On 4 October 2007, Sogyal Rinpoche officially opened Rigpa's new Centre in Berlin, Germany, in the presence of officials from the Mayor's office, representatives of other Buddhist groups, and 350 sangha members also attended.
At the opening ceremony, Rinpoche gave a moving speech about the future of the centre and its purpose. He said:
I feel a great sense of joy and inspiration to be here with you this evening, and to take part in this opening of the new Rigpa centre in Berlin.
This centre has come into being through the vision, generosity and commitment of a number of my students here in Germany, and today, as we gather in this magnificent building, I would like to pay tribute to their kindness and dedication.
This centre is one of the largest Buddhist city centres of its kind in Europe... It is a truly remarkable achievement, something that we can indeed celebrate and feel proud of. And it offers tremendous possibilities for our activities in the future... The whole point of a centre such as this is to be of service and of benefit to as many people as possible.
We can sum up the essence of the Buddhist teachings in just two words: wisdom and compassion. If you were to ask me what is the purpose of a centre such as this, it is precisely that - to bring the wisdom and compassion of the Buddha's teachings directly into people's lives, in a way that can truly be of help to them. That is the goal of our centre here.
The building has been painstakingly and beautifully renovated and has three shrine rooms. The main shrine room houses a three metre Buddha statue, a replica of the seven metre Buddha statue in the Lerab Ling Temple. These statues are made in the likeness of what is universally recognised in the Buddhist world as the most sacred representation of the Buddha, the renowned statue at Bodhgaya in northern India, the place where the Buddha attained enlightenment more than 2,500 years ago.
The centre also has 28 apartments, a vegetarian cafe, the "Lotus Lounge”, a bookshop & library.