Our center is part of the Drikung Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. Its creation is the vision of our teacher and founder, Drupon Thinley Ningpo Rinpoche, whose wish is to serve the local and national Buddhist community by offering the timeless teachings of the Buddha. As a center for Buddhist studies, Drong Ngur Jangchubling holds retreats, hosts visiting teachers, and offers in-depth study of Buddhism. As part of our ongoing activities, we are also dedicated to preserving Tibetan culture, religious practices, and literature. We welcome anyone who is interested in learning about these traditions to visit and practice with us.
History of Drong Ngur
Its origin, evolution, where we are now & vision for the future.
In 2008, members of the Florida Drikung Kagyu community approached Drupon Rinpoche with a vision of the future for the Dharma in Tampa Bay. The vision included construction of a retreat center in the area, as well as the formation of Drong Ngur as a non-membership 501 (c) (3) religious non-profit organization.
Over the following years, both Drong Ngur’s Board of Directors and Drupon Rinpoche worked under the guidance and support of H.H. Chetsang Rinpoche to build a meditation and retreat center in the Tampa Bay area. In 2012, Drong Ngur Buddhist Center was established in Wesley Chapel, FL, and consecrated by H.E. Garchen Rinpoche.
Over the years that followed, both the BOD of Drong Ngur and Drupon Rinpoche worked diligently with the guidance and support of H.H. Chetsang Rinpoche to fulfill this vision of a retreat center in the Tampa Bay area. By 2012 that vision became a reality and the Center was established in Wesley Chapel, FL. Upon its establishment, H.E. Garchen Rinpoche visited the Tampa Bay area to preside over the consecration of this Drikung Kagyu center in Tampa Bay. In an act of incredible generosity and support H.E. Garchen Rinpoche consecrated DNJ a Drikung Kagyu center as well as offering a substantial donation.
How Drong Ngur Functions as an Organization
As part of Drupon Thinley Nyingpo Rinpoche’s emphasis on transparency and open communication, the following is a brief explanation of how Drong Ngur Jangchubling is both organized and functions. There are five main roles of the Drong Ngur dharma center structure: the spiritual advisor, the board of directors, officers, a volunteer & advisory committee and the greater sangha of practitioners.
- Spiritual Advisor: Input and spiritual direction is given and received from its spiritual advisor. The spiritual advisor guides the greater sangha along the path of dharma and of course the center supports their activities and aspirations to accomplish the goals of attaining full, complete and precious buddhahood for the greater sangha. The spiritual advisor does not serve as a board member and is considered a religious worker on behalf of Drong Ngur.
- Board of Directors: Similar to other dharma centers, Drong Ngur, is a religious non profit, non member corporation organized under Florida law. As a non member corporation, it functions and operates through an unpaid, volunteer board of directors. By this structure, the board of directors are empowered and given full authority to make decisions for the benefit of the organization. Further, Drong Ngur enjoys the IRC 501 C (3) status so that its activities and donations are tax deductible to the donor. There are no votes required from the greater sangha to function, as there are no members in this type of structure. By way of analogy, Ratnashri previously functioned this way.
- Officers: In 2014 with permission from the Board of Directors and Drupon Rinpoche, Drong Ngur Jangchubling also created five officer roles as part of a restructuring process. The officers carry out the directives of the Spiritual Director and the Board of Directors for the everyday management of the Dharma center. The officer positions are: President, Secretary, Treasurer, Facilities Managers, and Events Coordinator. These roles are filled by Sangha members from the Volunteer & Advisory Committee and serve for a term of one year. All officers must be approved for service by the Board of Directors and can be removed by the Board should the need arise. Officers may create ad-hoc positions as needed for special projects but officers do not vote on Board matters in any capacity. The officers serve the center as un-paid volunteers, but do pay monthly dues as part of their service to Drong Ngur Jangchubling.
- Volunteer & Advisory Committee: By the aspiration of Drupon Rinpoche, the board also formed an Advisory Committee whose function is to provide a voice for the greater sangha. In 2014, this committee was amended to serve as a volunteer pool in addition to its consultative role. The Volunteer Committee makes suggestions and provides wise input from a wide cross section of practitioners. Additionally, by shifting from solely an advisory position to a volunteer pool, it is easier to connect and encourage individuals who wish to actively serve the center by engaging in ongoing and ad-hoc projects or events. All Sangha members are welcomed to join the Volunteer & Advisory Committee. As clarification, this committee is a nonvoting group who serve as unpaid volunteers.
- Greater Sangha: Perhaps the most important aspect of any Dharma center are the sangha members who attend functions, receive teachings and support the center. It has been said that both patron and dharma practitioner attain buddhahood together as their paths are inseparable and depend upon each other. Drong Ngur welcomes and encourages all of its sangha members to participate and feel that Drong Ngur is their center.