We just have to remind ourselves that the source for any happiness is the mind itself.
Lama Ole Nydahl
The Buddha’s teachings were first transmitted in India for 1500 years and for another 1000 years
in Tibet (starting with Padmasambhāva, Marpa, and Milarepa).
While there are many Buddhist traditions active in the West, our center is one of more than
600 lay Diamond Way Buddhist centers
of the Karma Kagyu school founded and directed by Lama Ole Nydahl. They are under the spiritual
guidance of H.H. the 17th Karmapa Trinley Thaye Dorje. Diamond Way Buddhist centers have non-hierarchical
structure and function through unpaid, voluntary work on the basis of friendship and idealism.
The members share the responsibility for guiding meditations, answering questions, and giving teachings.
Lama Ole has also empowered more than 300 of his students to travel and teach Buddhism.
H.H. the 16th Karmapa Rangjung Rigpe Dorje
(1924 – 1981) was born in Derge province in Eastern Tibet. The previous Karmapa Khakhyab Dorje (1871-1922) left a letter setting forth the circumstances of his next incarnation. On the basis of this letter the authorities of the Tsurphu monastery were able to successfully locate the child. In 1931 the young incarnate was ordained as a novice monk and offered the Karmapa’s ceremonial robes and the Black Hat.
Karmapa studied in Tsurphu monastery for four years, deepening his meditative realization of Sutra, Tantra, Mahamudra, and the “Six Yogas of Naropa.” As a boy he displayed an extraordinary natural insight and often told his teachers about his previous incarnations.
H.H. the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa Trinley Thaye Dorje
was born in Tibet on May 6th 1983.
He is the first son of the 3rd Mipam Rinpoche, a great Nyingma Lama, and Dechen Wangmo,
the daughter of a noble family descending from King Gesar of Ling.
At the age of one and a half the boy started telling people that he was the Karmapa.
In 1994, he and his family managed to escape from Tibet to Nepal and then to India.
The young Karmapa arrived in New Delhi in March of the same year, where during a welcoming ceremony Shamar Rinpoche
formally recognized him as the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa. The 17th Karmapa was given the name of Trinley (meaning Buddha activity)
Thaye (limitless) Dorje (unchanging).
In 2003, after completing his formal education, the 17th Karmapa was declared “Great Tantric Master”.
The 17th Karmapa currently resides in Kalimpong, India, where he continues his spiritual training and Western education.
The 14th Kunzig Shamar Rinpoche Mipam Chokyi Lodro
was born in 1952 in Derge, Tibet as the nephew of H.H. the 16th Karmapa.
Kunzig Shamar Rinpoche received the entire teachings and transmissions
of the Karma Kagyu School from the 16th Karmapa at Rumtek monastery in Sikkim.
An emanation of Buddha Amithaba, Kunzig Shamar Rinpoche is second to Gyalwa Karmapa
in the spiritual hierarchy of the Karma Kagyu School of Tibetan Buddhism.
The first Shamar Rinpoche, Khedrup Trakpe Senge (1283-1349),
was the principal disciple of the 3rd Karmapa, Rangjung Dorje. His second incarnation,
Kacho Wangpo, received the Red Crown from the 4th Karmapa, Rolpe Dorje, an exact replica of
Karmapa’s Black Crown. With the Red Crown, the Karmapa bestowed on him the name of “Shamarpa –
The One with the Red Crown.” Since then, Karma Kagyu texts speak of two Karmapas, the Black Hat and Red Hat Karmapas,
always alternating as teacher and student throughout centuries and their minds are considered inseparable.
Lopon Tsechu Rinpoche
was born in the Kingdom of Bhutan in 1918. In 1944, Rinpoche met H.H. the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa who became one of his most important masters.
In the years to follow, Lopon Tsechu Rinpoche became the key figure for dharma practitioners in Nepal.
In 1987, he visited Europe for the first time at the invitation of his first Western students Lama Ole Nydahl and his wife Hannah.
Since that time he traveled extensively throughout Europe, the Americas, and Australia giving teachings and countless initiations.
He completed the building of a Kalachakra Stupa in Spain and more than 16 other stupas in Europe and Asia.
Lopon Tchechu Rinpoche’s last project, the Enlightenment Stupa in Benalmadena,
Spain is the crown jewel of his life’s work. Rinpoche passed away on June 10th 2003 at the age of 85,
four months before the inauguration of this magnificent project.
Lama Ole Nydahl and his wife Hannah
were the first western students of the H.H. 16th Gyalwa Karmapa.
In a constant exchange with his students, Lama Ole teaches the goal and methods of Karma Kagyu Diamond Way Buddhism.
His joyful way of living provides a glimpse of what anyone can achieve through direct experience of one’s own mind.
He has transmitted the blessing of the lineage, traveling as an authorized Lama and tirelessly teaching around the world in a different city nearly every day for over 30 years.
The depth of his knowledge and dynamic way of teaching inspire thousands of people at his lectures and retreats around the world. He has been a driving force in bringing Buddhism to the West.