nepal, India, and Bhutan. Also based there are Padma Publishing and Tibetan Treasures, which distributes videotapes, DVDs, and MP3s of Rinpoche’s talks. Among the projects of Padma Publishing is the translation of the Tibetan teacher Longchenpa’s Seven Treasuries. The Stupa Project at Rigdzin Ling undertook the construction of eight Tibetan chortens.

Membership

In 2008 the foundation reported 31 centers and practice groups in the United States and one in Canada, with additional centers and practice groups in Brazil, Uruguay, and Chile.

Sources

Chagdud Gonpa Foundation. www.chagdud.org/.

Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche. Gates to Buddhist Practice. Junction City, CA: Padma Publishing, n.d.

———. Life in Relation to Death. Junction City, CA: Padma Publishing, n.d.

———. The Lord of the Dance. Junction City, CA: Padma Publishing, n.d.

Chokling Tersar Foundation USA (CTF)

66000 Drive Through Tree Rd., Leggett, CA 93585-0162

The Chokling Tersar Foundation (CTF) was established in 1996 as the American center of the Chokling Tersar, a lineage of Tibetan Buddhism within the Gelugpa school (the largest of the four main Tibetan schools of Buddhism). The foundation, presently the only center of the tradition in North America, was founded by Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche (1920–1996). The organization’s spiritual heads are Tsikey Chokling Rinpoche and Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche, the abbot of Ka-Nying Shedrub Ling, one of Nepal’s largest monasteries. In 1998 the foundation established the Rangjung Yeshe Gomde retreat center in northern California, nestled along the Eel River in Mendocino County. Gomde offers practice and study group meetings, individual retreats, and religious celebrations in a beautiful, peaceful location. It also provides an annual summer program that hosts masters of the Chokling Tersar tradition. The foundation’s material is published by Rangjung Yeshe Publications.

Chokling Tersar literally means the “new treasures of Chokgyur Lingpa”and owes its name to the nineteenth-century Tibetan Buddhist master Chogyur Dechen Lingpa (1829–1870), whose teachings are widely practiced by both the Kagyu and Nyingma schools of Tibetan Buddhism. The collection of teachings from Chokgyur Lingpa is contained in the Chokling Tersar, a body of literature filling more than 40 large volumes. The connected teachings included in these 40 volumes were written over the last 150 years, chiefly by his contemporaries Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo and Jamgon Kongtrul the Great, as well as by the subsequent upholders of the lineage down to the present day.

The Chokling Tersar literature is meant to be studied and practiced as an addition to the traditional canonical scriptures of Tibetan Buddhism. These are found in the Kangyur and Tengyur, the written words of Buddha Shakyamuni, and their commentaries by learned Indian Masters. These two collections occupy 104 and 273 large volumes, respectively. In these scriptures are found detailed instructions on how to take full advantage of human life and imbue it with its fullest meaning. These revealed scriptures were concealed by the ninth-century Buddhist saint Padmasambhava with the expressed wish to be uncovered at specific times in the future. Many of them contain predictions for those times and for which particular spiritual practices would be most beneficial for the people of those times.

The independent American branch of the Chokling Tersar tradition is concerned with preserving, translating, and disseminating these teachings in the most authentic and principled way possible. CTF aims at doing so by inviting learned and authentic holders of the Chokling Tersar lineage to lecture and provide appropriate spiritual counsel corresponding to the current public demand in North America.

Periodicals

Chokling Tersar Times

Membership

Not reported.

Sources

Chokling Tersar Foundation. www.choklingtersar.org/.

Rangjung Yeshe Gomde–Dzogchen Buddhist Meditation and Retreat Center. www.gomdeusa.org/.

Morreale, Don. The Complete Guide to Buddhist America. Boston: Shambhala, 1998.

Deer Park Buddhist Center

4548 Schneider Dr., Oregon, WI 53575

The Deer Park Buddhist Center grew out of the Ganden Mahayana Center, which was formed in the mid-1970s by a group of students who had gathered around Geshe Lhundup Sopa, a professor in the Buddhist Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Sopa had been a teacher at the monastery at Sera until the Chinese invasion of Tibet. He fled to India but was sent to Labsum Shedrub Ling, a monastery in New Jersey, in 1965 as a tutor for young monks. In 1968 he joined the faculty at the University of Wisconsin. Once formed, the center created Deer Park, a grove named after the place near Benares, India, where Buddha first taught, three miles from the university campus.

A full program of academic instruction in Buddhist, Tibetan, and related subjects, under the guidance of a resident monastic community, is offered at the center, as well as facilities for the practice of traditional Tibetan Buddhism. The center follows the branch of Tibetan Buddhism taught by the Dalai Lama and has on numerous occasions hosted the Dalai Lama, including his first American visit in 1979. In 1981, prior to the Dalai Lama’s visit, the center purchased acreage near Oregon, Wisconsin, and transferred its program to the new center. This was the site of the first performance in the West of the Kalachakra ceremony for world peace by the Dalai Lama. The Kalachakra tantric path is a method of practicing Buddhist meditation for those who wish to progress speedily through intense meditational activity.

In July 2008 the Dalai Lama returned again to Deer Park to consecrate the center’s new $6.1 million temple, which also includes facilities for display of the center’s collection of Tibetan art and artifacts and housing of its extensive library of sacred literature.

Membership

Not reported.

Sources

Deer Park Buddhist Center. www.deerparkcenter.org/.

Gyatsho, Tenzin, the 14th Dalai Lama. The Opening of the Wisdom-Eye. Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1972.

———. The Buddhism of Tibet and the Key to the Middle Way. New York: Harper & Row, 1975.

Kalachakra Initiation, Madison, 1981. Madison, WI: Deer Park, 1981.

Keegan, Marcia, ed. The Dalai Lama’s Historic Visit to North America. New York: Clear Light Publications, 1981.

Sopa, Geshe Lhundub. The Wheel of Time. Madison, WI: Deer Park Books, 1985.

Sopa, Geshe Lhundup, and Jeffrey Hopkins. Practice and Theory of Tibetan Buddhism. New York: Grove Press, 1976.

Dharma Centre of Canada

1886 Galway Rd., Kinmount, ON, Canada K0M 2A0

The Dharma Centre of Canada was founded in 1966 by the renowned pioneering Canadian Buddhist leader the Ven. Kyabje Namgyal Rinpoche (1931–2003). Namgyal Rinpoche was born G. Leslie Dawson in Ontario, Canada, to Irish parents. In his mid-20s he went to Bodh Gaya, India, the traditional site of the Buddha’s enlightenment, and on October 28, 1958, took the vows of a novice monk. Two months later he was ordained a bhikshu, or full Buddhist monk, in Rangoon. Following a period of intensive meditation, he was recognized by His Holiness the Gyalwa Karmapa, head of the Kagyu School of Tibet, as the reincarnation of the famous Tibetan lama Mipham Namgyal Rinpoche, one of the first Westerners so recognized. Returning to the West, he founded Johnstone House as a contemplative community in Scotland. Later, through the auspices of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, founder of Vajradhatu International, Johnstone House was converted into Kagyu Samye Ling, one of the first Tibetan monasteries to be established in Europe.

The Dharma Centre of Canada and its associated centers offer instruction and opportunity for the practice of meditation in order for individuals to develop awareness of the nature of mind and matter and to develop compassion and wisdom. Instruction is also offered in comparative religion, philosophy, and the arts and sciences. Both Western and Eastern spiritual insights are acknowledged.

Membership

In 2008 the Dharma Centre reported 10 affiliated centers in Canada, 1 in the United States, 2 in England, and 1 in New Zealand, with informal groups in France, Switzerland, Norway, Guatemala, Germany, and Japan.

Sources

Dharma Centre of Canada. www.dharmacentre.org/.

Morreale, Don. The Complete Guide to Buddhist America. Boston: Shambhala, 1998.

Diamond Way Buddhist Centers

Diamond Way Buddhist Centers, USA, 110 Merced Ave., San Francisco, CA 94127

The Diamond Way Tibetan Buddhist tradition grew out of the efforts of Lama Ole Nydahl (b. 1941) and his wife, Hannah Nydahl (1946–2007), the first Western students of the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa. He recognized them as protectors of his lineage and asked them to work for him. Beginning in 1969, they spent three years training in the Himalayas, and then initiated teaching activity in the West, initially in Europe. Their work spread to America in the 1980s, and there are now centers across the United States. Teachings and practice are similar to those found in the centers of the Karma Triyana Dharmachakra (KTD) but are administratively separate.

Diamond Way centers recognize the spiritual authority of the 17th Karmapa, Thaye Dorje, who resides in New Delhi, India. They have a democratic structure, and members share the responsibility for guiding meditations, answering questions, and giving teachings. In addition, Lama Ole has trained some 30 students who are now traveling and teaching internationally.

The Karma Kagyu school offers a variety of methods for people to develop the mind’s inherent richness and clarity in one’s daily activities through the three emphases of (1) verifiable nondogmatic teachings; (2) meditation; and (3) the means to solidify the levels of awareness that have been attained. The Diamond Way is considered the most “skillful”method of the Buddha. As a lineage of direct oral transmission, Karma Kagyu treasures meditation and interaction with a qualified teacher. The teachings are traced to the historical Buddha Shakyamuni and his closest students. They were later passed on through the Indian Mahasiddhas: Padmasambhava, Tilopa, Naropa, and Maitripa, and the famous Tibetan yogis Marpa and Milarepa. In the twelfth century, the monk Gampopa gave the teachings to the first Gyalwa Karmapa, who is believed to have regularly reincarnated to the present.

Periodicals

Buddhism Today

Membership

There are more than 500 meditation centers around the world associated with the Karma Kagyu tradition. In 2008 Diamond Way reported 38 centers and groups in the United States.

Sources

Diamond Way Buddhist Centers. www.diamondway.org/.

Nydahl, Ole. Entering the Diamond Way: My Path among the Lamas. Grass Valley, CA: Blue Dolphin Press, 1990. 251 pp.

———. Mahamudra: Boundless Joy and Freedom. Grass Valley, CA: Blue Dolphin Press, 1991. 96 pp.

———. Riding the Tiger: Twenty Years on the Road: Risks and Joys of Bringing Tibetan Buddhism to the West. Grass Valley, CA: Blue Dolphin Press, 1992. 512 pp.

Drikung Kagyu Order

Drikung Kagyu Institute, PO Kulhan, Sahastradhara Road, 248001 Dehra Dun, UA, India

The Drikung Kagyu Order is one school within the Kagyupa Tibetan Buddhist sect (which dates to Milarepa, the famous teacher). The order is unusual in that the lineage is carried by two heads simultaneously. In the early 1960s one of the heads, His Holiness Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang Rinpoche, left Tibet for India. Unable to leave Tibet, His Holiness Chungtsang, the other head of the order, was separated from his colleague for almost twenty-five years, their first meeting being in India in 1985. The first American Drikung center was founded under the auspices of the Drikung Kyabgon in 1978.

In 1985 H. H. Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang founded the nonprofit organization Drikung Kagyu Institute (DKI) in Dehra Dun, India, which strives to preserve, promote, and develop Buddhist philosophy and culture. The institute is made up of four institutions: Jangchubling Monastery, Samtenling Nunnery, Songtsen Library, and Kagyu College.

The Drikung Order is noted for its teachings on meditation, particularly the Drikung Phowa Meditation, a meditation intimately connected with the experience of death. Traditionally the Phowa Benediction was given every 12 years.

Membership

In 2008 the order reported 99 Drikung Kagyu centers worldwide. Of these, 32 were in the United States and 1 in Canada.

Sources

Drikung Kagyu. www.drikung-kagyu.org/.

Dzogchen Foundation

PO Box 734, Cambridge, MA 02140

The Dzogchen Foundation was organized in March 1991 by Lama Surya Das and a small group of Dzogchen practitioners. Lama Surya Das was born Jeffrey Miller (1950) in New York and graduated from SUNY Buffalo (1971). He traveled throughout India and Nepal studying with various spiritual teachers. He was given the name Surya Das by the Indian Hindu teacher Maharajji (Neem Karoli Baba), and he lived and practiced in Tibetan monasteries under the guidance of Ven. Lama Thubten Yeshe, Ven. Kalu Rinpoche, and H. H. Gyalwa Karmapa. During 1977–1980 he lived in Woodstock, New York, establishing the Karmapa’s monastery, Karma Triyana Dharmachakra (KTD). In 1980 he joined the first Nyingmapa retreat center in Dordogne, France, where he completed two traditional three-and-a-half-year retreats under the guidance of Dudjom Rinpoche and Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, with Tulku Pema Wangyal and Nyoshul Khenpo Rinpoche. During this time he became a lama in the Nonsectarian Practice lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. Surya Das is a member of the International Padmakara Translation Committee and the organizer of the Western Buddhist Teachers Network and its Teachers’Conferences with the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala, India.

The foundation has set as its mission the preservation of the teachings of Dzogchen and their transmission to Westerners in an accessible form. It accomplishes this mission by offering opportunities to receive the guidance of Dzogchen teachers and by fostering the activities and emergence of Dharma teachers in both the East and the West. It also promotes nonsectarian dialogue, understanding, and cooperation between the various traditions of Buddhism.

The foundation believes that the Buddhism of Tibet represents the last extant wisdom culture to survive intact from ancient times. As an isolated cloister land, Tibet preserved all the teachings of the Buddha, which include the Theravadin, Mahayana, and tantric Vajrayana traditions of Buddhadharma. Many Buddhist sutras and commentaries in the Sanskrit language, which were lost in India during the Muslim invasions of northern India, were later discovered intact in Tibetan monastery libraries.

Dzogchen, practiced mainly by the Nyingma lineage, is seen as the consummate practice of Tibetan Buddhism. It is also considered an advanced and secret teaching.

The foundation conducts an annual month-long intensive meditation retreat, publishes a newsletter and schedule of the activities of Lama Surya Das and other lamas, engages in the translation and publication of texts and oral teachings, and brings venerable lamas to America to teach.

Membership

In 2008 the foundation reported practice groups led by Dzogchen Center practitioners in Cambridge, Massachusetts; Orange County and Los Angeles, California; Brooksville and Portland, Maine; Concord, New Hampshire; Plainfield and Roselle Park, New Jersey; Rochester and New York, New York; Portland, Oregon; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Austin, Texas; and Putney, Vermont.

Sources

Dzogchen Foundation. www.dzogchen.org/.

Surya Das, Lama. Awakening the Buddha Within: Eight Steps to Enlightenment. New York: Broadway Books, June 1997. 320 pp.

Ewam Choden Tibetan Buddhist Center

254 Cambridge Ave., Kensington, CA 94708

Ewam Choden was the first center of the Sakyapa sect of Tibetan Buddhism founded in the United States. Its founder, Lama Kunga Thartse Rinpoche, came to the United States in the 1960s and settled in Kensington, California. He opened Ewam Choden in 1972. The Sakyapa sect was the last great reform movement in Tibetan Buddhism. It was founded in 1071 c.e. by Khon Konchok Gyalpo, who taught a “reformed” tantra that still retained parts of the older tantra practices (which contained significant magical and sexual aspects). Present head of the sect is Sakya Trizin, who paid his first visit to America, and Ewam Choden, in 1977.

Ewan Choden means the integration of method and wisdom, compassion and emptiness, and possessing the dharma (the true way of life taught by the Buddha). The center was established to practice and study Tibetan religion and culture. Lama Kunga established a program of meditation, classes, and ceremonial observation of holy days. Several students work to translate Tibetan texts into English, and the center periodically offers a Tibetan language class. The center administers the Tibetan Relief Fund. Public meditation services are held on Sunday mornings.

Membership

Not reported. There is one urban center in Kensington, California.

Sources

Ewam Choden Tibetan Buddhist Center. www.ewamchoden.org/.

“His Holiness Sakya Trizin, An Interview.” Wings 1, no. 1 (September–October 1987): 36–38, 51–53.

Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT)

1632 SE 11th Ave., Portland, OR 97214-4702

The Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT) is a worldwide association of Tibetan Buddhist centers founded by Lama Thubten Yeshe and Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche, both trained in the Gelugpa tradition of Tibetan Buddhism (the tradition associated with His Holiness the Dalai Lama). They met in 1959 when, as refugees from Tibet, they both settled in Buxaduar, India. The young Zopa Rinpoche was sent to Thubten Yeshe for further instruction. In 1965 the pair met Zina Ruchevsky, a Russian American who was ordained as a nun in 1967. The three established the Kopan Monastery near Kathmandu in 1969.

The center in Nepal began to attract Western students, and in 1973 the International Mahayana Institute, an organization of Western nuns and monks, was established at Kopan Monastery. The first Indian outpost, Tushita Retreat Center, opened in Dharmasala in 1972. That same year, the Mount Everest Center for Buddhist Studies opened at Lawudo, Nepal, to educate Nepalese children.

In 1974 the two lamas were invited to tour the West by C. T. Shen of the Institute for the Advanced Study of World Religions in New York. They toured the United States and spoke at most of the Tibetan Buddhist centers and several universities. These lectures, along with an American publication, brought them more students and the eventual development of several centers. In 1977 students donated 30 acres of land near Boulder Creek, California, for the development of a retreat center called the Vajrapani Institute, and in 1980 one student donated 270 acres in rural Vermont which became the Milarepa Center.

In 1984 Lama Thubten Yeshe passed away in Los Angeles and was cremated at the Vajrapani Institute. One year later, on February 12, 1985, a boy was born in Spain who was later identified as Lama Yeshe’s reincarnation. This boy, named Tenzin Osel Rinpoche (Osel Hita), was enrolled in Sera Monastery in India. He later attended a private high school in Victoria, British Columbia, and continued his studies in Europe, thereby receiving both a traditional Tibetan education and a modern Western education to prepare him for his future role as the spiritual head of the FPMT.

FPMT has become a worldwide movement, with its world headquarters in the United States. Wisdom Publications, located in Boston, Massachusetts, distributes a wide array of books and CDs on Buddhism and related topics; these materials can be found for sale on the FPMT Web site. A line of English-language books on Tibetan Buddhism have appeared as the Wisdom Basic Books (Orange Series), Intermediate Books (White Series), and Advanced Books (Blue Series). FPMT is also active in translating Tibetan Buddhist texts into English.

In 2005 FPMT established an international organization, the Foundation for Developing Compassion and Wisdom (FDCW), whose mission is to attain world peace through a program of “Essential Education” (EE), which helps individuals reach their potential to be compassionate and wise. EE facilitates a more profound understanding of the nature of the mind and of its power to shape the way we live and relate to others.

Membership

In 2008 the foundation reported 150 centers, projects, and services in 33 countries worldwide. Of these, 32 were in the United States and 2 in Canada.

Periodicals

Mandala.

Sources

Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition. www.fpmt.org.

Amipa, Lama Sherab Gyaltsen. The Opening of the Lotus. London: Wisdom Publications, 1987.

Hopkins, Jeffrey. The Tantric Distinction. London: Wisdom Publications, 1984.

MacKenzie, Vicki. The Boy Lama. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1989.

Rabten, Geshe. The Essential Nectar. London: Wisdom Publications, 1984.

Rabten, Geshe, and Geshe Ngawang Dhargyey. Advice from a Spiritual Friend. New Delhi, India: Publications for Wisdom Culture, 1977.

Yeshe, Thubten, and Thubten Zopa. Wisdom Energy. Honolulu, HI: Conch Press, 1976.

Kampo Gangra Drubgyudling

200 Balsam Ave., Toronto, ON, Canada M4E 3C3

Kampo Gangra Drubgyudling was founded in 1973 as the Canadian center of the Tibetan Buddhist teacher Vajra Acharya Lama Karma Thinley Rinpoche. Karma Thinley Rinpoche (b. 1931) was born in Tibet and recognized at the age of two and a half as the reincarnation of Beru Shaiyak Lama Kunrik, a Sakya master, by Sakya Trizin, the head of the Sakya School of Tibetan Buddhism. At a later date he was also recognized by His Holiness the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa, head of the Kagyu tradition, as the fourth Karma Thinleypa, a highly realized bodhisattva of the Kagyu lineage. In addition to his position as a master of the Kagyu and Sakya schools, Rinpoche is also widely learned in the Nyingma and Gelug traditions. In 1974 the Gyalwa Karmapa appointed him a Lord of Dharma of the Karma-Kagyu lineage. Karma Thinley Rinpoche resides in Toronto.

The Marpa Gompa Meditation Society (Tibetan: Marpa Gompa Changchub Ling) was founded in 1977 as the Alberta center of Thinley Rinpoche’s work. It has as a resident dharma teacher Choge Susan Hutchison (Jetsun Rigdzin Khandro). In addition to his centers in Canada, Thinley Rinpoche has followers in England, whom he has placed under the care of Lama Jampa Thaye as his Dharma regent. Teaching is primarily from the Kagyu tradition.

Membership

Not reported. Canadian centers are in Toronto, Ontario, and Calgary, Alberta; the U.K. center Kagyu Dechen Dzong is in Harrogate, Yorkshire.

Sources

Lama Karma Thinley Rinpoche. www.karmathinleyrinpoche.com/cdn.html.

Morreale, Don. The Complete Guide to Buddhist America. Boston: Shambhala, 1998.

Karma Triyana Dharmachakra (KTD)

335 Meads Mountain Rd., Woodstock, NY 12498

Karma Triyana Dharmachakra (KTD) was founded in 1976 by His Holiness the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa, the head of the Karma Kagyu lineage. The Kagyu lineage is one of the four major lineages of the Tibetan Buddhism, and the Karma Kagyu is one of its main branches. Led by the Gyalwa Karmapas since the twelfth century, the lineage includes generations of scholars and mahasiddhas who devoted their lives to the realization of the truth of experience and the perfection of compassion for all beings. Before his passing in 1980 the 16th Karmapa named the KTD as his principal seat in North America and planned that from this monastery the Buddha’s teachings would be introduced and disseminated in the West.

In 1985 H. H. Ogyen Trinley Dorje, the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, was born to nomadic parents in the Lhathok region of Tibet. He was discovered in 1992 by a predicted letter written by the 16th Karmapa, and his identification was confirmed by H. H. the 14th Dalai Lama. In 2000 he fled from Tibet to India, where he began preparing for his role as leader and primary teacher of the Karma Kagyu lineage.

The KTD’s authentic Tibetan temple building, which is said to be one of the largest in North America, is surrounded by residences for monastic and lay students. KTD hosts the Karma Kagyu Institute, which preserves Tibetan arts. Construction is under way to complete a large library, gallery space, and recording facility on the grounds. Ven. Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche and Ven. Bardor Tulku Rinpoche jointly hold the primary responsibility for fulfilling His Holiness’s wishes with regard to KTD’s activities. They conduct regular teachings at KTD and at affiliated centers around the country. KTD also maintains a traditional three-year, three-month meditation retreat center in Delhi, New York, and a stupa at Karma Thegsum Tashi Gomang in Crestone, Colorado.

Membership

In 2002 the KTD reported 37 centers in the United States, 3 in Canada, and 3 in South America.

Periodicals

Densal.

Sources

Karma Triyana Dharmachakra. www.kagyu.org.

Karthar Rinpoche, Khenpo. Dharma Paths. Edited by Laura M. Roth. Ithaca, NY: Snow Lion Publications, 1992.

Kathok Gonpa

Tibetan Buddhist Temple and Retreat Center, 2800 Grafton St., Qualicum Beach, BC, Canada V9K 2968

Kathok Gonpa is the center established by Lingtrul Rinpoche (Lama Kadag Chöying Dorje; b. 1955). A teacher of the Kathok lineage within the Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism, Lingtrul Rinpoche is also the abbot of the Tra Ling Monastery in Tibet, which houses approximately 2,000 monks. He is the lineage-holder of what are termed the Great Perfection Teachings of the Ancients (Dzogchen), and is believed by his followers to be a reincarnation of an emanation of the fourteenth-century Tibetan teacher Gwalwa Longchenpa, known as the author of a book published in the West as Kindly Bent to Ease Us.

