Benchen monastery

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Benchen Monastery - A historic picture, taken in 1927
Benchen Monastery in 2005

The monastery of Benchen Phuntsok Dargyeling (ban chen dgon phun tshogs dar rgyas gling) was established by the 4th Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche and was recently restored by the 10th Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche and the 3rd Tenga Rinpoche of Benchen. It is situated in Nangchen, Eastern Tibet, not far from the town of Jekundo and close to Thrangu Rinpoche's and Traleg Rinpoche's Thrangu monastery. Luckily, Benchen monastery sustained only very minor damage during the recent devastating earthquake that destroyed Jekundo and severely damaged several other monasteries.

The monastery follows the Karma Kagyu tradition, but also has retreat facilities for the teachings and practices of the Shangpa Kagyu tradition. All in all there are four retreat centres situated around the monastery. They focus upon the practices of the Six Doctrines of Naropa, the The Five Golden Dharmas of the Shangpa, which includes the Six Doctrines of Niguma, the practice of Jinasagara and the practice of Sarvavid Vairocana. These are of course just the main practices followed in these four retreat centres. They are supplemented by a variety of other practices as well. In the modern picture of Benchen Monastery, taken in 2005, you see the Shangpa Kagyu retreat center in the upper right corner of the picture. It is the small white building high above the monastery.

Presently the young 4th Benchen Chime Tulku, aka Öntrul Chime Rinpoche, resides at Benchen. He was born in 1991 and is undergoing his education.

More on the activities of the Benchen Rinpoches can be found at the website of H.E. Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche and the official Benchen monastery website of Ven.Kyabje Tenga Rinpoche. [TSD]