Kagyu Samten Chöling (KSC) and Kagyu Dak Shang Chöling (KDSC) are study groups in the Kagyu Lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. We are affiliated with Kagyu Thubten Chöling Monastery and Retreat Center in Wappingers Falls, New York, which was established in 1978 by Lama Norlha Rinpoche under the guidance of Kyabje Kalu Rinpoche.

KSC activities are led by senior students of Lama Norlha Rinpoche. We welcome visiting teachers several times a year.

KSC began meeting in December 2000 at the Barrington Dharma Center in Barrington NH as the Seacoast Dharma Study Group. Each week, we get together to do the traditional practice of Chenrezig, the Bodhisattva of Compassion; shinay (calm abiding) meditation, and study of a topic in Buddhism, with readings from Kyabje Kalu Rinpoche, Lama Norlha Rinpoche, Tai Situ Rinpoche, Thrangu Rinpoche, Bokar Rinpoche, and other authentic teachers.

In June 2001, Lama Norlha Rinpoche visited the NH Seacoast and bestowed the empowerment of Chenrezig at the Barrington Dharma Center. Rinpoche gave us the traditional Tibetan name Kagyu Samten Chöling, which means "Kagyu Dharma Garden of Meditation." Fourteen people took refuge with Rinpoche prior to the Chenrezig empowerment. During this visit, he also gave a talk at the Friends' Meetinghouse in Dover NH on "Awakened Mind,"attended by about 60 people.

In October 2001, KSC offered an introductory series of meditation evenings in Portsmouth NH at the McDonough Street Studio.

We were very fortunate to have a second visit from Lama Norlha Rinpoche in November 2001. He gave a public talk at the Portsmouth Unitarian Church on "Transforming Fear and Anger with Compassion," attended by about 100 people. At the Barrington Dharma Center, Rinpoche gave refuge to seven people and then bestowed the empowerment of Green Tara, followed later in the day by a teaching on the Four Foundations of Dharma Practice. 

Rinpoche suggested that we continue meeting in Portsmouth as well as Barrington, and thanks to the generosity of Pontine Theatre co-directors Marguerite Mathews and Greg Gathers, we were able to do so.

May 30-June 1, 2003, Lama Norlha Rinpoche made a third visit to New Hampshire. His Friday evening talk at the Portsmouth Unitarian Church, "What to Rely On in Difficult Times," was attended by 150 people. On Saturday at the McDonough Street Studio in Portsmouth, he gave a full day of teachings on "Bardo: The Intermediate State after Death," in which he explained how to prepare for the inevitability of death for oneself and others, and what one experiences in the six bardo, or interval, states, particularly at the time of death and following death. About 35 people attended these sessions.

On Sunday, June 1, the first day of the holy month of Saka Dawa commemorating the Buddha's birth, enlightenment and passing into nirvana, Rinpoche bestowed the empowerment of Chenrezig at the Barrington Dharma Center. Twenty-three people attended the empowerment, and a total of nine took refuge during this visit. Following the empowerment, Rinpoche announced that he was making a vow to recite Chenrezig's mantra, om mani peme hung, one million times during Sakadawa. He suggested that this would be a very beneficial vow for any of us to make, even if we were not able to finish by the end of the month. He encouraged us to make the same vow, and to call the monastery and report when we finish a million recitations.

A significant event during Rinpoche's visit was the formation of a new Dharma study group in Portsmouth, formerly the Portsmouth branch of KSC. Rinpoche gave the group the auspicious name Kagyu Dak Shang Chöling. He explained that this name, which means "Dharma Garden of the Dakpo and Shangpa Kagyu Lineages ,"was given to him many years ago by Kyabje Kalu Rinpoche to bestow upon a Dharma center, and this was the first time he had done so. Kalu Rinpoche held both the Dakpo and Shangpa lineages, as does Lama Norlha Rinpoche. In fact, Lama Norlha Rinpoche's long-life prayer written by Kalu Rinpoche begins with the words, "Dak Shang Kagyu."

Sadly, we have not kept the history updated---please check again soon for further details.

KSC meets at the KSC Barrington on Thursday evenings and Sunday mornings. KDSC meets at the West End Studio Theater in Portsmouth Tuesday evenings.  See more details about our schedule, membership and support, or the Zen Buddhist group that meets at the Barrington Dharma center. 


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