Mission Statement and Name
Dechen Chöling provides a dignified practice environment for people with diverse needs and aspirations to gather and benefit from teachings and practices that can awaken their inherent wisdom and compassion.
In 1995 Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche named this country estate "Dechen Chöling". These are Tibetan words which are literally translated as "Dharma Place of Great Bliss". This beautiful land, with its soft green hills, strong trees and the river Vienne passing by, has a healing quality to it. Being here allows us to work with our confusion and to experience a sense of wellbeing. Programme after programme, year after year, blessings from this ancient and modern lineage settle here and permeate the environment.
The Shambhala Tradition is based on Tibetan Buddhism and takes its name from the ancient legend of Shambhala. According to this tradition, the basis of enlightened society is the understanding that human beings inherently possess wisdom, compassion and goodness. In many cultures throughout history these qualities have been nurtured through meditation and contemplative disciplines. The term "Shangri-La" is a modern derivation of the ancient aspiration to live in an enlightened society.
Dechen Chöling is affiliated with Shambhala International, a network of 210 urban communities and seven rural retreat centers.
The path of Shambhala is here to awaken us to the potential of our lives. It teaches us how to live meaningfully and vigorously, with joy. Its ancient but practical wisdom allows us to deepen our understanding. Through the practice of meditation, we discover that goodness, strength and wisdom are inherent in our own mind and being. Having gained this insight, we are able to maneuver through life with courage, intelligence and compassion.
– Kongma Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche