Gampo Abbey, Cape Breton Island

Gampo Abbey is a Western Buddhist monastery in the Shambhala tradition in Nova Scotia, Canada. Founded by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche in 1983, it is a lineage institution of Shambhala and a corporate division of the Vajradhatu Buddhist Church of Canada.
Under the spiritual direction of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, the spiritual head of Shambhala International, Gampo Abbey is guided by its abbot Thrangu Rinpoche and its principal teacher Pema Chödrön.
Gampo Abbey is named after Gampopa, the first monastic in the Kagyü lineage of Tibetan Buddhism.
Residents of Gampo Abbey include monks and nuns who have taken life ordination, monks and nuns who have taken temporary ordination, and laymen and laywomen. The life monastics are all ordained in the Mulasarvastivadin lineages of the vinaya, or in the case of the bhikṣuṇīs, a combination of the Mulasarvastivadin and Dharmaguptaka lineages.
Gampo Abbey's guiding teacher is the well-known author, Buddhist nun, and teacher Pema Chödrön.
The Abbey also has ties to the local Cape Breton Shambhala sangha.
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Gampo Abbey Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.0
2 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • Especially lovely grounds, at the "end of the road" (seemingly at the end of the earth). You can walk the grounds anytime during the day in an enchanting setting, but try to take a tour (free, donatio...  more »
  • Two free daily tours available at 1.30 and 2.30 pm. Tours are approximately 1.5 hours each, but it depends how many questions your group asks. Donations are encouraged at the end. Anyone is also welco...  more »
Google
  • Lovely place to visit and relax. Unfortunately there were no tours at this time but maybe next year. The drive there is scenic too and it was a great part of our trip.
  • Funky place to visit. We joined a tour at 2.30pm (the only other tour is at 1.30). Our guide was an English monk who was entertainingly chilled out.
  • Gorgeous grounds surrounded on one side by seaside cliffs and on the other by woods. The trail to the Stupa is a peaceful walk well worth the detour from the Harbour.
  • Two free daily tours available at 1.30 and 2.30 pm. Tours are approximately 1.5 hours each, but it depends how many questions your group asks. Donations are encouraged at the end. Anyone is also welcome to walk the garden at any time, but note that monks must be in silence until around 12.30 noon, so do not expect them to be up for a conversation. Our guide was a temporary resident monk (on a 9 month monk trial). She was surprisingly very down to earth and was eager to share her passion with us and answer all questions, no matter how personal. The tour started slow, with information on the monstery founders and religion history, but our guide was very enthrusiastic. The tour picked up and became more hands on once we were shown the clock (a wooden gong) which we were allowed to try. After that we saw the library (where there are a bunch of sacred books wrapped up on the top shelf) and the prayer room (where we got to sit on the monk cushions and take turns banging the gong). Our group asked lots of questions and we found out all about the monk schedule, duties and future plans. I am not a relgious person at all, but I found it interesting to hear about others beliefs and how much they dedicate their lives to it. I'd recommend it to anyone who is curious, but would not recommend it for children.
  • This was a very interesting place to visit. Our guide was very candid and we learned a lot about Shambala Buddhism. This place was full of surprises mostly due to my lack of knowledge on the subject prior to this visit.
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