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Diamond Way Buddhism in the World

Buddhism tends to take the most suitable form in any culture that adopts its teachings. In this way Buddhism can be compared to a diamond, which takes on the color of its surroundings—it shines blue when located on a blue object or looks red when near something red—but remains the same diamond in essence. Throughout history Buddhist teachings have adapted to different cultures, social systems, and time periods without losing or changing their essence.

Buddhism has been passed on from teacher to student starting with Buddha Shakyamuni and for 1,500 years thereafter in northern India, then 1,000 years in Tibet, and now throughout the world. The timeless view and methods of Diamond Way Buddhism (Sanskrit: Vajrayana), seem to have particularly drawn the attention of highly educated and independent people of the West.

At the request of His Holiness the 16th Karmapa, Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, Lama Ole Nydahl and his wife Hannah have founded more than six hundred lay Diamond Way Buddhist centers of the Karma Kagyu lineage in sixty countries—in Europe, Asia, North and South America, Australia, and in other regions. Diamond Way centers are directed by Lama Ole Nydahl, under the spiritual guidance of H.H. the 17th Karmapa, Trinley Thaye Dorje.

All Diamond Way Buddhist centers have democratic structures and function through voluntary work based on friendship and idealism. Members share responsibility for guiding meditations and passing on the teachings. Centers are always open to those who are interested in the potential of mind and practicing Buddhist methods to realize it. Lama Ole has empowered over one hundred of his students to travel around the centers and speak about Buddhism. 

Russian Association

Address: Moscow, metro station Krasnye vorota, metro station Komsomolskaya, Kalanchevsky Blind Alley, 3-5с6
Phone: +7 (495) 609-03-80
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Address: Самара, ул. Ленинградская 103/ул. Братьев Коростелёвых 52/54
Phone: +7 (905) 018-11-06, +7 (964) 985-11-20
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Centralized Religious Organization “Russian Diamond Way Karma Kagyu Buddhists Association (OGRN 1037858019495, INN 7810301506, legal address: Russia, 190068, Saint-Petersburg, Nikolsky per., bld. 7, 26; phone: +7 (812) 310-01-79; email: online@buddhism.ru) is a traditional religious organization uniting Diamond Way Buddhist centers that exist in many large and medium-sized Russian cities.

The Association has been functioning in the Russian Federation as a national Buddhist organization from the moment religious liberties were restored and it became possible to follow one’s beliefs without obstruction. By 1992, the officially registered Diamond Way Buddhist centers (hereinafter Centers) actively worked in dozens of big cities of Russia and Ukraine. In 1993, they united into the Association.

Initially, the Association was registered under the name “International Association of Karma Kagyu Buddhists” because it included both Russian and Ukrainian centers. In 1998, due to the change in the legislation of the Russian Federation, the Association was re-registered as All-Russian traditional religious organization and was named Russian Diamond Way Karma Kagyu Buddhists Association. In 2011, it got its new name – the Centralized Religious Organization “Russian Diamond Way Karma Kagyu Buddhists Association”.

Nowadays, the Association includes around 100 communities in all regions of Russia. It unites several thousand followers of the Vajrayana tradition of Tibetan Buddhism (Diamond Way) that is now spread all around the world.

Apart from the Centers in the Buddhist areas of Russia where Buddhism is one of the traditional religions (Kalmykia, Buryatia, and Tyva), the Association includes Centers in the big and medium-sized cities. The two biggest ones are the Buddhist centers in two capitals – Moscow and Saint-Petersburg. Centers of the Association perform a broad public activity aimed at preserving the ancient Buddhist culture and introducing it to many people. Under the auspices of the Association, lectures, courses, and workshops in painting and sculpturing, as well as art exhibitions, festivals, film screenings, open days, panel discussions and scientific conferences are organized. Maintaining friendly relations with other Buddhist organizations and confessions, the Association participates in common religious events, celebrations, and festivities dedicated to religious and national holidays.

The Association’s objective is preservation, development, and spreading of knowledge and methods of the Diamond Way Buddhism of the Karma Kagyu tradition, as well as helping Centers function and cooperate with unions incorporated into the Association and helping their members exercise the right of freedom of religion.

The Association is managed in a democratic way by a higher authority – the conference of center representatives, and in between these conferences – by a council of these representatives. Lama Ole Nydahl (Denmark) is its permanent member. There’s a president who represents the Association in different organizations and signs documents. The headquarters of the Association and its legal address are situated in Saint-Petersburg.
The Association helps Centers coordinate their activity, spread information, organize, communicate. It unifies them in any other way in relation to all issues that concern more than one Center, i.e. creating teachers’ travel plans, organizing big courses, providing information support, publishing, helping various construction projects, etc.

Being a centralized all-Russian traditional religious organization acknowledged as such by the Government of the RF, the Association establishes new centers and verifies the affiliation of already existing centers with the Diamond Way Buddhist tradition which is a basis for their state registration.