Showing posts from January, 2014

What a realization can do...

While studying at RYI I learned from the beginning that there is a big difference between understanding something and realizing something. Understanding can help, but realizing a fact that one was already persuaded about before can give a whole new perspective to everything. Even if it's only a tiny realization.

This came to me while I was in the hospital a few weeks ago. I realized something I have been taught over and over in the Bodhicharyavatara class (and many other teachings) - that clinging to the body is stupid.

The body is so fragile and also quite unreliable when it comes to working properly, regarding health and "staying alive". Plus it defines a great part of our experience of moments in life. So much depends on the circumstances of our body, that there's not much left that could depend on other outer circumstances. For example, when one is at one's dream place, a beautiful beach maybe, and one is sick at the same time, the body is in between one'…

Visit to Serthar and the Larung Institute

Before the start of the summer intensive, I had the great fortune to spend time in Yunnan and Sichuan. These two provinces include much of eastern Kham and bits of Amdo. So I was able to visit Tibetan areas such as Gyalthang, Dechen, Lithang, Dardo, Minyak, among others. However, one of the most special places I visited was Serthar. I had never heard of Serthar (Tib: གསེར་ཐར། Ch: 色达) before but was lucky enough to have a travelling companion who had.  She suggested we go there and so we did. What makes Serthar so remarkable is the Larung Institute for the Five Traditional Sciences and Higher Buddhist Studies (Tib: བླ་རུང་ལྔ་རིག་ནང་བསྟན་སློབ་གླིང་། Ch: 五明佛学院) founded by the great Jigme Phuntsok, a renown Nyingmapa Terton. Larung is a massive monastic complex which houses around 40,000 monks, nuns, as well as some lay practitioners - all of whom study, live, and practice together. It is truly enormous!  Immediately upon arrival at Larung, my impression was that this is how the great Nalan…

Joyful application

It is semester break for the students of the study programs at Rangjung Yeshe Institute. Being a BA student myself, I enjoy the open schedule after an intense period of study while completing the fall semester.
Now, the many practice opportunities here in Boudha easily fill my schedule yet again! However, I find delight in the fruits of study: in conversations, interactions and while listening to teachings, I keep encountering the material studied during the previous semesters and it seems to continue to connect the dots of knowledge further and further.
Especially the teachings on dependent origination that many of us contemplated through the presentation of Mipham Rinpoches “Gateway to Knowledge”, keeps being a wonderful framework for any daily encounter. - How did my meal come about? How come, I heard of some event at a particular time? How is it that I meet the people I meet? All these events seem almost magic, considering the reflection of not being in control myself, but to be m…