His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama
Buddha of Compassion in Person
His Holiness the Dalai Lama blessed the TMC on two occasions when he granted Khenchen Rinpoché’s requests to confer teachings at the center back when it was in Washington, DC – once in 1984 and another in 1987.
His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgön Chetsang Rinpoché
Head of Drikung Kagyu Lineage, 37th Throne-holder
His Holiness Drikung Kyabgön Chetsang Rinpoché is a supreme emanation of the Buddha of Compassion and one of two current heads of the Drikung Kagyu lineage. Please click here to go to the official website of the Drikung Kagyu lineage to learn more about His Holiness and his vast activities.
Despite His Holiness’ busy schedule, he has graced the center with several visits over the years. His Holiness’s first visit was in 1987 when the center was still located in Washington, DC. Then in 1994, His Holiness returned again and this time to consecrate the new shrineroom at our current location in Gambril State Park in Frederick. In 1999, His Holiness kindly conferred the complete empowerments of the Kagyu Tantric Treasury (Kagyu Ngakzod) at TMC (held at a retreat facility near Charlestown, West Virginia in order to accommodate more participants). His Holiness has returned to the center since then and we look forward to hosting His Holiness for many more times in the near future.
Venerable Khenchen Konchok Gyaltshen Rinpoché
Khenchen Rinpoché first came to the United States in 1982, and quickly established the Tibetan Meditation Center in Washington, DC. The Tibetan Meditation Center was the site of innumerable teachings, practices, retreats and ceremonies. In 1991 the Tibetan Meditation Center moved to Frederick, Maryland. With this larger facility and in surroundings more conducive to contemplation, Rinpoché was able to benefit even more people with his teachings.
Khenchen Rinpoche has spent a great deal of his time since the establishment of the TMC, traveling in order to give teachings and lead retreats. He has established centers throughout the US and in Chile, and he frequently visits in Europe and Southeast Asia. Rinpoché currently resides in Madison, Wisconsin. Rinpoché has returned many times to the TMC over the years and we look forward to many more visits in the near future.
Rinpoche consistently strives to make important texts available to the public and to provide his students with thorough and systematic training in the Dharma. A skilled and dedicated translator, he has published 14 books in English. Rinpoche’s writing has been a central resource in the introduction of Buddhist thought in the West.
His Eminence Gyabra Tritsab Rinpoché
Yangri Gar Monastery, Central Tibet
Gyabra Tritsab Rinpoché is the seventh incarnation of the Gyabra tulkus – the lineage of tulkus that originated in the Second Throne-holder and immediate succesor to the founder of our lineage, Kyobpa Jigten Sumgön (1143-1217), Khenchen Tsultrim Dorje (1154-1221).In 2001 at the Snake Year Teachings, His Holiness Kyabgön Chetsang announced that just as the previous Gyabra Rinpoché served as the regent during the interregnum between the two previous Kyabgöns and the the current Kyabgöns, likewise Tritsab Rinpoché will serve in this capacity in the future.
Rinpoché visited the US for 2 months in the summer of 2005 and while at TMC conferred the major empowerment of the Five-deity Cakrasamvara, the complete oral-transmission of the 2-volume Achi Pebum (collection of ritual-texts for propitiating Achi Chokyi Drolma, the special protectress of Drikung Kagyu) and special teachings on the practice of Achi revealed in a “pure vision” (daknang) by the previous Gyabra Rinpoché.
His Eminence Garchen Triptul Rinpoché
Gar Gön Monastery, Eastern Tibet
Garchen Rinpoché’s first visit to TMC was during his very first visit to the West that coincided to our annual Spring Retreat. At that memorable visit, Rinpoché spent over two weeks at the center and was tireless in teaching and transmitting the Dharma to all. On the first day of Rinpoché’s program, Rinpoché announced that on top of the already very packed schedule, he will be adding more than ten authorizing-empowerments (jenang) from the collection of Authorizing-empowerments of Fifty Deities to be conferred in the evenings. That frequently meant that Rinpoché was in the shrineroom from morning till evening, even eating his meals there. Participants of the retreat were all very moved by Rinpoché’s kindness and presence. Since that visit, Rinpoché has returned many times to TMC, each time as giving, generous and inspiring as ever.
Most Ven. Drubwang Rinpoché, Konchok Norbu
(1921-2007) Drikung Thil Monastery, Central Tibet
Drubwang Rinpoché was born in the Drikung area in Central Tibet and became a monk at a very young age. After completing his formal studies at Nyima Changra Institute (founded by the Kyabgön Shiwé Lodro, the previous Drikung Chetsang), Rinpoché became the disciple of Vajradhara Pachung Rinpoché (1901-1988), the great retreat-master of Drikung Thil at that time and received many teachings from him. Under the guidance of this amazing lama, Drubwang Rinpoché went into many different solitary-retreats – the longest lasted for a whole ten years. It is reported that during one of these extended retreats, Rinpoché completely lost the power of sight but was told by his lama to not break his retreat but simply to continue. Pachung Rinpoché assured him that “he will not die.” With complete devotion to his lama, Rinpoché remained in retreat and subsequently regained his eyesight. During the difficult times of the political turbulence involving the Chinese communist government, Rinpoché was able to secretly maintain his practice even while appearing to carry on ordinary everyday life. After the so-called Cultural Revolution, Rinpoché once again re-entered formal retreat.
In the early 1990s and after the passing of Pachung Rinpoché, Drubwang Rinpoché left Drikung Thil and arrived at Jangchub Ling, Dehra Dun to be with His Holiness Drikung Kyabgön Chetsang Rinpoché. When not at Jangchub Ling, Rinpoché would be traveling in the remote areas of northern India teaching the locals (who are mostly of Tibetan descent or have assimilated Tibetan Buddhism) the virtues of seemingly simple but ultimately profound Dharma practices such as careful attention to the law of cause and effect, sincere taking of refuge in the Three Jewels, cultivation of compassion – especially by giving up the consumption of meat – and complete reliance on the Six-syllable (Mani) Mantra. In the late 1990s Drubwang Rinpoché started to travel beyond India and Nepal to Southeast Asia, Taiwan and the West to inspire and teach and in 2000, Rinpoché visited TMC during its annual Spring Retreat. It was during this visit that Khenchen Rinpoché announced his dedication of TMC to Drikung Thil Monastery by formally offering the center to Drubwang Rinpoché (as Rinpoché was a senior lama from Drikung Thil).
On December 25th of 2007, Rinpoché dissolved his body-mandala into the great expanse of the dharmadhatu soon after arriving in Singapore to lead the annual Mani Great Accomplishment (drupchen) retreat there.