Ngagyur Nyingma

The founder

Raupo Bay Retreat was established by Ron Brooks (aka Ngawang Khedup), whom from 1970 spent on and off over 12 years in Nepal and India receiving teachings and transmissions from all the 4 main schools of Tibetan Buddhism, but mainly from the Nyingma (the followers of those original translations of the teachings of the Buddha into Tibetan). He met most of the high Tibetan masters that were around at that time, but chiefly was close to teachers such as Trulshik Rinpoche (from whom he received his refuge name), Dilgo Khyenste Rinpoche & Rabjam Rinpoche of Shechen Monestary, HH Sakya Trizin (the head of the Sakya school), Khetsun Sangpo Rinpoche, and both Dujom Rinpoche and his eldest son Thinley Norbu Rinpoche amongst many others. Under the advise of Dilgo Khyenste Rinpoche and other leading masters he went to Gonpo Tseten Rinpoche – a hidden and highly accomplished yogi whom had time to give person instruction daily. From him Ron received the specific preparatory teachings for Tsa Lung practices and was taken through the various stages of the higher tantras and Dzogchen in the Ngagyur Nyingma (ancient Tantric School) and became a main discipline. After spending 3 years in India studying and practicing under Gonpo Tseten Rinpoche, he took him back to California, together with his vajra sister Choying Palmo and started a Dharma centre there. Thus Gonpo Tseten Rinpoche became among the first to give Dzogchen teachings in the West. After some years Gonpo Tseten Rinpoche went back to Tibet and told Ron it was time to retreat, so Ron went back to India and spent 3 years meditating in a cave at Tso Pema, Rewalsar, a sacred site of Guru Rinpoche. Gonpo Tseten Rinpoche passed away in Tibet in 1991. Ron writes a little about his beloved teacher here.

After his retreat Ron asked Dilgo Khyenste Rinpoche to make a mo or “observation” about his inkling to come to NZ, and he stated “that will be excellent”, then Ron started to ask him about starting a Dharma centre in NZ and before he could finish, Dilgo Rinpoche, seemingly reading his mind, said “that will be good, and you are going to ask me to come there, and yes I will”. Indeed Dilgo Kyenste’s spirit is felt here and Ron trusts that the Dilgo Kyenste Yangsi will come here one day.

Ron has since dedicated his time to working to establish the infrastructure and environment to support Buddhist study & practice, invite teachers and as per the advice of his root teacher Gonpo Tseten Rinpoche to continue as a meditator and not get too involved in worldly life.

About the organisation

The Ngagyur Nyingma Group was established as a charitable trust in California by Ron Brooks under the spiritual direction of Gonpo Tseten Rinpoche in 1979. In the mid 1980s, after a period of retreat in India, Ron came to NZ to continue his practice and facilitate a dharma group with the blessing of the late Dilgo Khyenste Rinpoche. In 1996 Ron founded the charitable “Red Hat Gompa Trust” to support teachings and provide the infrastructure and environment for those interested to have access to the Buddha Dharma. The term Red Hat refers to the three old schools of Tibetan Buddhism. In 1988 a pioneering retreat was held at Raupo Bay Retreat in Banks Peninsula lead by the renowned Dzogchen master Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche with around 100 people attending the week long course. In 1997 Ron finished the building of a gompa (a place of meditation, or temple) at Raupo Bay Retreat.


Raupo Bay Retreat was established to provide the infrastructure and environment for people to come in contact with suitable teachings and develop themselves. Adhering to the “Rime” principals of a non sectarian approach to spiritual practice and Buddhism, the not for profit trust actively invites teachers and organises events at a minimal cost for the benefit of the community. Raupo Bay Retreat is made available to any authentic group or individual to use.

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