Lama Tharchin Rinpoche Establishes Traditional Dharma College in America

The following article is from the Summer, 1997 issue of the Snow Lion Newsletter and is for historical reference only. You can see this in context of the original newsletter here.

Angyur, Anam Thubten, Lama Tharchin, Orgyen Chowang, Lama Tsering Gyaltsen

Lama Tharchin Rinpoche, a Dzogchen master of Vajrayana Buddhism, is the tenth lineage holder of the Repkong Ngakpasthe largest non-monastic communtiy of practitioners in Tibet. His inspiring teachings of Buddhist philosophy and meditation are complemented by his artistry and knowledge of Tibetan monastic arts.

In 1987, at the suggestion of His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche, Lama Tharchin Rinpoche founded the Vajrayana Foundation to promote the tradition and practice of the Nyingma lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. The Foundation has centers in Nepal, Europe and the USA, including Hawaii, Los Angeles and its main retreat center, Pema Osel Ling, in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California. This center is the site of the Vajrayana Foundation College of Buddhist Studies which recently completed its first session. The faculty includes Tulku Thubten Rinpoche, Orgyen Thinley Rinpoche, and Lama Ngawang in addition to Lama Tharchin Rinpoche.

Lama Tharchin would like to establish the dharma here in three ways corresponding to the outer, inner and secret levels needed for forming a complete foundation to support, the entire tradition of the dharma. The outer level is established through the creation of ritual art and architecture such as monasteries, statues, and stupas, and corresponds to the body, speech and mind of the Buddha. These symbolic objects are a support to all those who come into contact with them. Shedra is the inner level and is the vehicle for the transmission of knowledge and the understanding of dharma. The secret level is the actual practice of dharma from the preliminary to the most advanced practices.

Shedra is a way to preserve the teachings and traditions of this lineage and to provide an opportunity for students to learn the entire Buddhist doctrine. The first three month-session in March on the Ngondro Commentary by Dungse Thinley Norbu Rinpoche and the Do Gyud Zod (Jewel Treasury of Sutra & Tantra) has just been finished.

There are two paths necessary to preserve the Buddhist doctrine. With the shedra and drupta (three-year retreat) well established, both of these paths are now available to students who wish to accomplish the entire range of Buddhist study and practice. These complementary paths, taken together, can lead us quickly to realization.

The next session of shedra at Pema Osel Ling will run from September 23 to November 23, 1997. Future curriculum will include: Tibetan language, astrology, medicine, art, Marjushri practice and more. Enrollment can be for the entire session or by the day. For further information, please contact Pema Osel Ling, 408-761-6266, or fax 408-761-6284, or email:


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