Milarepa Retreat Center
Main Seat of the Drikung Kagyu Tradition in Europe
Commemorating the 800th anniversary of Lord Jigten Sumgon`s Paranirvana and on the occasion of the great transmission of the « Jewel Garland » (the Fifty Empowerments of the New Tantra) His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang solemnly appointed the Milarepa Retreat Center as the Main Seat of the Drikung Kagyu Tradition in Europe, 30th of June 2017.
The grand opening of the Center had been celebrated by H.E. Kyabje Garchen Rinpoche in October 2012; and in June 2014 His Holiness Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang inaugurated the temple of the secluded Three-Years-Retreat Area.
Since the H.H. 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."
The most important activities in this center will be:
- to revive the Hevajra/Dagmema Tantra as it had been transmitted by Marpa (1012-1097) as part of a series of Tantras, known as the Seven Mandalas of Ngok, to his main disciple Ngok Choku Dorje (1036 – 1106) ; this will happen in regular drubchens, each year in spring and autumn
- to offer a secluded place for the Three-Year-Retreat, in the traditional form and also in segments, under the spiritual guidance of Drupbon Yeshe Zangmo (Rachel Dodds) and Drubpon Konchog Chödön
- to host every year for 3 months the Vikramashila Translation Committee under the guidance of Khenchen Nyima Gyaltsen
- to publish translations from ancient Tibetan Dharma Texts into modern western languages in the series Edition Garchen Stiftung
Meditation requires time and a special site. The Milarepa Retreat Center, nestled in peaceful nature, remote from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, amidst a magnificent quiet area of pastures and old woodland, is one such place. It is situated close to the small town of Schneverdingen in the heart of the Luneburg Heath in Northern Germany, an area which has been blessed by H. H. the Dalai Lama, in the autumn of 1998, during the grand event "Buddha's path to happiness".
The old timber-framed houses of a former farm have been restored with great care in the old stile. Facilities for individual retreat, group retreat and three-year-retreat are available.
The center offers also conference rooms for seminars and round table discussions ; especially for groups and organisations who in these uncertain times are in search of a meaningful life in human values and solidarity.
The Milarepa Retreat Center in Schneverdingen in the Luneburg Heath is currently the most comprehensive project of the Garchen Foundation.