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History of Rigpa - long

To describe the quarter of a century 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.

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.

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1977 Orgyen Chö Ling hosts Gyalwang Karmapa; Sogyal Rinpoche publishes View, Meditation and Action.

1978 His Holiness Sakya Trizin is invited to London; Sogyal Rinpoche teaches in Ireland; Face to Face published; Dudjom Rinpoche’s centre established in Paris at Rue Burq under Rinpoche’s guidance; first Tibetan Calendar produced.

1979 Dzogchen Orgyen Chö Ling hosts Dudjom Rinpoche for one month in London; Sogyal Rinpoche translates for him in USA, and gives his first teaching there; Sogyal Rinpoche names his work ‘Rigpa’.

1980 Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche and Ling Rinpoche visit the Paris centre; Sogyal Rinpoche teaches in USA and in Holland; first residential retreat is held in Derbyshire, UK.

1981 Rigpa co-sponsors His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s teachings on ‘Training the Mind’ in London. 

Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche invited to London; London centre moves to St. Paul’s Crescent.

First Easter retreat at Jouy in France, first Summer retreat at Grasse in France with Khandro Tsering Chödrön; Sogyal Rinpoche teaches in Santa Cruz, California; Serkong Rinpoche teaches at Rigpa Paris and London.

1982 Rinpoche invites Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche to Rigpa London; invites His Holiness the Dalai Lama to give an empowerment of Padmasambhava in Paris.1976 Invites Dudjom Rinpoche to London; translates for him in USA. Sogyal Rinpoche begins to teach in Paris.

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At this point, Sogyal Rinpoche was being invited to speak at centres belonging to many different traditions. In 1979 he chose the name ‘Rigpa’—the innermost, essential nature of mind—as a term that best expressed the ultimate aim and ongoing spirit of his work. By 1980, he was teaching in the United States, Holland and Ireland, as well as in France and the U.K. It was then that he led his first retreat in Britain, an event of particular significance, as it was the forerunner of the regular gatherings that form a central feature of Rigpa’s yearly programme—at Lerab Ling in France in the summer, in California at Thanksgiving, at Dzogchen Beara in Ireland at Christmas and the summer, in Kirchheim in Germany at the New Year, in Australia during the summer holidays, in Britain at Easter, and on the East coast of the U.S. in the spring.

This cycle of retreats began the following year with the first Easter and summer retreats at Jouy and Grasse in France, and Rinpoche teaching at Santa Cruz in California. The Rigpa centre in London moved into St. Paul’s Crescent, which was blessed by visits from Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, in 1982, and (with Trulshik Rinpoche) in 1987, as well as from a large number of eminent teachers from all traditions. Gradually, centres began to open in a number of major cities, first with rue Denis Poisson in Paris, and then over the years that followed, in Dublin, Munich, Berkeley, Amsterdam, Sydney, Brussels, and San Francisco. In many places, study and practice groups evolved and in each country Rigpa was established as a non-profit organization. Among the teachers who visited Rigpa during the 1980’s were Ven. Anandamaitreya Mahathera, Maezumi Roshi and Seung Sahn Soen Sanim. Tibet’s system of natural medicine was also given prominence, with seminars by Dr. Tenzin Choedhak and Dr. Trogawa Rinpoche.

At Rigpa’s request, at the Pagode de Vincennes in Paris in 1982, His Holiness the Dalai Lama granted the empowerment of Padmasambhava and his Eight Manifestations from the pure visions of the ‘Great Fifth’ Dalai Lama. Rigpa has had the privilege of inviting His Holiness or sponsoring his teachings on a number of other occasions, notably in 1984 in London when he gave a one-day teaching on Dzogchen, in 1989 in San Jose when he gaveDzogchen teachings for two days, and in 2000 at Lerab Ling and Lerab Gar, along with the Association Golfe du Lion. Members of Rigpa have also helped arrange his teachings in London, Paris, Amsterdam and Australia since 1981.

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1983 Sogyal Rinpoche takes part in ‘New Dimensions in Death and Dying’ conference with Elisabeth Kübler-Ross and Kenneth Ring; in USA, Rigpa is established as a non-profit organization. Kalu Rinpoche teaches at Paris and London centres.

1984 His Holiness the Dalai Lama is invited to give a one day Dzogchen teaching in London; Rigpa students attend Dudjom Rinpoche’s final teaching in Dordogne, France, also receiving teachings from Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche and Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche.

1985 Sogyal Rinpoche is invited to teach in Australia and Germany; retreats in France and U.S. with Nyoshul Khenpo; Dzogchen Rinpoche invited to the West; Rinpoche teaches at Esalen and California Institute of Transpersonal Psychology.

