Located to the northwest of Montpellier in France, Lerab Ling has established itself as one of the leading centres of Tibetan Buddhist culture and learning in Europe. Its purposes are:
- to offer those who follow Buddhist teachings a complete path of study and practice;
- to provide a series of outreach programmes, translating the core values of the ancient wisdom tradition of Tibet into different fields of contemporary life.
The Lerab Ling retreat centre was founded in 1991 by Sogyal Rinpoche, world-renowned Tibetan Buddhist teacher and author of the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. Sogyal Rinpoche is also the founder and spiritual director of Rigpa, an international network of 130 Buddhist centres and groups in 41 countries around the world.
Since opening in 1992, Lerab Ling has been blessed by visits from numerous great masters of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, most notably by His Holiness the Dalai Lama on two occasions, in 2000 and 2008.
In 2002, the Interior Ministry decreed Lerab Ling a ‘religious congregation’, confirming its status as an authentic spiritual organisation.
The temple at the heart of Lerab Ling was built to preserve the unique spiritual traditions, culture, and art of Tibetan Buddhism, which unfortunately are at risk of disappearing in their native land.
Completed in 2006, this temple is, according to certain Tibetan masters, the largest and most authentic of its type in Europe, or even in the West. It was inaugurated in August 2008 by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.