H.H. the Dalai Lama and the Tibet Institute Rikon
Following the suggestion of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, the Kuhn family, industrial entrepreneurs, founded the Tibet Institute Rikon (ZH) in 1968. His Holiness assumed the role of the monastery’s patron and named it „Monastery of the Wheel of Dharma“. He chooses the Abbots and assigns the monastery its major tasks. Providing for the spiritual needs of Tibetans of all traditions in Switzerland and in Liechtenstein, is the main duty of the monks’ community. In addition, the Tibet Institute – according to His Holiness – should be a place of mutual teaching and learning, both for Tibetans and for Western people. Its activities should be guided by the principal commitments of His Holiness. As is the case in all monasteries in Tibet and in exile, modest residential quarter is ready to receive His Holiness in Rikon at any time.
Not having received permission to enter Switzerland on the occasion of the consecration of the monastery in 1968, H.H. the Dalai Lama visited Rikon for the first time in 1973. For all Tibetans who – on this occasion – had come to Rikon from all corners of Switzerland and many parts of Europe, this was a moving event. Most of these visitors saw their spiritual leader for the first time in their life.
Over the years, the Dalai Lama has visited the Tibet-Institute Rikon for a total of 14 times: in 1973, 1974, 1979, 1983, 1985 (Kalachakra in Rikon, consecration of the stupa), in 1988 (20th anniversary of the Tibet Institute), 1989, 1993 (25th anniversary of the Tibet Institute, inauguration of the library), 1994, 1995 (60th birthday of H.H.), 1998 (30th anniversary of the Tibet Institute, blessing of the prayer drums), 2005, 2010 and in 2013.