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Bön tradition

Bön culture dates back several thousand years, its origin was lost in the midst of time but its presence is still attested over a wide area. Some experts believe it started in the region now known as modern Iran and would have subsequently been introduced into the territory of Tibet and also covering parts of China, Nepal and the great region of Ladakh in the Himalayas. It was not until the eighth century that Buddhism moved to Tibet and took its place as the main tradition. During the eighth to eleventh century, Bön culture had become the minority in Tibet and thus several texts were hidden or lost. Bön tradition experienced a renaissance during the eleventh century, when many of those texts were found and their lessons were once again accessible. The Menri monastery in Tibet was established during the fourteenth century and became the center for the Bön tradition.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama has recently recognized the Bön as one of the greatest religious traditions of Tibet.

The Bönpo now live in the vast Himalayan region, Tibet, India, Nepal, Sikkim and Bhutan.

In 1959 several Tibetans, many of whom were of Bön tradition, fled Tibet and took refuge in Dolanji in Himachal Pradesh in northern India. The Menri monastery was re-founded at Dolanji in 1967 and became the new center of the Bön tradition.