In 1431 Sherab Gyaltsan, the first Chagdud incarnation, built a monastery on the ruins of an earlier gonpa, in Nyagrong, Eastern Tibet. Gonpa means “quiet place” and therefore is the general term for monastery. Chag dud means “iron knot,” has its name-source in the fact that Sherab Gyaltsan folded an iron sword into a knot with bare hands, which deeply impressed the emperor of Mongolia and inspired him to shower honors on him. H.E. Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche (1930-2002), the sixteenth recognized Chagdud incarnation, demonstrated the same extraordinary power several times in his youth when he compressed stout swords into folds.
Chagdud Gonpa in Tibet was one of the few monasteries not completely destroyed by the Chinese communists.
It was saved by a combination of the loyalty of the surrounding villages and a series of miraculous occurrences. In 1983, H.E. Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche established Chagdud Gonpa in the United States through the Chagdud Gonpa Foundation, and in 1995, in South America through Chagdud Gonpa Brasil. Most recently Chagdud Gonpa Hispanoamerica has been formed as the umbrella organization for Spanish-speaking Latin America. Affiliate meditation groups have groups practice in Australia and Switzerland.
Chagdud Gonpa centers practice Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism, primarily in the Nyingmapa tradition of Guru Padmasambhava.
Chagdud Gonpa Brazil
Chagdud Gonpa Brasil is part of an international network of centers whose origins are the Chagdud Gonpa in Tibet, a monastery founded in the 15th century. Established in 1994 by the revered meditation master, H.E. Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche (1930-2002), the Brazilian centers offer study and meditation in the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism.
Since Chagdud Rinpoche’s Parinirvana in 2002, the South American network of centers has been under the spiritual direction of Chagdud Khadro, who works closely with a powerful legacy of lamas who were ordained by or had connection to Rinpoche during his lifetime. Together they have carried out his intention to plant and make flourish the Vajrayana path as elucidated by Guru Padmasambhava.
Chagdud Gonpa Hispanoamerica
Chagdud Gonpa Hispanoamerica was founded to fulfill H. E. Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche´s aspiration to establish the Buddha dharma—particularly the Nyingmapa lineages of Tibetan Vajrayana—in the Spanish-speaking countries of Latin America. Since Rinpoche’s Parinirvana in 2002, the organization is under the spiritual direction of Rinpoche’s wife and student, Chagdud Khadro.
In Uruguay, about an hour and a half from Montevideo amid beautiful hills, Sengue Dzong (Lion Fortress) has been built of stone in the style of Eastern Tibet and Bhutan. The interior of the temple is now being ornamented and four statues have been completed by Bhutanese master artists.
Monthly trainings in the Four Reflections that Change the Mind are offered at Sengue Dzong, and its shrineroom is an inspiring setting for retreats and teachings. It will soon be ready for retreats and ceremonies. In Montevideo a well-established Chagdud Gonpa Montevideo sangha practices Red Tara and the Vajrayana Preliminaries. Groups also meet in several other small cities.
Chagdud Gonpa Foundation
Through Chagdud Rinpoche’s tireless teaching schedule, a dynamic network of Chagdud Gonpa centers and practice groups were established. The Foundation supports them by maintaining their status as non-profit, tax-exempt religious organization and providing their organizational infrastructure. More importantly, the dharma lineages offered by Rinpoche are continued by practitioners in the various centers, and through the instruction of Chagdud Gonpa and visiting lamas. Presently the Foundation’s spiritual activities are overseen by a group of eight lamas and senior practitioners known as Spiritual Directorate. Jigme Tromge Rinpoche serves as the main empowerment lama of Chagdud Gonpa and Lama Padma Gyatso as its head lama. A rotation of Chagdud Gonpa lamas serve as resident teachers at CG/Rigdzin Ling, guiding its meditation practices and sacred projects, as well as overseeing the resident staff and the administrative activities that they carry out for the Foundation.
More information about Chagdud Gonpa Foundation/Rigdzin Ling can be found at www.chagdudgonpa.org.