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A ground-breaking conference in California in 1983—‘New Dimensions in Death and Dying’—brought Rinpoche in touch with the work of Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross and Professor Kenneth Ring in the fields of hospice care and near-death research. It had two far-reaching effects. One was to inspire Rinpoche to explore further the role that the Tibetan teachings on death and helping the dying could play in transforming modern attitudes towards to death.  The other was to bring to the attention of a wider audience Rinpoche’s gift for attuning the Tibetan teachings to the modern mind. Increasingly he was to be invited to participate in interdisciplinary conferences, on death and dying, Buddhism and psychology, all over the world. Three years later he would give a keynote speech at the annual conference of America’s National Hospice Organization.

At this point there took place an event which was of the greatest importance for members of Rigpa. In 1984, Kyabjé Dudjom Rinpoche gave his last major teaching, in the Dordogne in France, and to coincide with it, Rigpa held its summer retreat close by. Those who attended also received teachings from Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche and, for the first time, from Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche. They also met Khandro Tsering Chödrön, the spiritual consort of Jamyang Khyentse, who had made her first visit to Europe and America back in 1981. Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche became one of Sogyal Rinpoche’s most beloved teachers and from the following year he was present and taught regularly at Rigpa’s retreats and centres until his final visit to Lerab Ling in 1996. 

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1986 First Australian retreat; Nyoshul Khenpo invited to retreats in Wales, France and California; Rinpoche gives plenary address to U.S. National Hospice Organization; first Kirchheim retreat, Germany, winter 1986-7.

1987 Rigpa Paris established at rue Burq; Rinpoche is invited to be director of Dzogchen Beara in Ireland; Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche visits London with Trulshik Rinpoche; summer retreat at Les Ages, with Nyoshul Khenpo, Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche, Pema Wangyal Rinpoche and Shenphen Dawa Rinpoche; Kalu Rinpoche teaches in Paris; Rigpa Germany established.

1988 Penor Rinpoche teaches Nyingtik Yabshyi for Rigpa London; first Thanksgiving retreat in Oakland; Dublin centre opens in Ireland.

1989 First Australian retreat at Tiona Park; Rigpa established in Holland; His Holiness Sakya Trizin teaches in Paris and at the Easter retreat, Cornwall UK; summer retreat in French Alps with Dodrupchen Rinpoche and Nyoshul Khenpo and Dzogchen Rinpoche.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama is invited to give Dzogchen teachings and a Padmasambhava empowerment in San Jose; Dzogchen and Padmasambhava published.

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It was now ten years since Rinpoche had begun to teach in the West. By now he was meeting and having dialogues with leading scientists, artists and religious figures. In 1985-6, he was invited to Australia and Germany, and annual retreats were immediately established in both countries. Rinpoche’s brother, H.E. the seventh Dzogchen Rinpoche, made his first journey to the West, and from then on was to become a regular visitor, teaching at the centres, leading retreats and becoming adviser for Rigpa’s curriculum project and study college (shedra). In 1987 Rigpa Paris was established at rue Burq. Rinpoche was also invited to become spiritual director of the centre in Co. Cork in the west of Ireland that was to become Dzogchen Beara, Rigpa’s long-term retreat facility. The first closed one-year retreats, following a traditional Tibetan schedule of practice and study, began there in 1994.

Two events took place next that would forever stand out as landmarks in the history of Rigpa. In 1989 His Holiness the Dalai Lama gave two days’ Dzogchen teachings in San Jose, California, along with the Empowerment of Padmasambhava and his Eight Manifestations from the ‘Great Fifth’ Dalai Lama’s pure visions. Five and a half thousand people, from all traditions and from all over the United States and other countries attended in what at that time was the largest gathering of practitioners and masters of Buddhadharma in America, and possibly in the West. To mark this occasion Rinpoche wrote Dzogchen and Padmasambhava.

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1990 Sogyal Rinpoche gives Dzogchen teachings at the Bordeaux Easter retreat; the summer retreat is at Prapoutel in France with Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche and many other masters; Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche teaches at Rigpa London; first Dzogchen Beara Christmas retreat.

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In 1990, Kyabjé Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche taught one thousand five hundred people at Rigpa’s summer retreat in Prapoutel in the French Alps. Over ten days, he gave the most important empowerments and teachings for the complete practice of the Nyingma path and Dzogchen. An unprecedented gathering of masters were present. Sogyal Rinpoche later wrote of this remarkable occasion:

I think in particular of the teachings Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche gave in the south of France near Grenoble in the last year of his life, when, gazing out toward the valley and the mountains, in a setting of almost Tibetan grandeur, he granted the transmission of the most important Dzogchen teachings to 1,500 students, many of them, which gave me particular joy, students of mine from all over the world. A number of the masters present felt that through this act in the last year of his life, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche was placing his seal definitively on the coming of these teachings to the West, and blessing their reception with the accumulated power of lifetimes of meditation. For my part, I felt, with amazed gratitude, that he was giving his blessing also to all that I had been trying to do for the teachings in the West over the years.

For Rinpoche, it was one of the crowning moments of his life to see and hear how deeply, and with what joy, this great master appreciated what he had achieved in his work. Of the retreat itself, Rinpoche observed: “The real significance of this we can hardly comprehend. Only in the future, and over many years, will the realization of its meaning slowly dawn, as its reverberations are felt...” At Prapoutel, almost casually and without ceremony, Khyentse Rinpoche did a divination that gave the go-ahead for The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, and also blessed the site for a future retreat centre in France, Lerab Ling.

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1991 Rigpa Switzerland is established; the new London Centre in Caledonian Road opens; Dodrupchen Rinpoche teaches in London, Dzogchen Beara and at the summer retreat in Cassan, France, he blesses the new retreat land of Lerab Ling; His Holiness Sakya Trizin gives Vajrakilaya enpowerment in Rigpa London; Nyoshul Khenpo attends the winter retreat at Kirchheim in Germany.

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From this point on, the pace of change began to quicken. In 1991 a new centre was opened in Caledonian Road in London, and blessed by Kyabjé Dodrupchen Rinpoche, who also taught in Dzogchen Beara, and, while in France at the summer retreat, blessed the land indicated by Khyentse Rinpoche as the future retreat centre, Lerab Ling.

His Holiness Sakya Trizin, now on the fourth of his six visits to Rigpa London, performed the Wangchen—the elaborate empowerment—of Vajrakilaya, complete with ritual dances. He was to visit again with the great woman master of the Sakya tradition, Jetsun Chimey, in 1995, and to teach in Paris and Lerab Ling in 1996.

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1992 Dzogchen Monastery is inaugurated by His Holiness the Dalai Lama; the first three-month retreat is held at Lerab Ling; The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying is published; Dzogchen Beara trust established; courses and instructor training in Rigpa begin to be formalized.

1993 Thich Nhat Hanh and Khenpo Jikmé Phuntsog invited to the Lerab Ling summer retreat; centres open in Amsterdam, Munich and Sydney; Spiritual Care programme begins.

1994 One-year retreats begin at Dzogchen Beara; Nyoshul Khenpo teaches in Paris and Lerab Ling; Rinpoche begins to teach at Salle Adyar, Paris; Dzogchen Rinpoche teaches widely; View magazine begins; Chindak Tibetan aid project is launched. Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche teaches at Rigpa London.

1995 His Holiness Sakya Trizin in London with Jetsun Chimey; Penor Rinpoche teaches in Paris, London and at Lerab Ling’s summer retreat; Rigpa ‘streams’ course programme initiated in eight countries.

1996 Easter retreat at Millfield, England, with Khenchen Pema Tsewang and Dzogchen Rinpoche.

His Holiness Sakya Trizin teaches in Paris and Lerab Ling.

Nyoshul Khenpo and Khandro Tsering Chödrön at summer retreat at Lerab Ling, with Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, Chokling Rinpoche and Orgyen Topgyal Rinpoche.

Rigpa arranges Hospice conference at Germering in Germany; first Konocti Harbour retreat in U.S.A.

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Around 1992 came an unprecedented wave of expansion in Rigpa’s work. There were a number of causes. One was the beginning of Lerab Ling, with its first three-month retreat, in which Rinpoche opened up the Dzogchen teachings to three hundred of his older students. Then there was the publication of his ground-breaking book The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, destined to become a classic, now with a million and a half copies in print in thirty languages and fifty-six countries. However, without any doubt, fuelling the rapid change in Rigpa was the momentum, built up over more than fifteen years, of Sogyal Rinpoche’s teaching programme. In public talks, seminars, teachings, conferences and weekends, Rinpoche has brought the Buddhadharma into the lives of many thousands of people. Often he has found himself addressing thousands in a single public talk or teaching. In order to meet the increasing demand for the teachings, there began a new structuring of the courses and training offered within Rigpa, which took the form of the ‘streams’ programme.

