Tulku Nyima arrived in the U.S. in 2003 as a Research Professor in Religious Studies at the University of Virginia at Charlottesville. The events leading to his Spontaneous Teaching Tour in 2003 are detailed in “An Inspiring Story” (next link). Just a few days before leaving the U.S. in 2003, Nyima Rinpoche announced his intention to establish his very first dharma center in the West.
He named this center Sakya Dokho Choling, after his own Dokho Monastery in Tibet. Sakya Dokho Choling is located in Germantown, Maryland, and is considered a branch of the Dokho Monastery. Nyima Rinpoche decided to establish his first center on the East Coast of United States because, as he said, the sun rises in the East.
Before traveling back to Tibet due to expiration of his visa, Tulku Nyima Rinpoche returned to the Drikung Mahayana Center. On his last day in the Washington, D.C. area, Rinpoche conducted a short Refuge ceremony and announced his intention to establish a Sakya center in the eastern United States, his first in the West. He named this center Sakya Dokho Choling. He said that he would come back to the U.S. in November 2004 along with a Chinese language translator/ attendant. He has offered to lead a three-month Dzogchen-style retreat given sufficient interest among students.
This retreat would be organized to meet the needs of two types of students: those who can spend the entire three months with Rinpoche, and those who can come only on the weekends.
In 2003, Tulku Nyima Rinpoche met His Holiness Jigdal Dagchen Sakya Rinpoche, a full lineage holder of the Sakya Tradition, at the Sakya Monastery of Tibetan Buddhism in Seattle. Following the meeting, Tulku Nyima Rinpoche received a letter of support from His Holiness Dagchen Sakya Rinpoche. The year 2003 also marked the auspicious year in which His Holiness Sakya Trizin, the current Head of the Sakya Order, visited North America to bestow teachings and to consecrate Tsechen Kunchub Ling, his North American seat in Walden, N.Y. Following a meeting between His Holiness Sakya Trizin and Tulku Nyima Rinpoche in New York City, His Holiness Sakya Trizin recognized Tulku Nyima Rinpoche as a genuine reincarnate lama of the Sakya tradition, and offered his full support towards Rinpoche’s efforts to rebuild the Dokho Monastery that currently houses over 800 monks.