1992-1996

1992 His Holiness the Dalai Lama at Dzogchen Monastery


1993 Thich Nhat Hanh


1994 Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche


1995 Penor Rinpoche


1995 Sakya Trizin and Jetsun Chimey


1996/7 Khenchen Pema Tsewang


1995 Khandro Tséring Chödrön at the London
centre

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.


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.