The beginning of the 1990s saw a split between Polish Buddhists practicing in this tradition. Many of them wished to study and practice Dharma according to the teachings of realized Tibetan Lamas like Tenga Rinpoche, Bokar Rinpoche, Thrangu Rinpoche and Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche. They also acknowledged full authority of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, His Holiness 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, His Eminence Tai Situ Rinpoche and other masters. Further cooperation within the framework of one organization with those who questioned the authority of the above mentioned Lamas was impossible. As a result, a large number of members of the Karma Kagyu Buddhist Association – including almost all of its founders – left the organization.

Karma Kamtsang Buddhist Association was established by the students of Venerable Tenga Rinpoche. The new organization was formally registered as a religious association (Buddhist church) on 15th June 1994. Other Buddhist religious associations were established in the same time by other former members of the Karma Kagyu Association.

Venerable Tenga Rinpoche, invited by the newly established Karma Kamtsang Association, came to Poland in October 1994. During his visit, the board of the Association ardently requested Rinpoche to take spiritual guidance over the members and supporters of the Association. Rinpoche agreed. Soon afterwards, His Eminence Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche – the highest Lama in the hierarchy of the Benchen monastery – also agreed to be our patron. Owing to the acceptation of both Lamas, the Association began to be regarded as a branch of the Benchen Monastery.

From the moment the Association was founded, it was obvious that we needed a place where we could practice together and organize seminaries with visiting Rinpoches. Several persons declared significant donations for the purchase of a suitable real estate. After an intense research we selected a farm located 40 km from Warsaw.

Tenga Rinpoche visited it in 1994 and announced that if there were no formal obstacles, the headquarters of Benchen Poland could be established there. Unfortunately, there were obstacles. A huge outstanding mortgage debt burdened the property. The owner deceived us for over a year saying that “in two weeks everything will be ready for the transaction”. Time passed and the members of the Association grew impatient. Finally we made a decision to look for another place.

This effort resulted in discovering a beautiful property located in a similar distance (40 km) from Warsaw, but with much better accessibility. The farm seemed secluded enough and, additionally, it included 4.5 hectares of land which created excellent conditions for future development. We informed Tenga Rinpoche about this in a telephone conversation and soon after we received his assurance that all divinations and signs were favourable. On 27th October 1995 we signed the notarial act of the purchase of a farm in Grabnik.



The owners asked for one month to move out. According to the agreement, we moved into to the emptied house on Wednesday, 22 November 1995. In a cold room, filled with boxes and first furniture donated by the Buddhist community, we lit incense and recited Riwo Sang Cho, to please the first hosts of this land - earth deities and local spirits. 

Next morning we started working to make it possible to perform the first ritual - Amitabha tsok puja - in the new Dharma centre. Despite cold weather, the ceremony was attended by many guests from Warsaw. Everyone brought something with them: dishes, cutlery, bedding, table cloths etc. The equipment of the Centre grew.

His Eminence Tai Situ Rinpoche was the first Rinpoche we had the honour to host here. He set his foot on our land in the beginning of December and performed the ritual of blessing it. He said: "An excellent Dharma centre will be created here in the future, but a great lot of effort has to be put in it".

Indeed, the Centre in Grabnik continues to develop with every year that passes. Over the years we have been visited by many great Tibetan Lamas and numerous meditation seminars have been organized here (see History of seminars), including the Great Kalachakra Initiation led by Venerable Tenga Rinpoche on the tenth anniversary of the Centre.

The first plan to build a temple (tib. lhakhang) which would be used during the large summer courses was developed in 1998. Unfortunately, for various reasons, the project was delayed and returned to in 2011.

In 2005, it was decided to build an international three-year retreat centre (drubkhang) in the Center in Grabnik. First practitioners entered in 2009.

In 2010, the Buddhist Culture Centre, co-financed by the European Union, was founded here. It is designed to promote Buddhist culture and art, host exhibitions, lectures and conferences.

In 2012, the association changed its name to Benchen Karma Kamtsang Buddhist Association.



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