H.H. the Sakya Trizin's U.S. Seat Established

The following article is from the Summer, 2001 issue of the Snow Lion Newsletter and is for historical reference only. You can see this in context of the original newsletter here.

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In Upstate New York

Students of His Holiness the Sakya Trizin throughout North America are rejoicing in the establishment of a new temple in Upstate New York as a seat for His Holiness the Sakya Trizin in the United States. The new temple, Tsechen Kunchab Ling, is located in Orange County in the Village of Walden. It will be a focal point for His Holiness the Sakya Trizin's and other Sakya teachers' activities in the U.S., as well as a major teaching center for ordained and lay students of Tibetan Buddhism.

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His Holiness the Sakya Trizin is the supreme head and forty-second throne holder of the Sakya tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, which is one of Tibetan Buddhism's four major traditions. His Holiness is the direct descendant of Khon Konchog Gyalpo, the great master who founded the Sakya Monastery in Tibet in 1073. From there, the teachings of the Sakya tradition spread throughout Tibet, Mongolia, and

China. The establishment of His Holiness' new temple here in the U.S. will surely be of similar benefit to the spreading of the Sakya teachings in this hemisphere and throughout the Western world.

In an open letter to his students and friends of the Buddhist Dharma, H.H. the Sakya Trizin wrote: These days, interest in Lord Buddha's Dharma is increasing among people in both the Eastern and Western Hemispheres, and in North America in particular. As a result, Dharma centers in the Sakya tradition have been established in a number of cities. In addition to these, Lama Kal- sang Gyaltsen has recently accepted the great responsibility to establish a temple in the eastern United States as my seat in the U.S. I wholeheartedly rejoice in this.

As an auspicious beginning, I have chosen to name this temple Tsechen Kunchab Ling, Temple of All-Encompassing Great Compassion. Now that the land and buildings have been acquired to establish a base for the new temple, it must be filled with statues, scriptures, and practitioners. This project will certainly bring great auspiciousness and benefit to the many beings who are sincerely interested in Lord Buddha's Dharma. Please keep this project in your thoughts.

His Holiness chose the new temple's site. Although he had not visited the area, through his wisdom he precisely identified the location and the property's characteristics, and the site was located, just as he described. The property that His Holiness directed us to is not only perfectly suited for Dharma activities, it is very conveniently located, said Venerable Lama Kal- sang Gyaltsen. Only about an hour's drive from New York City, it is a central location for the east-coast Sakya Centers in New York City, Washington D.C., and Boston. There are also many Tibetan people living in the New York City area. His Holiness' new seat is not far from a number of other Tibetan and other Buddhist temples and monasteries.

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The creation of a temple as His Holiness' seat here in the U.S. is as exciting for us here in the U.S. as the founding of the original Sakya Monastery must have been for people who lived in Tibet one thousand years ago.

The new temple, Tsechen Kunchab Ling is situated on five acres on a quiet lane in the Catskill Mountains, on the outskirts of the small village of Walden, New York. The property includes a century-old historic inn, a large shrine hall for 300 people, a smaller shrine hall, and 15 retreat rooms and cabins. The grounds are already cleared, graded and landscaped, suitable for future large-scale construction. The temple is conveniently located only 15 minutes from an international airport, the New York Thruway, and Routes 84 and 87.

Since the property was purchased in April, all of the necessary government permits and approvals have been acquired, and students from all over the East Coast have spent weekends at the new temple renovating and beautifying the property. The creation of a temple as His Holiness' seat here in the U.S. is as exciting for us here in the U.S. as the founding of the original Sakya Monastery must have been for people who lived in Tibet one thousand years ago, said one of His Holiness' students who has spent several weekends working at the property. I feel very fortunate that have the good karma that I can work on the temple in its early stages.

Dharma activities at Tsechen Kunchab Ling will begin September 1-3 with a great gathering of lamas from the Sakya Trizin's Dharma Centers in Canada and North America for three days of teachings, ceremonies and prayers. The event will feature a recounting of the history of the Sakya Tradition, and some of the most famous teachings from five great Sakya founders and other lineage lamas, as well as a long-life ceremony for His Holiness the Sakya Trizin's birthday. Many Dharma students from around the country are expected to attend, and everyone is welcome. Housing and accommodations are available.

Beginning in the fall, the temple will offer a full schedule of Dharma classes, retreats, and training sessions. Venerable Lama Kalsang Gyaltsen explained, Our goal is to develop the temple imder the close guidance and direction of H.H. the Sakya Trizin in such a way as to realize his vision of creating a place here in the United States where both ordained and lay people can devote themselves to study, contemplation, and meditation.

For more information about Tsechen Kunchab Ling and its activities, see www.sakyaternple.org Or call (301)592-9286. To get the temple's monthly e-mail Dhar- maGram, send a message to info@sakyatemple.org ä_æ

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