Kagyu (pa), also known as the “Whispered Transmission”, is very much concerned with the experiential dimension of meditation. Due to the Kagyu tradition’s particularly strong emphasis on Guru Devotion & Yoga and the personal transmission of esoteric instructions from master to disciple, the early Kagyu tradition gained a rise of many independent sub-sects.
Kagyu (pa) primarily follows the Vajrayana or Tantric teachings based on the so-called “New Tantras”, which were translated during the second diffusion of the Buddha Dharma in Tibet. Nowadays the term “Kagyu” is almost always used to refer to the Dagpo Kagyu, and sometimes to the separate Shangpa Kagyu tradition
The vital monasteries of Kagyu (pa):
Tsurphu monastery, one of the most important, is about 4,267 metres above sea level, located in central Tibet 70 km from Lhasa. It was founded by the first Karmapa in 1159, used to house more than 1000 monks. Tsurphu monastery was totally destroyed in 1966 during the Cultural Revolution and began to be rebuilt in 1980 by the 16th Karmapa,
Pelpung Monastery, the seat of the Tai Situpa and Jamgon Kongtrul, is located in Kham near Derge, which originated in the 12th century and wielded religious and political influence over the centuries. The 16th Karmapa was enthroned first at Pelpung before he traveled to the main seat of Tsurphu Monastery.
Pelpung Monastery located in Gyantse, is one of the most sacred places in Tibet. It is the traditional seat of the Drukpa Kagyu order of Tibetan Buddhism, and was founded in 1180 by Tsangpa Gyare who was the First Gyalwang Drukpa, The monastery is surrounded by the towering peaks and glacier fields, which from the beginning the location was recognized as especially auspicious.
Surmang Monastery,the seat of the Trungpa tülkus, also known as the Surmang Kagyu, is a sub-sect of Karma Kagyu, it even includes a unique synthesis of Nyingma teachings. Surmang also refers to a complex of nine or ten Kagyu monasteries in that area, those of which were lead by the Trungpa tülkus and the Gharwang tulkus.