Showing posts from December, 2013


Dilemma: Life, the living mischievous paradox, one way always imposes upon us the tiring and tear bringing shocks of despondency experienced after departure of futile lifeless excitement, and pain preceded by the unfulfilled strong – misleading desires. While on the other, it rouses a hope, cautious indulgence in which could bestow upon us the mastery over suffering, and lead us to the pinnacle of everlasting bliss, which in turn ends all our sufferings and wanderings. Life, when this paradox is understood, the journey ends, and the search completes. But how to understand it? How to untangle it? Whom to ask? And where to go? It seems to be an unsurmountable mystery, endless search and unanswerable question, and for me and many others, RYI is the junction where mystery starts revealing itself, and thirst starts quenching through the nectar of wisdom poured upon us through living ideals usually revered as Lopon, Khenpo, Rinpoche and many others.
Vipassana to RYI: After I completed my fir…

At home in Boudhanth

For those readers who have never been here, Boudhanath (or Boudha) is hosting one of the world's biggest stupa, an amazing monument; blinding white, compact, it contains Buddhist relics and it takes 5 minutes to circumambulate it ("making kora") —as most local devotees (a mixed crowed of Nepali, Tibetans and even Westerners) use to do daily. It lies about 11 km from the center of Kathmandu. 
The neighborhood grew exponentially in the past 30 years so that what used to be a remote place lost in the fields is now a part of Kathmandu city. But even so, I have this strange impression to travel back in time everyday, during my 10 minutes walk to school. I find myself in a medieval Asian village.  I once had a book of drawings depicting ancient times Japanese craftsmen, sitting on the floor, busy with their task, their body folded in a very peculiar pose. In Boudha, as in the whole Kathmandu valley, they still make metal sculpture with a traditional method called 'repoussé&#…

The Joy and Challenges of Learning Tibetan Language

As I look back at the year that I have spent here at Rangjung Yeshe Institute, perhaps the most enjoyable, yet challenging, aspect of my studies has been learning the Tibetan language. For years I have felt a strong desire to be able to speak, read, and write in the Tibetan language, and from the moment I started studying here a little more than one year ago, I felt an overwhelming sense of joy and heartfelt appreciation for the opportunity that was being afforded to me. The ability to converse with local Tibetans, and to begin to understand the sacred texts written by great masters and the dharma talks that are given is something that has brought an incredible sense of satisfaction into my life.  Although I still have much to learn--and of course the learning never ends--since I have set goals for myself and feel like I have put forth a respectable amount of effort in my studies, I feel like I am making decent progress and that my aspirations are well within reach. While there are man…

Congratulations Cyntia!

Congratulations to Cyntia Font Zorrilla, who successfully defended her MA thesis. The dissertation is entitled: 

A Treasure Revealer’s Inner Life A Study and Translation of Lochen Dharmaśrī’s “Inner” Biography of Chögyal Rigdzin Terdak Lingpa
The thesis supervisor was Dr. Philippe Turenne and the External Reader was Dr. Abraham Zablocki, Agnes Scott College, USA. 

Before coming to study in RYI's Translator Training Program, Cynthia completed a B.A in Archaeology and a M.A. in Archaeology and Art History Specialized in Art History from the Université Paris IV Sorbonne, where she wrote her master’s thesis on the iconography of the Dakinis. Cynthia who has her roots in Mexico, lived in many different countries and speaks more than six languages fluently. Now she has added another one: Tibetan. 

Finishing the Translator Training Program, Cynthia started teaching colloquial Tibetan at the Rangjung Yeshe Institute while at the same time studying in the M.A. program in Buddhist Studies.

For he…

The Way of the Bodhisattva

Hello to everyone on the Rangjung Yeshe Institute Student Blog. I am Raju Gurung and I am from Mustang which is the North Central Part of Nepal. Currently I am doing my BA at RYI. In the year 2011 I got to know about RYI and its Buddhist Studies Programme through one of my local friends from Boudhanath. I was really very interested to join RYI as I was also looking for some Colleges that offered Buddhist Studies.

Likewise, in the last year 2012, I had finished one of the Buddhist philosophy courses that had been offered by RYI. It was 'The Way of the Bodhisattva'by Śāntideva and I really couldn't believe how amazing and how pleasant it was to study this amazing text. In fact, by reading this text, this amazing text, Śāntidevahas really become a guide for me in my personal life.

Similarly, it is only because of this amazing text, 'The Way of the Bodhisattva', that I have come to realize and truly know the meaning of what love and compassion is. This course did not onl…

And....another MA graduate!

Congratulations to Anna Zilman!

Anna successfully defended her thesis:  
'Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo and the Nonsectarian Movement: A Critical Look at Representations of 19th Century Tibetan Buddhism'.The thesis supervisor was Dr. Philippe Turenne
and the External Reader was Prof. Dr. Dorji Wangchuk from the University of Hamburg, Germany. 

Anna, from Russia came in 2007 to the Rangjung Yeshe Institute to study Tibetan Language. After completing one year in the Bachelor's program, Anna joined the intensive one-year-long Translator Training program which was launched at that time. Successfully completing that, she continued with the B.A. and later Master of Arts program. Anna has managed the Translator Training program since 2010 and translates at various occasions at the Rangjung Yeshe Institute.
We congratulate this bright and energetic lady and hope she will keep inspiring us. 

Writing the MA thesis at Nagi Gompa

This semester is my last in the MA program, so I decided to spend most of my time at Nagi, our nunnery, so that I could write in a relaxed way and hopefully digest the information more thoroughly from having few distractions.  Although I miss our shedra sangha and especially the opportunity to talk about the dharma with such kind and learned students and teachers, it has been extremely helpful to have more mental space for contemplation and less activity to take my mind away from the material I’m writing about.  
Since I haven’t enjoyed writing until now, much of what I have learned so far this spring is how this can be a creative and artistic project, something both fun and meaningful which hopefully will clarify my many doubts, partial understandings, and misunderstandings regarding “the path” and how all the different levels of teachings fit together for the individuals who travel it.   In my past years of study writing papers was always something I did on the side, usually not leavi…