Showing posts from April, 2014

Byproduct of Buddhist Studies

Casting a glance backwards, time has elapsed like a launched rocket. Although I came to Nepal half a year ago, I still feel like I just arrived a week ago. I am sure that this feeling indicates how joyful studying at RYI in Nepal is for me. Let me tell you how joyful it is by stating two reasons.
First, as human beings we all have a strong desire for happiness and we are trying our utmost to approach it from all different angles. Yet very few can have even a single happy day without any worries or fears. This tells us that our approaches are incorrect. Well then, the right approach is to engage oneself in studies or practices which lead to the realization of the true nature of phenomena. For this realization the Buddhist studies are considered a universally good approach. As a Buddhist follower, after engaging in actual studies of Buddhism for a few months at RYI, I found that Buddhist teachings are really appealing in terms of being content and peaceful, which are the bases of happin…

The Birthplace Of Buddhism

During last our reading week a group of RYI students went to Lumbini (in present-day Nepal), the birthplace of the lord Buddha Shakyamuni(563 BCE to 483 BCE) on pilgrimage by bus. It was 232 km from Kathmandu city, but the road there was very good quality. We left at 7:30 am from Kathmandu city and we arrived there around 8 pm, but as it was dark we could not see much further than the bus station. There was no electricity at that time but the sky was bright and full of stars. Then we contacted our friend lama Lhag Pa, and he welcomed us to his monastery, the ‘German Monastery’ (a Tibetan Buddhist monastery sponsored by Germans). He invited us to stay in his monastery until we returned, and the monastery cooked for us every day.  
The next day I walked outside and looked around. The landscape was full of trees and grass, especially rich kusha grass. In Tibet kusha grass is a holy grass because the lord Buddha Shakyamuni achieved enlightenment while sitting on a bed of this plant. It is …

Sing, Sing, get the Swing!

It is almost frightening how fast my three years of studying at RYI in the BA program have passed by. Now there are only a few weeks of the final semester left and therefore, I
would like to take the opportunity to share my experiences of my third study year with you. I made two major decisions regarding my study plan which I have not regretted and which I would  like to recommend to you because they have benefited me a lot.

              The first is my decision to start with Sanskrit. If you are thinking about doing so, too, please ignore  all  ominous voices whispering what  a  horribly  difficult language Sanskrit is. It is not! In fact,  it  is  just  about singing. Kashinath  and  Paul  in  combination  offer  a  unique  way of studying  this  beautiful  poetic  language  at  RYI.  The reason  why  I  think  that  Sanskrit  is  not  a difficult language is that there is not really much to understand in terms of linguistics. At the end of the day it is all about singing – and takin…

New Path, White Mountains

My new path started at the end of he monsoon season of 2012, when I first entered the class in the monastery, grabbed myself a cushion, and tried to understand how I am supposed to cross my legs, and to make them stay crossed, for the next hour and a half. When the Lopon (a term which I had no idea at that time what it meant) entered the class, I stood up like everyone - but unlike everyone else, I stayed frozen in my place, amazed by what's going on around me. Amazed by this new world into which I stepped.

When I first landed here my Tibetan vocabulary (or what I thought was Tibetan) was limited to two words: "dalai" and "lama", and honestly, even the meaning of those two I didn't quite understand (it turns out they are Mongolian loan-words), and the only connection I had to the dharma was a picture of me next to a stupa from a trip I once made to India.
But still there was something that drew me to come here, to Nepal, to study Tibetan and to try to figur…