One point where the teachings have touched people’s lives most deeply, and at their most poignant moment, is in understanding death and helping the dying. Directly inspired by the teachings of The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, Rigpa’s Spiritual Care Education and Training programme sprang up in 1993, and has groups in all the countries where there are Rigpa centres, providing for the needs of caregivers, and now undertaking service projects as well. In Germering near Munich in 1996, Rigpa presented a major conference, with Sogyal Rinpoche, Marie de Hennezel, Frank Ostaseski and other leaders in caring for the dying, which had a huge impact on the emerging hospice movement in Germany.

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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.

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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’smonastery 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.

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1998 Lerab Ling invites Sherab Özer Rinpoche, Dzongsar Khyentse, Chokling Rinpoche, Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche, Tsoknyi Rinpoche and Orgyen Topgyal Rinpoche to the summer retreat.

The winter retreat at Kirchheim, Germany, with Dzogchen Rinpoche; first ‘Three Roots’ retreat at Dzogchen Beara.

1999 New Paris centre blessed by Trulshik Rinpoche; summer retreats at Lerab Ling with Dzogchen Rinpoche, Tsoknyi Rinpoche, Chokling Rinpoche and Orgyen Topgyal Rinpoche; Trulshik Rinpoche teaches in San Francisco, New York and Lerab Ling; new Amsterdam centre; Kirchheim Millennium retreat with Dzogchen Rinpoche, Tulku Pegyal Rinpoche and a Vajrakilaya drupchö is held. Trulshik Rinpoche teaches at Lerab Ling in November.

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In 1999, Kyabjé Trulshik Rinpoche, the heart son of Dudjom Rinpoche and Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, gave a series of empowerments at Lerab Ling, and taught at Rigpa’s request in San Francisco, New York, and London. He also founded the basis for a monastic sangha within Rigpa by ordaining the first nuns. At the same time, Rigpa Australia acquired land for a new retreat centre at Bluey’s Beach, on the east coast near Sydney. With some three thousand people already following courses worldwide, 1999 also marked the beginning of a complete, long-term review of the programme for study and practice within Rigpa. True to the spirit of his work, Rinpoche’s vision is to set in place an authentic, accessible Buddhist study foundation for modern people, based on classical Buddhist teachings and the advice of teachers of all schools, both the senior masters as well as some of the brilliant younger teachers so attuned to modern times.

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2000 Sogyal Rinpoche establishes Bluey’s Beach retreat centre during the Australian retreat; His Holiness Sakya Trizin teaches in Paris and London centres; Trulshik Rinpoche teaches in London; summer retreat at Lerab Ling with Chokling Rinpoche; His Holiness the Dalai Lama visits Lerab Ling, and gives a major teaching entitled The Path to Enlightenment over 10 days.

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Rigpa had arrived in 2000 at a new, and telling, point in its development—a time for the consolidation of all that had gone before. And perhaps it was no coincidence that at this juncture His Holiness the Dalai Lama, visited Lerab Ling, and in the context of a drupchen performed by the Namgyal monks, granted the empowerment of Tertön Sogyal’s Vajrakilaya and gave five days of teaching on The Path to Enlightenment.

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2001 The Rigpa Shedra takes place for the first time, with Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche and Ringu Tulku Rinpoche giving an introduction to Buddhist philosophy.

2002 Lerab Ling is officially recognised as a 'religious congregation'.

Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche, Ringu Tulku Rinpoche and Professor Steven Goodman teach at the Shedra.

Mingyur Rinpoche, Neten Chökling Rinpoche, Orgyen Tobgyal Rinpoche and Tsoknyi Rinpoche visit Lerab Ling.

2003 Kyabjé Trulshik Rinpoche confers the most important transmissions from the Nyingma and Dzogchen tradition, and blesses the site of the new temple at Lerab Ling. Mingyur Rinpoche, Dzogchen Rinpoche, Chokling Rinpoche and Orgyen Tobgyal Rinpoche visit Lerab Ling. From 2003 to 2006, Khenpo Namdrol teaches the Gyü Sangwa Nyingpo, one of the most profound and definitive teachings on the Vajrayana path. It is the first time Dodrupchen Jikme Tenpe Nyima's commentary on the Gyü Sangwa Nyingpo, requested and transcribed by Terton Sogyal, has been taught in the West. Construction work on the temple begins in November.

2004 Orgyen Tobgyal Rinpoche performs consecration ceremonies on the site of the Lerab Ling temple. Neten Chökling Rinpoche leads a Guru Rinpoche drupchen at Lerab Ling.

2005 Kyabjé Trulshik Rinpoche visits Lerab Ling to confer the most important empowerments and transmissions associated with the Nyingma and Dzogchen teachings.

2006 Construction of the Lerab Ling temple is completed.

Professor Samdhong Rinpoche, Lodi Gyari Rinpoche, Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche, Orgyen Tobgyal Rinpoche and the Nechung Oracle are at Lerab Ling for the main summer retreat, attended by more than 1,000 Rigpa students.

