Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Karmê Chöling

Pictured are the 7th Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche & the Karmapa at Karmê Chöling in 1980

What was Tail of the Tiger in the seventies is now the beautiful and spacious Karmê Chöling in Barnet, Vermont. One of the first Buddhist retreat centers in North America, Tail of the Tiger figures in many retellings of Tibetan Buddhism's early days of growing practice on the North American continent.

Some aspect of my mind just softly explodes when I first focus in on a particular state or region and then hone in on a particular center. I suppose it's naive that in doing so, I believe I will acquire singular focus of what I am going to write about. Having never visited most of these centers, I am left with visual impressions I find on the web as well as my own reveries about the landscapes they are set in. In the case of a center like Karmê Chöling, the history is only a few decades old- but well, so am I! And in those few decades there are so many stories to be told. One single post can hardly do justice....Not to mention that while the center is a few decades old, the teachings are several centuries in the making.

So if I appear to be perfunctory or absurdly brief when I post about a center with an obviously rich history, it's typically a case of realizing the abundance of information that exists about some centers and choosing to take care before I attempt to write in depth. In many cases, they are centers to which I will return. Karmê Chöling, formerly Tail of the Tiger, is one such center.

This place holds an important role in the historic network of Tibetan Buddhist centers in the United States and is incredibly picturesque to boot. Originally purchased by a group of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche's students in 1970, this center operated as Tail of the Tiger until 1974, when it received it's current name, Karmê Chöling.

Shambhala Day
Source: Karmê Chöling blog, February 2010

No comments:

Post a Comment