1971-1975

1973 Dalai Lama


1973 Pope Paul VI
1971 Sogyal Rinpoche studies comparative religion at Cambridge University, England.

1973 He helps arrange His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s first visit to the west, in Rome, Switzerland and the U.K. Meeting with Pope Paul VI.

1974 Sogyal Rinpoche begins to teach in London.

1975 Rinpoche founds his first Dharma centre, Orgyen Chö Ling in North London; Dodrupchen Rinpoche and Khenpo Thubten both give teachings.


Rinpoche attended Catholic School in Kalimpong, and then university in Delhi, where he received the modern education that was to prove so crucial in the years ahead. He won a place to study comparative religion at Trinity College, Cambridge, as a visiting scholar. All the while he continued to receive teachings from the great Tibetan masters, and particularly Kyabjé Dudjom Rinpoche and Kyabjé Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. In 1973 he helped organize His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s first ever visit to the West, in Rome, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. The following year he began to teach in London, creating his first Dharma centre, called Orgyen Chöling, in north-west London in 1975.

To describe the quarter of a century that followed is no simple task. It is only possible here to record the highlights, some important events, and the defining characteristics of Sogyal Rinpoche’s approach and vision of the Dharma. Yet what will not become apparent from a history of this length is either the sheer number of teachings, on different levels, given by Rinpoche over twenty five years in Europe, America, Australia and Asia, or the formidable achievements of Rigpa’s directors, instructors, and volunteers, accomplished through their dedication and unswerving commitment.