Montana and New Mexico are the fourth and fifth largest states in terms of landmass. Another similarity involving both states is the Pema Khandro Ling Center in Santa Fe and the Garden of One Thousand Buddhas north of Arlee, Montana. Gochen Tulku Sang-ngag Rinpoche is the spiritual leader of both organizations. Thousands of people visit the peace garden surrounded by the Buddha sculptures.
Gochen Tulku Sang-ngag Rinpoche was born into one of the oldest families in Tibet. As a teenager he was imprisoned for nine years by the Chinese government. After his incarceration, he made it his mission to speak out against oppression throughout Europe and the United States. Rinpoche is a master stupa builder, and he established the Turquoise Leaf practice center for Tibetan nuns in Nepal. The Pema Khandro Ling Center, which opened on Luisa Street in Santa Fe in 2008, offers Nyingma, in the tradition of the oldest school of Tibetan Buddhism.
Santa Fe’s Project Tibet
In 2002, the Phende Rigzod Khan Center on Hickox Street opened with His Holiness the Dalai Lama in attendence. The Center serves Santa Fe’s Tibetan community and is the basis for the growth of the Mahayana tradition of Buddhism. Santa Fe is home to the four major lineages of this tradition: Nyingma on Alta Vista Street, Kagyu on Airport Road, Sakya on Upper Canyon Road, and Gelug on Rabbit Road.