The Buddhist centre Thar Deu Ling in France is located in Chelles, on the outskirts of Paris and Rennes. It was founded by His Holiness the 101st Gaden Tripa Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal in 1980.
Gaden Trisur Lungrik Namgyal received the titles of both Geshe Lharampa (equivalent to a Ph.D. in Buddhist philosophy) and Geshe Ngarampa (specialist in Tantra) after over 40 years of study and practice.
In 1986, due to his outstanding qualities, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama chose him to represent Tibetan Buddhism at the Rencontres Ecuméniques d’Assise, an interfaith meeting initiated by Pope Jean-Paul II.
In 1983, he was appointed the Abbot of Gyuto Upper Tantric University by His Holiness, and subsequently the Abbot of Gaden Shartse Monastery, one of the most eminent monastic colleges of the Gelug lineage, in 1992. In 1995, he was appointed the rank of Sharpa Choeje and became the second most respected spiritual leader in the Gelug sect.
In 2003, he was named the Gaden Tripa, the spiritual head of the Gelug lineage for a period of seven years. The Gaden Tripa is the lineage successor of Lama Tsongkhapa and the official leader of the Gelug lineage. Since retiring from the position of Gaden Tripa, he also holds the title of Gaden Trisur, which means “Throne Holder Emeritus”. Gaden Trisur Lungrik Namgyal now lives and teaches Buddhism in Paris at Thar Deu Ling Centre which he founded in 1980 shortly after arriving in France.
As a teaching centre, Thar Deu Ling has two locations in France: Rennes and Chelles, Paris. Teachings, meditation practice and retreats are offered on a regular basis at both locations. The centre in Chelles was inaugurated in 2009, and is situated amidst a natural environment which offers conducive conditions for both study and contemplation. Comprised of two buildings, it is located in the north-western region of Paris and was opened under the guidance of Venerable Geshe Losang Yeshe.
The centre also organises special events such as purification retreats, meditation retreats, initiations and special teachings given by Trisur Lungrik Namgyal during various celebrations. Within the city of Paris, teachings and meditation practice sessions are held once a week on Thursday evenings in The Forum, a cultural centre close to the Tour Montparnasse.
In July 2011, members and students established an association called Terre de Maitreya. The goal of this association is to promote the teachings and practices of Tibetan Buddhism as preserved within the Gelug lineage. They organise conferences which are open to the public as well as cultural activities related to the practice of Buddhism.
The resident teacher of Thar Deu Ling is Venerable Geshe Losang Yeshe. Born in 1965 in Kham, Tibet, he studied at Gaden Monastery under the guidance of eminent teachings including His Eminence Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche, His Eminence Kyabje Lati Rinpoche and His Eminence Denma Locho Rinpoche. He passed the Geshe Lharampa exams in 2002 with great success and in June of the same year, he was called to France by Trisur Lungrik Namgyal to teach both Sutra and Tantra at Thar Deu Ling.
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