In the Tuscan hinterland, in a hilly area, surrounded by hundreds of colorful prayer-flags, emerges the Istituto Lama Tzong Khapa, the most important center of Tibetan Buddhism in Italy and one of the biggest in Europe.
It is situated in the province of Pisa, in the hamlet of Pomaia, between hills and the sea. It was founded in the 1970s by Lama Yeshe and is affiliated to the Foundation for the preservation of the Mahayana Tradition.
The institute, in the past the summer residence of an old florentine family, has gradually been restructured and now houses a wide variety of one-off courses and retreats, as well as regular study programs throughout the year, on Buddhism and meditation in the Tibetan tradition.
The main building guards a library with more than 4000 texts, ranging from Buddhism up to complementary themes, two dormitories , and bed rooms for students and visitors, who come from all over the world, a dining room, class rooom and next to the tower, that makes the structure look like a castle, there is one of the two “Gompa”.
Here you can stroll along the paths of meditation, around the white stupas, admiring the Buddha statues, or have a pleasant conversation at the Tea garden or at the coffe shop.
Twenty monks and nuns as well as a small staff of the laity & volunteers for the work of the Secretariat, kitchen, garden etc. are living in-plant in Pomaia.
It is also the physical location where the IATTM Italy was founded in 2008. Over the years the collaboration with the institute has become more active and strong, especially from 2015 on when the IATTM Italy (Sorig Khang Italy) decided to establish its operational base of organization for courses on Sowa Rigpa, Ku Nye, Ne Jang, many others, as well as the annual teachings with the Dr.Nida Chenagtsang, (as the last just happened last 21-26 March).
Regularly his holiness the Dalai Lama comes to the center in Pomaia, his last visit dates back to 2014 and he will return in Pisa next 20th and 21st September 2018 for an international symposium organised in a patnership between the University of Pisa and the Istituto Lama Tzong Khapa. The debate is entitled “The Mindscience of Reality”. We think that it is a good auspicious sign for the next Sorig Congress of 2018 that will take place both in Pisa and Pomaia.
This is the first article in a new series of center presentations. Through the category “SKI Centers” you will get a glimpse of different SKI academies worldwide to show the huge variety of possibilities to experience and study Sowa Rigpa in the future.