|The following article is from the Spring, 1987 issue of the Snow Lion Newsletter and is for historical reference only. You can see this in context of the original newsletter here.|
A permanent home in America for the Sakya Order of Tibetan Buddhism is quietly growing in the forests of Barre, Massachusetts. One hundred and eighty acres bordering the Prince River Reservoir with a main house and several outbuildings was acquired in 1985 at the direction of His Eminence the Ven. Rev. Deshung Tulku by Sakya Shei Drup Ling Center for Buddhist Studies and Meditation in Cambridge, Mass. At the request of His Eminence, His Holiness Sakya Trizin bestowed the name Sakya Chokhor Yangtse, meaning the Pinnacle of the Sakya Dharma Transmission. Furthermore, His Holiness has stated that Sakya Chokhor Tangtse would be the seat of the Sakya Order in the United States.
At present Sakya Chokhor Yangtse is functioning year-round as a small retreat facility, and many students have entered into retreats ranging from one week to one year on meditations such as Avalokitesvara, Tara, Vajrayogini, Mahakala, Hevajra, and the Four Foundation practices. Every three weeks, Lama Pema Wangdak, the representative of H.H. Sakya Trizin to Sakya Chokhor Yangste, teaches a guided practical course in the Four Foundations of Buddhist meditation.
Plans for further development of Sakya Chokhor Yangtse are being guided by H.H. Sakya Trizin who has asked that the first priority be to expand and improve the currently limited retreat facilities to allow more students the opportunity of performing lengthy retreats. Improved housing and and sanitation, the building of a larger shrine, and eventually the establishment of a college of Buddhist Studies, based on the highly successful Sakya College in Rajpur, India, have been placed on the agenda.
With the creation of a Buddhist college, the Sakya Order will be able to continue in America its ancient tradition of rigorous philosophical training that earned it the epithet of the Manjushri Tradition in Tibet, and with the establishment of a meditation retreat center these profound teachings will be put into practice. This balanced path of study and meditation has been a hallmark of the Sakya Order since its beginning more than 900 years ago, and has lead countless disciples to realization and enlightenment.
The most revered lineage lama of the Sakya Order, Sakya Pandita Kunga Gyaltsen Pal Zanpo, embodied this ideal of balance, mastering every doctrine in Tibet and receiving from the Abbot of Vikamalashila University, Shakyasribadra, the title of Pandit, this becoming the only Tibetan to receive that exalted title from an Indian master. Famed as a consumate scholar and faultless practitioner, Sakya Pandita achieved the highest realization, becoming endowed with the 32 signs of an Enlightened One.
The one teaching that lay at the heart of Sakya Pandita's attainment is the Lam Dre (Tib: Lam'Bras), or "Path and Result".
Many generations have passed on this most precious teaching in a complete and flawless transmission: from India to Tibet, and now to America. In the summer of 1985 Ludhing Rinpoche of Ngor Monastery bestowed the "Path and Result" at Sakya Shei Drup Ling in Cambridge, the first time this profound teaching has been given in America. H.E. Deshung Rinpoche has said that "the future home of Buddhism will be America"
If you are interested in contributing to this worthy project or wish more information about their activities, please write to: Sakya Center, Porter Square Station, P.O. Box 606, Cambridge, MA 02140.