A Free Solitary Retreat Center

The Benevolence Retreat Center is a non-profit organization in both the USA and Canada and will award retreat time to people that can demonstrate a deep wish to engage in meditation in solitude.

The Very Venerable Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche

The Very Venerable Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche is the senior abbot of the entire Karma Kagyü tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, as well as the abbot of Gampo Abbey, a Buddhist monastery located in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Thrangu Rinpoche is an internationally renowned meditation master noted for his ability to make all levels of instruction easy to understand for Westerners.

He has a very close relationship with all of the senior lamas of all traditions including for example, His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama, and he has thousands of students all around the world. He has founded and supervises a number of non-profits Buddhist organizations in both the East and the West such as schools, medical clinics, retreat centers, etc.

The Ven. Thrangu Rinpoche wrote a traditional announcement letter proclaiming the conception of The Benevolence Retreat Center (see below). He continues to provide close guidance and spiritual support.

Director of the Benevolence Retreat Center

Brad Hoffman (Yeshe Rangdrol), a teacher in the Karma Kagyü tradition of Tibetan Buddhism will be the director of the retreat center. He has completed two traditional three-year retreats: the first a traditional group retreat at the Gampo Abbey Monastery, located in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia beginning in 1997, and the second in a cabin in upstate New York beginning in 2007, which he viewed as further necessary preparation and training required to be the director of this meditation retreat center.

He began practicing Buddhist meditation in 1982 and has studied extensively with internationally recognized Buddhist meditation masters. In 1985, he left his physics Master‘s program in Boston to study under the great meditation master Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche in Boulder, Colorado, and has been gaining experience as a meditation instructor since 1989. He is now qualified to instruct practitioners of all levels. He worked as an assistant professor at the Naropa University, a Buddhist-inspired college granting Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, located in Boulder, CO., and he has directed a wide variety of meditation programs, from weekend trainings for beginners to extended visits of high ranking Tibetan lamas. His wish in working with Thrangu Rinpoche is simply to share the good fortune the retreat experience with others.

Prior to this project, Brad Hoffman has been a house painter and has done numerous house painting projects, as well as working for bigger painting companies. He is giving advice on painting tools for interior house painting and renovations. He is also interior painter specialized in walls painting.

Translation of Thrangu Rinpoche’s letter:

Thrangu Tashi Chöling

In this present time, in dependence upon the power of the compassionate intention and aspirational prayers of the buddhas and bodhisattvas, the excellent Dharma is spreading to the world in general and in particular to the continent of North America. Many people desire to practice the Buddhadharma in general and especially the Dharma of the Vajrayana of Secret Mantra. Furthermore, in keeping with the gradual increase and further development that has occurred, Yeshé Rangdröl, who has accomplished the three-year retreat at the Söpa Chöling retreat house of Gampo Abbey, hopes and plans to prepare a new retreat house for exertion at the practices that extend over three years. He explained to me that he does not have the means to bring this about on his own and is looking to those who have flawless and fully endowed faith in Dharma to support his initiative, thus enabling others to bring meditation into experience easily.  I replied that his motivation is excellent and that, if he were able to complete this task, the considerable benefit of many practitioners of Dharma would be assured.  This is a project that needs to be accomplished.

Considering the value of applying oneself to practice in this way, and in accordance with his request that I not only give the instructions that practitioners will need but also name the retreat house, because this place of practice is intended to be of benefit to those of modest means, it will be called  The Benevolence Retreat Center.

Thus, on this occasion of the construction and foundation of The Benevolence Retreat Center, if one can assist those who have faith in Dharma according to their needs to whatever extent possible, then it will be of benefit both to oneself and to others.  As regards the welfare of others, this will be a cause of inconceivable benefit for many who will practice the excellent Dharma in the future.  As regards one’s own welfare, it is certain that a vast collection of merit will arise for oneself.

Therefore, I request everyone to help harmoniously in whatever way they can.

Ornamented with good words of aspiration,

This is offered by the one named Thrangu Tülku.