Lingtrul Rinpoche was born in Amdo-Golok, Tibet, and was recognized to be an incarnation of Ling Lama Dorje, a high lama of Eastern Tibet, at the age of three. Ling Lama Dorje had earlier been recognized as the incarnation of the daughter of King Trisong Detsun, and of Longchenpa. However, due to the Chinese occupation of Tibet, the recognition and subsequent enthronement of Lingtrul Rinpoche occurred in secret, and as a young tulku, he was forced to work in labor camps and serve the needs of the Chinese government.

Lingtrul Rinpoche studied under his root teacher, the great Khenpo Munsel, Thubten Tsultrim Gyatso, who passed on the lineage of the Clear Light Great Perfection that began with Dharmakaya Buddha Kuntuzangpo and was passed to Longchenpa and eventually to Khenpo Munsel. Lingtrul Rinpoche received all the transmissions of Clear Light Great Perfection, Dzogchen, and Ati-yoga, and over many years in retreat accomplished all the stages of development. He also received an extensive transmission of the Seven Treasures of Longchenpa, all other important Longchen Nyingthig transmissions, and a number of additional teachings from key Tibetan Buddhist masters.

Membership

Not reported.

Sources

Kathok Gonpa. www.kathokgonpa.ca/.

Morreale, Don. The Complete Guide to Buddhist America. Boston: Shambhala, 1998.

Kunzang Palyul Choling (KPC)

18400 River Rd., Poolesville, MD 20837

Alternate Address

KPC of Arizona, 835 Andante Dr., Sedona, AZ 86336.

Kunzang Palyul Choling (KPC) is a Tibetan Buddhist organization in the Nyingmapa tradition formed in 1982 as the World Prayer Center. It was founded by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo and offers a full program of teachings in Buddhism and practice sessions in Buddhist meditation. It conducts weekly classes and lectures in its locations in Poolesville, Maryland, and Sedona, Arizona, and sponsors periodic retreats and workshops. Members are active in sponsoring Tibetan refugee children and youth as well as abused and neglected animals. KPC owns a 65-acre wildlife refuge.

Membership

Not reported. In 1993 there were approximately 150 members.

Educational Facilities

Migyur Dorje Institute, Poolesville, Maryland.

Sources

Kunzang Palyul Choling. www.tara.org/.

Ligmincha Institute

313 2nd St., SE, Ste. 307, Charlottesville, VA 22902

The Ligmincha Institute is a contemporary Western center of the ancient Bon (pre-Buddhist) religion of Tibet. It was founded in 1992 by Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche. The transmission of the Bon religion to the West began in 1961 when Tenzin Namdak (b. 1926), the head of the Bon religious community, moved to London, England. Namdak became lopon (head) of the group in 1953 but had to flee Tibet in 1959 following the Chinese invasion. He moved to London two years later and cooperated with David Snellgrove in the translation and publication of The Nine Ways of Bon, a basic text on the Bon tradition. Upon his return to India in 1964, he founded New Menri as a center for the Bon community in exile. He made his first trip to the United States in 1989 and on that occasion founded the Tibetan Bon Temple Foundation in Signal Hill, California.

The Bon religion was founded by Tonpa Shenrab Miwoche, and as the teachings were passed and developed, they emerged into what is termed the Dzogchen teachings. The master practitioner is termed a shen. Shenrab’s teachings are classified in the nine ways, or vehicles, to relieve sufferings. The initial four are termed the causal ways: Chashen (the Way of the Shen of Prediction), Nangshen (the Way of the Shen of the Visible World), Trulshen (the Way of the Shen of Magical Illusion), and Sichen (the Way of the Shen of Existence). These include various healing, divinatory, and astrological practices; purification rituals; practices to subdue spirits; and work with the souls of the living and dead. Bon practitioners share all of these practices with Tibetan shamanism.

Bon is unique in its practice of the five resultant vehicles, which are built upon a universal compassion and deal most directly with the life beyond death. These teachings are generally passed on orally from teacher to student. The founder passed the teachings on to the first nine masters, most of whom were from Zhang Zhung, an ancient land located in what is now western Tibet, near Mt. Kailash. The next masters, 24 in number, taught what is known as the oral transmissions of Zhang Zhung, which are contained in the Zhang Zhung Nyn Gyud, a multivolume text of Dzogchen teachings.

Dzogchen is described as a path of self-liberation. Human problems are located in the five poisons—attachment, anger, ignorance, pride, and jealousy. These are creations of the mind and do not exist in the true condition of the mind. The goal is to return to the true condition of the mind. Rather than attempt either to renounce the five poisons or to somehow transform them, Dzogchen suggests that we examine our problems. In the process we discover that they have no roots; they vanish. We are freed into a state where there are no passions.

Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche received his transmission directly from Lopon Tenzin Namdak Rinpoche. The Lingmincha Institute offers the Bon tradition in a manner Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche feels can communicate with Western audiences and also provides a spiritual home for Tibetan residents in the United States. The institute’s library houses a number of rare Tibetan texts, and work has begun on translations. Of special interest is Tibetan medicine. Students may enter a seven-year program, focused in three-week summer retreats at the Serenity Ridge Retreat Center, through which they can be trained in the Bon religion and the spiritual exercises it perpetuates.

Membership

The institute is not a membership organization.

Periodicals

The Voice of Clear Light.

Sources

Ligmincha Institute. https://www.ligmincha.org/.

Wangyal Rinpoche, Tenzin. The Essence of Dzogchen in the Native B’n Tradition of Tibet.

———. “The Way of Dzogchen: The Great Perfection.” Tantra 5 (1992): 76.

———. “Shamanism in the Native B’n Tradition of Tibet.” Tantra 8 (1994): 50–53, 79.

MahaSiddha Dharma

PO Box 1689, Soquel, CA 95073

MahaSiddha Dharma was founded in 1999 by a Buddhist teacher called Kali Ma and by her students and her husband Derrick Pawo. Kali Ma was ordained as a yogini in the gö kar chang-lo’i dé lineage, the white-skirt, long-haired, noncelibate lineage of the Nyingma tradition. This lineage was passed to her by Ngak’chang Rinpoche and his wife, Khandro Dechen, the lineage holders of the Aro Ter lineage, which traces back to Khyungchen Aro Lingma (1886–1923), a female master, and her son Aro Yeshe (1915–1951). She received transmission directly from Yeshe Tsogyal (757–817), the legendary female student of Padmasambhava, who introduced Buddhism to Tibet.

Kali Ma’s spiritual career began as a young woman when she met a wisdom master and former student of Trungpa Rinpoche named Isa. From him she received her first initiations and empowerments, and after completing her training with him, she began her teaching work. She later met Ngak’chang Rinpoche and Khandro Dechen and received the Aro Ter lineage, then studied with Kali Ma Troma Rigtsal Rinpoche, another female teacher who works in the unorthodox style of the MahaSiddhas, the pioneering tantric teachers from India who supported the transmission of Buddhism to Tibet.

In founding MahaSiddha Buddhism, Kali Ma began to build an esoteric school that offered both beginning and advanced classes for students. Instruction includes classes in hatha yoga and in ayurveda medicine.

Kali Ma has concentrated her teaching in India, Nepal, and California, where she founded the Trigug Retreat in Santa Cruz, the MahaSiddha Center in Berkeley, and more than a dozen residential-practice communities. She also opened two clinics that offer ayurveda and panchakarma (ayurveda’s purification therapy). The teachings of MahaSiddha Dharma are organized in stages that allow personal engagement with the practices, a relationship to a spiritual community, and a relationship with Kali Ma. Students may be community members (beginner), practitioner members (intermediate), or Vajra Sangha (advanced); each stage is offered in a way to meet the student’s specific needs, maturity, and commitment levels.

Membership

Not reported. There are approximately 15 centers in the United States, all in California.

Sources

MahaSiddha Dharma. www.mahasiddhas.org/.

Mahasiddha Nyingmapa Center

47 East Rd., Hawley, MA 01339

The Mahasiddha Nyingmapa Center is a small Nyingma center under the direction of Kyabje Dodrupchen Rinpoche. Students carry out a daily schedule of meditation and chanting.

Membership

In 2008 the center reported 50 members.

Sources

Mahasiddha Nyingmapa Center. www.mahasiddha.org.

Thondup, Tulku. Buddhist Civilization in Tibet. Cambridge, MA: Mahasiddha Nyingmapa Center, 1982.

Namgyal Monastery Institute of Buddhist Studies

PO Box 127, Ithaca, NY 14851

Namgyal Monastery Institute of Buddhist Studies is the American headquarters of the Dalai Lama in his role as head of the Gelugpa School of Buddhism and nominal head of the Tibetan Buddhist community. The Gelugpa tradition is traced back to Lama Tsongkhapa (1357–1419), popularly known as Jetsun Tsongkhapa or Je Rinpoche in Tibet. He is thought to be a major reformer of Tibetan Buddhism. In his mature years, Je Rinpoche wrote a collection of texts on Buddhist doctrine and other related subjects, among them the Lam-Rim Chenmo, a study of the graduated path to enlightenment, which is considered by believers as the most authoritative volume on Buddhist teachings.

Je Rinpoche and his disciples founded the Gandan Monastery in 1409. His followers became known as the Gelugpas (“virtuous”), and his teachings spread throughout Tibet and to Mongolia, where almost the entire population became Gelugpa followers. The teachings also spread through China, influencing a succession of emperors who supported the spread of Buddhism.

The leader of this largest of Tibetan Schools is termed the Dalai Lama. The first Dalai Lama was Tsongkhapa’s nephew. The Second Dalai Lama established the original Namgyal Monastery in the sixteenth century, and over the centuries it has served as the private monastery of each of the successive Dalai Lamas. In Tibet, this prestigious but relatively small monastery was located in the Potala in the capital city of Lhasa.

The present Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso (b. 1935), was recognized as the new Dalai Lama at the age of two and in 1939 taken to Lhasa from his home in eastern Tibet. Though only 16, in 1951 he assumed his responsibilities in order to deal with the perceived threat that the new Chinese government posed for the country. When the country was finally overrun in 1959, he fled, and since that time he has worked both to regain the autonomy of Tibet and to care for the 100,000 Tibetan refugees, including numerous religious leaders who fled with him. His worldwide travels on behalf of these two causes have given him status as a prominent world religious leader similar to the Ecumenical Patriarch (Eastern Orthodox Christianity) or the Pope. The Dalai Lama established his headquarters (both a government-in-exile and Tibetan Buddhist center) in Dharmasala, India, and re-created Namgyal Monastery in a building immediately adjacent to his residence. Today a large community of monks pursues research and studies there.

In 1992 the monastery established a North American branch in Ithaca, New York, in conjunction with an innovative institute of study and practice for the benefit of lay as well as ordained Western women and men. With the approval of the Dalai Lama, the Administrative Committee of Namgyal Monastery in Dharmasala composed the charter for the Ithaca branch monastery and its institute and selected monks for its staff. Namgyal Institute has a program of bringing to the West both the program designed by the Dalai Lama and additional supplementary coursework. The institute hosts special events and guided pilgrimages, weeklong summer retreats, and a three-year curriculum of study in Tibetan language and Buddhist practices. The monks of the Namgyal Monastery Institute have also become well known for their intricate and beautiful sand mandalas, which have been exhibited in museums all over the world.

The Dalai Lama has written a number of books and overseen the translation of numerous Tibetan texts into Western languages. Snow Lion Publications was established in 1980 as an English-language publisher of books and other materials on Tibet, Tibetan culture, Tibetan Buddhism, and His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. As a publishing house it has been dedicated to the preservation of Tibetan culture and has become a major force in spreading Tibetan Buddhism in the West.

Remarks

During the 1990s, amid his broad work with the Tibetan Buddhist community, the Dalai Lama became involved in two international controversies that have particular significance for Gelugpa Buddhists. The first concerns the Panchen Lama. The Panchen Lama is the second most important religious figure in Tibet. The Fifth Dalai Lama, who became the sovereign ruler of Tibet in 1642, gave Tashi Lhunpo Monastery to the 15th abbot of the monastery, Lobsang Choekyi Gyaltsen, and officially conferred the title panchen (great scholar) upon him. Since his death, Lobsang Choekyi Gyaltsen’s reincarnations have been recognized and known as the Panchen Lama.

Dalai Lamas and Panchen Lamas have enjoyed a unique and supportive relationship. Over the centuries, the adult Dalai Lama has been the person to recognize the new incarnation of the Panchen Lama, and vice versa. Thus it came about that in May 1995 (in the wake of the death of the 10th Panchen Lama in 1989), the present Dalai Lama recognized a six-year-old boy, Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, as the reincarnation of the Panchen Lama. However, shortly thereafter, the Chinese authorities detained Gedhun Choekyi Nyima and his parents and neither have been seen since. Then in November 1995, the Chinese government declared its recognition of another young boy, Gyaltsen Norbu, as the new Panchen Lama. The issue has become an important one in the ongoing relations between the Chinese government and the Dalai Lama, especially because the 10th Panchen had been severely treated in an effort to have him denounce the Dalai Lama, but he remained loyal.

The second issue has involved an internal struggle within the Gelugpa community. In 1978 the Dalai Lama gave a talk in which he spoke harshly of veneration ascribed to Dorje Shugden, a Tibetan Buddhist deity who has enjoyed popular support among Tibetan Buddhists. The Dalai Lama’s words led to the suppression of worship in the community in India and Nepal and some discrimination against those who continued the practice. This was largely an internal matter little known outside of the inner circle of believers. But the Dalai Lama heightened controversy in 1996 when, in the wake of his problems with the Chinese over the Panchen Lama, he publicly declared Dorje Shugden to be an evil Chinese spirit who was harmful to Tibetan independence and to the Dalai Lama’s life. He then took the extraordinary step of banning the worship of Dorje Shugden and initiating its forcible suppression within the exile Tibetan communities. This action infuriated many who felt forced to choose between the Dalai Lama and their own traditional spiritual practice.

Among the major supporters of Dorje Shugden veneration were the leaders and members of a rival Gelugpa branch, the New Kadampa Tradition (NKT), which has its center in a monastery in England. Members of the NKT demonstrated against the Dalai Lama during his European visit in the summer of 1996. Then in February 1997, three of the Dalai Lama’s close disciples were murdered near Dharmasala. Again, on May 3, 1998, followers of Dorje Shugden (including NKT members) demonstrated against the Dalai Lama in New York during his visit there.

Neither the Panchen Lama controversy nor the Dorje Shugden controversy appears to be nearing a resolution. In each case, those opposed to the Dalai Lama are out of his reach, either in the controlled environment of Tibet or in the free religious environment of the modern West. He has no power to locate and free his designated candidate as the Panchen Lama or to force the followers of Dorje Shugden in various branches of Tibetan Buddhism to discontinue their veneration. The Dalai Lama will probably have to live with both issues for a number of years in the future.

Sources

Namgyal Monastery Institute of Buddhist Studies. www.namgyal.org.

Snow Lion Publications. www.snowlionpub.com.

Batchelor, Stephen. “Letting Daylight into Magic: The Life and Times of Dorje Shugden.” Tricycle: The Buddhist Review 7, 3 (spring 1998): 60–66.

Dalai Lama. My Land and My People. New York: Potala Corporation, 1983.

———. Freedom in Exile: The Autobiography of the Dalai Lama. San Francisco: Harper, 1991. 320 pp.

———. Opening of the Wisdom Eye. Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1986.

———. The Way to Freedom. San Francisco: Harper, 1994. 192 pp.

Kay, David. “The New Kadampa Tradition and the Continuity of Tibetan Buddhism in Transition.” Journal of Contemporary Religion 12, no. 3 (October 1997): 277–293.

Lopez, Donald S., Jr. “Two Sides of the Same God” Tricycle: The Buddhist Review 7, no. 3 (spring 1998): 67–69.

Snelling, John. The Buddhist Handbook: A Complete Guide to Buddhist Schools, Teachings, Practice, and History. Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions, 1991. 337 pp.

Namo Buddha Seminar

1390 Kalmia Ave., Boulder, CO 80304

Alternate Address

International Headquarters: Thrangu Tashi Choeling-Monastery, Namo Buddha Retreat Centre, PO Box 1287, Kathmandu, Nepal. Canadian Headquarters: Karma Tashi Ling, 10792 82nd Ave., Edmonton, AB T6E 2A8.

The Namo Buddha Seminar was established by the Ven. Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche, a Tibetan lama of the Kagyu sect in 1988. In the fifteenth century, the seventh Gyalwa Karmapa, Chodrak Gyatso (1454–1506), visited the region of Thrangu in Tibet, and he established the Thrangu Monastery. He also enthroned Sherab Gyaltsen as the first Thrangu Rinpoche and asserted that he was the reestablished emanation of Shubu Palgyi Senge, one of the 25 great siddha disciples of Guru Padmasambhava, the eighth-century saint who brought Buddhism to Tibet.

Thrangu Rinpoche was born in Tibet in 1933 and was recognized by the age of five by H. H. the 16th Karmapa and Tai Situpa to be the ninth reincarnation of the famous Thrangu Tulku. He was forced to escape from Tibet when the Chinese invaded in 1959, and he found his way to the Karmapa’s monastery in exile in Sikkim, India. Because of his great scholarship and unending diligence, he was given the task of preserving the teachings of the Kagyu lineage, with its long history of notable personages such as Marpa, Gampopa, and Milarepa, so that this lineage of 1,000 years of profound Buddhist teachings would not die out.

At the age of 23 he received ordination from H. H. Karmapa, along with Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche (the founder of Vajradhatu International) and Surmang Garwang Rinpoche. He was introduced to the Absolute Nature by Lama Khenpo Gangshar Wangpo. Thrangu Rinpoche studied in Buxalor and in a few years achieved the highest Geshe Lharampa degree, and upon returning to Rumtek he was given the highest Khenchen degree. Because all the Buddhist texts were destroyed in Tibet, Thrangu Rinpoche helped begin the recovery of these texts from Tibetan monasteries outside of Tibet. He became abbot of the Nalanda Institute in Rumtek and, along with Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso, was one of the principal teachers in the Nalanda Institute, training all the younger tulkus of the lineage. Thrangu Rinpoche was also the tutor for the four major regents and established the fundamental curriculum of the Karma Kagyu lineage. Today he is the holder of the Zhentong lineage handed down by Jamgon Kongtrul the Great.

In 1976 Thrangu Rinpoche founded a small monastery in Boudhanath, Kathmandu, and also a retreat center in Namo Buddha (both in Nepal), and began giving authentic Buddhist teachings in the West and in the Far East. He has taught in more than 25 countries and has 17 centers in 12 countries. Additionally, he maintains a free medical clinic in an impoverished area of Nepal, Tara Abbey, which trains Tibetan women to become khenpos (teachers), and an elementary school for training Tibetan children in Western subjects as well as Buddhist topics.

In the United States, Thrangu Rinpoche established centers in Maine and California and often visits and teaches in centers in New York, Connecticut, and Seattle. In Canada he teaches in Vancouver, has a center in Edmonton, and is abbot of Gampo Abbey (a Buddhist monastery) in Nova Scotia. Thrangu Rinpoche conducts annual Namo Buddha seminars in the United States, Canada, and Europe, as part of a meditation retreat. In 2006 the Vajra Vidya Retreat Center in Crestone, Colorado, was completed. Under the guidance of Lama Wangdu and Khenpo Jigme, the center offers both short-term and long-term retreat packages as well as a summer program of study and meditation.

The Namo Buddha Seminar supports the activities of Thrangu Rinpoche and concentrates on publishing the authentic Buddhist teachings from a realized teacher. Namo Buddha Publications has collected an audio library of more than 800 tapes of Thrangu Rinpoche and has published many of these in 28 books, which are available from the online bookstore. It is planned that his works will be digitized and available for download on the Internet; a Cyber-sangha, which will present his teachings in a long-distance learning format, will also be available. A bimonthly Internet newsletter is sent to approximately 600 subscribers.

Membership

In 2002 an estimated 400 to 450 people attended Rinpoche’s seminars, which are open to anyone.

Educational Facilities

Thrangu Tashi Choling, Boudhanath, Kathmandu, Nepal.

Periodicals

Namo Buddhist Seminar.

Sources

Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche. www.rinpoche.com.

Vajra Vidya Retreat Center. www.vajravidyaretreatcenter.org.

Nechung Dorje Drayang Ling

PO Box 250, Pahala, HI 96777

In 1972 the head of the Nyingmapa branch of Tibetan Buddhism visited Hawaii. Inspired by his visit, a group of students initiated efforts to bring a teacher to live on the islands permanently. One of them consulted with the Dalai Lama concerning that possibility. The students had acquired the Woods Valley Temple, a Nichiren Buddhist temple five miles outside of Pahala, Hawaii, which had been abandoned when Japanese workers moved out of the area. They found a teacher, Nechung Rinpoche, in 1975. He was an accomplished master of both the Gelug and older Nyingma branches of Tibetan Buddhism. Shortly after his arrival, a second center was opened in Honolulu, and periodically meetings are held on the other islands. Nechung Rinpoche attempts to integrate the practices and teachings of all the branches of Buddhism, and the center has been host to a wide variety of Tibetan Buddhist teachers who have come to Hawaii. In 1994 the Woods Valley Temple hosted the Dalai Lama, who attracted more than 3,500 people.

The center has a full schedule of lectures, daily meditation sessions, and ceremonies. It has become a retreat facility that can accommodate approximately 20 people and has hosted numerous retreats with head and lineage lamas of all schools of Tibetan Buddhism. Contact is maintained with the Nechung Dorje Drayang Ling Monastery in Dharmasala, India, considered the mother of the Hawaiian work. There is also a Nechung Monastery in Lhasa, Tibet, which has about 25 monks in residence.

Membership

In 1988 four people lived at the Woods Valley temple, though during retreats the population may swell to around 25. Approximately 40 monks live at the monastery in Dharmasala.

Periodicals

Newsletter.

Sources

Nechung Orje Drayang Ling. www.nechung.org.

New Kadampa Tradition (NKT)

Kadampa Meditation Center New York, Sweeney Rd., Glen Spey, NY 12737

Alternate Address

International Headquarters: NKT-IKBU, Conishead Priory, Ulverston, Cumbria, UK LA12 9QQ.

The New Kadampa Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism originated in the mid-1970s with the movement of the Ven. Geshe Kelsang Gyatso (b. 1931) to the West. He had been born in Tibet but left after the Chinese takeover. He trained for 19 years in the Tibetan monasteries of Jampaling and Sera under his spiritual guide, the Ven. Trijang Rinpoche, before entering into a meditation retreat in the Himalayas for almost 20 years. In 1977 he was invited to England as the resident teacher at the Manjushri Mahayana Buddhist Centre (now the Manjushri Kadampa Meditation Centre) in England, where he has remained ever since.

The Kadampa Tradition is traced to Atisha (982–1054 c.e.), who brought Buddhism to western Tibet (1042) from India. He emphasized guru devotion and the need for a monastic disciple. His work was carried on by his disciple Dromton (1088–1164), who largely shaped the tradition. It was eventually passed to Je Tsong Khapa (1357–1419), who helped revive Buddhism across Tibet during a time it was at a low ebb. In more recent centuries the Kadampa tradition has become a branch of the Gelugpa Tibetan Buddhist school.

The New Kadampa Tradition was created to present the old teaching in a manner that communicates with modern Westerners. To that end, Geshe Kelsang has published some 21 books ranging from volumes for beginners to detailed and lucid expositions of the profundities of Buddhist philosophy. He proposes the following of Atisha’s instructions, called “Lamrim”or “Stages of the Path,”which combines study and spiritual practice. These books are published by Tharpa Publications and are available for purchase through the company’s Web site.

Membership

Not reported. In 2008 the NKT reported 1,100 Kadampa Buddhist centers and branches in 40 countries.

