|The following article is from the Winter, 1986 issue of the Snow Lion Newsletter and is for historical reference only. You can see this in context of the original newsletter here.|
The Drikung Kagyu Center is under the patronage of H.H. the Drikung Kyabgon, Chetsang Rinpoche. Its resident teacher is Khenpo Rinpoche, Konchog Gyaltsen, Abbot of all the Drikung Kagyu centers of North America. Khenpo was born in Tibet. After escaping the Chinese takeover Rinpoche received his Acharya degree and then studied for years with highly realized masters of the different lineages. He also did the traditional three year retreat during which time he studied the Five-fold Profound Path of Mahamudra, the Six Yogas of Naropa and other teachings. Khenpo is a very prolific writer as well as a popular teacher. His first two books are being published this fall by Snow Lion Publications. They are The Garland of Mahamudra Practices and Prayer Flags: Spiritual Teachings of Jigten Sumgon. The newest book being prepared for Snow Lion is entitled The Search For The Stainless Ambrosia. Rinpoche is a young man and speaks fluent English. The center offers a variety of classes and a regular meditation schedule. Open House is held once a month.
Presently Khenpo and members of the center are organizing the first American tour of H.H. the Drikung Kyabgon, Chetsang Rinpoche. His Holiness is one of the heads of the illustrious Drikung Kagyu lineage which traces back in an unbroken lineage through Jigten Sumgon, Pakmo Druba, Gampopa, Milarepa, Marpa, Naropa, and Tilopa to Vajradhara. When the Chinese communists took over Tibet the two Drikung Kyabgons, their Holinesses Chungtsang and Chungtsang Rinpoche, the leaders of the illustrious Drikung Kagyu lineage, were both inprisoned. H.H. Chungtsang was imprisoned by the Chinese Communists for ten years, after which he was assigned thirteen years' hard labor. He was released from prison in 1983. H.H. Chetsang Rinpoche after being imprisoned for twenty years escaped and fled to India. When he arrived in India thousands of monks gathered at Phiying Monastery in Ladakh where he established his seat-inexile. Great celebrations were held including lama dances, mandala offerings, and long-life offerings. His Holiness gave teachings and empowerments to the thousands who gathered there and also celebrated the 800th anniversary of the estaablishment of the first Drikung Kagyu Monastery by Lord Jigten Sumgon. During the anniversary celebration Khenpo Konchog Gyaltsen was appointed to the position of a Khenpo (Abbot) of the Kagyu order. Recently His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche represented the Kagyu order at the great Kalachakra Initiation in Bodh Gaya, India where 250,000 Tibetans and Westerners gathered to receive the week-long initiation. This upcoming tour will be His Holiness' first trip to North America.