Buddhism after the restoration of the Estonian Republic: establishment of Buddhist communities

After the Taola period, when a basis for further development was established, many Buddhist groups and movements flourished. After the restoration of the Estonian Republic, some Buddhist teachers were invited to Estonia through personal contacts. Buddhist groups were established in Tallinn, Pärnu, Tartu and Põltsamaa.​

​In 1990, a small group of Buddhist activists gathered at a house in Põllu Street and were registered in 1993 as the Estonian Buddhist Union. In a few years the Union was divided into many different societies, as more travelling teachers came to Estonia and spread their own forms of Buddhism.​

In 1992, the Drikung Kagyu Ratna Shri Centre was established in Tallinn, and today they also have study groups in Tartu and Pärnu.

In 1992, the Estonian Dzogchen Community members met their teacher Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche and founded their community in 1993 in Tallinn.

In 1993, the Triratna Buddhist Community (FWBO) held the first Buddhist meditation course in Estonia and they continue to operate in Luha Street in Tallinn.​

​​In 1996, the Estonian Nyingma Congregation of Tibetan Buddhism was founded by Nyichang Rinpoche, and it is currently engaged mainly in Tibetan medicine.

In 2000, the Khordong Society Estonia was founded in Põltsamaa in the village of Umbusi, at the birthplace of Karl Tõnisson.

In 2001, the Buddhist Institute was founded in Tallinn, and it regularly organises lectures on Buddhism without focusing on a specific tradition.

In 2006, the Tibetan Buddhist Centre Sangye Ling and Dagchang Rime Eesti Sangha started their activities in Pärnu.

​In the same year the Rigpa Estonia community, Lochen Jangchup Tsemo study group and Drikung Dzogchen Estonian Community Drikung Namchag Mebar Dzong started their activities in Tallinn.

Today the Diamond Way Buddhism Centre has two study groups, in Tallinn and Narva, and includes a mostly Russian-speaking population.​

​All these groups are part of international movements. As is common to Western Buddhism, their main activities are meditation, retreats, the hosting of visiting teachers, celebrating Buddhist holidays etc.​

​In addition, the members of the first Brotherhood and new Nyingmapas continued their activities under the guidance of Venerable Vello Väärtnõu in Estonia and were officially registered as Estonian Nyingma in 2007.​

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