Remarks

The New Kadampa tradition has become widely known for its involvement in a controversy internal to the Gelugpa school headed by H. H. the Dalai Lama. On July 13, 1978, in exile, the Dalai Lama gave a talk in which he attempted to discredit the worship of Dorje Shugden, a Tibetan Buddhist deity who was enormously popular among the people of Gelugpa School. The worship of Dorje Shugden was also a practice of the Dalai Lama’s own principal spiritual teacher, Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche.

The continued discrediting of Dorje Shugden led to the suppression of worship and some discrimination against those who continued the practice. The Dalai Lama raised the controversy to a new level in 1996 when, in the main Thekchen Choeling Temple near Dharamsala, he publicly declared Dorje Shugden to be an evil Chinese spirit who was harmful to Tibetan independence and to the Dalai Lama’s life. He then took the extraordinary step of banning the worship of Dorje Shugden and initiating its forcible suppression within the exile Tibetan communities. This action infuriated many who felt forced to choose between the Dalai Lama and their own traditional spiritual practice.

The New Kadampa Tradition has been the main supporter of Dorje Shugden among practitioners of Tibetan Buddhism in the West. The controversy, which pitched the Dalai Lama against the New Kadampa Tradition, was further escalated by an NKT campaign during the Dalai Lama’s European visit in the summer of 1996. Then, in February 1997, three of the Dalai Lama’s close disciples were murdered near Dharamsala, India. Again, on May 3, 1998, followers of Dorje Shugden (including NKT members) demonstrated against the Dalai Lama in New York during his visit there, and no end of the controversy is in sight. It is thought that the ban on the worship of Dorje Shugden has resulted in the persecution of many of his followers, and practitioners in the West continue to protest the ban.

Sources

Kadampa Meditation Center New York. www.kadampanewyork.org.

New Kadampa Tradition–International Kadampa Buddhist Union. kadampa.org/. Tharpa Publications. www.tharpa.com.

Batchelor, Stephen. “Letting Daylight into Magic: The Life and Times of Dorje Shugden.” Tricycle: The Buddhist Review 7, no. 3 (spring 1998): 60–66.

Kay, David. “The New Kadampa Tradition and the Continuity of Tibetan Buddhism in Transition.” Journal of Contemporary Religion 12, no. 3 (October 1997): 277–293.

Lopez, Donald S., Jr. “Two Sides of the Same God.”Tricycle: The Buddhist Review 7, no. 3 (spring 1998): 67–69.

Padmasambhava Buddhist Centers

Padma Samye Ling Retreat Center and Monastery, 618 Buddha Hwy., Sidney Center, NY 13839

The Padmasambhava Buddhist Centers (named for the eighth-century Tibetan saint) comprise a set of Nyingma Buddhist practice groups tied together by the teaching activity of Khenpo Tse-wang Dongyal Rinpoche and Khenchen Palden Sherab Rinpoche, both students of H. H. Dudjom Rinpoche, head of the Nyingma lineage within Tibetan Buddhism. The members gather annually for a summer retreat at Padma Samye Ling Retreat Center and Monastery, a retreat center in upstate New York. The rest of the year the teachers travel between their centers, which are found across the United States, and in Puerto Rico and Russia.

Membership

Not reported. As of 1998 there were nine centers in the United States and one in Puerto Rico.

Periodicals

Tashi Deleg!

Sources

Padmasambhava Buddhist Centers. www.padmasambhava.org/.

Morreale, Don. The Complete Guide to Buddhist America. Boston: Shambhala, 1998.

Palyul Changchub Dargyeling

Box 1514, Mill Valley, CA 94941

Palyul Changchub Dargyeling was established in 1996 by Khenpo Tsewang Gyatso Rinpoche, the American representative of the Palyul branch of the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. The Palyul Nyingma date to 1665 c.e. in Eastern Tibet. The supreme head of the Palyul Buddhists is H. H. Padma Nornu (“Penor”) Rinpoche, the eleventh throne holder of Palyul. His seat is currently at the Namdroling Monastery in Byla-Kuppe, India.

In February 1997, H. H. Penor Rinpoche recognized actor Steven Seagal as a tulku, the reincarnation of Chungdrag Dorje of Palyul Monastery. Later that year he toured the United States to formally open his newly established centers.

Membership

Not reported. There are several centers in the United States.

Sources

Palyul Changchub Dargyeling. www.palyul.org/.

Morreale, Don. The Complete Guide to Buddhist America. Boston: Shambhala, 1998.

Rigpa Fellowship

Rigpa U.S. Headquarters, 9540 Waples St., Ste. A, San Diego, CA 92121

Rigpa Fellowship is an association of Tibetan Buddhist meditation centers under the direction of Sogyal Rinpoche. Rinpoche is an incarnate lama of the Dzogchen lineage who studied first under Jamyang Khyentse Chokyi Lodro. In the mid-1970s he accompanied the Dalai Lama on his first trip to the West, remaining behind to attend Cambridge University. He founded Orgyen Choe Ling in London and attracted students in France and the United States and later in Australia. Rinpoche teaches Dzoghen meditation, believed to be the final and ultimate teaching of Buddha, which brings the precise experience of the awakened state.

Tapes and booklets by Rinpoche can be ordered through the Rigpa Store Web site. Radio shows consisting of interviews with Rinpoche are distributed to stations by New Dimensions Radio in San Francisco. Rinpoche resides in England but makes regular visits to the United States and conducts an annual weeklong retreat for students. These retreats are complemented by a year-round program of courses in Rigpa centers and groups. An online curriculum, the Rigpa Distance Learning Program, offers individuals who do not live near a Rigpa center the opportunity to study Rigpa’s graduated course program and deepen their understanding of Rinpoche’s teachings.

Membership

In 2008 Rigpa reported 14 centers and groups in the United States and 4 in Canada. There were several thousand members in centers around the world, including France, Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and India.

Sources

Rigpa Fellowship. www.rigpaus.org/.

Rigpa International. www.rigpa.org/.

The Rigpa Store. zamamerica.stores.yahoo.net.

Rinpoche, Sogyal. Face to Face Meditation Experience. London: Orgyen Choe Ling, 1978.

———. View, Meditation and Action. London: Dzogchen Orgyen Choe Ling, 1979.

———. The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. Edited by Patrick Gaffney and Andrew Harvey. San Francisco: Harper San Francisco, 1992.

Rigpe Dorje Foundation

c/o Jan Puckett, Rigpa Dorje Center, 28 Eton Green Circle, San Antonio, TX 78257

Alternate Address

Rigpe Dorje Center (Centre Rigpe Dorje), 503 5th Ave., Verdun, QC, Canada H4G 272.

The Rigpe Dorje Foundation was founded by His Eminence Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche (1954–1992), a Tibetan teacher believed by his followers to be the mind incarnation of Lodro Thaye, Jamgon Kongtrul the Great (1813–1899), pioneer of the nineteenth-century Rime movement (an effort to overcome the differences among the major schools of Tibetan Buddhism). He also is believed to be the incarnation of Taranatha and Khyungpo Naljor, founders of the Jonangpa and Shangpa lineages. When he was but six years old, the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa enthroned him, and while growing up he lived and studied under the Karmapa’s guidance at Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim.

Continuing the activity of the previous Kongtrul incarnations, he established retreat centers in Nepal and India. In his belief that Eastern wisdom and Western knowledge can combine to understand and resolve many contemporary problems, he initiated the Buddhism and Psychotherapy Conference in New York. He also funded the Paramita Charitable Trust and the Rigpe Dorje Foundation in the United States, Canada, and Europe through which his followers have supported projects of educational, medical, social, and cultural development, mainly in India.

Jamgon Rinpoche was killed in Siliguri, India, in 1992 in a car accident. His work was assumed by Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche. In October 1997, recognition of the fourth Jamgon Kongtrul reincarnation, Jamgon Lodro Chokyi Nyima Tenpe Dronme, was announced. He was born in Tibet on November 26, 1995, and recognized by His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, Orgen Trinley Dorje. Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche currently resides at Pullahari Monastery, on a hilltop overlooking the Kathmandu valley.

Membership

In 2008 the San Antonio center reported 15 members. Members participate in the annual Treasury of Knowledge retreat with the Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche.

Sources

Rigpe Dorje Center (Centre Rigpe Dorje). centrerigpedorje.org/.

Jamgon Kongtrul Labrang. www.jamgonkongtrul.org/.

Morreale, Don. The Complete Guide to Buddhist America. Boston: Shambhala, 1998.

Rime Foundation

5900 N Kenmore, Ste. C1, Chicago, IL 60660

The Rime (or “nonpartisan”) tradition within Tibetan Buddhism began in in eastern Tibet in the nineteenth century, when some scholars saw the need to overcome sectarian bias in evaluation of the doctrinal traditions of the various schools and to accept each tradition on its own merits. The movement was initiated by the Sakyapa teacher Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo (1820–1892). Among his students the most important were Chogyur Dechen Lingpa (1829–1870) and Jamgon Kongtrul the Great (1811–1899), who compiled the “Five Great Treasures,”a compendium of teachings and practices of the various Tibetan traditions. The movement’s fundamental attitude of unbiasedness was most evident in the person and work of Jamgon Kongtrul’s recent incarnation, Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche (1954– 1992), a Karma Kagyu teacher who established the Rigpe Dorje Foundation.

The Rime teachers and their students restructured doctrinal and practical materials, based on the example of the Gelugpa school. The process within the Rime movement of reviving transmissions of teachings that had been thought lost and providing them with fresh commentary also embraced the traditions of the other schools. Works of the Kagyupa, Sakyapa, Kadampa (a.k.a. Gelugpa) and Chod lineages are also found in the Rime collection of texts. Additionally, the Rime teachers advocated revival of the Tibetan Bon teachings.

The Rime Foundation, formerly the Chicago Rime Center, is a Western outpost of the Rime tradition that supports the development, practice, and integration of the various schools of Tibetan Buddhism. While exploring the richness unique to each lineage, the Rime Foundation honors the unity inherent within the vast spectrum of Tibetan Buddhist teachings. The center offers activities including weekly practice sessions and dharma talks and works to provide access to traditional teachings by notable masters within the larger Tibetan Buddhist tradition.

Membership

Not reported.

Sources

www.geocities.com/RimeFoundation/.

108 NW 83rd St., Seattle, WA 98117

Sakya Monastery of Tibetan Buddhism is a place to learn from highly qualified Tibetan lamas in a traditional setting. The monastery, located in the Greenwood district of Seattle, Washington, occupies a beautiful renovated building that houses a pristine example of a Tibetan Buddhist shrine, one of only a few in North America. Although called a monastery, it is primarily a lay community of practitioners, with various levels of experience in the Buddhist tradition.

The head lama of Sakya Monastery is H. H. Jigdal Dagchen Sakya (called Rinpoche, meaning “Precious One” in Tibetan). He is a head lama of the Sakya school, one of Tibetan Buddhism’s four main schools. The term Sakya derives from Rinpoche’s family name and spiritual lineage and ultimately from the original Sakya Monastery in Sakya, Tibet, built by one of Rinpoche’s ancestors in 1073. It received the name “Sakya”because it was constructed on a patch of earth (sa) that was pale (kya). The monastery in Seattle, while a seat of the Sakya school of Tibetan Buddhism in North America, is also a nonsectarian religious center and hosts visits and teaching from leading lamas of all four schools of Tibetan Buddhism.

The purpose of the monastery is to share and preserve Tibetan Buddhism and Tibetan culture. It does this through the promotion of Buddhist teachings and practices and by upholding Tibetan customs and traditions. Since the purpose of the Buddha’s teaching, as practiced in Tibet, is to develop loving kindness and compassion, the main meditation practices at the monastery focus on the cultivation of these qualities. In keeping with the emphasis in Buddhism (and especially in the Sakya school) on education and learning, Sakya Monastery offers a variety of educational programs to foster a better understanding of the teachings of the Buddha.

The Seattle monastery was featured in Bernardo Bertolucci’s 1993 film Little Buddha.

Membership

In 2008 the monastery had three lamas and reported approximately 1,000 members and congregants in the United States and Canada. There are a number of affiliated Sakya centers around the world.

Educational Facilities

Virupa Ecumenical Institute, Seattle, Washington.

Sakya College, Rajpur, India.

Sources

Sakya Monastery of Tibetan Buddhism. www.sakya.org/.

The Excellent Path Bestowing Bliss. Seattle, WA: Sakya Monastery of Tibetan Buddhism, 1987.

Shambhala International

1084 Tower Rd., Halifax, NS, Canada B3H 2Y5

Shambhala International, which comprises more than 170 meditation centers worldwide, was founded by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche (1939–1987) and is currently led by his eldest son and spiritual heir, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche. Shambhala, the largest of the Tibetan Buddhist groups in the United States, is a representative of the Kagyupa sect founded by Marpa Lotsawa in the eleventh century. Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, the Vidyadhara, is believed to have been the 11th incarnation of the Trungpa tulkus (emanation of a bodhisattva) and was abbot of Surmang Monastery, a center of the Kagyupa tradition, until the takeover of Tibet by the Chinese in 1959.

The Vidyadhara fled Tibet that year and settled in England. While attending Oxford University, he established a small Buddhist center in Scotland, Samye Ling. Two years later he left the center, dropped his monastic orders, and became a layperson. In 1970 he married and migrated to the United States, where he founded the meditation center Karme Choling in Vermont. He traveled, lectured, and established several more centers over the next few years. In 1973 he created an umbrella organization, Vajradhatu, for his expanding activities. He had by this time moved to Colorado. In 1985 he moved to Nova Scotia to establish Vajradhatu International, which, after his passing in 1987 and his son’s succession as leader of the organization in 1990, became Shambhala International.

Under Shambhala proper are all the centers around the United States and Canada, called “dharmadatus.” Karme Choling in Vermont and the Shambhala Mountain Center (formerly Rocky Mountain Dharma Center) in Colorado are used primarily for retreats, study programs, and training sessions. Shambhala Training, a series of contemplative workshops, provides a secular approach to the practice of meditation in everyday life.

In 1974 Trungpa had created the Nalanda Foundation to direct several outreach programs. Of these the educational arm, Naropa Institute, now the fully accredited Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado, is the most notable. It has long been an important center for Buddhist scholarship in the West through its varied and creative programs. Shambhala has also established prison outreach programs to serve the spiritual needs of inmates. In addition, it has organized an annual summer camp for young people, weekend seminars, and the Mipham Academy, a month-long intensive program of study for advanced practitioners. The organization’s Web site provides information on the wide range of programs available to interested parties.

Membership

In 2008 Shambhala International reported more than 4,000 members worldwide in 170 dharmadatus, including major centers in Vermont, Colorado, Canada, and Europe.

Educational Facilities

Naropa University, Boulder, Colorado.

Periodicals

The Shambhala Sun. • The Dot. • Buddhadharma.

Sources

Shambhala International. www.shambhala.org/.

Clark, Tom. The Great Naropa Poetry Wars. Santa Barbara, CA: Cadmus Editions, 1980.

Guenther, Herbert V., and Choegyam Trungpa. The Dawn of Tantra. Berkeley, CA: Shambhala, 1975.

Tendzin, Osel. Buddha in the Palm of Your Hand. Boulder, CO: Shambhala, 1982.

Thinley, Karma. The History of the Sixteen Karmapas of Tibet. Boulder, CO: Prajna Press, 1980.

Trungpa, Chogyam. Cutting through Spiritual Materialism. Berkeley, CA: Shambhala, 1973.

———. Born in Tibet. Boulder, CO: Shambhala, 1976.

———. Shambhala: Sacred Path of the Warrior. Boulder, CO: Shambhala, 1985.

Tara Mandala

PO Box 3040, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147

Tara Mandala, a Tibetan Buddhist retreat center located in southwestern Colorado, offers a variety of Buddhist retreats year-round, particularly in the summer months. Lama Tsultrim Allione founded Tara Mandala in 1993, inspired by the vision of a western retreat center that she had had while living in the Himalayas and by the need to create a place for what she describes as the reemergence of the sacred feminine. Bordered by the San Juan National Forest and Ute tribal land near Pagosa Springs, the center sees itself as being rooted in the Buddhist tradition of partnership with earth, animals, family, and respect for all wisdom traditions. The focal point of Tara Mandala’s 700 acres is a breast-shaped peak surrounded by four valleys. A new residence hall was completed in 2007, and the three-story, 14,000-square-foot Tara Temple has been scheduled for completion in December 2008.

The land, lying at an elevation of 7,400 feet, offers deep silence and vast views that the center hopes will inspire both spiritual and ecological awareness. The sacred space of Tara Mandala has to do with the shape and power of the landscape itself, which has been recognized by Tibetan lamas as the body of Tara, female Buddha of compassion.

Membership

Not reported.

Periodicals

Tara Mandala Newsletter.

Sources

Tara Mandala Buddhist Retreat Center. www.taramandala.org/.

Allione, Tsultrim. Women of Wisdom. New York: Penguin, 1988.

———. Feeding Your Demons: Ancient Wisdom for Resolving Inner Conflict. New York: Little, Brown, 2008.

Thubten Dhargye Ling

PO Box 90665, Long Beach, CA 90809

Thubten Dhargye Ling Tibetan Center for Buddhist Studies was founded in 1979 by Geshe Tsultim Gyeltsen (b. 1924), a teacher in the Gelugpa tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. The center’s name, which means “Land of Increasing Buddha’s Teachings,”was given by the Dalai Lama. Geshe Gyeltsen was educated at Ganden Monastic University in Tibet. He completed a 23-year course of study and was awarded the title of Lharampa Geshe. Continuing his studies, he graduated from Gyuto Tantric College. In the 1960s he was sent by the Dalai Lama to Great Britain as the director of Tibet House in Sussex, England. In 1976 he came to America, where he taught at the University of California–Santa Barbara and the University of Oriental Studies in Los Angeles, California.

In America, Geshe Gyeltsen has continued his close relationship with the Dalai Lama and on several occasions has hosted his visits to Los Angeles. Besides the Los Angeles center, Geshe Gyeltsen has also founded two affiliated centers: Mahakaruna Tibetan Buddhist Meditation Center in Fairbanks, Alaska, and a small center near Paonia, Colorado. Activities at the center in Los Angeles include weekly Sunday services, special monthly ceremonies, meditation courses, and weekend seminars. The center’s Web site also offers a wide variety of books and DVDs for students and practitioners as well as online teachings from Geshe Gyeltsen on Sunday mornings.

Membership

Not reported.

Periodicals

TDL Newsletter.

Sources

Thubten Dhargye Ling. www.tdling.com.

Tibetan Buddhist Learning Center

93 Angen Rd., Washington, NJ 07882-9767

The first Tibetan Buddhist group to arrive in America came in 1951 and settled near Howell, New Jersey. It included 200 members of the Kalmuck tribe of Mongolia who had fled Soviet authorities wishing to convert them to communism. In 1955, with the aid of Church World Service (a Christian ecumenical group), the Ven. Geshe Ngawang Wangyal (d. 1983), a Kalmuck-Mongolian lama who received his training at the Drepung Gomang Monastery near Lhasa, Tibet, came to America from Tibet. In 1958 he founded the Lamaist Buddhist Monastery of America (in Tibetan, Labsum Shedrub Ling) in Howell Township in central New Jersey, which he headed for the rest of his life. In 1968 the center was moved to its present location in Warren County. In 1984, the year after Geshe-la died, at the advice of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, the English name of the center was changed to Tibetan Buddhist Learning Center.

The center takes its name from its main task of teaching Tibetan Buddhism. Over the years it has sponsored many Tibetan scholars to come to the United States and served as residence for both monk-scholars and American students. It has assisted in attending to the spiritual needs of the original Kalmuck community as well as a growing American Buddhist group attracted to the center by Wangyal. Among other services, the center nurtures the religious life of its students by providing the regular cycle of Tibetan Buddhist ceremonies and rituals.

The center attempts to convey to its students a basic knowledge of the many facets of Tibetan Buddhism. The study of the teachings is stressed as most important for the new Western Buddhists and is followed by putting the principles learned into practice. Many of the students have deepened their appreciation of Buddhism by learning the Tibetan language. Instruction at the center is given in English by both the resident Tibetan monk-scholars and associated American scholars. This joint teaching, which makes the subject matter easier to assimilate, is seen as essential for the center to accomplish its main aim—to develop a Buddhism that is culturally American but, at its heart, not different from the Buddhism that traveled from India throughout Asia to Tibet and from there to twentieth-century America.

Succeeding Geshe Wangyal at the center are executive directors Joshua W. C. Cutler, who trained with Geshe-la for 13 years, and his wife, Diana Cutler, who trained with Gesha-la for 11 years.

Membership

In 2008 the center reported that approximately 2,500 people participate to some degree in center activities.

Sources

Tibetan Buddhist Learning Center. www.labsum.org.

Gonzalez, Arturo F., Jr. “New Jersey’s Buddhist Shangri-La.” Coronet (April 1950).

Wangyal, Geshe. The Door of Liberation. New York: Maurice Girodias Associates, 1973.

Tibetan Nyingma Institute

1815 Highland Pl., Berkeley, CA 94709

The Nyingma Institute was founded in Berkeley, California, in 1969 by Tarthang Tulku Rinpoche (b. 1935), a lama from eastern Tibet who left his homeland in 1959 when the Chinese assumed control. His father was a Nyingmapa lama, and as a youth Tarthang received instruction in each of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism. He later taught at the Sanskrit University in Varanasi, India, and began a project of reprinting Tibetan texts.

In Berkeley, drawing on the unreformed Nyingma tradition, Tarthang built a community centered on meditation, the recitation of the mantra of Padmasambhava, Om Ah Hum Benza Guru Pema Siddhi Hum, and the ideal of the ngags-pa, or householder-yogi, a dedicated religious practitioner living with family rather than in a monastery. He purchased a former fraternity house near the University of California campus and transformed it into a teaching center.

Continuing the work pursued in India, in 1970, Tarthang Tulku created Dharma Publishing, through which he has printed a number of books on Tibetan art, Buddhist teachings, and spiritual practice. Dharma Publishing has emerged as a major Buddhist publishing house that has an ongoing program to release copies of translations of Tibetan classics. Among its notable publications is the entire Kanjur and Tanjur, the basic Tibetan Buddhist canon, which has been reprinted in 128 Western-style volumes, and more than 600 additional volumes containing almost 80,000 texts retrieved from monasteries and libraries around the world. In 1975 he led the development of a rural retreat center, Odiyan. His community emerged as one of the earliest stable non-Japanese Buddhist organizations in North America.

Tarthang became known for his success at presenting the rather complicated insights of the Tibetan path in a contemporary format and language. He focused upon the application of Nyingma Tibetan Buddhist spirituality. Several of his books, such as Gesture of Balance, Skillful Means, and Time, Space and Knowledge (on meditation) and Kum Nye Relaxation (Tibetan yoga), found a readership far beyond Tarthang’s students.

Through the 1980s and 1990s Tarthang founded additional centers in Europe and Latin America, the principal ones being in the Netherlands, Germany, and Brazil (two). In 1969 Tarthang also founded the Tibetan Aid Project to supply relief to Tibetan refugees exiled in India and the Himalayas. In more recent years the project has broadened its activity to include Tibetan monks and nuns in Tibet, India, Bhutan, Nepal, and Sikkim, rebuilding monasteries in Tibet, and making the public aware of the current situation inside Tibet.

Among Tarthang’s most impressive accomplishments is the 1975 creation of Odiyan, in rural Sonoma County, California, which now serves as an international center focused on traditional Buddhist studies, the preservation of Tibetan culture, and providing space for the meeting of Eastern and Western knowledge. Odiyan’s central temple was inspired by the monastery of Samye, founded in Tibet in 762 by Shantarakshita, Guru Padmasambhava, and the Dharma King Trisong Detsen. Northeast of the temple is the first large-scale stupa built in the United States, the seven-story golden Enlightenment Stupa.

