June 2017 Update
The Milarepa Center Director together with the Board of Directors and the International Mahayana Institute (IMI) have been working together since Sept 2016 to transition Milarepa to a residential monastic community for FPMT monks and nuns, a project embraced by many in our large FPMT family.
The possibility of a North American sangha community inspired interest and much discussion among the FPMT sangha. However, unfortunately due to the many demands on the sangha as students, teachers, program coordinators and commitments in other locations very few were available to take up residence at Milarepa Center at this time.
Milarepa Center’s Spiritual Director, Lama Zopa Rinpoche, then advised that it is best for Milarepa to continue as a center rather than a sangha community, that is, a center that is more for retreat and open to lay people as well as ordained sangha. So this is what we will do! We thank you all for your patience during this process and are happy to continue hosting teachings, retreats, and other events.
Sept 2016 Update
Over the past two years there have been discussions about the possibility of establishing a Sangha community of FPMT monks and nuns at Milarepa Center. These discussions have concluded that Milarepa Center would be an excellent place for the Sangha, particularly nuns, to settle.
This is a great and unique opportunity for the Sangha, particularly for American nuns, to finally have a home in the USA.
Milarepa Center is a unique and amazing place to live. In Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom, it’s located on 276 acres of wooded mountainside and rolling fields. There are two tiny houses and two small retreat cabins on the property. The main building is an old farmhouse with several bedrooms, an offering room, and a dormitory. There is also a large kitchen, separate dining area, a well stocked library and a lovely gompa on the third floor which houses a complete set of the Kangyur. In front of the house is a set of 10 prayer wheels and at the entrance of the property there is a large (15 ft) stupa.
The existing facilities can comfortably accommodate 3 or 4 people each with their own room. Over time when more Sangha join the community the retreat cabins can be upgraded for year round living. The current permit will also allow one more cabin to be built. If there is need for more cabins in the future further permitting will be required.
It is our hope that the Sangha will move in and take responsibility for the property in 2017.
Milarepa Center is a well established Buddhist retreat center that has been in existence for 35 years. It is respected and appreciated by the local community and the Sangha members will equally be welcomed by all.