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 Kyabje Kalu Rinpoche. Both Kyabje Kalu Rinpoche and Lama Norlha Rinpoche hold Dakpo and Shangpa lineages.

Palpung Samten Choling began meeting in December 2000 as Kagyu Samten Choling in Barrington, New Hampshire. Led by then senior student Lama Yeshe Chodron, the group gathered weekly to chant the traditional practices of Chenrezig, Green Tara, and Medicine Buddha; to study and practice shinay (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, 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 Yeshe Chodron left New Hampshire to participate in a three-year retreat at the New York monastery. Since that time, the group has gathered weekly in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, to carry on the tradition of meditation and study.

In 2018 Lama Norlha Rinpoche passed away (read introductory remarks at the memorial service), and the New York monastery was placed under the auspices of the Palpung organization, headed by HH Kenting Tai Situ Rinpoche, 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 directions of Lamas Norgyal and 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.