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Kunzang Palyul Choling (KPC) is a center for Buddhist study and practice in the Nyingma tradition (Palyul lineage). Founded as the Center for Discovery and New Life in 1985, and then given to His Holiness Penor Rinpoche and renamed by him in 1987, KPC was Penor Rinpoche's first Dharma Center in the US.



Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo: first Western woman to be recognized as an incarnate Lama.

The resident Lama at KPC is Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo who was enthroned as a lineage holder by H. H. Penor Rinpoche in 1988.

Other teachers include HH Penor Rinpoche; Ven. Gyatrul Rinpoche; HH Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok & Ani Mumtso; HH Karma Kuchen Rinpoche; Mugsang Tulku; Khentrul Gyangkhang Rinpoche; Khenchen Tsewang Gyatso; Khenchen Pema Sherab; Khenpo Namdrol; HH Ngawang Tenzin Rinpoche (Bhutan); Ven. Khenchen Palden Sherab Rinpoche & Ven. Khenpo Tsewang Dongyal Rinpoche; Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche; Ven. Yangthang Tulku; HE Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche; HH Chetsang Rinpoche; Tulku Sangngag, Choji Rinpoche; Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche; Ven. Ngagpa Yeshe Dorje; HH Orgyen Kusum Lingpa; Tulku Rigdzin Pema; Bhaka Tulku; Khenpo Tenzin Norgey; and Lama Kuntuzangpo, Baasan Lama, and Lama Baasansuren (Mongolia).

Prayer vigil

In April 1984, the Center began a 24-hour prayer vigil in the basement of Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo's home in Kensington, Maryland, dedicated to the end of suffering. A year later, the Center formed a corporation, purchased an antebellum style mansion in Poolesville, Maryland, purchased numerous large crystals[1] weighing hundreds of pounds and reinstituted the 24-hour prayer vigil at its new location.[2]

Participants maintain two-hour prayer shifts,[3][4] and as of 2005, the vigil remains largely unbroken.[4][5] In 1999, Kunzang Palyul Choling began another 24 hour prayer vigil shortly after Jetsunma established another center in Sedona, Arizona.[4]

Peace Park

The Peace park's creativity and imagination starts with entering a natural mandala laid out with red, green, blue, yellow and white gardens. Holy objects are placed in strategic positions, including a silent Buddha, crystals, Tibetan prayer wheels. Visitors can make a circumabulation. [6]


Many stupas have been built at Kunzang Palyul Choling's two locations, all containing relics pertinent to the Nyingma linage. The first stupa, the 36-foot (11 m) enlightenment stupa in Maryland was built and consecrated in 1988.[7][8]

In 1991, a stupa peace park in Maryland containing all eight types of stupas, representing the eight great deeds of the Buddha, was completed. The central 18-foot (5.5 m) long life stupa in the park is dedicated to the long life of Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo.[9]

In 1995, Penor Rinpoche gave Jetsunma a relic from Terton Migyur Dorje, which is now housed in the 38-foot (12 m) tall Migyur Dorje Stupa in Maryland.[10][11] This particular stupa is dedicated to the eradication of diseases for which there is no known cure.

The most recent is the Amitabha Stupa in Sedona, Arizona, completed and consecrated in 2004.[12]

Key Practices

Nam Cho, is the "sky / space treasure" terma of the Tibetan Buddhist Nyingma Palyul Lineage as revealed by Terton Migyur Dorje.

Known as Sadhana, KPC practices may require a Wang (empowerment) and commitments (samaya).

  • Nam Cho Ngöndro
    • Contemplations that turn the mind to Dharma - Precious Human Rebirth, Cause and Effect, Benefits of Virtue, Faults of Non-Virtue, Faults of Cyclic Existence, Ship to Liberation
    • Uncommon Preliminaries
      • Refuge - Tree Visualization and Dissolution
      • Bodhicitta - Visualization, Vow, Verses, Ship to Liberation, Meditation Upon Joy, Four Immeasurables Meditation, Tonglen
      • Mandala Offering - Visualization
      • Long Mandala Offering - Three Kaya, Root Terms, Nirmanakya - Ship to Liberation, Sambhogakaya - Ship to Liberation, Dharmakaya - Ship to Liberation - General Short Mandala, Dissolution
      • The Kusali Chod - Visualization (Vajrajvarahi), Vajra Verses, Vajrasattva Visualization, Confession, Peascful and Wrathfull Deities - Short Confession, Dissolution, Short Confession, Root Terma - Short Confession - Dedication
      • Guru Yoga - Visualization, Vajra Verses, Ship to Liberation, Nam Cho Lineage Prayer, Terma Lineage Prayer, Blessings, Motherly Sentient Beings Prayer, Six Realms Gurus, Four Empowerment, Root Terma, Ship to Liberation, Prayer to Guru
      • P'howa - Visualization, Three Deities, P'howa Prayer, Visualization (Impure Doors Blocking), Prayer to be Reborn in Dewachen, Nectar Descent, Prayer to Amitayus, Dissolution
      • Chenrezig Generation in the Six Realms
    • Nam Cho Dzogchen - Vajra Verses - The Space Treasures of the Great Perfection
  • Rigzen Dupia

Meditation practices:

Related Buddhist practices:


  • Iyer, Pico. "The Price of Faith," Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, Summer 2000.
  • MacKenzie, Vicki. Reborn in the West. HarperCollins, 1997. ISBN 0-7225-3443-4
  • Sherrill, Martha. The Buddha From Brooklyn. Random House, 2000. ISBN 0-679-45275-3


  1. ^ Crystals at Jetsunma's center in Maryland
  2. ^ Kunzang Palyul Chöling, Feb 16, 2007
  3. ^ Iyer, pg 84
  4. ^ a b c Rasicot, Julie (2005-09-08). "For 20 Years, an Unbroken Chain of Prayer". Washington Post. p. GZ05. Retrieved 2008-07-28.  
  5. ^ Sherrill, Martha. "Tough Town, Sad Times. So Why Are These People Smiling?" The Washington Post, May 17, 1995
  6. ^ Mackenzie, Vicki. "Reborn in the West: the reincarnate masters" Marlowe & Company, 1996, p.85-86
  7. ^ Kunzang Palyul Chöling. Stupas of Maryland
  8. ^ Sherrill, The Buddha From Brooklyn, pg 20
  9. ^ Sherrill, The Buddha From Brooklyn, pg 235
  10. ^ Montgomery Gazette, August 27, 1997
  11. ^ Sherrill, The Buddha From Brooklyn, pg 114
  12. ^ Ganzer, Tony. [ A piece of "Spiritual Technology"], May 24, 2007

External links



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