Surmang Kagyu Order

cottage and prayer flags The Surmang Kagyu Order is a ngakpa order founded by direct students of the 11th Trungpa Tulku to establish a means for people to both enter and follow to fruition the Kagyu and Nyingma path Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche developed for his western students.

Trungpa Rinpoche was a renowned meditation master and  dedicated his life to the authentic transmission of the Buddhadharma to the West.  In turn, he entrusted his direct students with this transmission.  When engaged wholeheartedly, the path he created and his practice instructions are a complete and authentic transmission of the enlightened mind of the Surmang Kagyu Lineage.  This transmission is available to anyone who engages the path with a wholehearted commitment.  The Surmang Kagyu Order is devoted to the propagation of these teachings.

Trungpa Rinpoche developed practice centers for residential training as a key component of the authentic transmission of the Kagyu- Nyingma lineage that he received from his Guru, Jamgon Kongtrul of Shechen. In the years since Trungpa Rinpoche's parinirvana the residential training model established during his life-time has fallen out of use.   Most Dharma Centers these days are run as weekend program centers.  There are many social and economic reasons why this change has occurred but it represents a weakening of the Dharma in the west and presents a lack of opportunity for practitioners to genuinely penetrate this profound tradition through a daily schedule of  learning, contemplation and meditation.  It isn't the lack of profound texts, teachings and practices available to us, but the inability of the new program centered model to develop students into good vessels into which these profound teachings can be poured.    Ultimately, one cannot receive authentic Dharma transmission without some exposure to residential training and intensive retreat practice.   

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What does becoming a member entail?

Becoming a member of the Surmang Kagyu Order entails  making a commitment to the  Path Trungpa Rinpoche established for his students.  Members progressively engage the Three Yana journey and take part in residential training at the Dzogchen Meditation Center several times during the course of the year.  Practicing the Dharma is like boiling water for a cup of tea.  If we turn the heat off, the water stops boiling.   If we don't practice regularly we do not deepen our understanding.  In this way one never "graduates" in the sense of there being a time when we no longer need to engage in formal training.  The practice of meditation is the manifestation of the enlightened mind of the Buddha and when we engage properly in this path we manifest enlghtenment for all sentient beings.  One can see this in the example of the great masters like Trungpa Rinpoche, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche and the 16th Karmapa among many others.  All of these great masters received most if not all of their training in a full-time residential environment.  Our three month work-study program is designed to give western practitioners a feeling for this type of training. 

Prospective members are asked to engage in several preliminary retreats before becoming members. 


1.)   A student must engage in a one month Dathun.

2.)  He or She must commit to working with a Meditation Instructor in the Order.

3.)  One must complete a 10 day solitary Shamatha/Vipashyana retreat

4.) Prospective students meet with  Senior Instructors during a weekend intensive  and request Entrance into the Order.

5.) They must commit to doing two intensives at DMC per year.

As a member of the Surmang Kagyu Order students receive discounts on retreats at the Center. Upon acceptance into the Order students receive their Oryoki Bowls and Robes signifying their membership in the Surmang Kagyu Order.

 visvavajra sml