History of Palpung Samten Choling

Palpung Samten Choling (PSC) is a meditation group in the Karma Kagyu tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. We are an affiliate of Palpung Thubten Choling (PTC) Monastery and Retreat Center in Wappingers Falls, New York. PTC was established in 1978 as Kagyu Thubten Choling Monastery by Lama Norlha Rinpoche under the guidance of the first Kyabje Kalu Rinpoche.

Palpung Samten Choling began meeting in December 2000 as Kagyu Samten Choling in Barrington, New Hampshire. Led by then senior student Linda Jordan the group gathered weekly to chant the traditional practices of Chenrezig, Green Tara, and Medicine Buddha; to study and practice shamatha (calm abiding) meditation; and to study various topics and texts in Buddhism, such as Seven Points of Mind Training and The Thirty-Seven Practices of a Bodhisattva. Readings included those from Kyabje Kalu Rinpoche, Lama Norlha Rinpoche, Tai Situ Rinpoche, Thrangu Rinpoche, Bokar Rinpoche, Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche and other authentic teachers.

Over the next few years, Lama Norlha Rinpoche visited often, offering public talks and teachings to the sangha, giving refuge, and bestowing the empowerments of Chenrezig and Green Tara.

In 2007 Linda left New Hampshire to participate in a three-year retreat at the New York monastery, at the end of which she received the title Lama Chodron. Since that time, the group has gathered weekly in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, to carry on the tradition of meditation and study. In 2021, Lama Chodron moved back to New Hampshire and PSC resumed meeting weekly (except in winter) to chant the practice of Chenrezig in Barrington.

In 2018 Lama Norlha Rinpoche passed away (read introductory remarks at the memorial service), and the New York monastery fulfilled Lama Norlha’s long-range vision to officially become part of the Palpung Congregation under the spiritual direction of Guru Vajradhara HH Chamgon Kenting Tai Situpa, heart son to the 16th Karmapa and teacher to HH 17th Karmapa. The monastery’s name, as well as that of our center, was changed to reflect this affiliation. Currently, the monastery is under the direction of resident lama and chant master Lama Norgyal and retreat master Lama Tsering. We are eternally grateful to them and to our teachers Kyabje Kalu Rinpoche, Lama Norlha Rinpoche, and Kenting Tai Situ Rinpoche for bringing us this most precious lineage and these precious teachings.