The institute offers a variety of programs to enrich understanding of Buddhist teachings and Tibetan culture. Volunteers with the Nyingma work-study program live onsite and work with the Tibetan Aid Project, the Prayer Wheel Project, or the institute’s volunteer staff. The institute hosts a four-month Human Development Training Retreat, which provides an intense period of study and practice of Nyingma teachings. State-authorized certification programs in meditation, psychology, and Nyingma teachings and practices are offered, as well as classes and workshops for lawyers and behavioral science workers. Interested practitioners can also participate in the Sacred Works Project, which prepares sacred Tibetan texts for Western eyes.

Membership

Not reported.

Sources

Nyingma Institute. www.nyingmainstitute.com/.

Odiyan Buddhist Retreat Center. www.odiyan.org/.

Fields, Rick. How the Swans came to the Lake. 3rd ed. Boston, MA: Shambhala, 1992.

Tarthang Tulku. Kum-Nye Relaxation. Emeryville, CA: Dharma Publishing, 1978.

———. Skillful Means. Emeryville, CA: Dharma Publishing, 1978.

Unfettered Mind

264 La Cienega Blvd., Ste. 1083, Los Angeles, CA 90211

Ken McLeod was senior student of Kalu Rinpoche (1904–1989), the Tibetan Kagyupa master who established a number of the Kagyu Dharma centers in the United States. After his teacher’s death, McLeod pioneered an approach to teaching that he hoped could effectively address spiritual development in a modern urban culture such as Los Angeles. Unfettered Mind, founded in 1990, follows much of the Kagyu tradition (supplemented with practices drawn from Mahayana Buddhism) and emphasizes McLeod’s making himself available for private consultations with his students. His book Wake Up to Your Life (2001) presents the curriculum of practice and philosophy in which students of Unfettered Mind are trained. Much of McLeod’s teaching is available on podcasts.

Unfettered Mind is now a loosely organized network of students and teachers in the United States and Canada who use a variety of methods to communicate, interact, and disseminate teaching.

Membership

In 2008 membership was estimated to be approximately 250 people.

Sources

Unfettered Mind. www.unfetteredmind.org/.

McLeod, Ken. Wake Up to Your Life. San Francisco: HarperCollins, 2001.

Morreale, Don. The Complete Guide to Buddhist America. Boston: Shambhala, 1998.

United Trungram Buddhist Fellowship

155 Buff Rd., Cochecton, NY 12726

The United Trungram Buddhist Fellowship was founded in 1992 as a vehicle for the teaching of His Eminence Trungram Gyaltrul Rinpoche, a prominent Karma Kagyu monk. Trungram Gyaltrul is the lineage holder of the Trungram tradition, a specialized meditation tradition of the Kagyu School of Tibetan Buddhism. Trungram Gyaltrul is recognized as an emanation of the great yogi Milarepa.

After his recognition as the reincarnation of the third Trungram Gyaltrul Rinpoche (1894–1959), Rinpoche was given special tutoring by prominent Kagyu leaders, including the sixteenth Karmapa. He is also a practitioner of the Rimé teachings that had been transmitted from Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. He taught for the first time when he was only eleven years old. Later he traveled widely, which helped him to develop a large following beyond the Tibetan community in exile. Along with teaching Buddhism, he has developed strong interests in preserving the Tibetan heritage and in developing structures for humanitarian relief and educational service. Hence the founding of the United Trungram Buddhist Fellowship.

Trungram Gyaltrul Rinpoche works from Sankhu Monastery, located in the Sankhu, Nepal. There the Trungram Monastic Institute was founded in 1979 as a training center for monks who would represent the sangha around the world. The fellowship also has established dharma centers throughout the world as bases for teaching, group practice, and coordinating humanitarian efforts. They offer attendees a graduated course in meditation. There are also a number of small study groups that meet in members’ homes to practice and discuss the teachings and work of the fellowship.

Dharmakaya, an affiliated organization of the United Trungram Buddhist Fellowship, has been charged with overseeing all dharma teaching activities for UTBF in the United States. The primary resident teacher for Dharmakaya is Ven. Khenchen Trinley Paljor Rinpoche, himself one of the chief lineage holders of the Kagyu school.

The fellowship has established centers in Nepal, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Indonesia. The largest number are in Taiwan.

Membership

Not reported. There are three centers in the United States, one each in Boston, New York City, and Seattle.

Sources

United Trungram Buddhist Fellowship. utbf.org/en/.

Vajrakilaya Centers of North America

c/o Dudul Nagpa Ling, 7436 Sea View Pl., El Cerrito, CA 94530

The Vajrakilaya Centers were established by H. H. Orgyen Kusum Lingpa, a Dzogchen meditation master and renowned doctor of Tibetan medicine. He is also the supreme abbot of Thupten Chokor Ling, a monastery located in Golok, Eastern Tibet, and a Nyingma lineage holder with over 100,000 students worldwide.

It is believed by his followers that in a previous lifetime as Lhalung Palgyi Dorje, he was one of the 25 principal students of Padmasambhava, the eighth-century saint who brought Buddhism to Tibet, and that sealed in his mind are the teachings and transmissions received directly from Padmasambhava which are revealed today in the form of “mind treasures.” Orgyen Menla, or Medicine Buddha, is one such treasure.

The centers are named for a Tibetan deity, Vajrakilaya, the supreme destroyer of obstacles to the attainment of enlightenment. His fierce form is looked upon as the embodiment of commitment to the development of wisdom, clarity, and compassion. Kusum Lingpa teaches meditation on this form by reciting the appropriate mantra with unwavering concentration. He has noted that the practice of Vajrakilaya is crucial now in order to overcome the many kinds of inner and outer upheavals so prevalent in this age.

Centers in the West have been established since Kusum Lingpa’s initial visit in 1992.

Membership

Not reported. In 2008 there were 18 centers in the United States.

Sources

Vajrakilaya Centers. www.omura.com/k_lingpa/kilaya1.htm.

Vajrayana Foundation

c/o Peme Osel Lilng, 2013 Eureka Canyon Rd., Corralitos, CA 95076

The Vajrayana Foundation is a Nyingma Tibetan Buddhist organization founded in 1987 by Lama Tharchin Rinpoche. Headquarters are at Peme Osel Ling, a 102-acre retreat center in the Santa Cruz Mountains south of San Francisco. Pema Osel Ling is the primary residence for Lama Tharchin Rinpoche, Tulku Thubten Rinpoche, and Khenpo Orgyen Thinley Rinpoche and serves as the administrative headquarters for Vajrayana Foundation.

Membership

Not reported. Vajrayana centers are located around the United States.

Periodicals

Lotus Light.

Sources

Vajrayana Foundation. www.vajrayana.org/.

Morreale, Don. The Complete Guide to Buddhist America. Boston: Shambhala, 1998.

Yeshe Khorlo USA

2282-A Happy Day Overlook, PO Box 87, Crestone, CO 81131

Yeshe Khorlo is the name assumed by the contemporary followers of the fourteenth-century Bhutanese Buddhist master Padma Lingpa, who constitute the Drugpa branch of the Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism. His lineage holders have held the throne of Gangteng Gonpa Monastery in Bhutan, and the ninth and present throne holder is Gangteng Rinpoche. The Yeshe Khorlo center in Denver was founded in 1995. The Yeshe Khorlo centers around the United States have established a retreat center in Crestone, Colorado, known as Choying Dzong, which is recognized as the main center of Yeshe Khorlo in the United States.

Membership

Not reported. Yeshe Khorlo has six regional sanghas, in Los Angeles, California; Seattle; Washington; Santa Fe, New Mexico; Austin, Texas; and Boulder and Aspen, Colorado.

Periodicals

Yeshe Khorlo.

Sources

Yeshe Khorlo. www.yeshekhorlo.org/.

Morreale, Don. The Complete Guide to Buddhist America. Boston: Shambhala, 1998.

Yeshe Nyingpo

19 W 16th St., New York, NY 10011

Yeshe Nyingpo was founded in 1976 by Dudjom Rinpoche, believed to be a reincarnation of one of Buddha’s personal disciples and of Cheuchung Lotsawa, a disciple of Padmasambhava, who brought Buddhism to Tibet. Yeshe Nyingpo is envisioned as the instrument for the transmission of the pure Nyingmapa teachings and practice to the West. In 1980 Dudjom Rinpoche established a 50-acre spiritual retreat center, Orgyen Cho Dzong, in the Catskills under the guidance of Shenphen Dawa Rinpoche. The retreat center includes a traditional shrine room, an extensive library, meeting areas, and isolated retreat cabins for private meditation. The facilities are also open to other spiritual groups for retreats. Affiliated centers have been established across the United States and in Europe.

Membership

Not reported.

Sources

Yeshe Nyingpo. www.tersar.org/YesheNyingpoNYC.html.

Yongey Buddhist Center

682 Carlsbad St., Milpitas, CA 95035

The Yongey Buddhist Center is the U.S. organization supporting the teachings and work of the seventh Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche (b. 1976). It came into being as the result of the fortuitous meeting of Mrs. Mei Yen Chen Ladle, a Chinese-American lay Buddhist, with Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche.

In 1998 Mrs. Ladle and her husband decided to build an enlightenment stupa on their property in northern California. As they enlisted the aid of friends in this endeavor, it was brought to their attention that placing the stupa on private property would greatly limit its access to the public. Therefore, Mrs. Ladle and others formed and incorporated the Buddhist Society for Supreme Enlightenment (BSFSE). When the stupa was completed in 2000, Mrs. Ladle invited H. E. Tai Situ Rinpoche to consecrate it. Tai Situ Rinpoche was unable to come, so at his suggestion, the invitation was passed to Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche.

As a child, Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche was identified as the reincarnation of Yongey Mingyur Dorjee (an eighteenth-century Buddhist master) by the sixteenth karmapa, the head of the Karma Kagyu School of Tibetan Buddhism. The karmapa gave him the name Karma Gyurmey Tenzin Chokyi Dorjee, and he was enthroned at age 12 by H. E. Tai Situ Rinpoche (b. 1954) at Sherib Ling, his monastery in northern India. Yongey Mingyur became an accomplished student and meditation master. In 1996, when he was twenty years old, Situ Rinpoche asked him to become his representative at the monastic seat Sherib Ling. He held this post from 1997 to 2002; since then he has traveled around the world teaching.

During his visit to consecrate the stupa, Mrs. Ladle asked Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche to return to northern California annually to teach and assume the role of BSFSE’s dharma teacher for retreat and meditation. Rinpoche consented. A short time later, Mrs. Ladle attended a retreat given by Rinpoche in Taiwan, which deeply impressed her, and she led the society’s board of directors to offer the nonprofit organization as a dharma center for Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche. When Rinpoche accepted, the organization was renamed Yongey Buddhist Center. It now serves as the outpost for Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche’s global teaching work.

Membership

The center is not a membership organization. It is the sole U.S. center related to Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche.

Sources

Yongey Buddhist Center. www.yongey.org/en/home.htm.

Yun Lin Temple

2959 Russell St., Berkeley, CA 94705

The Yun Lin Temple was founded in 1968 by Prof. Thomas Lin-Yun. It is a center of Black Sect tantric Buddhism of Tibet (the various major forms of Buddhism being distinguished by association with a color). The Black Sect traces its origins to the ancient Bon religion, which was dominant in Tibet at the time Buddhism was introduced in the eighth century c.e. Of the several sects of Tibetan Buddhism, the Black Sect retains most of the older Bon practices, and as it has grown and spread into China, it has incorporated elements of Chinese folk religion, healing practices, magic, and philosophy. A very eclectic system, it has encountered modern scientific thinking, and within the Yun Lin Temple attempts are made to reinterpret the tradition in modern forms.

Prof. Lin-Yun was born and raised in Beijung and even as a child began to study Buddhism with Lama Da-De, a teacher in the Black Sect tradition. He left mainland China as a teenager and relocated to Taiwan, where he found other members of the Black Sect school. He became a recognized authority on Feng Shui, the art of placement, a valued part of Chinese philosophy concerning the proper placement of objects such as houses to make beneficial use of the spiritual forces of the environment. The organization’s Web site features a section on his Feng Shui teachings, written by Katherine Metz, known as “The Art of Placement.”He came to the United States in 1980 and held teaching posts at the University of San Francisco, Stanford, and Seton Hall prior to his founding the temple, the first Black Sect center in the West. The temple offers regular classes taught by Prof. Lin-Yun on topics ranging from Ch’i, I-Ching, Feng Shui, Tang Dynasty poetry, calligraphy, holistic healing, folkloric cultures, and various meditation methods and also sponsors teachings and initiations given by high lamas and Buddhist masters. In 1993 Prof. Yu-Lin established the Cultural Center of the Yun Lin Temple in Berkeley. A year later he opened a second temple, the Lin Yun Monastery in Long Island, New York, which moved into its present eight-acre site in 1996.

Membership

Not reported.

Sources

Yun Lin Temple. www.yunlintemple.org/.

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Tibetan Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism

To understand Tibetan Buddhism and its significance to the contemporary United States, we must first understand Buddhism, then Tibet, then the combination. What is Buddhism? It is usually considered a religion. But the operative definitions of religion today fit only a third of the phenomena that make up the many forms of Buddhism—those in the categories of beliefs, rituals, and pattern maintenance in general. Most of Buddhism is, rather, concerned with pattern transcendence, through education, ethical discipline, literature, art, science, and philosophy. The Buddha's enlightenment was not a religious discovery, not a mystical meeting with "God," nor a mission to spread divine "Truth." It was, rather, presented as one human being's exact and comprehensive experiential understanding of the nature and structure of reality, the attainment of the final goal of all philosophical exploration and scientific investigation. "Buddha" is a title, meaning "awakened," "enlightened," and "evolved." A buddha's mind is just what most theists have thought the mind of God should be like, fully knowing everything in an infinite universe, totally Aware—thus by definition inconceivable, incomprehensible to finite, ignorant, egocentric consciousness.

Though it seems preposterous to those acculturated as we are in the United States, we must acknowledge the Buddha's claim of omniscience. Though definitional for every form of Buddhism, it is rarely emphasized, since this claim is sacrilege for theists and an impossibility for materialists. However, to be a Buddhist, one must believe that a buddha has evolved from an ignorant human to a state of knowing everything, and is thus able to give all beings a realistic refuge from suffering. Thus the purpose of a Buddhist's life, seen as a part of an infinite evolution, is to awaken such omniscience within oneself, to transcend the egocentric human condition, and to become a buddha. When one awakens as a buddha, suffering ends and happiness is complete. The infinite number of beings who have already become buddhas are naturally moved to share their happiness with all other beings, which they do all the time.

But even buddhas cannot force ignorant beings to become wise, and thus free and happy. Since beings are liberated from suffering only by their own free understanding, buddhas are forced to become teachers. Thus, Buddhism was always more an educational movement than a religious mission. The Buddha emphatically disclaimed any power as a creator. He critiqued the plausibility of any being having total power over all beings and things. He did not reject the existence of gods—he was not an "atheist." He is reported to have met gods, angels, and even devils, finding them just as real as any other beings and just as caught in ultimate ignorance. He found that gods also need the teachings of enlightened buddhas. Among a buddha's most important names are "God beyond gods" (Devatideva) and "Teacher of Gods and Humans" (Devamanushyashasta). Buddhism developed in India from the Buddha's time in the sixth and fifth centuries b.c.e., in what can be described as three main phases: the monastic (Shravakayāna), the messianic (Mahāyāna), and the apocalyptic (Vajrayāna), each dominant for around five hundred years, with the earlier phases flourishing in parallel.

The monastic phase emphasized monasticism, as necessary for individual liberation. It was socially revolutionary, stressing ethical dualism and creating a new institution consisting of schools for human freedom, beyond the control of religious or secular authorities. The ideal of this phase was the enlightened monk or nun, the saint or arhat. The lay community was pushed to live according to a tenfold path of good and bad evolutionary action, not killing, stealing, or committing sexual misconduct; not lying, slandering, abusing, or speaking frivolously; and not harboring malice, greed, or unreasonable convictions. The critical education and warrior-like training of the monastics produced tamed persons, free of the wildness of egocentric drives. The social result of this phase was the pacification of a previously warlike society, and the spread of values supporting urbanization and the merchant classes. During this phase, Buddhism as a monastic educational movement spread outside of India, to Sri Lanka, Central Asia, Iran, and west Asia.

The messianic phase, dominant from 0 to 500 c.e., stemmed from core monasticism to reach out into lay society to transform the social ethic through the nondualistic ethic of love and compassion. It was socially evolutionary, as the monasteries developed into universities. The ideal of this phase was the bodhisattva, the hero or heroine who vows to free all beings from suffering and transform all universes into the buddhaverse, embarking on a process of conscious evolution through millions of future individual lives to complete buddhahood. This phase elaborated the doctrine of the three bodies of a buddha, the bodies of truth, beatitude, and beneficial emanation.

Metaphysically, the notion of nirvāṇa as a safe place beyond the world is critiqued, and the ultimate nonduality of nirvāṇa and saṃsāra undergirds the nonduality of wisdom and compassion, of the monastic and lay communities, and of the Buddhist and non-Buddhist societies. The social result of this phase was to move Indian society, by now more civilized, toward a universalistic orientation, freeing the popular imagination of the colorful cosmos of the infinite buddhaverse. This phase spread wherever the monastic phase had spread, also moving beyond into China and further west in Asia.

The apocalyptic phase, dominant ca. 500–1000 c.e., was socially culminatory, with the monastic universities reaching out beyond the literate state into culturally marginal areas. It elaborated the furthest implications of the messianic phase by aiming at immediate transformation of the universe to buddhaverse. Its ideal figure is the female or male great adept (mahasiddha), an already actual perfect buddha maintaining an ordinary human form in history, exemplifying the kingship of each individual, contemplatively, ritually, and artistically. Messianic nondualism is here extended to everything, including sexuality and death; buddhahood is reconceived as bliss-void-indivisible orgasmic reality. There is an apocalyptic insistence on accelerating history and evolution, a realization of individual buddhahood and universal buddhaverse here and now, in this lifetime preferably, through magical, high-tech means. The social result was the elevation of women, the expansion of culture to marginal low castes, tribal members, and foreigners, and the permeation of high culture with aesthetic values. This phase spread everywhere that the previous phases had spread, reaching further to Indonesia, Korea, Japan, and Tibet. It was preserved in its original integration with the two previous phases only in the Shingon school in Japan and in Tibet.

Until recently, Tibet was a huge country of over one million square miles, unmistakably recognizable on a relief map of Asia as the highest plateau in the world, with an average altitude of 14,000 feet. It was as large as all of Europe. Its diverse regions were unified by intertribal wars from 500 b.c.e. to 500 c.e., with a royal dynasty emerging in the Yarlung valley near the Tsangpo River. This dynasty conquered an empire beyond the huge plateau that lasted from around 600 to 850 c.e. Its emperors began to import Buddhism as a cultural treasure from their Indian, Nepalese, Central Asian, and Chinese neighbors, whom they often conquered and pillaged. Inspired by the great adept from India, Padma Sambhava, these emperors created a written language, commissioned huge numbers of translations, built temples and monasteries, ordained monks, and spread the Buddhist ethic, in spite of the fact that their conquest empire depended on violence and martial discipline rather than Buddhist gentleness and spiritual discipline. Around 850 c.e., internal dissension shattered the dynasty, and Buddhism was suppressed as the state cult, though it gradually took hold as a grassroots movement.

By 1042, the Bengali master Atisha came to a regionalized Tibet gripped by a popular fervor for the Buddhist lifestyle and began to teach the full panoply of concepts developed in India during the three phases sketched above. From his time through the seventeenth century, a medieval Tibet became more and more monasticized and less and less militaristic, experiencing a brief period of state unification as part of the Mongol empire during the late thirteenth and early fourteenth century.

Around 1400, a spiritual renaissance was ushered in by the lifework of the gifted lama Jey Tsong Khapa, who shared with Padma Sambhava and Atisha a special recognition by Tibetans. He attained full enlightenment in 1398, after an arduous six-year retreat. For the last twenty-one years of his life, his popular impact increased exponentially and set the tone for the next five hundred years. It was based on a new level of national dedication to Buddhism, making it the main aim of Tibetan life. Tsong Khapa founded the Great Prayer Festival in Lhasa in 1409, bringing the whole nation together for two weeks of prayer every lunar new year to celebrate an apocalyptic fortnight of miracles in Shakyamuni Buddha's biography. This became a core event for all of Tibet from 1409 until 1960, with the Chinese occupation of Tibet.

The centuries following the era of Tsong Khapa saw the rippling outward of this spiritual synthesis in a gradual process of transformation of the social, political, and physical landscape of Tibet. Monasteries were built on an unprecedented scale, with the Lhasa area alone constructing three major monasteries that came to house over twenty thousand monks (Lhasa's own lay population was no more than thirty-five thousand). The social climate became more peaceful, as fewer individuals were available for the armies of the aristocratic warlords.

One of Tsong Khapa's disciples, Gendun Drubpa (1391–1474), attained great awakenings and performed great deeds, founding the huge Tashi Lhunpo Monastic University in southern Tibet and teaching hosts of disciples. After his death, he turned up reincarnated as the son of a yogin couple. Eventually reunited with his disciples at Tashi Lhunpo, he was named Gendun Gyatso (1475–1542). He spent long years in retreat, gave great teachings, built important monasteries, and made daring inner voyages as an adept. His next reincarnation was Sonam Gyatso (1543–1588), who continued the universal spiritual education program, the building of monasteries, the taming of individuals, and his inner voyages as an adept. Invited to the court of the Mongol king Altan Khan, he tamed this formidable warlord and taught him that it was better not to sacrifice war captives to the ancestors and war gods, but rather to take refuge in the Three Jewels of Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha, and to practice renunciation, compassion, and wisdom, even becoming a buddha. Altan Khan was so impressed by his encounter with a person he obviously perceived to be a superior being that he gave him the name "Dalai Lama," "dalai" being the Mongol word for "ocean." Counting his two retrospectively renamed predecessors, Sonam Gyatso became known as His Holiness the Third Dalai Lama.

By the end of the sixteenth century, the secular rulers of Tibet felt overwhelmed by the popular dedication to enlightenment education, monastic vocations, and monastery building. As in both shogunate Japan and Protestant Europe, a period of violent persecution of monasteries ensued, with the fate of the country in the balance. The secular forces of the militaristic, aristocratic warlords tried to eclipse the rise of the monastery-centered, spiritual lifestyle, but the monastic leaders resisted. The Dalai Lama, by now the beloved spiritual leader of a huge population, called for help from the Mongolian ruler Gushri Khan, who had become his disciple. The Khan swept into Tibet and crushed the coalition of Tibetan warlords, disarmed them, and brokered a peace that elevated the main monastic leader to head the nation.

In 1642, almost exactly a thousand years after the first Buddhist temple was built in Lhasa, His Holiness the Fifth Dalai Lama (1617–1682) was crowned king of Tibet. He founded the Ganden Palace Victory Government, which Tibetans still consider their legitimate government, a unique form of government eminently suited to Tibet's Buddhist society. It was almost completely demilitarized, acknowledging the centrality of the monastic institutions in the national life and the priority given to nonviolence. He built the Potala Palace on the Red Mountain at Lhasa. His palace was three buildings in one: a monastery for the abbot, a fortress for the king, and a buddha realm or mandala for the adept.