On 9 August, Rigpa's Three Year Retreat begins, under the guidance of Sogyal Rinpoche.

2007 In May, building work begins on the new Spiritual Care Centre at Dzogchen Beara. In September, the President of Ireland, Mary McAleese, visits Dzogchen Beara.

His Holiness Sakya Trizin visits Lerab Ling to give teachings and an elaborate empowerment of Vajrakilaya. Tsoknyi Rinpoche and Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche teach at Lerab Ling.

On 4 October, Sogyal Rinpoche officially opens Rigpa's new centre in Berlin, Germany.

2008 Visiting teachers at Lerab Ling includeChökyi Nyima Rinpoche, Mingyur Rinpoche, Tsoknyi Rinpoche, Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche, Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche and Jetsün Kushok Chimey Luding.

On 22 August, His Holiness the Dalai Lama conducts the inauguration of the Lerab Ling temple in the presence of 3,000 people. He also gives advice to the three-year retreatants.

A number of lamas and dignitaries speak in the temple on the afternoon of the inauguration, including Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche, Thamtog Rinpoche, Ringu Tulku Rinpoche, Geshe Ngawang Samten and Geshe Lobsang Tenzin.

2009 In April, the Spiritual Care Programme organizes an international conference in Killarney, Ireland, entitled Compassion and Presence: Spiritual Care for the Living and Dying. The speakers are: Dr. Ann Allegre, Dr. Tony Bates, Dr. Ursula Bates, Gian Borasio, Dr. Ira Byock, Dr. Susan Delaney, Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, Sister Stanislaus Kennedy, Christine Longaker, Dr. Ciaran O’Boyle, Dr. Tony O’Brien, Rosamund Oliver, Sinead O’Toole, Sogyal Rinpoche, Andrew Warr and Dr. Christine Whiteside.

The conference coincides with the opening of Dechen Shying Spiritual Care Centre at Dzogchen Beara.

Visiting teachers at Lerab Ling include Orgyen Tobgyal Rinpoche, Phakchok Rinpoche, Tenga Rinpoche, Garchen Rinpoche, Khenchen Pema Sherab, Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche, Tsoknyi Rinpoche, Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche, Lodi Gyari Rinpoche and Elizabeth Mattis-Namgyel.

On 21st November, the three-year retreat at Lerab Ling concludes.

2010 In June, 500 people attend the opening celebrations for the Tenzin Gyatso Institute at Tongnyi Nyingjé Ling—the ‘Center for Wisdom and Compassion’—in upstate New York. Six Tibetan monks enrol at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, and one at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, as part of the Tenzin Gyatso Institute’s Scholars Program.

Visiting teachers at Lerab Ling during the summer include Yangsi Kalu Rinpoche, Ringu Tulku Rinpoche, Khenchen Pema Sherab, Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche and Orgyen Tobgyal Rinpoche.

His Holiness Sakya Trizin, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche and Jetsün Khandro Rinpoche teach at the Rigpa centre in Berlin.

In July, Dilgo Khyentse Yangsi Rinpoche visits Lerab Ling as part of the celebrations for the centenary of the birth of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. He is accompanied by Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche and Matthieu Ricard.

In October, the Third International Forum on Buddhism and Medicine takes place at Lerab Ling, on the subject of Meditation and Health. The speakers are: Dr. Ursula Bates, Dr. Lucio Bizzini, Dr. Cathy Blanc, Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, Dr. Sara Lazar, Dr. Edel Maex, Rosamund Oliver, Sogyal Rinpoche, Jetsün Khandro Rinpoche, Dr. Erika Rosenberg, Dr. Frédéric Rosenfeld and Dr. Clifford Saron.

Sogyal Rinpoche teaches at the first Rigpa retreat in Spain, and speaks at the International Conference on Tibetan Buddhism at Emory University in Atlanta.

In November, Sogyal Rinpoche makes his first visit to Brazil, giving public talks and teachings in Três Coroas, Porto Alegre, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo.

2011 In May, Sogyal Rinpoche gives a talk to 700 young people in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Khenchen Pema Sherab, Ringu Tulku Rinpoche, Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche, Orgyen Tobgyal Rinpoche and Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche teach at Lerab Ling during the summer.

On 2nd September, a number of eminent lamas and monks attend the Dung Chö ceremonies for Khandro Tsering Chödrön at Lerab Ling, which are presided over by HH Sakya Trizin.

In November, Sogyal Rinpoche is one of the speakers at the Global Buddhist Congregation in New Delhi, India, a gathering of representatives of the different Buddhist traditions.