1997

1997 Nyingma Monlam Chenmo in Bodh Gaya


Lerab Ling: back row left to right: Orgyen Tobgyal Rinpoche, Chokling Rinpoche, Dzogchen Rinpoche, Khenchen Pema Tsewang Rinpoche, and Tulku Pegyal Rinpoche.

1997 New Sydney centre opens in Australia; Rigpa co-sponsors the Nyingma Mönlam Chenmo in Bodhgaya, organized by Dzogchen monastery; Zam audio and video founded; Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche tours Rigpa centres in Europe.

At the Lerab Ling summer retreat there are teachings by Khenchen Pema Tsewang on Guhyagarbhatantra, and with Chokling Rinpoche and Orgyen Topgyal Rinpoche; new San Francisco centre opens; Khenchen Pema Tsewang teaches widely in Rigpa centres.


Every year during the period described here, Rinpoche would return to India and Nepal in order to receive teachings from his masters and seek their advice and clarification. In time he began to teach the Tibetan community in exile in India and Sikkim, especially the young people. Rigpa was established in Delhi in 1990 and Rigpa House opened in 1995. In 1992 the Dzogchen Monastery in Kollegal in India, sponsored by Rigpa, was officially inaugurated when Dzogchen Rinpoche invited His Holiness the Dalai Lama to begin the cycle of empowerments from the ‘Great Fifth’ Dalai Lama’s pure visions. Five years later, Rigpa helped Dzogchen Monastery in organizing the Nyingma Mönlam Chenmo, the great prayer festival at Bodhgaya. Rinpoche has taught in other countries in Asia, visiting Japan in 1987 and addressing very large audiences in Taiwan in 1996 and 2000.

Meanwhile, from 1993 onwards, an extraordinary series of events unfolded at Lerab Ling, as Rinpoche taught in retreats every summer, and great masters visited: Thich Nhat Hanh, the much loved Vietnamese teacher, who led a retreat, along with nuns from Plum Village; Khenpo Jikphun Rinpoche, the other incarnation of Tertön Sogyal, who has revitalized Buddhism in eastern Tibet; Penor Rinpoche, supreme head of the Nyingma school, who gave the Nyingtik Yabshyi empowerments; Khenchen Pema Tsewang, who taught on the Guhyagarbha Tantra; Sherab Özer Rinpoche from Kalsang Gönpa, Tertön Sogyal’s  monastery in Kham; Dzogchen Rinpoche, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, Neten Chokling Rinpoche, Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche, Orgyen Tobgyal Rinpoche, Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche, Tsoknyi Rinpoche, Ringu Tulku Rinpoche, and the Gyutö monks. Many of these masters also conducted programmes of teachings all over the world in Rigpa centres.