Milarepa Retreat Center
Currently the most comprehensive project of The Garchen Foundation is the Milarepa Retreat Center in Schneverdingen, Germany, a Buddhist center of the Drikung Kagyu tradition, mainly aimed at the practice of meditation and retreats. The Center was inaugurated on October 27, 2012 by H. E. Garchen Rinpoche. In June 2014 the temple of the secluded three-years-retreat area was blessed by H.H. the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang and turned over to its purpose.
Meditation requires time and a special site. The Milarepa Retreat Center, nestled in peaceful nature, remote from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, is one such place. There, the mind can achieve a state of mindfulness and undeflected concentration in order to promote a transformative process towards a more wholesome way of life.
The Milarepa Retreat Center is situated close to the small town of Schneverdingen in the heart of the Lunenburg Heath in Germany. Nestled in a magnificent and quiet stretch of land of more than 20 acres of pastures and woodland, a former farm comprising several old timber-framed houses has been restored with great care in the old style. Now facilities for individual retreats, group retreats and three-years-retreat are available.
The area, in which the Milarepa Retreat Center is located, has been blessed by H. H. the Dalai Lama. In the autumn of 1998, a major event with the Dalai Lama, "Buddha's path to happiness" took place in Schneverdingen with many participants. The plot of the Milarepa Retreat Center has been blessed with several visits from the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang, Garchen Rinpoche, and other high lamas of the Drikung Kaygu lineage. In July 2011, a groundbreaking ceremony, lead by the H.H. the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang and Khenchen Konchog Gyaltsen, was performed at the spot where previously there had been the old wooden barn; this barn was replaced by a spacious meditation hall in timber wood style, which serves now for seminars, public talks, meditation sessions, and congresses. The upper floor can be used for simple accomodation by a great number of participants who attend the program.
Since the H.H. the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang has linked the place of the Milarepa Retreat Center with the blessed place of the holy Mount Kailash in Tibet and because great importance will be attached here to the meditation practice of Mahamudra, Garchen Rinpoche blessed it with the Tibetan name Drikung Kagyu Gangri Chagchen Dargye Ling - "Kailash, the Place where Mahamudra will Flourish."