The Bön is the fifth Tibetan spiritual school; it includes the old Bön, the Yungdrung Bön and the New Bön.
Excerpt from one lecture given by Yongdzin Rinpoche in 2006 in Shenten Dargye Ling:
In Tibet, the early culture was called Bön. Bön is the real basis of Tibetan culture and there are three categories:
- Primitive Bön : you can still see some of these practices in the Himalayas.
- Yungdrung Bön : once Yundrung Bön came to Tibet, it was practised until the 8th century. It became a kind of national religion. That didn't happen immediately as people were not forced to convert to it.
- New Bön : in the 8th century, Buddhism came to Tibet. Some people tried to integrate Buddhism and Bön as dictated by the times because it was necessary to preserve something. So they integrated and that is called New Bön. It still exists in East Tibet.
Yungdrung Bön teachings are presented either in 5 Branches or in 9 Ways. The Bonpo Canon has 178 volumes and the Commentaries 300 volumes.
The two main Bonpo monasteries, Menri (founded in 1405) and Yungdrung Ling (founded in 1834), have been destroyed in Tibet after 1959. The refugees went first to Dolanji, India, then also to Kathmandu, Nepal, from 1986.