Patron of the Center - His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Thinley Lhundup



His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Thinley Lhundup, the 37th throne holder of the Drikung Kagyu Lineage and 7th reincarnation of the Chetsang Rinpoche.
His Holiness is a manifestation of Chenrezig (Avalokiteshvara).

Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang, Konchog Tenzin Kunsang Thrinle Lhundrup, was born in 1946 into the aristocratic family of Tsarong in Lhasa. Many prodigious signs and visions accompanied his birth.

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Patron of the Center - His Eminence Garchen Rinpoche



Garchen Rinpoche is considered one of the most important masters of the Drikung Kagyu tradition.

His lineage of incarnations can be traced back to Gardampa Chodingpa, a heart-disciple of Kyobpa Jigten Sumgon, the founder of the Drikung Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism.

In 1997 Rinpoche first visited the West and founded many Drikung Garchen centers in the USA and in Europe. He travels tirelessly to the various centers and monasteries in Asia, America, and Europe.

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Drikung Kagyu Gangri Chagchen Dargye Ling - Kailash, the Place where Mahamudra blossoms

The Practice of Mahamudra at the Mountain Kailash

In his vision to transfer the three Holy Mountains of Tibet to the western world, H.H. Drikung Kyabgon Thinley Lhundup connected the Milarepa Retreat Center to the Holy Mount Kailash. H.E.Garchen Rinpoche announced that the practice of Mahamudra should become here a main target and should be tought and practiced continously. During the inauguration in 2012, he gave to the center the auspicious Tibetan name Drikung Kagyu Gangri Chagchen Dargye Ling – Kailash, the place where Mahamudra shall flourish.

Since the inauguration of the center in 2012 a regular program of teachings, retreats and drubchens is being offered for the practice of Mahamudra, led by high Tibetan masters and also by western teachers. There is also a seperate, protected area where disciples have the opportunity to withdraw for a longer period, for long-term retreat, and to study and practice in a traditionel Three-Years-Retreat intensively the key-points of the tantric path, to carry out the practice of the five-fold path of Mahamudra along with the profound path of the six Dharmas of Naropa.


New Chairwoman of the Board Elke Bartussek


On November 22, 2023, Dr. Liane Pitsos handed over the chairmanship of the Garchen Foundation to Ms. Elke Bartussek and thus completely withdrew from Board work.

Elke Bartussek has been a Drikungpa since 1984. Already in 1986, she was able to get to know and appreciate His Holiness Drikung Kyabgon Thinle Lhundup during his first visit to Germany.

From the very beginning, she was engaged in the Dharma, especially in the field of organization. So then in 1997, H.E.  Ayang Rinpoche commissioned her and Dr.  Liane Pitsos with the honorable task of hosting the first visit of H.E. Gar Rinpoche in Germany and Europe and to accompany him for three months.

Further responsible activities followed, for both the Amitabha Foundation and the Tara Foundation.

In “wordly” life, Elke has worked for many years as a health consultant and for over 20 years as a marketing coordinator for Naturkost Elkershausen, an organic wholeseller in Göttingen.


Founding of the Vikramasīla Academy

།རིན་ཆེན་དཔལ་གྱི་བསྟན་པ་སྲིད་མཐའི་བར། །བཤད་སྒྲུབ་ཐོས་བསམ་སྒོམ་པས་འཛིན་གྱུར་ཅིག།

May the teachings of Ratna Śrī be upheld until the end of existence
Through teaching, accomplishing, study, reflection, and practice.

Today, on the 25th day of the 10th month of the Wood Ox Year, the Vikramaśīla Academy was founded
with the purpose to carry out the translation activities of the glorious Drikung Kagyu tradition,
to promote the Dharmadhara study and practice program, to recruit, educate and train new translators,
and to conduct research and integrate digital solutions.

“I am very happy about this great news and support this initiative wholeheartedly.
This is a commendable step towards preserving and spreading the teachings of the Drikung Kagyu lineage.”
H.H.  Drikung Kyabgon Tinle Lhundup, patron of the Academy


Dear Drikungpas,

With today's Dākīnī Day we enter a new phase of activities for the continuation of the teachings of Drikung Kyobpa Jigten Sumgön. A lot has happened in the field of study and translation ever since Ngawang Tsering, who would have turned 73 last week, came to the West as the first translator of the Drikung Kagyü tradition 42 years ago. New translators now have “come of age” and have completed their studies with various university degrees, some even with doctorates. Under the guidance of Khenchen Nyima Gyaltsen, – who will also act as the spiritual guide of the academy -  they have become highly qualified specialists, and have translated numerous texts by Kyobpa Jigten Sumgön and his disciples  and published them with the help of the Garchen Foundation. Countless sādhanas and many hours of oral teachings have already been translated. But there is still an incredible amount of work to do.

The first milestones were the translations of direct public teachings (tshokchö) by Kyobpa Jigten Sumgön, as well as the “Single intention” (Gongchik), and – just before completion – the great commentary on the “Essence of the Mahāyāna Teachings” (Thegchen Tenpé Nyingpo). The goal, however, is to completely translate the entirety of his teachings, and, if possible, also those of his teacher Phagmodrupa and the later Drikungpas such as Rinchen Phüntsok, Könchog Trinlé, Tenzin Pemé Gyaltsen and so on.

In order to accomplish this giant task, more translators must be found and trained in the Drikung tradition, and their work must be coordinated; contacts with other large projects of this kind must be established and sustained, and a foundation must be laid to serve as a basis for many generations to come.

Above all, a project that His Holiness especially emphasized  and  considered particularly worthwhile would be the publication of a special Drikung dictionary in which the special terms of our tradition that do not appear in other dictionaries or are interpreted differently there would be documented.

In order to coordinate and successfully carry out these and many other important tasks, three part-time positions will be opened in the course of the next year to support and provide our long-standing translators Claude, Katrin and Sonam with a financial basis for this work. Although this in itself is a good and auspicious beginning, it will not be sufficient to complete all the tasks at hand. One of the most important goals in the near future is therefore to raise further financial resources. We also hope for your support in this regard.

With kind regards,

Jan Ulrich Sobisch
Head of Vikramaśīla Academy


Support the Milarepa Retreat Center

Only with your support it will be possible to turn the visions of  H.H. Drikung Kyabgon Thinley und H.E. Garchen Rinpoche into reality.

Become a sponsor of the Milarepa Retreat Center. Your regular (annual or monthly) donation by standing order is immeasurable precious. Every donation, even the smallest regular amount, is an important, very meritorious contribution.

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