by Fabienne Jagou, Lecturer, EFEO.
From the 1950s to the present, Tibetan Buddhism has been experiencing a boom in Taiwan. Chinese lay Buddhists were the pioneers before Tibetan masters were invited to teach and open centers and monasteries. Gongga Laoren (1903-1997), a Chinese laywoman who studied with Tibetan masters in Tibet in the 1940s, then fled to Hong Kong and finally to Taiwan in the late 1950s, was at the origin of the development of Tibetan Buddhism on the island. She focused on founding and growing her own community while contributing to the arrival of Tibetan masters. Her life, actions, and achievements will show the fundamentals behind the success of Tibetan Buddhism in a Han cultural milieu.