Dharma Center of New Orleans Lotus Lake Drikung Dharma Center

Information about this center is no longer updated. This data was last updated on 6 October 2014.

Phone: 504-897-5357
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Walking up the narrow driveway between two houses one would hardly guess a Buddhist meditation hall lay at the end. The Lotus Lake Drikung Dharma Center is located in a small studio behind the residence of Greg and Pam Eveline. Also known as the Dharma Center of New Orleans, the Center is a single room of about 150 square feet decorated with many Tibetan wall hangings ("thangka") and symbols. Bright red, gold and blue colors burst forth from the five wall hangings in the front of the room, each depicting different bodhisattvas. In the center of the room there is a large rug, surrounded by pillows; a strong aroma of incense is often present. At the front is an altar-like table that holds incense and photos of the founder and other teachers. Two sofas frame each side of the room for use by those who prefer not to sit on the floor while meditating.

Activities and Schedule

The meditation group meets on Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m. Meetings are open to the public. The spiritual practice includes the Chenrezig meditation, a practice of vizualizing a form of the bodhisattva Avalokitesvara. As in many Tibetan practices, group chanting serves to bring blessings down upon those who repeat the mantra "om mani padme hum" while directing one's awareness to the body of the deity. Members of the Lotus Lake Dharma Center also meet for the Green Tara Practice dedicated to Tara, the young, green-skinned goddess whose image is depicted on hanging thangkas in the Center. Members use this to overcome fear and anxiety and acknowledge her ability to grant wishes, eliminate suffering of all kinds and bring happiness. The Center schedules open meditation sessions and offers meditation instruction. The Center also hosts visiting Tibetan Lamas for instructional sessions.

A Typical Service

Greg Eveline often leads the service, which begins after prayer sheets have been distributed to all. Pam Eveline rings bells to formally begin the service. A prayer called "Generating the Mind for Enlightenment" prepares the participants for what follows. Most members read from the papers, rather than reciting from memory. The "Seven-Line Prayer" is followed by "The Vajra Mantra." The latter is recited aloud four times, then members rapidly repeat it 108 times silently, counting on prayer beads ("mala"). Next, the Drikung Kagya is honored in prayer five times. An invocation to the female deity Tara follows. This dedication is known as "Going for Refuge and Developing Bodhicitta" and is repeated four times. In between each prayer, participants pause for a moment of reflection. Once this is completed the leader, Greg Eveline, may ask members for the names of those who are ill or otherwise in need of prayer. Once the participants respond all proceed to recite a prayer ten times to the Medicine Buddha. Next comes the "100-syllable mantra of Vajrasattva" (repeated three times) dedicated to the Buddha of Purification. The recitation of a short version of the "Chenrezing prayer" concludes the group recitation before a short period of silent meditation.


The Lotus Lake Drikung Kagyu Dharma Center was founded by the Venerable Ontul Rinpoche in the summer of 1998 in New Orleans, LA. The center is housed in a studio behind the residence of Greg and Pam Eveline. Ontul Rinpoche was born in Tibet in 1950 and is believed to be a reincarnation of Brog Ban Hui Chung Lotsaswa, one of the disciples of Guru Padmasambhava. Ontul was forced to leave Tibet in 1959 with his tutor when the Chinese government closed the Buddhist monastery where he had been raised. Ontul Rinpoche began his teachings in the U.S. in 1998 and returned in 2000 to continue them. In 2000 he formed a sister center in Tallahassee, Florida. From September 7th through 9th, 2001 the center received teachings from the Venerable Garchen Rinpoche. The Drikung Dzogchen Community Florida was then formed in 2001 to support the progressive study and practice of the Holy Dharma of the Very Profound Vision (Yangzab).