The nobility was virtually expropriated, retaining the use of and income from parts of its hereditary estates only as salary for service to the Ganden government. Nobles were deprived of their private armies, losing their feudal power of life and death over their peasants. With thanks to the Mongolian supporter, the Great Fifth asked him and his army to go back to Mongolia, and Tibet became the first modern nation to be unilaterally disarmed. As the Protestant princes of northern Europe and the shoguns of Japan had seen, a nation could not afford a universal military and a universal monastery at the same time; this caused them to terminate their monasteries. In Tibet alone at this time, the monastery terminated the military instead and created a bureaucratic government to maintain a principled peace. International security was maintained by diplomacy and moral force, not by military prowess. During the 317 years of the Dalai Lamas' rule over Tibet, a remarkable society developed, the earliest postmodern society in the world. Completely demilitarized, it was utterly "educationalized," in that the monastic vocation thrived at the highest rate ever achieved in any society. It was not Shangri-la; Tibetans believe that Shambhala (their own mythic paradise on earth) exists in the northern polar region. They were highly aware of the all-too-human faults of their "Land of Snows." But they still felt specially blessed by the presidency of Lokeshvara, their archangelic messiah figure incarnate in the Dalai Lamas. It was the land of his sacred mantra, OM MANI PADME HUM, "Come! Jewel and Lotus Holder! Be with me!" It was a land of maximum opportunity for the individual intent on enlightenment. There was maximum low-cost, lifelong educational opportunity. There were minimum taxes, almost no military service, no mortgages, and no factories for material products. There was no lack of teachers.

Tibetan Buddhist practice can be summarized briefly as consisting of: (1) living in a multilife continuum of evolutionary lives, under the refuge of the Buddha, the dharma reality and teaching, and the community of enlightenment-oriented people; (2) finding that refuge represented by living, enlightened, incarnate teachers (lamas) who could administer the teachings to individuals in an optimal manner; (3) recognizing within the special preciousness of the human life-form and so making the most of this life opportunity; (4) acknowledging impermanence and the immediacy of death, making each moment precious; (5) accepting the evolutionary impact of every thought, word, or deed, hence taking responsibility for one's own fate; (6) recognizing the universality of suffering attendant upon the unenlightened, egocentric mind-set, hence resolving to develop wisdom free of delusion; (7) recognizing the common condition of all beings as suffering and interrelated, and hence developing love and compassion as the key to all evolutionary progress and ultimate happiness; (8) aspiring to attain perfect understanding of the nature of reality as the only way to find freedom from suffering; (9) cultivating a positive imagination and vision of the universe and the empirical self as the method of achieving relative happiness; and (10) rehearsing and perfecting control over the processes of death, between-state (the after-death, dreamlike transformation experience) travel, and the evolutionary life with a view to ensuring complete enlightenment for the sake of oneself and others. Though there is an infinite variety of theories and practices suited to a great variety of individuals, these ten developmental processes are common to all forms of Tibetan Buddhism.

Everything about post–seventeenth century Tibetan life was rationalized to facilitate the production of enlightenment; their unique psychological and social form of life is a kind of inner modernity. Most recently, this mentality has adapted quite well to the rest of the world's industrial modernity, in the United States and throughout the world, except when the encounter was violently forced, as it decidedly was when the Chinese Communists attempted to impose Marxist materialism, communistic egalitarianism, and an industrial focus on Tibetans, via an all-out assault on Tibetan Buddhism. They destroyed monastic institutions, monks and nuns, scriptures, outdoor monuments, mani stones, prayer flags, personal rosaries and prayer wheels, icons, paintings, photographs of the Dalai Lama, even knowledge of the Tibetan language. They instituted intensive communist thought reform and struggle sessions for decades. They killed members of the upper classes, forced redistribution of all forms of wealth, and imposed Chinese-language education and Maoist indoctrination. They enlisted all able-bodied persons in labor brigades, work gangs, and other production units.

These brutal measures caused the death of approximately 1.2 million people, destroyed all the architectural and artistic treasures of the Tibetan nation, and eradicated the intelligentsia entirely, except for a few people who survived the prison camps or who escaped into exile in the United States and elsewhere. Nonetheless, the attempts to eradicate Tibetan culture were a dismal failure. The minute the Chinese administration was distracted by the post-Mao disturbances in the early 1980s, the Tibetans rose up and began to rebuild their monasteries, to become monks and nuns, and to restore their previous social order based on occupation and talent. They traveled to India for pilgrimage and to receive initiations and teachings from the Dalai Lama and other teachers. The Chinese were astounded that such "primitive" thinking could have survived their thirty-year onslaught; but they uneasily acquiesced in the Tibetan choices, hoping to make Tibet, with its colorful monasteries, quaint monks, and ceremonies, an attractive tourist destination. But by the late 1980s, monks and especially nuns began to make peaceful protests against the Chinese occupation, and the government again suppressed the monasteries with a heavy hand.

In exile in India, Nepal, and Bhutan, as well as in North America, Europe, and Australia, the Dalai Lama and about 150,000 Tibetan refugees have succeeded in keeping their unique civilization alive. They have their own school system, so young Tibetans can learn the Tibetan language, history, and some basic religious teachings. They have maintained a high rate of monasticism, with over 25,000 monks and nuns, making up about one sixth of the Tibetan population in exile. The curricula of the monasteries and nunneries continue to emphasize spiritual studies and practices, though a modicum of modern, secular learning is added to orient the religious in the contemporary world. Tibetan spiritual teachers have attracted large followings in Europe, the Americas, Australia, Japan, Taiwan, and Southeast Asia, and some have written best-sellers. The Dalai Lama has received the Nobel Peace Prize, and has met and is respected by most of the world's religious and secular leaders. The Communist Chinese regime still refuses to recognize him or his people's right of self-determination, and still succeeds in making other governments ignore the reality of Tibet as the price of trade relations.

Tibetans in the United States and elsewhere are a success story as refugee communities go, with little history of violence, crime, or persisting poverty, and they easily take to the professions of the modern economy. The last chapter of the amazing social experiment of Tibetan Buddhist civilization cannot yet be written, as it involves the coming experience of the political freedom Tibet will inevitably gain, as the restructuring of the big-power, twentieth-century colonialism that Russia only recently relinquished becomes global. Then we will see if a society touched by living buddhas, with a different popular sense of the purpose and value of human life, with a determined spiritual orientation, will adopt some elements of materialistic modernity. Which elements will it adopt, and which will it reject? Will Tibetans use computers to aid them in their quest for evolutionary perfection in Buddhahood? Will they militarize, never again to taste the bitterness of conquest and occupation by an outside power? Will they exploit and ruin their own environment? Will they industrialize in an external manner? The world will get a chance to see if a culture oriented to the possibility of becoming a perfect buddha can persist in a materially modern setting.


See alsoBuddha; Buddhism; Dalai Lama; Dharma; Enlightenment.

Bibliography

Dalai Lama, H. H. Freedom in Exile. 1988.

Dalai Lama, H. H. World of Tibetan Buddhism. Lopez, D., ed. Religions of Tibet in Practice. 1997.

Rhie, M. H., and R. A. F. Thurman. Wisdom and Compassion: The Sacred Art of Tibet. 1991.

Thurman, R. A. F. Essential Tibetan Buddhism. 1996.

Thurman, R. A. F. The Tibetan Book of the Dead. 1994.

Robert A. F. Thurman

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Tibetan Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism

2467

American Buddhist Society and Fellowship, Inc.

Current address not obtained for this edition.

One of the oldest Tibetan Buddhist centers in the United States is the American Buddhist Society and Fellowship founded in 1945 (incorporated in 1947) by Robert Ernest Dickhoff. French-born Dickhoff migrated to the United States in 1927. He became involved in the occult and claims that, "Out of the Invisible Realm of the Spirit of Tibet" he was given recognition by several spiritual entities including Maha Chohan K. H. (i.e., the ascended master Koot Hoomi, first brought to the attention of the West by Theosophist Helena Petrovna Blavatsky). He was given the titles "Red Lama" and "Most Reverend" and instructed to gather the Buddhists in American into a society. In 1950, according to Dickhoff, he was given the title of Grand Lama of the White Lodge of Tibet, See of New York, by the Dalai Lama.

During the 1960s, Dickhoff became known in UFO circles for his advocacy of the theory that UFOs were hostile. He believes that the UFOs are winged garudas (a bird-like demon in Buddhist thought), capturing humans and killing them for food.

Membership: Not reported. The society consists of one center in New York City.

Sources:

Dickhoff, Robert E. Agharta. Mokelumne Hill, CA: Health Research, 1964.

——. Behold…the Venus Garuda. New York: The Author, 1968.

Dickhoff, Robert Ernest. The Eternal Fountain. Boston, MA: Bruce Humphries, 1947.

2468

Amitabha Foundation

11 S. Goodman St.
Rochester, NY 14607

The Amitabha Foundation is a Tibetan Buddhist organization of the Drikung Kaygu school founded in 1986 by H. E. K C. Ayang Rinpoche. He began traveling in the West in general and the United States in particular in the early 1980s at the request of several Tibetan leaders primarily for the cause of Tibetan culture and the Tibetan peoples now residing outside of their homeland. He discovered that he could not separate the more secular cultural and political concerns from his presentation of Buddhism, and Buddhism was, for many supporters of the Tibetan cause, Tibet's most attractive asset.

The Drikung Kagyu lineage looks to Kyoba Jigten Sumgon, in the middle of the twelfth century C.E., as its founder. Jigten Sumgon, composed a set of teachings and instructions for practice, including secret oral transmissions, known as Phagmo Drupa. Jigten Sumgon passed the lineage to his chief disciple, Gurawa Tsultrim Dorje. They have subsequently been passed and preserved to the present lineage holders. All these enlightened energies, blessings, and teachings have been handed down through the great spiritual masters to the present 37th and 36th lineage holders, His Holiness Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang Rinpoche and His Holiness Drikung Kyabgon Chungtsang, from who Ayang Rinpoche receives his authority to teach.

Ayang Rinpoche was born to a nomadic family in Tibet, but as a child was recognized as a lama by a delegation of important lamas and subsequently raised to assume his role as a teacher. He studied at a Drikung monastery and eventually became a master of Phowa, or the "transference of consciousness at the time of death." This teaching centers on a method for attaining enlightenment after bodily death. It includes a combination of breath, mantra, and visualization techniques used as one is dying. It is believed that the individual consciousness is ejected from the body and subsequently avoids reincarnation.

Leaving Tibet after the Chinese takeover, Ayang Rinpoche settled in India where he founded two monasteries. He currently resides at the refugee community he assembled in Bylakuppe, Karnataka State.

The foundation sees itself as carrying out a twofold mission and has created programs designed to both spread Buddhist teachings and raise money to preserve the Tibetan culture. Thus it works with many people who do not consider themselves Buddhists, but have a concern for the Tibetan people.

Membership: Not reported. There are six centers in the United States, Rochester and New York City, New York; Seattle; Denver; Los Angeles; and Boston. Internationally, centers are also found in France, Germany, Australia, and Canada.

Sources:

Amitabha Foundation. http://www.amitabhafoundation.org/index.html. 28 February 2002.

2469

Aro Gar

PO Box 330
Ramsey, NJ 07446-0330

Alternate Address: ℅ Aro Ter, 508 Eagle Ave., Alemeda, CA. Aro Gar (known as Sang-Ngak-Cho-Dzong in Great Britain) is a Western representative of the Tibetan Aro gTer (or Morther Essence) Nyingma lineage, a lineage that traces its origin to a succession of enlightened women culminating in the visionary Khyungchen Aro Lingma (1886–1923), and her son Aro Yeshe (1915–1951). Aro Lingma received transmission from Yeshe Tsogyel, an Enlightened female tantric. Aro Gar and Sang-Ngak-Cho-Dzong are headed by Ngak'chang Cho-ying Gyamtso Ogyen Togden Rinpoche and Khandro Dechen Tsedrup Yeshe, the current holders of the Aro gTer lineage.

Rinpoche was born in Germany in 1952, the great grandnephew of Schubert the composer. Raised in England, he developed an interest in Tibetan Buddhism at the age of 13 and went on to become an art teacher, with a particular interest in thangka painting (tantric iconography). At the age of 19 he went to the Himalayas to study with some of the living tantric Buddhist teachers in a nonsectarian manner, though with particular attention to Nyingma teachers, and completed four years of solitary retreat in a cave. He was eventually recognized as the incarnation of Aro Yeshe, the son of Khyungchen Aro Lingma. In this life Ngak'chang Rinpoche, together with his wife Khandro Dchen, are the holders of the lineage of "treasure-teachings" given in vision to Aro Lingma by Yeshe Tsogyel, the enlightened consort of the tantric Buddha Padmasambhava.

Ngak'chang Rinpoche began to teach in the West in 1979. In 1989 he was awarded a doctorate from the University of West Bengal. He is the author of numerous books, including Rainbow of Liberated Energy (completely rewritten and to be republishedas Spectrum of Ecstasy), Journey into Vastness (completely rewritten and to be republished as Roaring Silence), and Wearing the Body of Visions. He has been a lecturer at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in California and has contributed articles to several books, journals, and magazines on the subject of tantric psychology and its interface with therapy.

Khandro Dechen was born in 1960 and has been a committed vajrayana practitioner since the age of 21. She is the spiritual wife of Ngak'chang Rinpoche, who describes her as his most important teacher. She specializes in sKu-mNye, the Dzogchen Long-de psycho-physical practices which generate profound experiences of the inner elements. She is currently preparing a three-volume manual detailing the theory and practice of these exercises, which stem from the Dzogchen Long-de system. She teaches primarily through "personality-display" and is known for her Mirror-transmission; a powerful method of giving direct introduction to the nature of the mind. She is currently involved with writing a book with Ngak'chang Rinpoche on the path of romantic love and relationship in Tibetan Tantra, entitled Entering the Heart of the Sun and Moon.

The Aro gTer is a non-liturgical, non-monastic tradition which specializes in the teaching and practice of Dzogchen, a practice that offers direct experience of mind. It emphasizes the importance of everyday life as practice. It is unique because of the emphasis it places on integration with everyday working life; sexual equality; and the spiritual dimension of romantic relationships and artistic creativity.

Membership: Not reported. Practitioners in the Aro tradition reside in Great Britain, the United States, Canada, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Finland.

Sources:

Morreale, Don. The Complete Guide to Buddhist America. Boston: Shambhala, 1998.

2470

Arya Maitrya Mandala

℅ Vajraprabha (Rose Kasper)
Weissdornweg 4
D-72067 Tubingen, Germany German-born Lama Anagarika Govinda (b.1898) began to think of himself as a Buddhist while still a teenager. Working as an archeologist, he was able to travel freely in southern Asia and also worked for the promotion of an ecumenical Buddhism in Europe. In 1931 he traveled to Tibet and studied under Tomo Geshe Rinpoche. In 1933, in honor of his guru, he founded the Arya Maitreya Mandala as a Buddhist order. (Maitreya, it is noted, was the only bodhisattva (saint) acceptable to all Mahayana Buddhist groups.) Centers of the order were first established in Germany and throughout Europe.

The Home of the Dharma was founded in San Francisco 1967 by the Rev. Iru Price as the American branch of the Arya Maitreya Mandala. The order is held together by a common acceptance of the ideal of the awakening of our innermost spirit, the "Buddha-nature" within us. This ideal is expressed by making Buddhism a way of life, assisting those wishing to understand the Buddha's teaching, and developing methods of religious practice suitable to Western psychology. Lama Govinda made his first visit to the United States in 1969. He lectured and exhibited his paintings at the Zen Center of San Francisco. Since that time, he has made several tours teaching meditation.

The Home of the Dharma holds regular meetings and conducts an annual Wesak celebration in the spring to honor Buddha. The Kwan Yin Free School for refugee children is supported in Hong Kong.

Membership: Not reported. There is one American center of the Arya Maitreya Mandala.

Sources:

Govinda, Anagarika. Creative Meditation and Multi-Dimensional Consciousness. Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1976.

——. Foundations of Tibetan Buddhism. New York: Humanities Press, 1959.

——. The Psychological Attitude of Early Buddhist Philosophy. London: Rider & Company, 1961.

"Special Meditation Issue." Human Dimensions 1, no. 4 (1972).

2471

Center for Dzogchen Studies

17 Tour Ave.
New Haven, CT 06515

The Center for Dzogchen Studies constitute a worldwide community of practitioners dedicated to the teachings and practices of the Nyingma lineage centered at the Nyakla Pema Duddul's Kalsang Monastery in Kham, Tibet. The center teaches what is known as the Nine Yanas of Nyingma Tibetan Buddhism. Such practices gradually introduce a nature of mind to the practitioner. The view from which one approaches the Nine Yanas, teach tha the awakened state already exists within. Through continued use of the practices, direct experiences of one's Great Completeness (Dzogchen) becomes possible.

The Center for Dzogchen Studies was established in New Haven in 1994 after three practitioners invited Lama Padma Karma Rinpoche (b. 1952) from Asia to act as the center's spiritual guide. Raised as a Christian in the Virgin Islands, Rinpoche had a diverse religious background that culminated in his initial study of Buddhism beginning in 1985 after settling in China as a teacher. He was given the titles of "Vajra Master" and "Rinpoche" in 1992 by Ksertok Padma Dorje Tulku with the authorization to teach under the auspices of the Nyingma and Kagyu schools of Tibetan Buddhism, and more specifically, within the Longchen Nyingthig Lineage of Kalsang Monastery, Tibet. Lama Padma Karma Rinpoche continues to study with H. H. Chadral Sangye Dorje in Pharping, Nepal and Serdok Tulku in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Since settling in New Haven, Lama Padma Karma has established a teacher training program, Thangka (Tibetan sacred art) painting program. The center is also visited by a Tibetan herbalist every month. The center's Internet site is http://pages.cthome.net/tibetanbuddhism.

Membership: Not reported.

Sources:

http://sover.net/~dogstar/dzogeds.html/.

2472

Chagdud Gonpa Foundation

Box 279
Junction City, CA 96048

Alternate Address: Chagdud Gonpa Canada, 10071 No. 2 Road, Richmond, BC V7E Canada.

Chagdud Gonpa Foundation was established in 1983 by Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche (b.1930), a meditation master, artist, and Tibetan physician, born in Eastern Tibet. As the Abbot of Chagdud Gonpa monastery, established in 1131, Rinpoche received extensive instructions in all aspects of Tibetan Buddhism. He then fled Tibet at the time of the Chinese occupation in 1959 and helped to establish and administer several refugee camps in both India and Nepal.

He was contacted by Americans who made pilgrimages to northern India, and at the request of several American students, he came to the United States in 1979. From his American headquarters he has concentrated on developing Padma Publishing for the translation and printing of sacred texts and teachings of Buddhist masters; the founding of centers for practicing and preserving Vajrayana teachings; and the training of students in the Vajrayana philosophy, practices, and rituals.

The foundation's headquarters, Rigdzin Ling, located in the mountains north of Redding, California, is home to Mahakaruna Foundation, a nonprofit organization devoted to supporting Tibetan practitioners in Nepal, India, and Bhutan; Padma Publishing; and Tibetan Treasures, which distributed videos and cassette tapes of Rinpoche's talks. Among the projects of Padma Publishing is the translating of Tibetan teacher Longchempa's Seven Treasuries. The Stupa Project at Rigdzin Ling has undertaken the construction of eight Tibetan chtens.

Membership: Not reported. There are 18 centers and practice groups in the United States, two in Canada, and additional centers in Brazil.

Sources:

Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche. Gates to Buddhist Practice. Junction City, CA: Padma Publishing, n.d.

——. Life in Relation to Death. Junction City, CA: Padma Publishing, n.d..

——. The Lord of the Dance. Junction City, CA: Padma Publishing, n.d..

2473

Chapori-Ling Foundation Sangha

766 8th Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94118

The Chapori-Ling Foundation is a Nyingmapa Tibetan Buddhist center founded in the 1970s by Dr. Norbu L. Chen, formerly physician of Dharma Chakra Monastery in Kathmandu, Nepal. He received his basic instruction in Buddhism and Buddhist healing practices from refugees who had fled Tibet to Nepal following the 1959 Chinese invasion. He subsequently came to the United States and established Chakpori-Ling, named for a famous healing center just outside Lhasa, the capital of Tibet.

The Foundation operates a college which offers courses in Buddhism for prospective monks and nuns and training in oriental medicine. There is also a clinic for those who wish to receive treatment from an oriental physician.

Membership: Not reported. There is one center in San Francisco, California.

Educational Facilities: College of Oriental Medicine, San Francisco, California.

2474

Chicago Rime Center

4026 N. Kenmore, Ste. 1
Chicago, IL 60613

The Rime (or "nonpartisan") tradition with Tibetan Buddhism began in the nineteenth century in eastern Tibet by some scholars who saw the need to overcome sectarian bias in the evaluation of the doctrinal traditions of the various schools and to accept each tradition on its own merits. The movement was initiated by the Sakyapa teacher Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo (1820–1892). Among his students, the most important were Chogyur Dechen Lingpa (1829–1870) and Jamgon Kongtrul the Great (1811–1899), who compiled the "Five Great Treasures," a compendium of teachings and practices of the various Tibetan traditions. The fundamental attitude of unbiasedness of the movement was most evident in the person and work of Jamgon Kongtrul's recent incarnation, Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche (1954–1992), a Karma Kagyu teacher who established the Rigpe Dorje Foundation.

The Rime teachers and their students restructured doctrinal and practical materials, based on the example of the Gelugpa school. The process within the Rime movement of reviving transmissions of teachings that had been thought lost and providing them with fresh commentary also embraced the traditions of the other schools. Works of the Kagyupa, Sakyapa, Kadampa (a.k.a. Gelugpa) and Chod lineages are also found in the Rime collection of texts. Additionally, the Rime teachers advocated revival of the Tibetan Bon teachings.

The Chicago Rime Center is a Western outpost of the Rime tradition which supports the development, practice, and integration of the various schools of Tibetan Buddhism. While exploring the richness unique to each lineage, Chicago Rime Center honors the unity inherent within the vast spectrum of Tibetan Buddhist teachings. The center offers activities including weekly practice sessions and dharma talks and works to provide access to traditional teachings by notable masters within the larger Tibetan Buddhist tradition.

Membership: Not reported.

Sources:

http://quietmountain.com/dharmacenter/chicago_rime/

2475

Chokling Tersar Foundation USA (CTF)

66000 Drive Through Tree Rd.
Leggett, CA 93585-0162

The Chokling Tersar Foundation (CTF) was established in 1996 as the American center of the Chokling Tersar, a lineage of Tibetan Buddhism within the Gelugpa school (the largest of the four main Tibetan schools of Buddhism). The tradition is presently embodied in the lineage holders, the four sons of Tulku Urgyen. They periodically come to the United States to lead events at the foundation. The foundation, presently the only center of the tradition in North America, is attempting to establish a rural retreat center. The foundation's material is published by Rangjung Yeshe Publications.

Chokling Tersar literally means the "new treasures of Chokgyur Lingpa" and owes its name to the nineteenth-century Tibetan Buddhist master, Chogyur Dechen Lingpa (1829–1870), whose teachings are widely practiced by both the Kagyu and Nyingma schools of Tibetan Buddhism. The collection of teachings from Chokgyur Lingpa are contained in the Chokling Tersar, a body of literature filling more than 40 large volumes. The connected teachings included in these 40 volumes were written over the last 150 years, chiefly by his contemporaries Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo and Jamgon Kongtrul the Great, as well as by the subsequent upholders of the lineage down until today.

The Chokling Tersar literature is meant to be studied and practiced as an addition to the traditional canonical scriptures of Tibetan Buddhism. These are found in the Kangyur and Tengyur, the written words of Buddha Shakyamuni and their commentaries by learned Indian Masters. These two collections occupy respectively 104 and 273 large volumes. In these scriptures are found detailed instructions on how to take full advantage of and imbue human life with its fullest meaning. These revealed scriptures were concealed by the ninth-century Buddhist saint Padmasambhava with the expressed wish to be uncovered at specific times in the future. Many of them contain predictions for those times and which particular spiritual practices would be most beneficial for the people of those times.

The independent American branch of the Chokling Tersar tradition is concerned with preserving, translating, and disseminating these teachings, in the most authentic and principled way possible. CTF aims at doing so by first inviting learned and authentic holders of the Chokling Tersar lineage to lecture and provide appropriate spiritual counsel corresponding to the current public demand in North America.

Membership: Not reported. The foundation is affiliated with Ka-Nying Shedrub Ling in Nepal and Rangjung Yeshe Gomde Retreat Land in Denmark.

