Monday, April 5, 2010

Six Mother Monasteries of Nyingma

Now for a bit of distant virtual travelling...

As referenced in the last post, the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism has six "mother monasteries" (in Tibet) where the Nyingma tradition is regarded as developing. Wherever possible in this blog, I like to use photos, to show both the spaces, places and landscapes where Vajrayanic practices continue and endure. I also like to use photos to illustrated the elements of Tibetan Buddhist architecture.

Finding good, representative photos of these monasteries and the set of buildings and temples they encompass is no easy feat. At least not online. Perhaps this is due to the fact that much of the religious architecture in Tibet suffered destruction in the last century and have sometimes only seen partial renovations. Additional reasons as to why there is a lack of photographs on some of these buildings is a question to mull at a later date.

There are two different historic listings of the mother monasteries of the Nyingma tradition. The first six included Dorge Drak, Mindroling, Palri, Kathog, Palyul and Dzogchen monasteries. Later, the development of Shechen monastery led to it's inclusion, replacing Palri monastery in the listing of the mother monasteries.

Palyul Monastery, Lower Tibet

Kathog Monastery

Dorje Drak Monastery

Mindroling Monastery

Dzogchen Monastery
Grand temple rebuilt on site of the original in 2003

Schechen Monastery

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