Ganden Chang Chub Choling started from humble beginnings in the early 1970’s through the efforts of a great attained master and stalwart Dorje Shugden practitioner, Geshe Khenrab Gajam of Ganden Jangtse Monastery. During this era, an influx of Tibetan refugees had migrated to Canada. Thus, the Canadian government extended an invitation to Geshe Khenrab Gajam to establish a dharma center to fulfill the spiritual needs of their new citizens.
When Geshe Khenrab Gajam arrived in Montreal, he lived in a small apartment in Longueuil where the local Tibetan community soon made a close connection with him. Not long after his arrival, a small group of English and French students also started to gather for Dharma classes in Geshe Khenrab’s apartment.
Eventually, Geshe Khenrab converted his apartment into a Dharma centre known as the Atisha Dharma Centre. Although it was small, they were often visited by many great lamas, amongst them Venerable Pema Gyaltsen, Kyabje Lati Rinpoche, Venerable Kalu Rinpoche and Kyabje Zong Rinpoche.
In 1980, just before the visit of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, the Atisha Dharma Centre moved to a larger building in Longueuil and was renamed the Tibetan Buddhist Temple – Ganden Chang Chub Choling. The more spacious premises allowed the Dharma community to flourish, and many more newcomers began to participate in the temple’s activities.
Chang Chub Choling remained in this location for six years until they relocated yet again to an even bigger place on De l’Eglise Ave. in Côte St. Paul at the advice of H.H. the 98th Gaden Tripa, Jamphel Shenpen, who had visited the temple several times over the course of a few years. The new center had its official opening in May 1986, with a traditional ceremony performed by the monks of Gyuto Tantric College.
Chang Chub Choling continued to enjoy visits from great Lamas such as Zasep Tulku Rinpoche, and the students received many teachings and initiations from these enlightened masters under the auspices of Geshe Khenrab Gajam. After Geshela entered clear light on 4 October 1993, his students continued their practices and sought advice from both Kyabje Lati Rinpoche and Kyabje Dagom Rinpoche on the search for the reincarnation of their beloved teacher.
Through the kindness of Kyabje Dagom Rinpoche, the temple came under the guidance of Geshe Tsultrim Tenzin, an exceptional Geshe and Dorje Shugden practitioner, also from Ganden Jangtse Monastery. Geshe-la arrived with Kyabje Dagom Rinpoche in the fall of 2001, and remained in Chang Chub Choling for 4 months during which he gave many teachings. Thereafter, Geshe Tsultrim was called away to Austria to be the tutor of H.H. Trijang Chocktrul Rinpoche.
Since then, Zawa Tulku Rinpoche and Gen Lobsang Tashi, both close disciples of Geshe Tsultrim, have established a permanent monastic presence in Chang Chub Choling to guide the spiritual community of Montreal. Together, they work hand in hand to actualize the vision of Geshe Khenrab Gajam.
The Sangha of Ganden Chang Chub Choling
Geshe Tsultrim Tenzin
Geshe Tsultrim Tenzin is the Spiritual Director of Gaden Chang Chub Choling temple in Montreal since 2001. Born in Kham, Tibet, he became a monk at the age of twelve at Ganden Jangtse Monastery and was awarded the highest degree of Geshe Lharampa after completing the study of all divisions of Tibetan Buddhist Philosophy.
Geshe-la also received an Acharya (Masters) degree at the Varanasi Sanskrit University in India and completed his tantric education at the Gyumed Tantric College.
Today, Geshe-la teaches at many Buddhist temples and monasteries in India, Tibet, Europe and North America. He has been responsible for the education of many monks, guiding them from a young age to maturity, and in particular, he is the chosen teacher of the young Trijang Chocktrul Rinpoche.
Venerable Zawa Tulku Rinpoche
Born in India in 1978, Zawa Tulku Lobsang Dorje Chokyi Gyaltsen Rinpoche was recognized as the incarnation of the great Zawa Geshe Rinpoche. He was enthroned and ordained at Ganden Shartse monastery in 1982, where he studied Buddhist philosophy for the next 16 years.
Upon completing his education, Rinpoche then embarked upon an international tour, teaching at numerous Dharma centers around the world. Rinpoche is also a master of the ritual arts, particularly in healing and purification rituals, and the construction of sand mandalas.
When Zawa Rinpoche’s Guru, Geshe Tsultrim Tenzin, was called away to Austria to assist Trijang Chocktrul Rinpoche in his studies, Zawa Rinpoche was given the responsibility to carry on the work of his teacher. Renowned for his kindness and pure morality, Zawa Rinpoche is now the Abbot of Ganden Chang Chub Choling Tibetan Buddhist Temple in Montreal.
Gen Lobsang Tashi
Gen Lobsang Tashi was ordained at the age of 8 in Ganden Jangtse Monastery and is in the process of completing his traditional monastic education.
Gen-la is the assistant of Zawa Tulku Rinpoche and is also the resident Tibetan translator and language teacher in Ganden Chang Chub Choling.
Carrying on the Lineage
It is widely known that Geshe Khenrab Gajam was an eminent Dorje Shugden practitioner who upheld his commitments and practices until he entered clear light in 1993. Determined to preserve the holy lineage of their Guru, the members of Chang Chug Choling have continued their protector practices after the passing of their teacher.
Through Chang Chub Choling’s Spiritual Director, Geshe Tsultrim Tenzin, and his unique position as H.H. Trijang Chocktrul Rinpoche’s tutor, the members of the temple are also closely connected to many great Dorje Shugden masters.
Today, under the guidance of Zawa Tulku Rinpoche, who is an active and vocal supporter of the Dorje Shugden movement, Ganden Chang Chub Choling offers a variety of Buddhist services for the public, among them Dorje Shugden prayer services .
We at DorjeShugden.com are proud of our Dharma brothers and sisters in Montreal for staying strong and unified during these difficult times, and for their unwavering devotion to Geshe Khenrab Gajam.
Tibetan Buddhist Temple – Gaden Chang Chub Choling
1870, De l’Eglise Ave.
Montreal H4E 1G8
Fax : +1-514-765-9102