It is with great delight and appreciation this year that we celebrate the auspicious 21st anniversary of the founding of Dzogchen Center and Dzogchen Retreats by Lama Surya Das in 1991. There have been over one hundred intensive silent group Dzogchen Meditation Retreats of eight to ten days duration over the past twenty one years, around the United States.
As many of you know, our revered and beloved Nyoshul Khenpo Rinpoche himself instructed Lama Surya, his Dzogchen lineage holder and American Dharma heir, to establish a Dzogchen Foundation and a Dzogchen hermitage/retreat center in America and train people in our nonsectarian practice lineage. Khenpo had the special gift to see and recognize a ripeness for Dzogchen transmission in the modern-day western world, and generously shared it with people of all kinds from all walks of life. As a result, Dzogchen Center was founded in 1991 with Khenpo’s blessing and the help of a few key supporters, in the spirit of awakening together for the benefit of one and all.
During the many years since then, Lama Surya has also been able to fulfill the second part of Khen Rinpoche’s personal instruction, by establishing Dzogchen Osel Ling retreat center and hermitage (the Dzogchen Lighthouse), near Austin, Texas. The property itself, scenically situated on 40 acres overlooking the Pedernales River, was a generous gift from one of Lama Surya’s heart-students. Through the generosity of multiple kind donors and devoted practitioners, it has served as a sanctuary of highest wisdom teachings, advanced retreats, hundred day monastic training sessions, and peaceful refuge for many people since 2002—ten years ago this year.
The last twenty-one years have been vibrant, as Dzogchen Center students, volunteers, contributors and other friends have joined to support Lama Surya’s original “Mission of Transmission”— transmitting the rare and precious Dzogchen teachings in the West, in a joyous and skillful way accessible to all, and allowing us to connect directly to the infinitely wise and compassionate Buddha within, enabling us to actualize the Diamond Rule of “seeing the Buddhaness, the light, in everyone and everything” through the innate Great Perfection teachings of Dzogpa Chenpo. Emaho!
We invite you to celebrate with us during our special 21st Anniversary Year Retreats, and to help sustain the blessings of such valuable, joyous and much-needed work throughout this 21st Century. May our collective efforts continue to blossom for generations to come.