Welcome to our website. Here you can learn about the vision, activities and monthly schedule of Karma Changchub Ling and its residential meditation center. Please feel free to join us so that we can grow into a mutually supportive and enriching Buddhist community based on the Karma Kagyü and Nyingma traditions.
Welcome in particular to the Karma Kagyü and Nyingma lineages, namely, the group of our main advisors, His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, Dzogchen Pönlop Rinpoche and Mindrolling Jetsün Khandro Rinpoche. Welcome also to the teachers who greatly inspire us, the V.V. Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche and the late V.V. Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Welcome, furthermore, to all the other teachers and practitioners of the genuine Buddhadharma involved with creating enlightened society in our modern world.
What does the name Karma Changchub Ling refer to?
It means, in English, Karma Kagyü Enlightenment Dharma Place, and was bestowed on our meditation center by His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa in May, 2015. Quite something to live up to, isn’t it!
Why Fall River?
As for location, our main advisors unanimously advised us to look for an uplifted place in Halifax (Nova Scotia) and to rent it for about two years with the prospect of us being able to purchase it later if the place proves to be beneficial for the Nova Scotia Sangha. We considered it then to be an auspicious sign that within a very short time we were able to find a beautiful and peaceful home surrounded by much greenery in Fall River, a suburb of Halifax.
What is important in setting up a new center? Where do we get our advice from?
Thrangu Rinpoche emphasized that stability and purity are of major importance. Since this is not possible without the advice and support of our teachers, we met twice last year with His Holiness Karmapa in New York and in Bonn, with Pönlop Rinpoche in Bellingham and in Bonn, with Khandro Rinpoche in Virginia and Toronto, and also with the Very Venerable Thrangu Rinpoche in Vancouver.
In these meetings and in other forms of communication, we presented our main vision (see next column) for KCCL and received various kinds of good advice.
What is our leadership mandala structure?
Our main advisors counseled us to set up KCCL in the spirit of “inclusivity”, that is, to be guided by a group of teachers instead of only one teacher, and that the future more specific leadership would unfold organically as time moves on. At the same time, our lineage teachers offered us the full support for whatever is needed to make KCCL grow and flourish.
What is our organizational status?
In May 2015, KCCL was successfully incorporated as a non-profit society under the name: Changchub Buddhist Church. In January 2016, we received the good news of having received Charity status which will now allow us to receive tax-deductible donations from Canada and the USA, and to put KCCL and its residential meditation center on a more stable financial basis so that it can continue for years to come.
If you have the means to help (either small or large), you can find the necessary info “here”.
Karma Changchub Ling is an expression of our devotion to the growth and deepening of the practices and teachings of the Karma Kagyü lineage together with its ties to the Nyingma lineage. We will continually seek and follow the spiritual guidance of our spiritual advisors and follow the lines established by the V.V. Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche and the V.V. Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche.
How does this manifest more specifically?
The present overall vision is for KCCL to revolve around three tracks:
- the Mindfulness track emphasizing “just sitting” as well as Shamatha-Vipashyanā Mahāmudrā”
- the Vajrayāna track emphasizing Vajrayoginī practice and Chakrasaṃvara practice
- the Monastic track (optional)
These three major tracks are complemented by an entry-level track. This beginner track includes initial meditation instruction in mindfulness (shamatha-vipashyanā) practice and the Kagyü preliminary practices (ngöndro). Practitioners may do one or both of these. We will also offer beginner classes related to the three main tracks.
The practice of meditation is our main focus, and it is enhanced by studying Buddhist texts and the oral instructions of our lineage holders.
KCCL’s connection to monasticism
KCCL, in its beginning stage, manifests as a Buddhist residential meditation center with a monastic core or, in brief, a residential monastic center. It presently consists mostly of monastics: three fully ordained monastics and one novice. Friends and like-minded people are welcome to join in with the daily schedule and routine of its residents.
That said, we are interested in developing a community in which monastics and non-monastics equally complement, support and enrich each other within the framework of modern contemporary western culture. In this context, we are building on what Trungpa Rinpoche called the “householder yogi path”. We look forward to exploring this with you.
To strengthen training, we invite lineage teachers and organize teaching programs geared towards further developing our understanding and experience.
What about new ideas?
Even though our vision for KCCL is based on the above three tracks, this is a flexible approach. We are open to adjusting to the needs of the wider Buddhist Sangha in Halifax.
NUTS AND BOLTS
What has happened so far? How is KCCL and its residential meditation center financially supported?
Since four monastics and one lay person moved to Fall River in December 2105, we have had the opportunity to settle in. This involved buying a car, getting additional furniture, making puja tables and beds, setting up our kitchen, our library, phone system, e-mail, website, charitable status, and more.
We have established our daily and monthly schedules for the residents (to which friends and like-minded people are welcome to join in), which reflect our three main tracks:
- daily 5:00–6:00 pM
- weekly (Wednesday) 8:00–11:00 am
- bi-monthly Sādhana of Mahāmudrā practice;
- monthly one-day Shamatha-Vipashyanā Mahāmudrā intensive
- daily Vajrayoginī or Chakrasaṃvara morning practice
- bi-monthly Vajrayoginī feast and Chakrasaṃvara feast practice
- monthly two-day Vajrayoginī and/or Chakrasaṃvara weekend intensive
- bi-monthly Sojong ceremony
- monthly monastic training day
- yearly week-long training seminar
Please see our Activities menu for specific events.
When space is available, KCCL will also offer the possibility for individual retreats and in-house retreats for friends and like-minded people.
But how is KCCL and its residential meditation center supported financially? What about the future?
When we moved to Fall River, we received some donations, which helped us cover some of the costs for setting up. We also covered start-up and transition costs for the first three months through our own personal financial resources.
But since our residents mainly consist of monastics, and our aspiration is that KCCL grow further and be of benefit to others, we are now establishing and cultivating a donor base so that KCCL can continue in the future and provide space for people to join.
As monastics we do not need much personally. At the same time, our life — as all the lives of Mahāyāna Buddhists — is geared toward serving others. To maintain a residential meditation center that provides an uplifted space for its residents (and also for friends and like-minded people to join in), we need additional financial backing. We invite you to financially support us, if you have the means and willingness to do so. All donations from Canada and the US are tax deductible.