In 2006 the first Rigpa Shedra East took place at the Palyul Retreat Centre in Kathmandu, Nepal. Students spent four months studying Mipham Rinpoche’s Khenjuk with Khenpo Pasang Tenzin.
In 2009, the Shedra East focused on the Uttaratantra Shastra (Tib. Gyu Lama), Buddha Maitreya’s famous treatise on buddha nature, following Mipham Rinpoche’s commentary. In addition, Khenpo Namdrol taught on Mipham Rinpoche’s original treatise entitled ‘Lion’s Roar, an Exposition of Buddha Nature‘.
At Sogyal Rinpoche’s request, at the end of the 2009 Shedra East courses, students devoted an entire month to strict personal retreat.
For the second year, Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche gave a commentary on Maitreya’s Uttaratantra Shastra, Ringu Tulku taught Mipham Rinpoche’s Wheel of Investigative Meditation and Professor Steven Goodman introduced the basic themes of the Abhidharma.
For the third year, which took place in Dzogchen Beara in Ireland, Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche taught on Maitreya’s Abhisamayalankara and Alan Wallace presented the views of the four main philosophical schools of Buddhism. Students also reviewed Ringu Tulku Rinpoche’s teachings on the whole of the Bodhicharyavatara.
For the fourth year, Dzogchen Rinpoche taught on the Abhisamayalankara and introduced us to buddhist debate, and Ringu Tulku Rinpoche began his teachings on Shantarakshita’s Madhyamakalankara using the commentary of Mipham Rinpoche.
In the fifth year, the shedra was once again at home in Lerab Ling. We had the pleasure of welcoming back Ringu Tulku Rinpoche, the Rigpa Shedra’s most regular teacher, for the second and final year of his brilliant commentary upon Mipham Rinpoche’s celebrated exposition of the Ornament of the Middle Way by Khenpo Shantarakshita. Each day, Rinpoche delivered a brilliant and seemingly effortless summary of as many as thirty or forty pages of text, masterfully encapsulating the essential meaning of the treatise.
For the second part, we had the good fortune to study Haribhadra’s Clear Meaning commentary on the Abhisamayalankara with the young and brilliant Khenpo Jampal Dorje from Dzongsar Monastery in India. During his lively and extremely detailed presentation, he drew upon the writings of the great Sakyapa master Kunkhyen Gorampa and especially upon the annotation commentary of the great Khenpo Shenga, to whose lineage he himself belongs.