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Showing posts from July, 2015

The Great Stupa

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Kora around the great stupa tends to end our evenings. Less people and noise inspires a sense of sincerity difficult to cultivate during the day. 
As a student of Rangjung Yeshe Institute, our days are quite busy, and the focus is on study and reflection. The early bedtimes of residential Boudhanath makes it easy to set aside one method of progressing along the path for another. I have found such appreciation and practicality in this great stupa of ours. Lucky to have the opportunity to study at an institute that has an appreciation for the unity of study and practice, I make aspirations to understand and engage in the day’s lesson. 

Coming from Bhutan, the blessings and places of power that are spread throughout my country are said to be limitless. Yet, here, I am fortunate in that I am studying and contemplating the teachings, and am motivated by more than just the transformative power of this historic place. 

My fellow students and teachers encourage a rich level of interest in invest…

Compassion is the Driving Force of Bodhisattvas

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To reiterate what some others have said in their blog posts, Rangjung Yeshe is a special Institution that combines a monastic style approach with “western” academic classes. Through this blog I have read many inspiring testimonials about Rangjung Yeshe and really do think that the Institute deserves the praise it has gotten and more. Yet somehow I have found it difficult to come up with anything new to say about the Institute.

Perhaps it is not enough to just commend the Institute itself. It is definitely wonderful and all that but I believe that Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche and gang make this a truly special place to be. Beyond the academic platform it is Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche who seems to make the teachings we receive in the classroom come alive. Being the jaded and small-minded person that I am, I often fall into states of lethargy and procrastination. At times I even find myself labeling the materials I study as dry, intellectual philosophy because they seem far removed from my experienc…

Integrating the earthquake experience

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It’s now over six weeks that the massive earthquake hit Nepal. The changes that began through it are still in the works and their ends are not to be seen, yet. Houses, monasteries, temples…in fact the main class rooms and offices of RYI needed to move and are on the way to being rebuilt.
One might wonder, what is it like to be in a massive earthquake like that? While individual experiences differ, one can summarize this experience as being very un-grounding. All that was familiar and considered stable before the earthquake, now seems unreliable. A massive earthquake that changes ones lives so drastically, does indeed give much insight into impermanence, one’s mortality and the preciousness and fleeting nature of this moment of our life. 
Although impermanence is generally considered frightening and a topic most likely avoided, in Buddhist studies this topic is not only discussed, but its contemplation highly encouraged. And in fact, as this earthquake showed me, holding the truth of im…