Tashi Gatsel Ling Buddhist Center is led by its founder Khen Rinpoche Lobsang Tsetan, a highly esteemed monk and leader in the Gelugpa tradition. Tashi Gatsel Ling has a strong connection to Gelugpa lineage yet promotes the Rime (Ree-may) non-sectarian tradition as encouraged by His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama. Tibetan Buddhist teachings are offered only by teachers who have been recognized by their Tibetan Buddhist teacher to be a teacher.
At Tashi Gatsel Ling Buddhist Center we will assure, to the best of our abilities, that we…
● Create an open, inviting atmosphere of acceptance that welcomes all and where all can benefit from the teachings of the Buddha
● Establish an environmentally green, dedicated, non-sectarian Tibetan Buddhist retreat, educational and spiritual center which welcomes all and promotes awareness of Buddhism
● Sponsor and host recognized teachers and guest lecturers for Buddhist teachings and retreats, with special emphasis placed upon intercultural exchange through targeted support of female Tibetan Buddhist monastics
● Maintain a sacred space dedicated solely for spiritual practice
● Observe, honor and study the precepts, principles, scriptures
● Utilize the Center’s Board for transparent decision-making, communications
● Uphold and maintain a flourishing harmonious Dharma Center that enhances the public good in Maine and beyond through genuine expression of the ethics and values of living Buddha Dharma and interfaith harmony
● Keep the vision and long-term goals of His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama and Khen Rinpoche central to the Center’s activities, bringing Dharma to the West as an expression of ethics that benefits all – promoting kindness and compassion, transparency, non-sectarianism
Oath Against Harm In The Practice Of The Dharma
- In the practice of the Dharma, we hold the student-teacher relationship to be a sacred connection that prioritizes the spiritual development, maturation, and well-being of the student.
- Similarly, we hold that Dharma organizations exist to provide safe environments that allow those who practice the Dharma to thrive in supportive communities, founded on aspirations of good-will for all, and supported by a strong ethical foundation of non-harming.
- We acknowledge that any behavior which would be categorized as abusive—whether emotionally, physically, financially, psychologically, or sexually—or which is exploitative, coercive, or an abuse of power, or which attempts to cover-up such behavior, is harmful and unnecessary in the practice of the Dharma. It is unacceptable in all circumstances.
- We are aware that harm has been caused by failures to meet these standards in the past, and we declare our commitment to maintaining them for the well-being and benefit of all. May this commitment help the Dharma to flourish, both now and in the future, and may it help to alleviate suffering and create a more compassionate world.
We began in a small artist studio in Freeport, Maine in 1990s when as a monk in his mid-forties Khen Rinpoche was visiting the state and learning English. He had a strong wish to learn the language in order to transmit authentic Buddhist Dharma in the West. Twice each year he visited our state and gave teachings over a period of a month, often twice a week with weekend intensives held at Portland Yoga Studio, with room for larger audiences.
Almost no one who attended initially was following Buddhism. People came for a variety of reasons: curiosity, seeking peace, stress reduction, healing, or were just gravitating toward his open-hearted warm smile.
As interest in the Dharma grew, so did his audience. Many Mainers decided to become practicing Buddhists by taking refuge in the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. In the following decades, Rinpoche began attracting large audiences and devoted students, so a larger space was organized at 429 Elmwood Rd. in Pownal. We met there for three years, before relocating to a more accessible center off of Route 1 in Freeport. After two years, Tashi Gatsel Ling volunteer organizers relocated the shrine room, cost-free, to Gray.
Khen Rinpoche’s schedule and responsibilities continued to increase, limiting the amount of time he was able to spend in Maine each year. He instructed his disciples to keep going with their Dharma practice by working together to keep the center and their practice growing.
His longtime disciples accepted the responsibility to continue to support his and Tashi Gatsel Ling’s legacy in Maine by maintaining an active, thriving Buddhist Dharma community in Gray. In August 2019 TGL obtained its 501 (c) (3) status; this was the first step in our bigger plans to establish a permanent site for a new, eco-built Tashi Gatsel Ling Buddhist Center. Stay tuned…