Our story

A photograph of the Altar at Ligmincha Texas

Ligmincha Texas, Inc. is a Bön Buddhist Center located in Houston, Texas, one of very few in the western world. Our Center is an autonomous branch of Ligmincha Institute. We hold weekly and monthly practices, as well as periodic teachings and special retreats based on the wisdom tradition of Bön, the indigenous religion of Tibet. Bön has a rich and unique heritage and is one of the world’s most ancient unbroken spiritual traditions.

Most of our practices are open to anyone interested in learning more about Bön and experiencing first hand the beauty and peace these teachings have to offer. We welcome everyone, from every tradition, to join us. We aim to introduce these practices in an authentic manner to the western world, and in such a way that they remain beneficial when integrated into modern western culture. Please explore our website to learn more about the Bön Buddhist tradition and the activities at our Center here in the heart of Houston.

Ligmincha Texas received its designation as a 501(c)3 charity organization in November of 2013, and is currently raising funds in order to support a resident Lama for our Center.

 

Our Search for a Resident Lama

IMG_1835Geshe Denma Gyaltsen was born in exile in the first Tibetan refugee camp of Dorpatan, in northern Nepal. He was the oldest of five children. He received his initial education at the first Bönpo Tibetan monastery in exile, founded by the 32nd Menri Trizin, Kundun Sherab Lodro. He completed his geshe degree at Menri monastary in Dolanji, Himachal Pradesh. He served as the Abbot of Zhu Ri Shing Yung Drung Kundak-Ling monastery in Sikkim for two terms.

He has travelled throughout the United States and Europe with Nyima Dakpa Rinpoche starting in 1996. He is an accomplished teacher across the breadth of the tradition. In January of 2009, he began staying in Houston for 6 months at a time and attending the University of St. Thomas to study English classes. He also began participating in the Ligmincha Texas cultural activities.

He is currently residing in Nepal and travels between Kathmandhu and Menri Monastery in Dolanji, Himachal Pradesh. He hopes to return to the United States to continue his studies and become the resident lama for Ligmincha Texas.

 

The History of our Center

A Photo of Tenzin Wangyal RinpocheTenzin Wangyal Rinpoche originally came to Houston in 1992 when he was awarded a fellowship by the Rockefeller Foundation at Rice University with the support of and in collaboration with Anne Klein, a professor in the Department of Religious Studies. He was then awarded a second consecutive fellowship in 1993.

Our Center was founded here in Houston by Tenzin Rinpoche during that time. His vision was two-fold. Initially, he started our Center as a place for preserving and promoting the ancient wisdom traditions of Bön Buddhism with its extensive teachings on the healing and meditative arts. Towards this goal, Rinpoche taught from his deep knowledge of the Bön tradition and he also invited many other masters of Bön to come and teach.

Additionally, Rinpoche realized that the proximity of the Texas Medical Center and its focus on the medical arts and sciences provided him with a special opportunity. He envisioned a place where the healing arts of Tibet and the traditions of modern western medical science could come together, allowing each to benefit from the strengths of the other. Towards that goal, in 1996, Tenzin Rinpoche organized a medical conference with representatives of the Tibetan Healing tradition (SoWa Rigpa), Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and western medicine. This helped to plant the seed of collaboration with the Texas Medical Center, and in particular with Rice University and The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.  From that seed, a tree has sprouted and grown. As a result of these collaborative efforts, research grants from the National Cancer Institute are now providing funding for several research projects that are exploring the health and healing benefits of these practices.

Tenzin Rinpoche moved from Houston in 1997, but the Center he founded has continued to flourish. Over the past 20 years it has provided a place for these masters of the Tibetan Bön Buddhist tradition to come from all over the world, and to share their knowledge and experience with us.

Our Relationship to Ligmincha International

Ligmincha International is a worldwide network of centers and Sanghas founded by Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche. The headquarters of Ligmincha International is the Ligmincha Institute at Serenity Ridge, a year-round retreat center located in Nelson County, Virginia, USA.