Estonian Nyingma is a currently operating association that unites people interested in the teachings of the Nyingma school and whose leader and teacher has been Vello Vaartnou since 1982, when he established the first Buddhist Brotherhood in Estonia.
This was the beginning of Estonian Nyingma, which is the oldest Buddhist movement in Estonia. In the 1980s this group of people were also well-known by the nickname Taola. Because the primary Taola team was expelled from Estonia by the communists, the group became known to the wider public as Estonian Nyingma through the international conferences “Buddhism & Nordland” in 2007.
Today Vello Vaartnou and Estonian Nyingma are operating mainly in Australia and have started many projects – an annual international conference “Buddhism & Australia,” that investigates Buddhism in Australasian region, an online Chinese Buddhist Encyclopaedia, an online Australian Buddhist History, series of art exhibitions etc.
Vello Vaartnou, the founder and leader of Estonian Nyingma
Vello Vaartnou is the founder of the first Buddhist Brotherhood and practical Buddhist tradition in Estonia. He is the author of two Buddhist Encyclopaedias and two international conferences in Europe and Australia. He has built numerous stupas, temples and prayer wheels, translated tens of Buddhist texts and books and is an internationally recognized thangka master. Vello Vaartnou has always stood up for his firm Buddhism based principles and all his projects are based on his voluntary work for the benefits of all sentient beings.
Vello Vaartnou studied in Ivolga Monastery, Buriatya, from 1978-1986 under the guidance of elder generation lamas, including the two Head lamas - Hambo Lama Erdineev and Hambo Lama Munko Tsybikov. In 90-s he studied in Kathmandu University and privately with Khennpo Namgyal from Bhutanese Monastery. Later he stayed for 8 years in strict solitary retreat.