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One Historic Day...

One of the most historic events to take place in the Ka'u District on the Big Island was the visit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Nechung Dorje Drayang in Wood Valley in 1994. Over 3500 people came to listen to his afternoon talk as he spoke from the temple veranda. This moment was the culmination of over two decades of work and activities by numerous people at this secluded hidden valley.

Jesse Sartain and Nanci Gustafson were amongst some of the eager pilgrims who journeyed to India in the early 1970's. They were touched by the warmth and friendliness of the Tibetans, and the profound teachings of their faith. This inspired them to invite a lama and start a center for Buddhist study and meditation in Hawai'i. They presented this idea to Nechung Rinpoche, whom they met through a Nechung monk, and Rinpoche agreed to come.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama teaching at the temple, April 1994

A handful of high lamas had relocated to the United States in the 1960's, including Dakchen Rinpoche in Seattle, Washington and Thupten Norbu in Bloomington, Illinois,where they had been offered university positions to teach Buddhism, Tibetan Culture and Language.Tarthang Tulku and Trungpa Rinpoche were amongst the first to establish large centers in California and Colorado.


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Nechung Dorje Drayang Ling is a 501(c)3 non-profit religious organization.

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