Ganden Kachoe Monastery
In 1873 a Gelugpa monk from eastern Tibet, Lama Tsultrim Gyaltsen, built the Ganden Kachoe monastery in western Tibet. It was a modest facility for a few devout individuals.
The monastery was home to 17 monks whose lives were dedicated primarily to prayer and meditation. In the Tibetan tradition, the monastery was the spiritual and cultural center of the community. Its monks served as doctors, therapists, astrologers and healers. In return for their prayer and guidance, the village supported the monks and their monastery.
The Ganden Kachoe Monastery flourished until 1959, when Chinese forces occupied Tibet and set about to systematically eradicate Tibetan culture by attacking the local religion. Mao called religion “poison”. Religious practices were decreed the root of all social and economic hardship. The official government policy was to destroy all Tibetan monasteries, but the broader target was Tibetan culture, Tibetan people and their spiritual strength.
During the 1960’s Ganden Kachoe Monastery was bombed and completely leveled. The Chinese government hoped they had also leveled the spirit of the Buddhists within and destroyed their will to continue their prayer and teaching. They were wrong.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama has repeatedly emphasized the importance of rebuilding monasteries tat had been destroyed during the Chinese occupation. In accordance with that wish, the surviving monks from Ganden Kachoe assembled a group of eight monks who were dedicated to rebuilding their monastery and its traditions.
Between 2000 and 2001 Dechen Ling successfully raised over $150,000 to re-build Ganden Kachoe in India after the destruction of the original monastery in Tibet during the early 1960s. Now the monastery is complete and we are looking for supporters to help with the monks’ continued education.
Gelong Lobsang Choephel, the abbot of Ganden Kachoe, has recognized the need to broaden the scope of the monks’ education with subjects such as English, history, and science. This vision is to accomplish this through a cultural exchange between the monastery and its network of Western supporters. The monks of Ganden Khachoe are looking to you. Undaunted by decades of Chinese oppression and exile, they are working to preserve the spiritual traditions and culture of Tibet.
Contributions to Dechen Ling, a 501 (c)3 non-profit corporation, are tax deductible. Individual donations may be sent to:
Ganden Kachoe Project
c/o Dechen Ling
3633 Whitman Ave. N.
Seattle, WA 98103