Was the Buddha a God or a Human Being?

Was the Buddha a God or a Human Being?
Growing up in Kathmandu, I usually came across two groups of people who viewed the Buddha differently. One group viewed the Buddha as a God, someone who was able to magically relieve people from their sorrows. The other group saw the Buddha as a mere human being. For the second group, the Buddha was a social reformer who proclaimed ways to achieve harmony and peace in society. This duality made little sense to me and, in fact, I had a hard time understanding if the Buddha they were talking about was the same being. This confusion only got worse as I came across other preconceived notions about Buddhism, some of them were that in order to follow Buddhism you had to become a monk or a nun, that meditation meant following your breath and nothing else, and some even hilarious ones like claiming Buddha to actually be a reincarnation of Vishnu and that Vishnu's main intention to teaching a different stream of religion was to see how committed Hindus…

Full Of

ཁེངས་པ།(Full Of) རྒྱ་མཚོ་ཆེན་པོ་ཆུ་ཡིས་ཁེངས།
The ocean is full of water,
and the compassionate one is full of followers.
The tall mountain is full of snow,
and the one with high view is full of white hair.

The flags on the mountain peak are full of movement,
and the greedy one is full of activities.
The whirling wind is full of force,
and the arrogant one is full of hatred.

The great lake on the mountain is full of ice,  and the lazy one is full of gatherings.
The breeding sheep and yaks are full of fights,  and the lustful one is full of nonsense talk.

The big tree i…

My MA Study at RYI

My MA Study at RYI
I first heard about Rangjung Yeshe Institute from my supervisor Prof. Georgios T. Halkias when I was studying in the Master of Buddhist Studies program at the University of Hong Kong. In March 2017, I was very fortunate to have the precious opportunity to go to Kathmandu to attend the teachings of Mingyur Rinpoche and Tsoknyi Rinpoche, and had the chance to visit RYI on the last day during my stay in Kathmandu, which planted a seed in my heart that soon grew into greater interest in studying Tibetan Buddhism as well as a stronger willing to immerse myself in the practice of the teachings of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition.
I was very lucky to be admitted into the MA in Buddhist Studies program at RYI, which perfectly suits my interest in the study of Indian and Tibetan Buddhist philosophy. RYI provides me with excellent language courses in both Sanskrit and Tibetan, research seminars which constantly give me inspiring new perspectives from many different aspects on imp…

Finding Balance - From Surviving to Living

Finding Balance - From Surviving to Living
Maybe some students can relate to my experience that I would like to share. I have been reflecting on the importance of living life, right here and now, to find balance which allows me to do what I do to my best ability. I love studying at RYI, I think it is one of the greatest opportunities to fully emerge myself in learning and practicing the Dharma - full time, 24hrs. But - yes, there is a 'but' - there are challenges.
Because I value my studies, there are times when I just survive to study. I endure what is happening around me, putting off life for some later time, and I ignore my needs for self-care and balance. So diligent, right? It might be, but it is not sustainable in the long run. When the batteries run low my studies will suffer however much I try to do well. Just living in Kathmandu bears lots of energy draining challenges for me, whether it’s the air pollution, the constant noise surrounding me, the bikes honking and nea…

All the Joy... Studying at RYI

All the Joy... Studying at RYI
“All the joy the world contains has come through wishing happiness for others. All the misery the world contains has come through wanting pleasure for oneself.”[1]
This is not the typical topic of discussion in any other institution in any part of the world. But it lies at the core of Buddhist practice of Mahayana to develop compassion towards limitless sentient beings. Therefore, at Rangjung Yeshe Institute, which I had the luck of attending this year, the curriculum is focused on cultivating values such as wisdom and compassion rather than simply teaching some skills for competing with others. The cultivation of bodhicitta — mind of enlightenment — is not just a topic, it is the necessary motivation to start a class.
The moment you are inside the white walls of the traditional Tibetan monastery with the sounds of various pujas going around — all surroundings are conducive for study, contemplation, and meditation. This process happens naturally and joyfull…

Becoming An “Empty” Vase

Becoming An “Empty” Vase
Given the present situation in the Tibetan Buddhist community concerning the many scandals and controversies, particularly those regarding the teacher-student relationship, I cannot hold myself from reflecting upon the flaws of what I see going on. The student-teacher relationship is not meant to be an easy endeavor. Nevertheless, I still fully trust the possibility of a healthy, well-grounded and well-directed student-teacher relationship; and I believe that in order for that to happen, much self-reflection is needed both from the teacher and the student alike. With this in mind, I wish to share a reflection about a commonly recited request that many Buddhist teachers make: Please become a perfect recipient for the teachings.
Becoming a perfect recipient is expressed through the metaphor of becoming like an upward-facing, non-leaking, clean pot. Patrul Rinpoche clearly defines what it means to be such a pot. Being “upward-facing” is described as listening to wh…

How to relax and not spend ALL of your life studying

How to relax and not spend ALL of your life studying!
Are you spending too much time on your studies? Are you so busy in gathering knowledge that you are missing out living life itself? If it is so, maybe it’s time to take a break and relax. I think studying books might quench your curiosities, give you valuable knowledge and help you build a marvelous career or make you famous, but what is the point if it is stealing away this very moment of your life? Here are a few tips on how you can relax and not spend ALL of your life studying:
1.Reflect on life Books might make you intelligent and successful but only reflection can make you wise. We often want to go too far in life that we forget to check where we are actually heading. While studying can take you to a far distance, only reflection can make sure whether the direction is right or wrong. Therefore, take some time out of your mundane student life and see what is actually going on in your life. This will open up an opportunity to make …