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The Buddhist Contemplative Tradition

Pema is interested in helping establish Tibetan Buddhist monasticism in the West, as well in continuing her work with western Buddhists of all traditions, sharing ideas and teachings.

Quick Links: Gampo Abbey | Pema Choling

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Pema Chödrön Reflections on Gampo Abbey

Gampo Abbey

Founded by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche in 1984, Gampo Abbey is a Western Buddhist Monastery in the Shambhala Tradition, located in Nova Scotia, Canada.

In 1984 a farmhouse on the remote tip of Cape Breton Island was purchased as the first step in establishing Gampo Abbey. When Trungpa Rinpoche visited the site that overlooks the Gulf of Saint Lawrence on Cape Breton Island a double rainbow appeared in the sky.

Under the guidance of The Venerable Kyabje Thrangu Rinpoche, whom Rinpoche appointed in 1985 to be Abbot, and principal teacher Pema Chödrön, Gampo Abbey has flourished as a contemplative community for monastics and lay practitioners alike. The Abbey has grown to include:

  • The main monastery
  • A 3 year retreat center, Sopa Choling
  • A monastic college, the Vidyadhara Institute
  • The Stupa of Enlightenment, consecrated by Thrangu Rinpoche in 1999
  • Cabins for individual retreat
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Pema Chöling

In the tradition of the Buddhist Vihara, Pema Chöling provides lodging for both permanent and temporary monastic residents within a three-bedroom home in Crestone, Colorado.

For 2500 years, Buddhist ordained and lay practitioners have relied on one another in their pursuit of liberation. In today’s complex world, finding inner and outer refuge, and participating in community life, seem ever more essential supports to overcoming obstacles along the path. Pema Chöling, a monastic residence in Crestone, Colorado, was purchased and donated to this community by the Pema Chödrön Foundation to support western monastics on this path.

The monastics residing at Pema Chöling have dedicated themselves to their vision of:

  • Developing a community of like-minded people committed to awakening
  • Practicing and sharing the teachings of the Buddha; embodying both essential meaning and relevance to contemporary society
  • Modeling for the wider community a lifestyle of ethics, renunciation and compassion
  • Investigating ways that essential Buddhist principles can take form in modern society
  • Committing to live in simplicity with environmental awareness and respect for nature
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