Information for the Press


The Great Monkey Year Teachings from 16 – 24 September 2016

– For the First Time in Europe, in Schneverdingen in Northern Germany –


H.H. Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang, head of the Drikung Kaygu tradition, H.E. Garchen Rinpoche, Most Ven. Lho Ontul Rinpoche and Ven. Khenchen Könchog Gyaltsen Rinpoche will come to Schneverdingen in September 2016 at the invitation of the Milarepa Retreat Center. The occasion for this high-level visit is the Great Monkey Year Teachings, also known as the Great Drikung Phowa. This cycle of empowerments and teachings is part of the Drikung KagyuTradition, in which it has been held in Tibet since the times of Drikung Kyobpa Jigten Sumgon (1143–1217). To enable the unhindered dissemination of the blessings of these teachings, a special location is selected each time, and the head of the lineage calculates the date according to traditional Tibetan astrology.

The special Phowa practice is called Phowa Chagtsugma (Standing Blade of Grass). It derives from a text of the Nyingma Treasury of the 9th century. It was only in the late 16th century that the teacher of the first Drikung Chungtsang Rigdzin Chodrag and the first Drikung Chetsang Konchog Ratna introduced this text into the Drikung Kaygu teachings. The two lineage heads then included the practice in the Profound Treasury of Drikung Kagyu Teachings. In this way, this practice gained fame as a special transmission and practice of the Drikung Kagyu lineage.

As event organizer, the Milarepa Retreat Center is under the patronage of H.H. Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang and H.E. Garchen Rinpoche. In October 2012 H.E. Garchen Rinpoche inaugurated the Milarepa Retreat Center in a great ceremony. This year’s nine-day series of events with empowerments and teachings will draw many guests from around the world to Schneverdingen. For this reason, the organizers decided to have the ceremonies in Camp Reinsehlen in Schneverdingen, the location where H.H. the Dalai Lama previously held a ten-day program with empowerments and teachings in 1998.

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Monkey Year Teachings 2016

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