Sources:

Morreale, Don. The Complete Guide to Buddhist America. Boston: Shambhala, 1998.

2476

Dharma Centre of Canada

R.R. 1, Galway Rd.
Kinmount, ON, Canada K0M2A0

The Dharma Centre of Canada was founded in 1966 by the renowned pioneering Canadian Buddhist leader, the Ven. Namgyal Rinpoche. Namgyal Rinpoche was born G. Leslie Dawson in Ontario, Canada, to Irish parents. In his mid-20s, he went to Bodh Gaya, India, the traditional site of the Buddha's enlightenment, and on October 28, 1958, took the vows of a novice monk. Two months later he was ordained a bhikkhu, or full Buddhist monk, in Rangoon. Following a period of intensive meditation, he was recognized by H. H. the Gyalwa Karmapa, head of the Kargyu School of Tibet, as the reincarnation of the famous Tibetan lama, Mipham Namgyal Rinpoche, one of the first Westerners so recognized. Returning to the West, he founded Johnstone House as a contemplative community in Scotland. Later through the auspices of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, founder of Vajradhatu International, Johnstone House was converted into Samye Ling, one of the first Tibetan monasteries to be established in Europe.

The Dharma Centre of Canada and its associated centers across the country offer instruction and opportunity for the practice of meditation in order for individuals to develop awareness into the nature of mind and matter, and to develop compassion and wisdom. Instruction is also offered in comparative religion, philosophy, the arts and sciences. Both Western and Eastern spiritual insights are acknowledged.

Membership: Not reported. There are seven affiliated centers in Canada, two in the United States, and one each in England and New Zealand, and informal groups in France, Switzerland, Norway, Guatemala, Germany, and Japan.

Sources:

Morreale, Don. The Complete Guide to Buddhist America. Boston: Shambhala, 1998.

2477

Diamond Way Buddhis

℅ Diamond Way Buddhist Center
1110 Merced Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94127

The Diamond Way Tibetan Buddhist tradition grew out of the efforts of Lama Ole Nydahl and his wife Hannah Nydahl, the first western students of the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa. He recognized them as protectors of his lineage and asked them to work for him. Beginning in 1969, he spent three years training in the Himalayas, and then initiated his teaching activity in the West, initially in Europe. His work spread to America in the 1980s and there are now centers across the United States. Teachings and practice are similar to those found in the centers of the Karma Triyana Dharmachakra (KTD) are administratively separate.

Diamond Way centers recognize the spiritual authority of the 17th Karmapa, Thaye Dorje, who now resides in New Delhi, India. They have a democratic structure and members share the responsibility for guiding meditations, answering questions, and giving teachings. In addition, Lama Ole has trained some 30 students who are now traveling and teaching internationally.

The Karma Kagyu school offers a variety of methods for people to develop the mind's inherent richness and clarity in one's daily activities through the three emphases of (1) verifiable nondogmatic teachings, (2) meditation, and (3) the means to solidify the levels of awareness which have been attained. The Diamond Way is considered the most "skillful" methods of the Buddha to the modern world. As a lineage of direct oral transmission, Karma Kagyu treasures meditation and interaction with a qualified teacher. The teaching is traced to the historical Buddha Shakyamuni and his closest students. They were later passed on through the Indian Mahasiddhas: Padmasambhava, Tilopa, Naropa, and Maitripa, and the famous Tibetan Yogis Marpa and Milarepa. In the twelfth century, the monk Gampopa gave the teachings to the first Gyalwa Karmapa, who is believed to have regularly reincarnated to the present.

Membership: In 1998, there were 184 Diamond Way centers around the world. In the United States, centers could be found in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Friendswood, Texas.

Sources:

Nydahl, Ole. Entering the Diamond Way: My Path Among the Lamas. Grass Valley, CA: Blue Dolphin Press, 1990. 251 pp.

——. Mahamudra: Boundless Joy and Freedom. Grass Valley, CA: Blue Dolphin Press, 1991. 96 pp.

——. Riding the Tiger: Twenty Years on the Road: Risks and Joys of Bringing Tibetan Buddhism to the West. Grass Valley, CA: Blue Dolphin Press, 1992. 512 pp.

2478

Drikung Dharma Centers

Current address not obtained for this edition.

The Drikung Dharma Centers are the American branch of the Drikung Kagyu Order, one school within the Kagyupa Tibetan Buddhist sect (which dates to Milarepa, the famous teacher). The order is unusual in that the lineage is carried by two heads simultaneously. In the early 1960s, one of the heads, His Holiness Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang Rinpoche, left Tibet for India. Unable to leave Tibet, His Holiness Chung Tsang, the other head of the order, was separated from his colleague for over twenty-five years, their first meeting being in India in 1985. The first American Drikung Center was founded under the auspices of the Drikung Kyabgon in 1978.

The Drikung Order is noted for its teachings on meditation, particularly the Drikung Phowa Meditation, a meditation intimately connected with the experience of death. Traditionally the Phowa Benediction was given every twelve years.

Membership: In 1985, there were two drikung centers, one in Washington, D.C. and one in Los Angeles, California.

2479

Dzogchen Foundation

PO Box 734
Cambridge, MA 02140-0006

The Dzogchen Foundation was organized in March 1991 by Lama Surya Das and a small group of Dzogchen practitioners. Lama Surya Das was born Jeffrey Miller (b. 1950) in New York and graduated from SUNY Buffalo (1971). He traveled throughout India and Nepal studying with various spiritual teachers. He was given the name Surya Das by Indian Hindu teacher Maharajji (Neem Karoli Baba) and he lived and practiced in Tibetan monasteries under the guidance of Ven. Lama Thubten Yeshe, Ven. Kalu Rinpoche, and His Holiness Gyalwa Karmapa. During 1977–80 he lived in Woodstock, New York, establishing the Karmapa's monastery, Karma Triyana Dharmachakra (KTD). In 1980, he joined the first Nyingmapa retreat center in Dordogne, France, where he completed two traditional three-and-a-half-year retreats under the guidance of Dudjom Rinpoche and Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, with Tulku Pema Wangyal and Nyoshul Khenpo Rinpoche. During this time, he became a lama in the Non-Sectarian Practice Lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. Surya Das is a member of the International Padmakara Translation Committee and the organizer of the Western Buddhist Teachers Network and its Teachers' Conferences with the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala, India.

The foundation has set as its mission the preservation of the teachings of Dzogchen and to transmit them to Westerners in an accessible form. It accomplishes this mission by offering opportunities to receive the guidance of Dzogchen teachers and by fostering the activities and emergence of Dharma teachers in both the East and the West. It also promotes non-sectarian dialogue, understanding, and cooperation between the various traditions of Buddhism.

The foundation believes that the Buddhism of Tibet represents the last extant wisdom culture to survive intact from ancient times. As an isolated cloister land, Tibet preserved all the teachings of the Buddha which included the Theravadin, Mahayana, and tantric Vajrayana traditions of Buddhadharma. Many Buddhist sutras and commentaries in the Sanskrit language, which were lost in India during the Moslem invasions of northern India, were later discovered intact in Tibetan monastery libraries.

Dzogchen, practiced mainly by the Nyingma Lineage, is seen as the consummate practice of Tibetan Buddhism. It is also considered an advanced and secret teaching.

The foundation conducts an annual month-long intensive meditation retreat; publishes a newsletter and schedule of the activities of Lama Surya Das and other lamas; engages in the translation and publication of texts and oral teachings; and brings venerable lamas to America to teach purposes.

Membership: Not reported. Centers related to Lama Surya Das are found in Cambridge and Northampton, Massachusetts; San Francisco; and New Jersey.

Sources:

Surya Das, Lama. Awakening the Buddha Within: Eight Steps to Enlightenment. New York: Broadway Books, June 1997. 320 pp.

2480

Enlightened Heart Meditation Center

Current address not obtained for this edition.

Alternate Address: (For contact see the center's home page on the Internet.)

Enlightened Heart Meditation Center is a Dzogchen center and part of the network of centers under the spiritual guidance of Khyabje Palden Sherab Rinpoche. Dzogchen meditation is traced to an enlightened yogi-saint known as Sri Pramodavajra who came from the mountains of northern Pakistan (i.e., the Swat valley) and taught at Bodh Gaya, in India, in the seventh century C.E. His teachings, as transmitted through a line of male and female saints, are concerned with enabling individuals to discover their true nature, and the real meaning of life, through the direct experience of meditation.

Khyabje Palden Sherab Rinpoche was born in Tibet and lived as a yogi and wandering mystic in the highlands of Tibet, meditated in caves in the Himalayas, and dwelt in temples throughout India. He subsequently moved to the United States, where he guides a number of small meditation centers that have sprung up all across America. He also has students in Russia, Puerto Rico, Nepal, and India.

Khyabje Palden Sherab Rinpoche is helped in his spiritual work by his brother, Tulku Tsewang. Tulku Tsewang was the former head abbot of Gochen Monastery, and in 1987 he was invested with the title of Khenpo by H. H. Dudjom Rinpoche (the head of the Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism). Tulku Tsewang now lives in the United States.

The San Francisco center is headed by resident teacher and British-born lama, Ven. Kunzang Palden Rinpoche, who studied not only with Khyabje Palden Sherab Rinpoche, but with a number of other Buddhist teachers, especially the renowned Canadian lama, Tenzin Dorje Namgyal Rinpoche, founder of the Dharma Centre of Canada. He is concerned with the emergence of a distinctly American form of "Buddhism," which nevertheless is drawn from pure sources of Eastern wisdom. In particular, he extols Western culture (art, music, architecture, literature, medicine, science, and democratic principles) as an incomparable treasure that should not be rejected. Kunzang Palden Rinpoche also emphasizes an appreciation for the spiritual teachings of other religious traditions that manifests in an honoring of the world's great religious saints, and the revering of the universal truths taught through the ages by divine messengers such as Moses, Zarathustra, Lao-tse, Krishna, Jesus, Mani, and Mohammed. Kunzang Palden Rinpoche assumed leadership of the Enlightened Heart Meditation Center in the early 1990s.

Membership: Not reported.

Sources:

http://www.resonate.com/e_heart/.

2481

Ewam Choden

254 Cambridge St.
Kensington, CA 94707

Ewam Choden was the first center of the Sakyapa sect of Tibetan Buddhism founded in the United States. Its founder, Lama Kunga Thartse Rinpoche, came to the United States in the 1960s and settled in Kensington, California. He opened Ewam Choden in 1971. The Sakyapa sect was the last great reform movement in Tibetan Buddhism. It was founded in 1071 C.E. by K'on-dkonmch'og rgyal-po, who taught a "reformed" tantra that still retained parts of the older tantra practices (which contained significant magical and sexual aspects). Present head of the sect is Sakya Trizin, who paid his first visit to America, and Ewam Choden, in 1977.

Ewan Choden means the integration of method and wisdom, compassion and emptiness, and possessing the Dharma (the true way of life taught by the Buddha). The center was established to practice and study Tibetan religion and culture. Lama Kunga established a program of meditation, classes and ceremonial observation of holy days. The center administers the Tibetan Relief Fund. Public meditation services are held on Sunday mornings.

Membership: Not reported. There is one urban center in Kensington, California, overlooking San Francisco Bay.

Sources:

"His Holiness Sakya Trizin, An Interview." Wings 1, no. 1 (September/ October 1987): 36-38, 51-53.

2482

Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT)

PO Box 800
Soquel, CA 95073

The Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT) is a worldwide association of Tibetan Buddhist centers founded by Lama Thubten Yeshe and Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche, both trained in the gelugpa tradition of Tibetan Buddhism (the tradition associated with His Holiness the Dalai Lama). They met in 1959 when, as refugees from Tibet, they both settled in Buxaduar, India. The young Zopa Rinpoche was sent to Thubten Yeshe for further instruction. In 1965 the pair met Zina Ruchevsky, a Russian-American who was ordained as a nun in 1967. The three established the Kopan Monastery near Kathmandu in 1969.

The center in Nepal began to attract Western students, and in 1973 the International Mahayana Institute, an organization of Western nuns and monks, was located at Kopan Monastery. The first Indian outpost, Tushita Retreat Center, was opened in Dharmasala in 1972. That same year the Mount Everest Center for Buddhist Studies opened at Lawudo, Nepal, to educate Nepalese children.

In 1974, the two Lamas were invited to tour the West by C. T. Shen of the Institute for the Advanced Study of World Religions in New York. They toured the United States and spoke at most of the Tibetan Buddhist centers as well as several universities. An American publication and lectures given on this tour brought them more students and the eventual development of several centers. In 1977 students donated 30 acres of land near Boulder Creek, California, for the development of a retreat center called Vajrapani Institute, and in 1980 one student donated 270 acres in rural Vermont which became Milarepa Center.

In 1984, Lama Thubten Yeshe passed away at Cedars Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles and was cremated at Vajrapani Institute. One year later, on February 12, 1985, a boy was born in Spain who was later identified as Lama Yeshe's reincarnation. This boy, named Tenzin Osel Rinpoche, is now enrolled in Sara Je Monastery in India where he will be receiving both a traditional Tibetan education and a modern western education to prepare him for his future role as the spiritual head of the FPMT.

In the last two decades, FPMT has become a worldwide movement and recently moved its world headquarters to the United States from Europe. Wisdom Publication, now located in Boston, Massachusetts, distributes a wide array of books on Buddhism and related topics. A line of English-language books on Tibetan Buddhism have appeared as the Wisdom Basic Books (Orange Series), Intermediate Books (White Series), and Advanced Books (Blue Series).

Membership: In 1997 there were 18 centers affiliated with FPMT in the United States and 82 additional centers worldwide.

Periodicals: Mandala.

Sources:

Hopkins, Jeffrey. The Tantric Distinction. London: Wisdom Publications, 1984.

Amipa, Lama Sherab Gyaltsen. The Opening of the Lotus. London: Wisdom Publications, 1987.

MacKenzie, Vicki. The Boy Lama. San Francisco: Harper & Row, n.d.

Rabten, Geshe. The Essential Nectar. London: Wisdom Publications, 1984.

Rabten, Geshe, and Geshe Ngawang Dhargyey. Advice from a Spiritual Friend. New Delhi, India: Publications for Wisdom Culture, 1977.

Yeshe, Thubten, and Thubten Zopa. Wisdom Energy. Honolulu, HI: Conch Press, 1976.

2483

Ganden Tekchen Ling

Deer Park 4548 Schneider Dr.
Oregon, WI 53575

The Ganden Mahayana Center was formed in the mid-1970s by a group of students who had gathered around Geshe Lhundup Sopa, a professor in the Buddhist Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Sopa had been a teacher at the monastery at Sera until the Chinese invasion of Tibet. He fled to India but was sent to Labsum Shedrub Ling, the monastery in New Jersey in 1965 as a tutor for young monks. In 1968 he joined the faculty at the University of Wisconsin. Once formed, the center created Deer Park, a grove named after the place near Benares, India, where Buddha first taught, three miles from the university campus. A full program of both academic instruction in Buddhist, Tibetan and related subjects as well as facilities for the practice of traditional Tibetan Buddhism was offered.

The Center follows the branch of Tibetan Buddhism taught by the Dalai Lama and has, on several occasions, hosted the Dalai Lama, including his first American visit in 1979. In 1981, prior to the Dalai Lama's visit, the Center purchased acreage near Oregon, Wisconsin, and transferred its program to the new center. That new center was the site of the first performance in the West of the Kalachakra Initiation Ceremony by the Dalai Lama. The Kalachakra tantric path is one method of practicing Buddhist meditation which is considered for those who wish to progress speedily through intense meditational activity.

Membership: In 1981 the Center had 80 members.

Sources:

Gyatso, Tenzin. The Buddhism of Tibet and the Key to the Middle Way. New York: Harper & Row, 1975.

Gyatsho, Tenzin, the 14th Dalai Lama. The Opening of the Wisdom-Eye. Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1972.

Kalachakra Initiation, Madison, 1981. Madison, WI: Deer Park, 1981.

Keegan, Marcia, ed. The Dalai Lama's Historic Visit to North America. New York: Clear Light Publications, 1981.

Sopa, Geshe Lhundub. The Wheel of Time. Madison, WI: Deer Park Books, 1985.

Sopa, Geshe Lhundup, and Jeffrey Hopkins. Practice and Theory of Tibetan Buddhism. New York: Grove Press, 1976.

2484

Jetsun Sakya Center

Current address not obtained for this edition.

Jetsun Sakya Center is a small Sakyapa center founded in 1977 by Dezhung Rinpoche. Like Ewam Choden, it is under the Sakya Trizin, the head of the Sakyapa Order who resides in India, but is organizationally separate.

Membership: Not reported.

2485

Kagyu Dharma

(Defunct)

Kagyu Dharma was the collective name given the several centers established by Kalu Rinpoche, a teacher of the Kargyupa sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Rinpoche studied at the Palpung Monastery in eastern Tibet. He left Tibet in 1957 to establish a monastery in Bhutan, at the request of the queen. He then settled at Sonada, Darjeeling, India, and established his own center, Samdup Tarjeyling Monastery. He trained a number of monks especially to head centers in the West, and during the 1970s he started centers in Europe and North America. Focus of the European work is in Belgium at the urban center in Antwerp and the rural retreat at Huy. Each center carried on a regular format of worship and meditation which followed a daily, weekly, and lunar month schedule.

Among the American centers, Kagyu Droden Choling in San Francisco was most active. It was headed by Lama Lodo, the author of several books, and administered a publishing arm, KDK Publications, which published books in both Tibetan and English. Khawachen Dharma Center in Anchorage, Alaska is an eclectic Buddhist center under the direction of N. Paljor, and it received guidance from one of Rinpoche's students, Lama Karma Rinchen of Hawaii.

Rinpoche died in 1989. Several years later a young child born in 1990 was recognized by both the Dalai Lama and Tai Situ Rinpoche as the reincarnation of Rinpoche. The child is now being raised as Kalu returned and is traveling performing official ritual functions.

Membership: Not reported.

Periodicals: Dundrub Yong (Song of Fulfillment).

Sources:

Dorje, Kakhyab. A Continuous Rain to Benefit Others. Vancouver, BC: Kagyu Kunhyab Chuling, n.d.

Lodo, Lama. Bardo Teachings. San Francisco: KDK Publications, 1982.

Lodru, Lama. Attaining Enlightenment. San Francisco, CA: Kagyu Droden Kunchab Publications, 1979.

McLeod, Kenneth, trans. The Total Flowering of Activity to Help Others. Vancouver, BC: Kagyu Kunchab Chuling, 1975.

——. The Chariot for Traveling the Path to Freedom. San Francisco, CA: Kagyu Dharma, 1985.

Palzang, Rikzin, trans. Prayers for Generating Guru Devotion. San Francisco, CA: Kagyu Droden Kunchab Publications, 1979.

2486

Kampo Gangra Drubgyudling

200 Balsam Ave.
Toronto, ON, Canada M4E 3C3

The Kampo Gangra Drubgyudling was founded in 1973 as the Canadian center of Tibetan Buddhist teacher Vajra Archaya Lama Karma Thingley Rinpoche. Karma Thinley Rinpoche (b.1931) was born in Tibet and recognized at the age of two-and-a-half as the reincarnation of Beru Shaiyak Lama Kunrik, a Sakya master, by Sakya Trizin, the head of the Sakya School of Tibetan Buddhism. At a later date he was also recognized by H. H. the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa, head of the Kagyu tradition, as the fourth Karma Thinleypa, a highly realized bodhisattva of the Kagyu lineage. In addition to his position as a master of the Kagyu and Sakya schools, Rinpoche is also widely learned in the Nyingma and Gelug traditions. In 1974, His Holiness the Gyalwa Karmapa appointed him a Lord of Dharma of the Karma-Kagyu lineage. Karma Thinley Rinpoche resides in Toronto.

The Marpa Gompa Meditation Society (Tibetan: Marpa Gompa Changchub Ling) was founded in 1977 as the Alberta center of Thinley Rinpoche's work. It has as a resident dharma teacher Choge Susan Hutchison (Karma Khandro). Besides his centers in Canada, Karma Tingley Rinpoche has followers in England, whom he has placed under the care of Lama Jampa Thaye as his Dharma regent. Teaching is primarily from the Kagyu tradition.

Membership: Not reported. There is a center in Toronto; in Calgary, Alberta; and in England (Kagyu Dechen Dzong) at Harrowgate, Yorkshire.

Sources:

Morreale, Don. The Complete Guide to Buddhist America. Boston: Shambhala, 1998.

2487

Karma Triyana Dharmachakra (KTD)

335 Meads Mountain Rd.
Woodstock, NY 12498

Karma Triyana Dharmachakra (KTD) was founded in 1976 by His Holiness the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa, the head of the Karma Kagyu Lineage. The Kagyu lineage is one of the four major lineages of the Tibetan Buddhism, and the Karma Kagyu is one of its main branches. Led by the Gyalwa Karmapas since the twelfth century, the lineage includes generations of scholars and mahasiddhas who devoted their lives to the realization of the truth of experience and the perfection of compassion for all beings. Before his passing in 1980, the 16th Karmapa named the KTD as his principal seat in North America and planned that from this monastery the Buddha's teachings would be introduced and disseminated in the west.

In 1985 His Holiness Ogyen Tinley Dorje, the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, was born to nomadic parents in the Lhathok region of Tibet. He was discovered in 1992 by a predicted letter written by the 16th Karmapa, and his identification was confirmed by this Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. In 2000 he fled from Tibet to India where he began preparing for his role as leader and primary teacher of the Karma Kagyu Lineage.

The KTD's authentic Tibetan temple building, which is said to be one of the largest in North America, is surrounded by residences for monastic and lay students. Venerable Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche and Venerable Bardor Tulku Rinpoche jointly hold the primary responsibility for fulfilling His Holiness's wishes with regard to KTD's activities. They conduct regular teachings at KTD and at affiliated centers around the country.

The group's Internet site is http://www.kagyu.org.

Membership: As of 2002, the KTD reported 37 centers in the United States, three in Canada, and three in South America.

Periodicals: Densal.

Sources:

Karthar Rinpoche, Khenpo. Dharma Paths. Edited by Laura M. Roth. Ithaca, N.Y.: Snow Lion Publications, 1992.

2488

Kathok Shendrup Ling Center

5516 Vallejo St.
Oakland, CA 94608-2624

Kathok Shendrup Ling is the center established by Lama Kadag Choying Dorje (Lingtrul Rinpoche), a teacher of the Kathok lineage within the Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism. Lingtrul is the abbot of Draling Gompa, a monastery in Tibet with approximately 1,000 monks. He is also the lineage holder of what are termed the Great Perfection Teachings of the Ancients (Dzogchen), and believed by his followers to be a reincarnation of an emanation of the fourteenth-century Tibetan teacher Gwalwa Longchenpa, known as the author of a book published in the West as Kindly Bent to Ease Us.

Lingtrul Rinpoche was born in Amdo-Golok, Tibet, and recognized to be an incarnation of Ling Lama Dorje, a high lama of Eastern Tibet at the age of three. Ling Lama Dorje had earlier been recognized as the incarnation of the daughter of King Trisong Detsun, and of Longchenpa. However, due to the Chinese occupation of Tibet, the recognition and subsequent enthronement of Lingtrul Rinpoche occurred in secret, and as a young tulku, he was forced to work in labor camps and serve the needs of the Chinese government.

Lingtrul Rinpoche studied under his root teacher, the great Khenpo Munsel, Thubten Tsultrim Gyatso, who passed on the lineage of the Clear Light Great Perfection which began with Dharmakaya Buddha Kuntuzangpo and was passed to Longchenpa and eventually to Khenpo Munsel. Lingtrul Rinpoche received all the transmissions of Clear Light Great Perfection, Dzogchen, Ati-yoga, and over many years in retreat accomplished all the stages of development. He also received an extensive transmission of the Seven Treasures of Longchenpa, all other important Longchen Nyingthig transmissions, and a number of additional teachings from key Tibetan Buddhist masters.

