motto of Kagyu Samye Ling
The sudden diaspora of the Tibetan people, from 1959 onwards, brought a vast and profound body of new spiritual experience to the world at large. Its monks, nuns and hermits, who formed a significant part of Tibet's small population of just several million, had created more than a thousand monasteries, the largest of which housed several thousand monks. In this exalted space of snow-clad mountains, seven times the size of France or Texas, were preserved the deepest of all the Buddha's teachings; those of vajrayana, carried there, from India, in the period stretching from the 8th to the 12th centuries C.E.
Dr Akong Tulku Rinpoche and Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche were the first fully-qualified Tibetan lamas to establish a teaching centre in the West: Kagyu Samye Ling Tibetan Centre in Scotland. Since then, over 4,000 Tibetan Buddhist centres have appeared in more than 80 countries.
ROKPA's "spiritual" activity is rooted in a broad-based concern for improving the nobler qualities of human existence: loving kindness, compassion, facing up to (and trying to resolve) one's personal problems, helping others, exploring the real nature of one's own mind and of existence in general, learning how to cling less to one's illusions and devote more time to others etc.. Rather than viewing spirituality as something "other" or exotic, and solely the domain of priests and religion, it sees it as a natural part of each and every one of us; a part often neglected. Just as, for short-term needs, it is easy to ignore the overall well-being of the environment, it is easy to neglect this nobler part of our human potential, due to pressures of modern life.
Let us carry this analogy one step further. A broad-based care for the environment will lead us to put a lot of effort into protecting rare plants and animal species, once we realise that they may be lost to humankind forever. Rokpa's work is like this. Although spirituality is seen as a natural dimension of everyone, and its long-term health to be encouraged in every way, there are "endangered" and incredibly valuable spiritual lineages that must be preserved. Therefore the Samye Ling and Samye Dzong centres which form the backbone of ROKPA's spiritual work try to practise an openness to all-comers and strive to encourage more compassion in everyone, of any or no particular religious conviction. At the same time, ROKPA also places special emphasis on preserving the teachings of the Karma Kagyu tradition of Tibetan Buddhism (also known as the Karma Kamtsang or Karmapa lineage). This involves perpetuating its living tradition of meditation experience, kept alive since the time of Buddha, and preserving the theoretical and textual richness of this wonderful and extremely complete spiritual heritage.
We invite you to explore the world of ROKPA's spiritual work by clicking on the relevant button below.
teachers and other ROKPA people
... Buddhism and the Karma Kamtsang (Karmapa) Kagyu teaching tradition
... ROKPA Dharma centres worldwide, programmes, and other places of interest
... a simple explanation, for newcomers, about Buddhist meditation
19 April 1997 12:03:18