Mission & Vision

The Shangpa Foundation is a non-profit organization and online educational resource aimed at developing and supporting projects of the living tradition as well as promoting understanding of the Shangpa tradition through research and scholarship. The mission and vision of the Shangpa Foundation is to facilitate greater preservation, documentation, revivification and transmission of the Shangpa lineage. We work in the collection, conservation and diffusion of Shangpa art and literature; the translation of seminal Shangpa historical, philosophical and contemplative Tibetan literary works into Western languages; the development of educational institutions including schools, Dharma centers, retreat facilities and libraries that support the Shangpa; and the promotion of the distinct intellectual, creative and spiritual dimensions of the Shangpa heritage. This mission is accomplished through the Shangpa Resource Center and different projects of common interest within the lineage.

History of the Shangpa Foundation

Kalu Rangjung Künchab - Shangpa Foundation Mission

Kalu Rangjung Künchab

The Shangpa Foundation is the maturation of The Kagyü Lama International Association founded in 1978 by Kalu Rangjung Künchab that created a global mission of cooperation and regulation of the Dashang Kagyü Communities and Centers, as well as securing the preservation, diffusion and harmony of the Dashang Kagyü Lineage. In the same spirit, the Shangpa Network was later created in 2010, connecting all Rinpoches, Lamas and practitioners and further encouraging collaboration on projects of common interest.

The association became active in 2012 under the inspiration of Tempa Gyamtso Rinpoche, Wangchen Rinpoche, Lodru Rinpoche, Norlha Rinpoche, Gyurmed Rinpoche, and Denys Rinpoche.

In 2014, the need was felt for a new development that would give a greater scope to the activities of the Shangpa teaching. The Council of Elders of the Kagyu Lama International Association agreed on the creation of the Shangpa Foundation as an extension of the Shangpa Network, gathering Shangpa Resource Center and the projects of the lineage into a single website / portal. The founding principles remain identical to those of the Shangpa Network: the Shangpa Foundation is an informal network connecting all the Shangpa Rinpoches, Lamas and practitioners for the good of the lineage. The Shangpa Foundation retains the same structure and vision, and acts as an umbrella for the Shangpa Network and Resource Center. It is administrated by the Council of Elders.

The Guiding Principles

  • Preservation of the Shangpa tradition in all its authentic expressions.
  • Education of the intellectual, artistic, and contemplative traditions of the Shangpa for students inside Tibet as well as within the international community.
  • Translation of seminal works of Shangpa literature with an emphasis on texts of historical, philosophical, and contemplative significance.
  • Documentation of the distinctive Shangpa heritage in its contemporary contexts through various media.
  • Revivification of the living Shangpa tradition worldwide, including the restoration and renovation of monasteries, nunneries, Dharma Centers, Buddhist studies colleges and meditation retreat facilities.

To support the work of Shangpa Foundation or directly contribute to any one of these projects, please see our Support page.