Membership: Not reported.

Sources:

Morreale, Don. The Complete Guide to Buddhist America. Boston: Shambhala, 1998.

2489

Kunzang Odsal Palyul Changchub Choling

18400 River Rd.
Poolesville, MD 20837

Kunzang Odsal Palyul Changchub Choling (KOPCC) is a Tibetan Buddhist organization in the Nyingmapa tradition formed in 1982 as the World Prayer Center. It was founded by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo. KOPCC carries on a full program of teachings in Buddhism and practice sessions in Buddhist meditation. It conducts weekly classes and lectures and sponsors periodic retreats and workshops. Members are active in sponsoring Tibetan refugee children and youth. KOPCC owns a 65-acre wildlife refuge.

Membership: In 1993 there were approximately 150 members.

Educational Facilities: The Migyur Dorje Institute, Poolesville, Maryland.

2490

Ligmincha Institute

PO Box 1892
Charlottesville, VA 22903

Ligmincha Institute is a contemporary Western center of the ancient B'n (pre-Buddhist) religion of Tibet. It was founded in the early 1990s by Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche. The transmission of the B'n religion to the West began in 1961 when Tenzin Namdak (b.1926), the head of the B'n religious community, moved to London, England. Namdak became Lopon (head) of the group in 1953 but had to flee Tibet in 1959 following the Chinese invasion. He moved to London two years later and cooperated with David Snellgrove in the translation and publication of The Nine Ways of Bon, a basic text on the B'n tradition. Upon his return to India in 1964, he founded New Menri as a center for the B'n community in exile. He made his first trip to the United States in 1989 and on that occasion founded the Tibetan B'n Temple Foundation in Signal Hill, California.

The B'n religion was founded by Tonpe Shenrab Miwache, and as the teachings were passed and developed, they emerged into what is termed the Dzogchen teachings. The master practitioner is termed a Shen. Shenrab's teachings are classified in the nine ways, or vehicles, to relieve sufferings. The initial four are termed the causal ways: Chashen (the Way of the Shen of Prediction), Nangshen (the Way of the Shen of the Visible World), Trulshen (the Way of the Shen of Magical Illusion), and Sichen (the Way of the Shen of Existence). These include various healing, divinatory, and astrological practices; purification rituals; practices to subdue spirits; and work with the soul of the living and dead. All of these practices the B'n practitioners share with Tibetan shamanism.

B'n is unique in its practice of the five resultant vehicles, which are built upon a universal compassion and deal most directly with the life beyond death. These teachings comprise the oral teaching of the B'n religion and are generally passed on orally from teacher to student. The founder passed the teaching on to the first nine masters, most of whom were from Zhang Zhung, a country west of Tibet near Mt. Kailash. The next masters, 24 in number, taught what is known as the oral transmissions of Zhang Zhung, which are contained in the Zhang Zhung Nyn Gyud, a multivolume text of Dzogchen teachings. Other teachings of the Dzogchen are contained in the Akhrid.

Dzogchen is described as a path of self-liberation. Human problems are located in the five poisons–attachment, anger, ignorance, pride, and jealousy. They are the creation of the mind and do not exist in the true condition of the mind. The goal is to return to the true condition of the mind. Rather than attempt to either renounce the five poisons or somehow transform them, Dzogchen suggests that we examine our problems, and in the process we discover that they have no roots; they vanish. We are freed into a state where there are no passions.

Tenzin Wangyal Namdak Rinpoche received his transmission directly from Lopon Tenzin Namdak Rinpoche. Through the institute, he offers the B'n tradition in a manner he feels can communicate with Western audiences, as well as provide a spiritual home for Tibetan residents in the United States. The institute's library houses a number of rare Tibetan texts, and work has begun on translations. Of special interest is Tibetan medicine. Students may enter a seven-year program, focused in three-week summer retreats, through which they can be trained in the B'n religion and the spiritual exercises it perpetuates.

Membership: The institute is not a membership organization.

Periodicals: The Voice of Clear Light.

Sources:

Wangyal Rinpoche, Tenzin. The Essence of Dzogchen in the Native B'nTradition of Tibet.

——. "Shamanism in the Native B'n Tradition of Tibet." Tantra 8 (1994): 50-53.

——. "The Way of Dzogchen: The Great Perfection." Tantra 5 (1992): 76-

79.

2491

Longchen Nyingthig Buddhist Society

Current address not obtained for this edition.

The Longchen Nyingthig Buddhist Society was founded in New York City by the Venerable Tsede Lhamo, Rhenock Chamkusho. The Longchen Nyingthig lineage extends unbroken to Padmasambhava, the famous teacher recognized as the founder of the Nyingmapa branch of Tibetan Buddhism. The teachings, which require intensive practice and close contact between student and teacher, offer the possibility of attaining permanent Buddhahood in a single lifetime. Its present leader, a female, Rhenock Chamkusko, was the daughter of Kyungtrul Pema Wangchen, a Nyingmapa rinpoche. Following the death of her father when she was only three years old, she was taken to study with another female guru, Jetsun Lochen Rinpoche. This guru's monastery was on White Brow Mountain where centuries earlier Nyingma Lama Gwalwa Longchenpa had founded the Longchen Nyingthig lineage.

In 1948 Chamkusko married Sonam Kazi, and in 1956 went with him to establish a monastery in Sikkim. Discovered by American pilgrims, they were invited to move to the United States, which they did in 1969. They established the Longchen Society. In 1972 the Dzogchen Pema Choling Meditation Center was opened in Philadelphia. The retreat center, which now serves as headquarters, was added in 1975.

Membership: Not reported.

2492

Mahasiddha Nyingmapa Center

Box 87
Charlemont, MA 01339

The Mahasiddha Ningmapa Center is a small Nyingma center under the direction of Dodrup Chen Rinpoche. Students carry out a daily schedule of meditation and chanting.

Membership: In 1988, there were 25 members of the center.

Sources:

Thondup, Tulku. Buddhist Civilization in Tibet. Cambridge, MA: Maha Siddha Nyingmapa Center, 1982.

2493

Namgyal Monastery Institute of Buddhist Studies

PO Box 127
Ithaca, NY 14851

Namgyal Monastery Institute of Buddhist Studies is the American headquarters of the Dalai Lama in his role as head of the Gelugpa School of Buddhism and nominal head of the Tibetan Buddhist community. The Gelugpa Tradition is traced back to Lama Tsongkhapa (1357–1419), popularly known as Jetsun Tsongkhapa or Je Rinpoche in Tibet. He is thought to be a major reformer of Tibetan Buddhism. In his mature years, Je Rinpoche wrote a collection of texts on Buddhist doctrine and other related subjects, amongst them the Lam-Rim ChenMo, a study of the graduated path to enlightenment, which is considered by believers as the most authoritative volume on Buddhist teachings.

Je Rinpoche and his disciples founded the Gandan Monastery in 1409. His followers became known as the Gelugpas ("virtuous"), and his teachings spread throughout Tibet and further, to Mongolia, where almost the entire population became Gelugpa followers. The teachings also spread through China, influencing a succession of emperors who supported the spread of Buddhism.

The leader of this largest of Tibetan Schools is termed the Dalai Lama. The first Dalai Lama was Tsongkhapa's nephew. The Second Dalai Lama established the original Namgyal Monastery in the sixteenth century, and over the centuries it has served as the private monastery of each of the successive Dalai Lamas. In Tibet, this prestigious but relatively small monastery was located in the Potala in the capital city of Lhasa.

The present Dalai Lama, Gyalwa Tenzin Gyatso (b. 1935), was recognized as the new Dalai Lama at the age of two and in 1939 taken to Lhasa from his home in Eastern Tibet. Though only 16, in 1951 he assumed his responsibilities in order to deal with the perceived threat that the new Chinese government posed for the country. When the country was finally overrun in 1959, he fled and has since that time worked both to regain the autonomy of Tibet and to care for the 100,000 Tibetan refugees, including numerous religious leaders who fled with him. His worldwide travels on behalf of these two causes have given him status as a prominent world religious leader similar to the Ecumenical Patriarch (Eastern Orthodox Christianity) or the Pope. The Dalai Lama established his headquarters (both a government-in-exile and Tibetan Buddhist center) in Dharmasala, India, and recreated Namgyal Monastery in a building immediately adjacent to his residence. Today, a large community of monks are pursuing research and studies there.

In 1992, the monastery established a North American branch in Ithaca, New York, in conjunction with an innovative institute of study and practice for the benefit of lay as well as ordained Western women and men. With the approval of the Dalai Lama, the Administrative Committee of Namgyal Monastery in Dharmasala composed the charter for the Ithaca branch monastery and its institute and selected monks for its staff. Namgyal Institute has a program of bringing to the West both the program designed by the Dalai Lama and additional supplementary course work.

The Dalai Lama has written a number of books and overseen the translation of numerous Tibetan texts into Western languages. Snow Lion Publications was established in 1980 as an English-language publisher of books and other materials on Tibet, Tibetan culture, Tibetan Buddhism, and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. As a publishing house, it has been dedicated to the preservation of Tibetan culture and has become a major force in spreading Tibetan Buddhism in the West.

Remarks: During the 1990s, amid his broad work with the Tibetan Buddhist community, the Dalai Lama has become involved in two international controversies that have particular significance for Gelugpa Buddhists. The first concerns the Panchen Lama. The Panchen Lama is the second most important religious figure in Tibet. The Fifth Dalai Lama, who became the sovereign ruler of Tibet in 1642, gave Tashi Lhunpo Monastery to the 15th abbot of the monastery, Lobsang Choekyi Gyaltsen, and officially conferred the title Panchen ("great scholar") upon him. Since his death, Lobsang Choekyi Gyaltsen's reincarnations have been recognized and known as the Panchen Lama.

The Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama have enjoyed a unique and supportive relationship. Over the centuries, adult Dalai Lamas have been the person to recognize the new incarnation of the Panchen Lama, and vice versa. And thus it came about that in May 1995 (in the wake of the death of the 10th Panchen Lama in 1989), the present Dalai Lama recognized a 6-year-old boy, Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, as the reincarnation of the Panchen Lama. However, shortly thereafter, the Chinese authorities detained Gedhun Choekyi Nyima and his parents and neither have been seen since. Then in November 1995, the Chinese government declared its recognition of another young boy, Gyslten Norbu, as the new Panchen Lama. The issue has become an important one in the ongoing relations between the Chinese government and the Dalai Lama, as the 10th Panchen had been severely treated in an effort to have him denounce the Dalai Lama, but he remained loyal.

The second issue has involved an internal struggle within the Gelugpa community. In 1978 H. H. the Dalai Lama gave a talk in which he spoke harshly of veneration ascribed to Dorje Shugden, a Tibetan Buddhist deity, who has enjoyed popular support among Tibetan Buddhists. His words led to the suppression of worship in the community in India and Nepal, and some discrimination against those who continued the practice. Largely an internal matter, little known outside of the inner circle of believers, the Dalai Lama heightened controversy in 1996, in the wake of his problems with the Chinese over the Panchen Lama when he publicly declared Dorje Shugden to be an evil Chinese spirit who was harmful to Tibetan independence and to the Dalai Lama's life. He then took the extraordinary step of banning the worship of Dorje Shugden and initiating its forcible suppression within the exile Tibetan communities. This action infuriated many who felt forced to choose between the Dalai Lama and their own traditional spiritual practice.

Among the major supporters of Dorje Shugden veneration were the leaders and members of a rival Gelugpa branch, the New Kadampa Tradition (NKT), which has its center in a monastery in England. Members of the NKT demonstrated against the Dalai Lama during his European visit in the summer of 1996. Then in February 1997, three of the Dalai Lama's close disciples were murdered near Dharmasala. Again, on May 3, 1998, followers of Dorje Shugden (including NKT members) demonstrated against the Dalai Lama in New York during his visit there.

Neither the Panchen Lama or Dorje Shugden controversy appear to be nearing a resolution. In each case, those opposed to the Dalai Lama are out of his reach either in the controlled environment of Tibet or the free religious environment of the modern West. He has no power to locate and free his designated candidate as the Panchen Lama or to force the followers of Dorje Shugden in various branches of Tibetan Buddhism to discontinue their veneration. The Dalai Lama will probably have to live with both issues for a number of years in the future.

Sources:

Batchelor, Stephen. "Letting Daylight into Magic: The Life and Times of Dorje Shugden." Tricycle: The Buddhist Review 7, 3 (spring 1998): 60–66.

Dalai Lama. Freedom in Exile: The Autobiography of the Dalai Lama. San Francisco: Harper, 1991. 320 pp.

——. My Land and My People. Potala Corporation, 1983.

——. Opening of the Wisdom Eye. Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1986.

——. The Way to Freedom. San Francisco: Harper, 1994. 192 pp.

Kay, David. "The New Kadampa Tradition and the Continuity of Tibetan Buddhism in Transition." Journal of Contemporary Religion 12, 3 (October 1997): 277–93.

Lopez, Jr., Donald S. "Two Sides of the Same God" Tricycle: The BuddhistReview 7, 3 (spring 1998): 67–69.

Snelling, John. The Buddhist Handbook: A Complete Guide to BuddhistSchools, Teachings, Practice, and History. Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions, 1991. 337 pp.

2494

Namo Buddha Seminar

1390 Kalmia Ave.
Boulder, CO 80304

Alternate Address: International Headquarters: Thrangu Tashi Choeling-Monastery, Namo Buddha Retreat Centre, PO Box 1287, Kathmandu, Nepal. Canadian Headquarters: Karma Tashi Ling, 10792 82nd Ave., Edmonton, AB T6E 2A8.

The Namo Buddha Seminar was established by the Venerable Khenpo Thrangu Rinpoche, a Tibetan lama of the Kagyu sect in 1988. In the fifteenth century, the seventh Gyalwa Karmapa chodrak Gyatso (1454–1506) visited the region of Thrangu in Tibet, and he established the Thrangu Monastery. He also enthroned Sherap Gyaltsen as the first Thrangu Rinpoche, and asserted that he was the re-established emanation of Shubu Palgyi Senge, one of the 25 great siddha disciples of Guru Padmasambhava, the eighth-century saint who brought Buddhism to Tibet.

Thrangu Rinpoche was born in Tibet in 1933 and was recognized by the age of five by His Holiness the sixteenth Karmapa and Tai Situpa to be the ninth reincarnation of the famous Thrangu Tulkus. He was forced to escape from Tibet in 1959 with the Chinese invasion and found his way to the Karmapa's monastery in exile in Sikkim, India. Because of his great scholarship and unending diligence, he was giving the task of preserving the teachings of the Kagyu lineage, which had a long history with such notable personages as Marpa, Gampopa, and Milarepa, so that this lineage of 1,000 years of profound Buddhist teachings would not die out.

At the age of 23 he received ordination from H. H. Karmapa, along with Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche (the founder of Vajradhatu International) and Surmang Garwang Rinpoche. He was introduced to the Absolute Nature by Lama Khenpo Gangshar Wang-po. Thrangu Rinpoche studied in Buxalor and in a few years achieved the highest Geshe Lharampa degree, and upon returning to Rumtek was given the highest Khenchen degree. Because all the Buddhist texts were destroyed in Tibet, Thrangu Rinpoche helped begin the recovery of these text from Tibetan monasteries outside of Tibet. He became abbot in the Nalanda Institute in Rumtek and, along with Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso, Rinpoche was one of the principal teachers in the Nalanda Institute, training all the younger tulkus of the lineage. Thrangy Rinpoche was also the tutor for the four major regents and established the fundamental curriculum of the Karma Kagyu lineage. Today he is the holder of the zhentong lineage handed down by Jamong Kongtrul the Great.

In 1976 Rinpoche founded a small monastery in Boudhanath, Kathmandu, and also a retreat center in Namo Buddha (both in Nepal), and begin giving authentic Buddhist teachings in the West and in the Far East. Rinpoche has taught in more than 25 countries and has 17 centers in 12 countries. Additionally, he maintains a free medical clinic in an impoverished area of Nepal, Tara Abbey, which trains Tibetan women to become khenpos (teachers), and an elementary school for training Tibetan children in Western subjects as well as Buddhist topics.

In the United States Rinpoche centers in Maine and California, and is building a retreat center in Colorado. He often visits and teaches in centers in New York, Connecticut, and Seattle. In Canada he teaches in Vancouver and has a center in Edmonton, and is abbot of Gampo Abbey (a Buddhist monastery) in Nova Scotia. Thrangu Rinpoche conducts annual Namo Buddha seminars in the U.S., Canada, and Europe, as part of a meditation retreat.

The Namo Buddha Seminar supports the activities of Thrangu Rinpoche and concentrates on publishing the authentic Buddhist teachings from a realized teacher. Namo Buddha Publications has collected an audio library of more than 800 tapes of Thrangu Rinpoche and has published many of these in 22 books, which are available from the seminar. It is planned that Rinpoche's works will be digitized and available for download on the Internet; a Cyber-sangha, which will present Rinpoche's teachings in a long-distance learning format, will also be available. The seminar's Internet address, at which Rinpoche's schedule is posted, is http://www.rinpoche.com. A bimonthly Internet newsletter is sent to approximately 600 subscribers.

Membership: In 2002 an estimated 400 to 450 attended Rinpoche's seminars, which are open to anyone.

Educational Facilities: Thrangu Tashi Choling, Boudhanath, Kathmandu, Nepal.

Periodicals: Namo Buddhist Seminar.

2495

Nechung Drayang Ling

Box 250
Pahala, HI 96777

In 1972, the head of the Nyingmapa branch of Tibetan Buddhism visited Hawaii. Inspired by his visit, a group of students initiated efforts to bring a teacher to live on the islands permanently. One of their number consulted with the Dalai Lama concerning that possibility. The students had acquired the Woods Valley Temple, a Nichiren Buddhist temple at Pahala, Hawaii, which had been abandoned when Japanese workers moved out of the area. They found a teacher, Nechung Rinpoche in 1975. He was an accomplished master of both the Gelug and the older Nyingma branches of Tibetan Buddhism. Shortly after his arrival, a second center was opened in Honolulu, Hawaii, and periodically meetings are held on the other islands. Nechung Rinpoche attempts to integrate the practices and teachings of all the branches of Buddhism, and the center has been host to a wide variety of Tibetan Buddhist teachers who have come to Hawaii.

The center, five miles from Pahala, has a full schedule of lectures, daily meditation sessions, and ceremonies. A retreat center, formerly a Japanese Buddhist temple moved to the rural location from the town of Pahala, has become a retreat facility which can accomodate approximately 20 people. Contact is kept with the Nechung Dorje Drayang Ling Monastery in Dharmasala, India, considered the mother of the Hawaiian work. There is also a Nechung Monastery in Lhasa, Tibet, which has about 25 monks in residence.

Membership: In 1988, four people lived at the Woods Valley temple, though the population may swell to around 25 during retreats. Approximately 40 monks live at the monastery in Dharmasala.

Periodicals: Newsletter.

2496

New Kadampa Tradition (NKT)

℅ Mahakankala Buddhist Center
1B N. Alisos St.
Santa Barbara, CA 93103

Alternate Address: International Headquarters: Manjushri Mahayana Buddhist Centre, Conishead Priory, Ulverston, Cumbria, UK LA12 9QQ.

The New Kadampa Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism originated in the mid-1970s and the movement of the Ven. Geshe Kelsang Gyatso (b. 1931) to the West. He had been born in Tibet but left after the Chinese takeover. He trained for 19 years in the Tibetan monasteries of Jampaling and Sera-Je under his Spiritual Guide, the Ven. Trijang Rinpoche, before entering into a meditation retreat in the Himalayas for almost 20 years. In 1977 he was invited to England as the Resident Teacher at the Manjushri Mahayana Buddhist Centre in England, where he has remained ever since.

The Kadampa Tradition is traced to Atisha (982–1054 C.E.), who brought Buddhism to Western Tibet (1042) from India. He emphasized guru devotion and the need for a monastic disciple. His work was carried on by his disciple Dromton (1088–1164) who largely shaped the tradition. It was eventually passed to Je Tsong Khapa (1357–1419), who helped revive Buddhism across Tibet during a time it was at a low ebb. In more recent centuries the Kadampa tradition has become a branch of the Gelugpa Tibetan Buddhist School.

The New Kadampa Tradition has been created to present the old teaching in a manner which communicates with modern Westerners. To that end, Geshe Kelsang has published some 15 books ranging from volumes for beginners to detailed and lucid expositions of the profundities of Buddhist philosophy. He proposes the following of Atisha's instructions, called "Lamrim" or "Stages of the Path," which combines study and spiritual practice.

Membership: Not reported.

Periodicals: Ocean of Nectar.

Remarks: The New Kadampa tradition has become widely known for its involvement in a controversy internal to the Gelugpa School headed by the H. H. Dalai Lama. On July 13, 1978, in exile, the Dalai Lama gave a talk in which he attempted to discredit the worship of Dorje Shugden, a Tibetan Buddhist deity, who was enormously popular amongst the people of Gelugpa School. The worship of Dorje Shugden was also a practice of the Dalai Lama's own principal spiritual teacher, Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche.

The continued discrediting of Dorje Shugden led to the suppression of worship and some discrimination against those who continued the practice. The Dalai Lama raised the controversy to a new level in 1996 when in the main Thekchen Choeling Temple near Dharamsala, he publicly declared Dorje Shugden to be an evil Chinese spirit who was harmful to Tibetan independence and to the Dalai Lama's life. He then took the extraordinary step of banning the worship of Dorje Shugden and initiating its forcible suppression within the exile Tibetan communities. This action infuriated many who felt forced to choose between the Dalai Lama and their own traditional spiritual practice.

The New Kadampa Tradition has been the main supporter of Dorje Shugden among practitioners of Tibetan Buddhism in the West. The controversy, which pitched the Dalai Lama against the New Kadampa Tradition, was further escalated by a NKT campaign during the Dalai Lama's European visit in the summer of 1996. Then in February 1997 three of the Dalai Lama's close disciples were murdered near Dharamsala, India. Again, on May 3, 1998, followers of Dorje Shugden (including NKT members) demonstrated against the Dalai Lama in New York during his visit there, and no end of the controversy is in sight.

Sources:

Batchelor, Stephen. "Letting Daylight into Magic: The Life and Times of Dorje Shugden." Tricycle: The Buddhist Review 7, 3 (spring 1998): 60-66.

Kay, David. "The New Kadampa Tradition and the Continuity of Tibetan Buddhism in Transition." Journal of Contemporary Religion 12, 3 (October 1997): 277-93.

Lopez, Jr., Donald S. "Two Sides of the Same God" Tricycle: The BuddhistReview 7, 3 (spring 1998): 67–69.

2497

Padmasamblava Buddhist Centers

Box 1533, Old Chelsea Station
New York, NY 10011

The Padmasamblava Buddhist Centers (named for the eighth-century Tibetan saint) comprise a set of Nyingma Buddhist practice groups tied together by the teaching activity of Khenpo Tse-wang Dongyal Rinpoche and Khenchen Palden Sherab Rinpoche, both students of H. H. Dudjom Rinpoche, head of the Nyingma lineage within Tibetan Buddhism. The members gather annually for a summer retreat at Padma Samye, a retreat center in upstate New York. The rest of the year the teachers travel between their centers, which are found across the United States, and in Puerto Rico and Russia.

Membership: Not reported. As of 1998 there were nine centers in the United States plus one in Puerto Rico.

Sources:

Morreale, Don. The Complete Guide to Buddhist America. Boston: Shambhala, 1998.

http://www.padmasambhava.org/info/.

2498

Palyul Changchub Dhaegye Ling

Box 1514
Mill Valley, CA 94941

Palyul Changchub Dhaegye Ling was established in 1996 by Khenpo Tsewang Gyatso Rinpoche, the American representative of the Palyul branch of the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. The Palyul Nyingma date to 1665 C.E. in Eastern Tibet. The supreme head of the Palyul Buddhists is H. H. Padma Nornu ("Penor") Rinpoche, the eleventh throne holder of Palyul. His seat is currently at the Namdroling Monastery of Byla-Kuppe, India.

