Orgyan Osal Cho Dzong

Front Doors of Temple

Front Doors of Main Tem­ple

Named after the great Nying­ma saint Longchenpa’s favourite retreat cen­tre and final rest­ing place, Orgyan Osal Cho Dzong is a 350 acre cen­tre for the study and prac­tice of Nying­ma Dhar­ma. Locat­ed in south­east­ern Ontario near the town of Madoc, the cen­tre is sit­u­at­ed in the midst of an exten­sive for­est at the foot of Mount Mori­ah, an ancient abo­rig­i­nal pow­er spot and south-east­ern Ontario’s high­est peak. The centre’s facil­i­ties include a large tem­ple, 15 room retreat house and a Lama house. Orgyan Dzong was found­ed by Ven. Pel­ing Tulku, Rin­poche in 1984 and blessed by His Holi­ness Penor Rin­poche dur­ing the trans­mis­sion of the Long Chen Nying Thig in 1988. The cen­tre is renowned for its nat­ur­al beau­ty and an ener­gy which is extreme­ly con­ducive to Dhar­ma prac­tice.

As we are locat­ed in the midst of a vast for­est, we would like to request that peo­ple respect the abun­dant native flo­ra and fau­na. The 5 mile grav­el road to the monastery from Coop­er is sin­gle lane with many blind cor­ners and steep hills. For your own safe­ty, as well as that of the many frogs, snakes (all harm­less) and mam­mals that also use the road, we ask that you go not faster than 30km/20mph.

Please con­tact us or call us at 613 967‑7432 to make an appoint­ment if you would to vis­it Orgyan Dzong.  Here  you will find some dri­ving instruc­tions and a map as to where we are locat­ed.

Orgyan Osal Cho Dzong

Orgyan Osal Cho Dzong

The name of the cen­tre, Orgyan Osal Cho Dzong, can be trans­lat­ed as The Citadel of Padmasambhava’s Clear Light Dhar­ma. The Tibetan word Orgyan is the name of Padmasambhava’s home­land (San­skrit: Odd­iyana), which was north west of India, in present day Pakistan/Afghanistan, and sig­ni­fies Pad­masamb­ha­va and the Nying­ma (ancient) Lin­eage. Osal (San­skrit: Prab­has­vara) is trans­lat­ed as Clear Light, the pri­mor­dial enlight­ened nature of all beings. Cho (San­skrit: Dhar­ma) are the teach­ings of the Bud­dha, and Dzong is a fortress or citadel. This name is com­mon­ly abbre­vi­at­ed to Orgyan Dzong for con­ve­nience.

An inter­est­ing coin­ci­dence occurred when Ven. Pel­ing Tulku Rin­poche named the cen­tre. In Tibetan, the sig­ni­fi­er for the “O” vow­el, called ‘naro’, looks like a soar­ing bird, and is placed above its relat­ed con­so­nant, thus the name of the cen­tre, Orgyan Osal Cho Dzong, has four naro marks above it:


Turkey Vulture

Turkey Vul­ture

After decid­ing upon and announc­ing its name, Rin­poche went out­side for a walk with some of his stu­dents, and cir­cling in the sky above the cen­tre were four turkey vul­tures, mir­ror­ing the naro marks in the centre’s name. The vul­ture is a pow­er­ful Vajrayana sym­bol of the path of tantra, as it trans­forms the flesh of corpses (sym­bol­iz­ing the minds of sam­sar­ic sen­tient beings, ‘dead’ with self­ish­ness and rot­ten with defile­ments and neg­a­tive kar­ma) into the vital­i­ty and ener­gy that allows it to soar effort­less­ly and unhin­dered in the sky (the vast, open puri­ty of enlight­ened mind). Addi­tion­al­ly, as a sym­bol of his attain­ment, Pad­masamb­ha­va wears three vul­ture feath­ers on the tip of his Lotus Crown.