Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Three Rivers Dharma & Dzogchen in Pittsburgh

Three Rivers Dharma Center, founded by Khenchen Konchog Gyaltshen Rinpoche, is located in a vital, urban area of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and follows the Tibetan Buddhist lineage of Drikung Kagyu.

Kagyu is one of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism. Within Kagyu, are 4 historic major lineages and 8 historic minor lineages. Of the four major lineages, Karma Kagyu is the most active and of the eight minor lineages, Taglung, Drukpa and Drikung Kagyu remain independently active. (Source). The Kagyu tradition is referred to at times as the "practice" lineage as well as lineage of "oral instructions," Ka referring to instructions or word and gyu referring to the lineage of masters and students.

The Dzogchen Sangha of Pittsburgh meets in the space of Three Rivers Dharma Center, adding another dimension to the center's affiliation and use. Dzogchen is a teaching and practice at the heart of Buddhism. Adherents of the four schools of Tibetan Buddhism have practiced Dzogchen for centuries, yet it is traditionally associated with the Nyingma lineage.

As written in Rigpa Shedra, in a compellingly poetic form that is often present in even the most simple descriptions of Tibetan Buddhist practices and elements, the origins of Dzogchen..."reach back to before human history, and neither is it limited to Buddhism, nor to Tibet, nor indeed even to this world of ours, as it is recorded that it has existed in thirteen different world systems. (Rigpa Shedra).

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