DREPUNG LOSELING MONKS

Drepung Monastery was established near Lhasa, Tibet in 1416 by Chojey Tashi Palden. It had four departments, of which Loseling, or "The Hermitage of the Radiant Mind," was the largest, housing more than three quarters of Drepung's ten to fifteen thousand monks. Drepung Loseling was especially close to the Dalai Lama incarnations; the Second Dalai Lama made his residence here in 1494, and subsequent incarnations maintained this link.

After the Chinese Communist invasion of Tibet in 1959 and the forced closure and destruction of its 6,500 monasteries, some 250 monks from Loseling managed to escape the holocaust and rebuild their institution in Karnataka State, South India. The traditional training program was thus preserved. Over the years many more young spiritual aspirants have fled Chinese-occupied Tibet and sought entrance into the monastery, thus helping to preserve their traditional culture. The number of monks presently in the re-established Drepung Loseling has increased to more than 2,500.

In 1991, as a result of The Mystical Arts of Tibet tours, the monks were invited to establish a seat in North America. Thus Drepung Loseling Monastery, Inc. was born in Atlanta, Georgia. A non-profit organization dedicated to the study and preservation of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition of wisdom and compassion and a center for the cultivation of both heart and intellect, Drepung Loseling provides a sanctuary for nurturing inner peace, community understanding, and global healing. In 1998 Drepung Loseling and its North American seat established academic affiliation with Emory University with the objective of promoting transcultural understanding and scholarly interchange. This historic affiliation between two major institutions of learning was inaugurated by His Holiness the Dalai Lama on May 12, 1998.

In addition to its academic and spiritual programs, Drepung Loseling is committed to helping preserve the endangered Tibetan culture, which today leads a fragile existence in the exiled refugee communities in India and Nepal. In conjunction with Richard Gere Productions, it coordinates The Mystical Arts of Tibet World Tours and oversees the Drepung Loseling Educational Fund, a sponsorship program for the adoption of monks in training at Drepung Loseling Monastery. For information, visit www.drepung.org.

(Source: Drepung Loseling Monastery, Inc., www.drepung.org.)