Zasep Tulku Rinpoche in Upstate New York

The following article is from the Winter, 1986 issue of the Snow Lion Newsletter and is for historical reference only.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.

Zasep Tulku Rinpoche is the 13th incarnation of the famous Kagyupa teacher who founded Zuru Monastery in the Kham province of Tibet. Rinpoche was recognized as an incarnation by high lamas of the Kagyu, Sakya and Gelug traditions. He studied with and received empowerments from many renowned Gelug and Kagyu teachers in Tibet, and after his escape from the Chinese he continued his studies with various high lamas and later received an Acharya degree from the Varanasi Sanskrit University in India. In 1975, he was sent to Thailand by H.H. the Dalai Lama. In 1976, he was then requested by Lama Thubten Yeshe to come to the Chenrezig Institute for Wisdom Culture in Australia. He gave Lam-rim meditation courses and lectured in several cities. Three centers were established there under his advisory. In 1980, he was appointed as resident Lama of Gaden Choling in Toronto by H.H. Ling Rinpoche. He taught at Naropa Institute during two of its summer programs, and under his guidance three other centers have been formed in Canada. In the United States he is director of Gaden Tenzin Ling, 120 W. State St., P.O. Box 6761, Ithaca, N.Y. 14851. His main center in Canada is Gaden Choling in Toronto. His other centers include: Gaden Phende Ling in Orleans, Ont.; (iaden Rime Zong Ling in Vancouver, B.C.; Potala Center in Thunder Bay, Ont.; and Tashi Choling in Nelson, B.C.

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Zasep Tulku Rinpoche

Rinpoche has a great sense of humor and speaks very good English.

Two projects that Rinpoche is involved with are the Personal Meditation Program and the establishment of major retreat centers in Canada and the United States.

The Personal Meditation Program is a five stage program of meditation practice and dharma study that begins with mindfulness of breathing meditation and lam rim study and proceeds all the way up to the most advanced tantric practices and study. It is personal because the time spent on each stage depends on the individual. To get started on the personal program, one must arrange to meet with Rinpoche through the Gaden Choling Center, 637 Christie St., Toronto, Ontario M6G 3E6. If it is impossible to meet Rinpoche personally, one may write instead. It is helpful to provide Rinpoche with a list of teachings and initiations received, if any, and a brief description of any meditation one has done, or is currently doing. Please request the brochure on the Personal Meditation Program for more information.

The Retreat Center Project involves the establishment of retreat centers in Canada and the United States. The purpose of this project is to provide peaceful settings in which serious meditators can do group or individual retreats.

The major retreat center will be in Canada. A possible location, which Rinpoche has visited and approved, is just over two hours from Toronto. This site consists of 345 acres of heavily forested land with several small clearings, two beaver ponds, and many deer. There are two buildings on the property which, with minimal work, can be used until more suitable facilities can be built.

Gaden Choling will sponsor frequent weekend retreats at the site, as well as more extensive ones. Meditators from all spiritual traditions will be welcome to use the center for individual or group practice.

The country center will enable Gaden Choling to host great masters such as H.H. the Dalai Lama for more extensive teachings than can be given in the city. The facilities will be gradually improved by the construction of a meditation hall, kitchen, sleeping accomodations and washrooms. In the future small cabins may be built for the use of individual members. In addition to regularly scheduled meditation retreats and study seminars, dharma instruction for children in the form of a summer camp will be given once a year.

There's a lot of work to be done to bring the retreat center to fruition. Funds to first buy property and then to build must be raised. If you would like to participate in the project, financially or otherwise, please contact Gaden Choling in Toronto.

In the United States, a modest retreat center associated with Rinpoche's U.S. center, Gaden Tenzin Ling, is being built just outside of Ithaca, New York to accomodate visitors, larger retreats and teachings, and possibly a resident monk (see the article on Gaden Tenzin Ling for more information). Those wishing to help with this project may write to Gaden Tenzin Ling, P.O. Box 6761, Ithaca, NY 14851.

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