Geshe Lobsang Tenzin, H.E. Rizong Rinpoche and his assistant

Brief History of
Drepung Loseling

In 1988-89 eight lamas from Drepung Loseling Monastery visited North America as part of Loseling's first world tour of Sacred Music Sacred Dance for planetary peace and healing. While in Atlanta they were given a small tract of land in the mountains of north Georgia. The head lama, H.E. Gungbar Tulku, accepted the land on behalf of the monastery.

The following year Loseling's abbot, H.E. Rizong Rinpoche, with the blessings of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, visited Georgia to consecrate the land. He was accompanied by an assistant, Geshe Lobsang Tenzin Negi. An outcome of that visit was that Geshe Lobsang was offered a scholarship to pursue a Ph.D. program at Emory University. In 1991 Geshe Lobsang moved to Atlanta to begin his course of studies at Emory, and also to oversee the development of Drepung Loseling.

Drepung Loseling officially opened its studies and practice training programs in May 1991. This began with meditation retreats and teaching programs held on the land in North Georgia and a weekly meditation and teaching session in Atlanta led by Geshe Lobsang.

In addition to Geshe-la's teaching program, Drepung Loseling has brought in numerous high lama scholars from India and Nepal to lead retreats. They include H.H. Ganden Tri Rinpoche ("Holder of the Ganden Throne," i.e., the official head of the Geluk school). H.E. Rizong Rinpoche, former abbot of both the Gyumey Tantric College and Drepung Loseling Monastery, who holds the title of Jangtsey Chojey ("Holder of the Jangtsey Throne"), served as a visiting teacher in residence for a year; Tokden Tulku, a high incarnate lama from Loseling, also visited the Center and taught for a year; and Jampa Tulku, another Loseling incarnate was resident teacher for six months.

Thus Drepung Loseling very quickly developed a comprehensive and strong program of teaching and practice, and by 1994 had become well established as a major center of learning for Tibetan Buddhist studies and practice in North America.


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