In February 1997, H. H. Penor Rinpoche recognized actor Steven Seagal as a tulku, the reincarnation of Chungdrag Dorje of Palyul Monastery. Later that year he toured the United States to formally open his newly established centers.

Membership: Not reported. There is one center in California and one in Colorado.

Sources:

Morreale, Don. The Complete Guide to Buddhist America. Boston: Shambhala, 1998.

http://www.palyul.org/.

2499

Pansophic Institute

(Defunct)

The Pansophic Institute was founded in 1973 in Reno, Nevada, by Simon Grimes (Simon Theurgos, Choskyi Palden Konchog Chopel). One of its main goals was to bring the concepts of Tibetan Vajrayana (tantric) Buddhism into the mainstream of Western thought. The Pansophic Institute was most closely related to the Gelugpa sect of which the Dalai Lama is the head. In the eleventh century, Atisha Dipankara came from India and began a great reformation of the Tibetan practices. Atisha's work was followed up in the fifteenth century by Tsong Khapa. He introduced strict discipline and the practices of the mendicant monks. Vajradhara was the Buddha, and there was a strong belief in Maitreya, "the coming Buddha." The strong discipline was based on the authority of the Dalai Lama. By the seventeenth century, the Gelugpa sect became the established religion of Tibet.

One of the leading monasteries of the Gelugpa was Tashi Lhunpo Monastery near Shigatse. The successive reincarnations of its hierarch, beginning with the scholar Kas Grub-Je, were, according to tradition, installed as the Panchen Rinpoche. The sixth Panchen Rinpoche was Choskyi Nyima (1883-1937). It was prophesied that the line of the Panchen Rinpoche would disappear from Asia and reappear in the West with the mission of unifying Eastern and Western thought as the foundation of world culture. Many came to believe Simon Grimes, the founder of the Pansophic Institute who was born in North China, was the reincarnation of the sixth Panchen Lama.

According to the Pansophic Institute, the most important concept of Vajrayana Buddhism was "Mahamudra," total awareness of one's consciousness. It contained the seed of enlightenment and was the goal of meditation. A seven-point ethical code was adhered to: abstain from injury to other beings, taking what is not given, sexual obsessions, making false claims and slandering others; work to maintain conscious, clear awareness in oneself and others; cultivate this ethical code in oneself and in mankind.

The institute developed branch centers throughout the United States and in Canada, Australia, India, Nepal, and several countries in West Africa. It functioned through its School of Universal Wisdom and Church of Universal Light. The curriculum included Tibetan religion and culture, meditation, spiritual healing, parapsychology, comparative religion, esoteric (gnostic) cosmologies, and the four types of theurgy (tantra as adapted to the West). The institute also promotes planetary understanding, peace, and unity.

Membership: After two decades of activity, the institute ceased its operations in the early 1990s.

Educational Facilities: School of Universal Wisdom, Reno, Nevada.

Periodicals: Clear Light.

Sources:

The Graduated Path to Liberation. Reno, NV: Pansophic Institute, 1972.

Grimes, Simon. The Flaming Diamond. Reno, NV: Pansophic Institute, 1974.

2500

Rigpa Fellowship

℅ Orgyen Cho Lin
PO Box 607
Santa Cruz, CA 95061-0607

Alternate Address: International Headquarters 44 St. Paul's Crescent, London NW1 9TN, England.

Rigpa Fellowship is an association of Tibetan Buddhist meditation centers under the direction of Sogyal Rinpoche. Rinpoche is an incarnate lama of the Dzogchen lineage who studied first under Jamyang Khyentse Choekyi Lodroe, and then in the mid-1970s he accompanied the Dalai Lama on his first trip to the west, remaining behind in to attend Cambridge University. He founded Orgyen Choe Ling in London and attracted students in France and the United States and most recently in Australia. Rinpoche teaches dzoghen meditation, believed to be the final and ultimate teaching of Buddha, which brings the precise experience of the awakened state. Tapes and booklets by Rinpoche are circulated by Sound of Dharma in Santa Cruz, California. Radio shows consisting of interviews with Rinpoche are distributed to stations by New Dimensions Radio in San Francisco. Rinpoche resides in England but makes regular visits to the United States and conducts an annual weeklong retreat for students. In 1985 Rigpa hosted the first visit to the United States by the Dzogchen Rinpoche, Jugme Losel Wangpo.

Membership: In 1988 the fellowship reported 300 members in 11 centers in the United States. There were several thousand members in centers around the world including France, Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and India.

Sources:

Rinpoche, Sogyal. Face to Face Meditation Experience. London: Orgyen Choe Ling, 1978.

——. View, Meditation and Action. London: Dzogchen Orgyen Choe Ling, 1979.

2501

Rigpe Dorje Foundation

℅ Rigpa Dorje Center
PO Box 690995
San Antonio, TX 78269

The Rigpe Dorje Foundation was founded by His Eminence Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche (1954–1992), a Tibetan teacher believed by his followers to be the mind incarnation of Lodro Thaye, Jamgon Kongtrul the Great (1813–1899), pioneer of the nineteenth-century Rime Movement (an effort to overcome the difference among the major schools of Tibetan Buddhism). He also is believed to be the incarnation of Taranatha and Khyungpo Naljor, founders of the Jonangpa and Shangpa lineages. In 1948, when he was but six years old, the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa enthroned him and while growing up he lived and studied under the Karmapa's guidance at Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim.

Continuing the activity of the previous Kongtrul incarnations, he established retreat centers in Nepal and India. In his belief that Eastern wisdom and Western knowledge can combine to understand and resolve many contemporary problems, he initiated the Buddhism and Psychotherapy Conference in New York. He also funded Paramita Charitable Trust and the Rigpe Dorje Foundations in the United States, Canada, and Europe through which his followers have supported projects of educational, medical, social, and cultural development, mainly in India.

Jamgon Rinpoche was killed in Siliguri, India, in 1992 in a car accident. His work was assumed by Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche.

Membership: Not reported.

Sources:

Morreale, Don. The Complete Guide to Buddhist America. Boston: Shambhala, 1998.

2502

Sakya Monastery of Tibetan Buddhism

108 NW 83rd St.
Seattle, WA 98117

The Sakya Monastery of Tibetan Buddhism Seattle was founded in 1974 as Sakya Tegchen Choling by His Holiness Jigdal Dagchen Sakya, the head of the Sakya sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Dagchen Sakya Rinpoche studied and trained for many years with his father, Trichen Ngawang Thoptok Wangchug, who was the last throne holder of the Sakya sectum Tibet. He also studied with two esteemed lamas, H. E. Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche and H. E. Dingo Khyentse Rinpoche of the Sakya and Nyingma schools respectively.

Dagchen Sakya Rinpoche fled to India at the time of the Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1959. The following year he was invited to the University of Washington on a Rockefeller Foundation grant to participate in a study of Tibetan civilization. Subsequently, he founded Sakya Monastery in Seattle, Washington.

Sakya Monastery, Seattle was featured in Bernardo Bertolucci's 1993 film Little Buddha.

Membership: In 2001 the monastery reported approximately 300 members in the United States and 50 from Canada. There are a number of affiliated Sakya centers around the world. There are over 1,000 members worldwide.

Educational Facilities: Virupa Ecumenical Institute, Seattle, Washington.

Sakya College, Rajpur, India.

Sources:

The Excellent Path Bestowing Bliss. Seattle, WA: Sakya Monastery of Tibetan Buddhism, 1987.

2503

Tara Mandala

PO Box 3040
157 Hot Springs Blvd.
Pagosa Springs, CO 81147

Tara Mandala is a 500-acre Dzogchen Tibetan Buddhist center established in 1993 in the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado. Dzogchen, the direct experience of the nature of mind, is acquired through a series of awareness practices taught by Chogyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche and the center's resident teacher, Tsultrim Allione, an outstanding female teacher. The center sponsors a full program throughout the year that includes group meditations, pilgrimages, Vajra dance practice, classes, and study groups. In addition, meditation instruction is promoted at locations around the United States and in other countries.

Membership: Not reported.

Periodicals: Tara Mandala Newsletter.

Sources:

Allione, Tsultrim. Women of Wisdom. New York: Penguin, 1988.

2504

Thubten Dargye Ling

Current address not obtained for this edition.

Thubten Dhargye Ling Tibetan Center for Buddhist Studies was founded in 1979 by Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen, a teacher in the Gelugpa tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. The center's name, which means "Land of Increasing Buddha's Teachings," was given by the Dalai Lama. Geshe Gyeltsen was educated at Ganden Monastic University in Tibet. He completed a 23-year course of study and was awarded the title of Lharampa Geshe. Continuing his studies, he graduated from Gyuto Tantric College. In the 1960s, he was sent by His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Great Britain as the director of Tibet House in Sussex, England. In 1976, he came to America where he taught at the University of California–Santa Barbara and the University of Oriental Studies in Los Angeles, California.

In America, Geshe Gyeltsen has continued his close relationship with the Dalai Lama, and on several occasions has hosted his visits to Los Angeles. Besides the Los Angeles center, Geshe Gyeltsen has also founded two affiliated centers: Mahakaruna Tibetan Buddhist Meditation Center in Fairbanks, Alaska, and a small center near Paonia, Colorado. Activities at the center in Los Angeles include weekly services on Sunday mornings, special monthly ceremonies, meditation ocurses, and weekend seminars.

Membership: Not reported.

Periodicals: TDL Newsletter.

2505

Tibetan Buddhist Learning Center

93 Angen Rd.
Washington, NJ 07882-9767

The first Tibetan Buddhist group to arrive in America came in 1951 and settled near Howell, New Jersey. It included 200 members of the Kalmuck tribe of Mongolia who had fled Soviet authorities wishing to convert them to communism. In 1955, with the aid of Church World Service (a Christian ecumenical group), the Ven. Geshe Ngawang Wangyal (d.1983), a Kalmuck-Mongolian lama who received his training at the Drepung Gomang Monastery near Lhasa, Tibet, came to America from Tibet. In 1958, he founded the Lamaist Buddhist Monastery of America (in Tibetan, Labsum Shedrub Ling) in Howell Township in central New Jersey, which he headed for the rest of his life. In 1968, the center was moved to its present location in Warren County. In 1984, the year after Geshe-la died, at the advice of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, the English name of the center was changed to Tibetan Buddhist Learning Center.

The center takes its name from its main task of teaching Tibetan Buddhism. Over the years, it has sponsored many Tibetan monkscholars and western scholars to stay. It has assisted in attending to the spiritual needs of both the original Kalmuck community as well as a new growing American Buddhist group attracted to the center by Wangyal. Among other services, the center nurtures the religious life of its students by providing the regular cycle of Tibetan Buddhist ceremonies and rituals. The monk official now in residence is Ven. Thupten Tsephel Taikang.

The center attempts to convey to its students a basic knowledge of the many facets of Tibetan Buddhism. The study of the teachings is stressed as most important for the new Western Buddhists, and is followed by putting the principles learned into practice. Many of the students have deepened their appreciation of Buddhism by learning the Tibetan language. Instruction at the center is given in English by both the resident Tibetan monk-scholar and associated American scholars. This joint teaching, which makes the subject matter easier to assimilate, is seen as essential for the center to accomplish its main aim–to develop a Buddhism that is culturally American but, at its heart, not different from the Buddhism which travelled from India throughout Asia to Tibet, and from there arrived in twentieth century America.

Succeeding Wangyal as executive director of the center is Joshua W. C. Cutler, who trained with Geshe-la for 13 years, and his wife, Diana Cutler, who trained with Gesha-la for 11 years.

Membership: In 2002, the center reported that approximately 2,500 participate to some degree in center activities.

Sources:

Gonzalez, Arturo F., Jr. "New Jersey's Buddhist Shangri-La." Coronet (April 1950).

Wangyal, Geshe. The Door of Liberation. New York: Maurice Girodias Associates, 1973.

2506

Tibetan Nyingma Institute

2425 Hillside Ave.
Berkeley, CA

The Tibetan Nyingma Institute was founded in Berkeley, California, in 1969 by Tarthang Tulku Rinpoche (b. 1935), a lama from Eastern Tibet who left his homeland in 1959 when the Chinese assume control. His father was a Nyingmapa lama and as a youth, Tarthang received instruction in each of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism. He later taught at the Sanskrit University in Varanasi, India, and began a project of reprinting Tibetan texts.

In Berkeley, drawing on the unreformed Nyingma tradition, Tarthang built a community centered on meditation, the recitation of the mantra of Padmasambhava, Om Ah Hum Benza Guru PemaSiddhi Hum, and the ideal of the ngags-pa or householder-yogi, dedicated religious practitioners not living with their families rather than in a monastery. He purchased a former fraternity house near the University of California campus and transformed it into a teaching center.

Continuing the work pursued in India, in 1970, Tarthang Tulku created Dharma Publishing, through which he has printed a number of books on Tibetan art, Buddhist teachings, and spiritual practice. Dharma Publishing has emerged as a major Buddhist publishing house that has an ongoing program to release copies of translations of Tibetan classics. Among it notable publications is the entire Kanjur and Tanjur, the basic Tibetan Buddhist Canon, which has been reprinted in 128 Western-style volumes, and more than 600 additional volumes containing almost 80,000 texts retrieved from monasteries and libraries around the world. In 1975, he led in the development of a rural retreat center, Odiyan. His community emerged as one of the earliest stable non-Japanese Buddhist organization in North America.

Tarthang became known for his success at presenting the rather complicated insights of the Tibetan path into a contemporary format and language. He focused upon the application of Nyingma Tibetan Buddhist spirituality. Several of his books such as Gesture of Balance, Skillful Means, and Time, Space and Knowledge (on meditation) and Kum Nye Relaxation (Tibetan yoga) found a readership far beyond Tarthang's students.

Through the 1980s and 1990s, Tarthang founded additional centers in Europe and Latin America, the principal ones being in the Netherlands, Germany, and Brazil (two). In 1969, Tarthang also founded the Tibetan Aid Project to supply relief to Tibetan refugees exiled in India and the Himalayas. In more recent years it has broadened it activity to include Tibetan monks and nuns in Tibet, India, Bhutan, Nepal, and Sikkim, rebuilding monasteries in Tibet, and making the public aware of the current situation inside Tibet.

Among Tarthang's most impressive accomplishments was the 1975 creation of Odiyan, in rural Sonoma County, California, which now serves as an international center focused on traditional Buddhist studies, the preservation of Tibetan culture, and providing space for the meeting of Eastern and Western knowledge. Odiyan's central temple was inspired by the monastery of Samye, founded in Tibet in 762 by Shantarakshita, Guru Padmasambhava, and the Dharma King Trisong Detsen. Northeast of the temple is the largest stupa in the West, the seven-story golden Enlightenment Stupa.

Membership: Not reported.

Sources:

Fields, Rick. How the Swans came to the Lake. 3rd ed. Boston, MA: Shambhala, 1992.

Tarthang Tulku. Kum-Nye Relaxation. Emeryville, Dharma Publishing,

1978.

——. Skillful Means. Emeryville, CA: Dharma Publishing, 1978.

Tibetan Nyingma Institute. http://www.dharmapress.com/. 23 April 2002.

2507

Unfettered Mind

11600 Washington Place, Ste. 210
Los Angeles, CA 90066

Ken McLeod was senior student of Kalu Rinpoche, the Tibetan Kagyupa master who established a number of the Kagyu Dharma centers in the United States. McLeod also wanted to operate in a freer environment that that usually allowed in the more traditional centers. Unfettered Mind, founded in 1990, follows much of the Kagyu tradition (supplemented with practices drawn from Mahayana Buddhism), and emphasizes McLeod's making himself available for private consultations with his students.

The two centers, one in Los Angeles and one in Newport Beach, California, also offer opportunities to students for meditation, weekend retreats, and study groups.

Membership: Not reported.

Sources:

Morreale, Don. The Complete Guide to Buddhist America. Boston: Shambhala, 1998.

2508

Vajradhatu International

1084 Tower Rd.
Halifax, NS, Canada B3H 2Y8

Vajradhatu, the largest of the several Tibetan Buddhist groups in the United States, is a representative of the Kagyupa sect founded by Lama Marpa of Lhagyupa in the eleventh century. The Kagyupa tradition was brought to the United States by Rinpoche Chogyam Trungpa (1939-1987), the Vidyadhara. Trungpa is believed to be the incarnation of the Trungpa tulkus (emanation of a bodhisattva) and abbot of Surmang Monastery, a center of the Kagyupa tradition until the takeover of Tibet by the Chinese.

The Vidyadhara fled Tibet in 1959 and settled in England. While attending Oxford University, he established a small Buddhist center in Scotland which was named Samye-ling Mona. Two years later he left his center, dropped his monastic orders, and became a layperson. In 1970, he married and migrated to the United States as leader of Karme Choling, which had been formed by a group of his students in Vermont. He traveled, lectured, and established several centers over the next few years. Vajradhatu was created as an umbrella for the several activities in 1973. He had by this time moved to Colorado. In 1985 he moved to Nova Scotia to establish Vajradhatu International.

At and near Boulder, Colorado, a complex of interrelated organizations have been established. Under Vajradhatu proper are all the centers around the United States, called "dharmadatus." Karme Choling and the Rocky Mountain Dharma Center in Colorado are used primarily for retreats, study programs, and training sessions.

Trungpa created the Nalanda Foundation to direct several out-reach programs. Of these, Naropa Institute, the educational arm, now a fully accredited college, is the most important. It has become an important center for Buddhist scholarship in the west through its varied and creative programs. Shambhala Training, a program of weekend intensives, provides a secular approach to the practice of meditation in everyday life.

Vajradhatu International is headed by the Sawang Osel Mukpowho, who has assumed the responsibility for administering the organization program.

Membership: In 1988, Vajradhatu reported 4,000 members worldwide in 90 dharmadatus, including the several major centers in Vermont, Colorado, Canada, and Europe. There were 2,000 members in the United States, 1,000 in Canada and 1,000 in Europe.

Educational Facilities: Naropa Institute, Boulder, Colorado.

Periodicals: The Shambhala.

Sources:

Clark, Tom. The Great Naropa Poetry Wars. Santa Barbara, CA: Cadmus Editions, 1980.

Guenther, Herbert V., and Choegyam Trungpa. The Dawn of Tantra. Berkeley, CA: Shambhala, 1975.

Tendzin, Osel. Buddha in the Palm of Your Hand, Boulder, CO: Shambhala, 1982.

Thinley, Karma. The History of the Sixteen Karmapas of Tibet. Boulder, CO: Prajna Press, 1980.

Trungpa, Chogyam. Born in Tibet. Boulder, CO: Shambhala, 1976.

——. Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism. Berkeley, CA: Shambhala,

1973.

——. Shambhala: Sacred Path of the Warrior, Boulder, CO: Shambhala,

1985.

2509

Vajrakilaya Centers of North America

℅ Dudul Nagpa Ling
7436 Sea View Pl.
El Cerrito, CA 94530

The Vajrakilaya Centers were established by H. H. Orgyen Kusum Lingpa, a Dzogchen meditation master and renowned doctor of Tibetan medicine. He is also the supreme abbot of Thupten Chorkor Ling, a monastery located in Golok, Eastern Tibet, and a Nyingma lineage holder with over 100,000 students worldwide.

It is believed by his followers that in a previous lifetime as Lhalung Palgyi Dorje, he was one of the 25 principal students of Padmasambhava, the eighth-century saint who brought Buddhism to Tibet, and that sealed in his mind are the teachings and transmissions received directly from Padmasambhava which are revealed today in the form of "mind treasures." Orgyen Menla or Medicine Buddha is one such treasure.

The centers are named for a Tibetan deity, Vajrakilaya, the supreme destroyer of obstacles to the attainment of enlightenment. His fierce form is looked upon as the embodiment of commitment to the development of wisdom, clarity, and compassion. Kusum Lingpa teaches meditation on this form by reciting the appropriate mantra with unwavering concentration. He has noted that the practice of Vajrakilaya is crucial now in order to overcome the many kinds of inner and outer upheavals which are prevalent in this age.

Centers in the West have been established beginning with Kusum Lingpa's initial visit in 1992.

Membership: In 1998, there were 10 centers in the United States.

Sources:

http://www.sirius.com~gomura/k_lingpa/.

2510

Vajrayana Foundatio

℅ Peme Osel Lilng
2013 Eureka Canyon Rd.
Corralitos, CA 95076

The Vajrayana Foundation is a Nyingma Tibetan Buddhist organization founded in 1987 by Lama Tharchin Rinpoche. Headquarters are at Peme Osel Ling, a 102-acre retreat center in the Santa Cruz Mountains south of San Francisco. Pema Osel Ling is the primary residence for Lama Tharchin Rinpoche, Tulku Thubten Rinpoche, Khenpo Orgyen Thinley Rinpoche, and Lama Gyaltsen, and serves as the administrative headquarters for Vajrayana Foundation.

Membership: Not reported. Vajrayana centers are located around the United States.

Periodicals: Lotus Light.

Sources:

Morreale, Don. The Complete Guide to Buddhist America. Boston, Shambhala, 1998.

2511

Yeshe Khorlo

1630 39th St., Box 356
Boulder, CO 80301

Yeshe Khorlo is the name assumed by the contemporary followers of the fourteenth-century Bhutanese Buddhist master Padma Lingpa, who constitute the Drugpa branch of the Kagyu School of Tibetan Buddhism. His lineage holders have held the throne of Gangteng Gonpa Monastery in Bhutan, and the ninth and present throne holder is Gangteng Rinpoche. The Yeshe Khorlo center in Denver was founded in 1991. The Yeshe Khorlo centers around the United States have established a retreat center in Crestone, Colorado.

Membership: Not reported.

Periodicals: Yeshe Khorlo.

Sources:

Morreale, Don. The Complete Guide to Buddhist America. Boston: Shambhala, 1998.

2512

Yeshe Nyingpo

19 W. 16th St.
New York, NY 10011

Yeshe Nyingpo was founded in 1976 by Dudjom Rinpoche, believed to be a reincarnation of one of Buddha's personal disciples and of Cheuchung Lotsawa, one of Padmasambhava's (who brought Buddhism to Tibet) disciples. Yeshe Nyingpo is envisioned as the instrument for the transmission of the pure Nyingmapa teachings and practice to the west. In 1980 land for an educational-retreat center, Orgyen Cho Dzong, was purchased in the Catskills. Construction on the projected complex is proceeding through the mid-1980s. Affiliated are centers across the United States and in Europe.

Membership: Not reported.

2513

Yun Lin Temple

2959 Russell St.
Berkeley, CA 94705

The Yun Lin Temple was founded in 1968 by Prof. Thomas Lin Yun. It is a center of Black Sect tantric Buddhism of Tibet (the various major forms of Buddhism being distinguished by association with a color). The Black Sect traces its origins to the ancient Bon religion, which was dominant in Tibet at the time Buddhism was introduced in the eighth century C.E. Of the several sects of Tibetan Buddhism, the Black Sect retains most of the older Bon practices and as it grows and spreads into China, incorporates elements of Chinese folk religion, healing practices, magic, and philosophy into its system. A very eclectic system, it has encountered modern scientific thinking and, within the Yun Lin Temple, attempts are made to reinterpret the tradition in modern forms.

Prof. Lin Yun was born and raised in Beijung and even as a child began to study Buddhism with Lama De De, a teacher in the Black sect tradition. He left mainland China as a teenager and relocated to Taiwan where he found other members of the Black Sect school. He became a recognized authority on Feng Shui, the art of placement, a valued part of Chinese philosophy concerning the proper placement of objects such as houses to make beneficial use of the spiritual forces of the environment. He came to the United States in 1980 and held teaching posts at the University of San Francisco, Stanford, and Seton Hall prior to his founding the temple, the first Black Sect center in the West.

Membership: Not reported.

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