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Dorje Chang Institute for Wisdom Culture is a Registered Charitable Trust and Tibetan Buddhist Centre offering meditations, classes and a peaceful, beautiful oasis in the city –OPEN to ALL

Serving the Auckland community for over 47 years (since 1976).

Dorje Chang Institute is affiliated with the FPMT.


About us

What tradition of Buddhism?

  • Tibetan Buddhist
  • Based on the tradition of Lama Tsongkhapa of Tibet as taught to us by our founder Lama Yeshe and spiritual director Lama Zopa Rinpoche
  • Dorje Chang Institute is affiliated with the FPMTThe Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT) is an international affiliated network of over 160 centers, projects, and services in 39 countries worldwide which are under the spiritual direction of Lama Zopa Rinpoche and FPMT International Office. To read more click here. To visit the FPMT main website click here.

In Auckland over 44 years

  • A Registered Charitable Trust since 1976
  • Oldest Tibetan Buddhist Centre in New Zealand

What do we do?

  • Serve others by creating the conditions for people of all interests and inclinations to contact, study and practice the teachings of the Buddha.

What do we offer?

  • Meditation
  • Classes in Buddhist philosophy and practice (introductory to advanced)
  • Pujas and Practices (traditional prayer/meditation ceremonies, sutra recitations, meditation, etc.)
  • Retreats
  • Book Clubs, Discussion Groups
  • Community Events
  • A variety of other services (including prayers for those who are sick, dying or experiencing obstacles, house blessings, private appointments with the Resident Teacher to ask questions, discuss one’s personal practice, support for one’s practice and exploration of Buddhism, etc.)

For more information on the spiritual program please visit our program page.

Our Teachers

His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Inspiration and Guide of the FPMT

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso is the head of state and spiritual leader of the Tibetan people. His Holiness has won the Nobel Peace Prize and continues to inspire the world with His total embodiment of loving-kindness and compassion towards all living beings (without exception).

His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s praise of Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Dec 2006: “Rinpoche is someone who follows my guidance sincerely, very expansively and with one hundred percent trust. He possesses unwavering faith and pure samaya; not only has he pure samaya and faith but whatever I instruct, Zopa Rinpoche has the capability to accomplish it. So whatever dedications Lama Zopa Rinpoche makes I also pray to accomplish this and you should do the same thing.” (Photo by Olivier Ada.)

For a Collection of Advice from His Holiness the Dalai Lama Regarding Dholgyal (Shugden) please click here. For the results of the recent referendum on this issue click here.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche

Spiritual Director and Founder

Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche was born in 1946 in Thami, in the Mount Everest region of Nepal, not far from the Lawudo cave where his predecessor had meditated for the last 20 years of his life. Lama Zopa Rinpoche is now the Spiritual Director of the Foundation. (Photo by Ven Roger)

visit our Lama Zopa Rinpoche page


Our Founder, Lama Yeshe (1935-1984)


Lama Thubten Yeshe was born in Tibet in 1935. At the age of six, he entered Sera Monastic University in Tibet where he studied until 1959, when as Lama Yeshe himself has said, “In that year the Chinese kindly told us that it was time to leave Tibet and meet the outside world.” Lama Thubten Yeshe and Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche, together as teacher and disciple since their exile in India, met their first Western students in 1965. By 1971 they settled at Kopan, a small hamlet near Kathmandu in Nepal. In 1974, the Lamas began touring and teaching in the West, which would eventually result in the FPMT. Now there are over 150 centres, study groups and projects worldwide. Lama Yeshe died in 1984, his reincarnation Lama Tenzin Osel Rinpoche was born to Spanish parents in 1985. To read more about Lama Yeshe’s life please click here.

Osel Hita (Lama Osel Rinpoche), Lama Yeshe’s reincarnation

Lama Osel who likes to be known as Osel Hita, has received a combination of traditional Tibetan monastic training, as well as a Western education. To read more about his life and recent times visit here. To watch recent video teachings by Osel click here. (Photo by Tan Seow Kheng and Stephen Ching)

Our Resident Teacher, Lharampa Geshe Thupten Wangchen

Geshe Wangchen came to Dorje Chang Institute in 2003 at the request of Our Spiritual Director, Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche. Geshe-la is a highly qualified Lharampa Geshe who has done extensive study, retreats and has taught at Kopan monastery in Nepal and at Varanasi University in India. We invite you to read more about Geshe Wangchen’s life, experience as well as find out how to make an appointment with Geshe-la.

visit our Geshe Wangchen page

Resident Sangha

Lharampa Geshe Wangchen
Resident Teacher

Ven Gyälten Wangmo
Spiritual Program Coordinator

Supporting Our Resident Sangha

We welcome contributions to the DCI Sangha Support Fund which is set up to help support the needs of our resident Sangha members.

Lay FPMT Registered Teacher

Simon Harrison
FPMT Registered Teacher

DCI’s Translator

Rinchen Dhondup
DCI’s Tibetan-English Translator

Holy Objects

Traditional Tibetan Wheel-Turning Stupa

Prayer Wheel for World Peace – containing 111 billion om mani padme hum mantras and growing! One of the largest in the world as far as number of mantras inside.

Buddhas in the gardens – set on 2.5 acres, bordering a reserve and stream

Our Facilities

Meditation Hall

Book and Gift Shop

Library of Buddhist books

(long and short term)

Interested in long- or short-term accommodation at Dorje Chang Institute? If you have a full-time job, have an interest to live in a Dharma community and are interested in attending Buddhist classes and events at our Institute, then we welcome you to enquire about accommodation opportunities and availability. There is an application process. Our accommodation options include mostly single rooms as well as two huts, two caravans and a four-bed dormitory available for lay persons, however some of our accommodation is already currently booked/occupied. Our accommodation uses shared bathroom, kitchen and lounge facilities. Resident Sangha accommodation is separate. Please contact our office for more information or for further enquiries.



We welcome you to come and visit DCI anytime during the day or early evening. The Prayer Wheel room is open during the daytime and the Stupa can be circumambulated during the day and early evening. It is possible to use the Meditation Hall (gompa) to meditate, do prayers, prostrations or make offerings when it is not in use. You are welcome to call to check or request a time.

If you would like to have a tour, wish to discuss our Spiritual Program, ask questions or are coming with a large group, please call us to make an appointment in advance. (09) 828 3333 or (09) 828 8776.

Getting Here

We are located at 56 Powell Street (off of Blockhouse Bay) in Avondale. We are close to the motorway, bus and train. For driving directions we suggest you visit For bus and train schedules and information in Auckland please visit . There is a bus stop at the end of Powell Street (two blocks from the centre) as well as others nearby. The Avondale train station is about a 11 – 15 minute walk away and offers very direct transport to and from the centre of Auckland as well as other localities. If you would like a shuttle service to or from the airport we recommend supershuttle.

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