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The fruits that come from Rangjung Yeshe Institute

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I would like to share a few words about two inspiring people that are fruits that come from Rangjung Yeshe Institute.
One of them is Khenpo Gyaltsen, that is one of my dear and exemplary teachers. Having been born in a Himalayan family, in very young age he became a monk. After years of training, he completed his studies in Ka-Nying Shedrub Ling, where the Rangjung Yeshe Institute is located. After that, he received his degree of Khenpo, Doctored in Buddhist Philosophy, from Ngahyur Nyingma Institute. Nowadays, he is teacher for the monks of the Shedra of Ka-Nying Shedrub Ling and also for the international students from the Rangjung Yeshe Institute. I personally have the great fortune of having been taught by him on very precious and profound teachings, as studies on Prajnaparamitta Heart Sutra; Mulamadhyamaka-karikas – Root Verses of the Middle Way, among others high subjects. I also received several meditations instructions that come from his personal experience as a very committed …

Gratitude as a Source of Joy

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Gratitude as a Source of Joy

We have a saying in my country: “Being grateful is [a sign of] being well-born”. I always think that there is a lot of wisdom in these traditional sayings. The importance of gratitude is unfathomable, until the point that being or not being grateful draws the line between a happy and an unhappy person or even a pleasant and an unpleasant person. Being grateful is an incredible quality that brings joy to oneself and others, since one is able to appreciate what one has and how one got it, thanks to others.
When we get to know about the interdependence of phenomena, we learn to appreciate the immense kindness of others. When acknowledging the effort, work and time invested by others so that we can enjoy a simple plate of food, for instance, we cannot but value and respect all the people who participated in the process of creating that plate, and feel extremely lucky for receiving that meal. Similarly, when studying at Rangjung Yeshe Institute, I cannot but fee…

A letter to Classical Tibetan

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A letter to Classical Tibetan


Dear Classical Tibetan,
our story began three years ago, when I came to Nepal to study a Buddhist text at a Shedra, and they also offered Classical Tibetan lessons. In the beginning, I was amazed by all your lines and squiggles, since I never learned an alphabet different from my own. When I first managed to transform these squiggles into actual sounds, I thought the hardest part would lie behind me. Little did I know. You forced me through your spellings that just made zero sense to me, and then you threw all these particles at me until I couldn’t feel my brain anymore. In the beginning, all I could understand were sentences about yaks and rabbits drinking tea. I hadn’t looked at a sutra in my life, and I was planning to keep it that way. But with your subtle but persistent charm you lured me into RYI, and there I was, sitting in a proper class setting, learning your expressions for Dharma things. Slowly I got to read along puja texts and understanding a wor…

Feelings

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THE FEELINGS
Firstly as the recipient of the South Asia and Himalayan Scholarship, I am highly honored and would like to express my sincere heartfelt gratitude for the tremendous support bestowed to me through this scholarship. Without a doubt this scholarship will play key role in my educational dreams and I knew I had been given the privilege to attend a prestigious program that not many people were lucky enough to which bestowed in me a sense of obligation to use the opportunity effectively.
Changes can make people overwhelm with the newness of the situation. Moving from a high school to a university is one of the largest changes to my life. I was very excited, since I finally made it to the university that I and my parents dreamed about. But then at the very beginning it’s hard to put my nerves to the bed, as I felt that I entered some new world and this program made me realize how big and complex the world really is. Will I fit? Am I smart enough? Will I be able to relate creditabl…

Muara Jambi – The Sources of Atisha’s Lojong

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Muara Jambi – The Sources of Atisha’s Lojong   
I was born in Jambi, a town in Central Sumatra. Half hour from Jambi, there is the Muara Jambi Temple Compounds. Most people have heard of the Buddhist temple complexes in Indonesia, such as Borobudur, are located on the island of Java. Apparently, a lot of people do not know that in Sumatera island, precisely in Jambi, there is one of the largest Buddhist temple complexes in South East Asia – Muara Jambi Compounds. Compared to Borobudur, the Muara Jambi temple complex is much smaller and more dispersed. This makes it a bit challenging for visitors to see everything.
The Muara Jambi Compound was believed by some archeologists to be a center of Buddhist studies and practices in the past. Moreover, Atisha was also believed to receive the precious teaching of bodhicitta (enlightenment mind) here from his teacher Serlingpa Dharmakirti (or also known as Svarnadvipa Guru).[1] Due to the kindness of his teacher, Atisha could teach and spread the …

Basking Under the Dharma Sun

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Basking Under the Dharma Sun

"Buddhist Studies? Wow, so interesting. Where?" starts the familiar drill.
"In Nepal," I reply.
"Oh!!.....where in Nepal?"
"In Kathmandu."
"Oh okay....is it in the main city of Kathmandu itself?"
"Yes, but not in the city center. It's in a neighborhood called Boudha."
"Ahh..alright. What did you say it was called?"
"Rangjung Yeshe Institute."

This is often followed by a head nod, an "Ahh, I see...," or the plain old awkward silence. Sometimes though, I am given an eager look anticipating a response, as if just uttering the name of the college was insufficient without an explanation of the intentions behind my decision.

As I finish my semester of classes, this interrogative expression doesn't confound me as much as it did before moving to Kathmandu valley. Having to state the series of causes and conditions that contributed to me quitting a job I loved to study B…

Truckin'

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Truckin’
The last 100 days in Boudha, as I approach the end of my first semester of study at Rangjung Yeshe and first time in Nepal, remind me of that line from the Grateful Dead song Truckin’:Sometimes the lights all shinin’ on me, other times I can barely see. But lately it occurs to me what a long, strange trip it’s been.


Such an odd choice of adjectives and perhaps song lyrics isn’t to convey a lack of enjoyment or signal discontentment, don’t get me wrong. The learning has been tremendous. Just that lessons have coalesced, spontaneously and unexpectedly across my windshield. I hope I don’t miss my turning. I decided three years ago I wanted to study Buddhism and I still think my understanding of the subtle and profound Dharma is basic and contrived. But the last three months have felt like I’m heading somewhere. I can’t explain why, but it’s a feeling I have.



A friend here at RYI, who’s wiser than I will ever be, over beers casually remarked that he’s always grateful for intense, a…