We invite Buddhist students to join the 2020 Rigpa Shedra in Pharping, Nepal, for a period of in-depth study under the guidance of Khenchen Namdrol Rinpoche. We will be offering two levels of studies, covering both Mahayana and Vajrayana topics.
The Shedra is open to all students, whether interested in following the complete curriculum, or wishing to join for only one year to boost their study and practice.
Next year, newer students will have the chance to immerse themselves in the study of the Bodhicharyavatara, Shantideva’s outstanding treatise on entering the Bodhisattva’s way of life, while intermediate and advanced level students will have the opportunity to study Longhenpa’s Finding Rest in the Nature of Mind, using a wonderful new translation by Padmakara.
If you are interested, please let us know by filling up the application form. We will get in touch with you and will be happy to answer all the questions you might have. Note that the application is not yet a commitment on your side but will allow us to know you and contact you.
You will find all necessary details below.
This is open to all students, and is especially intended for students coming to the shedra for the first time.
To study the Bodhicharyavatara we will use the commentary of the great Tibetan master Khenpo Kunzang Palden. Countless great masters have praised the value of studying and taking to heart Shantideva’s practical and profound teaching.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama once said: “If I have any understanding of compassion and the bodhisattva path, it is entirely on the basis of studying the Bodhicharyavatara that I possess it.”
And Sogyal Rinpoche said: “The Bodhicharyavatara shows us how to educate ourselves dharmically and transform our basic character. It is called ‘Entering the Bodhisattva Way of Life’ because it offers us an entire culture, a whole way of life and being, which is completely different from the ordinary samsaric culture that we’re used to living in. When you really take these teachings to heart, they make you into a perfect human being—a true bodhisattva.”
The Bodhicharyavatara will be taught in English by one of our senior Shedra graduates. More details will be posted here when the decision is finalized.
Finding Rest in the Nature of Mind
Finding Rest in the Nature of Mind, Longchenpa’s classic Buddhist manual for attaining liberation, teaches us how to familiarize ourselves with our most basic nature—pristine and empty awareness. Written in the fourteenth century, this text is the first volume of Longchenpa’s Trilogy of Rest, a work within the Tibetan Dzogchen tradition. It is a profound and comprehensive presentation of the Buddhist view and path that combines a scholastic expository method with direct pith instructions designed for serious practitioners. The subject matter covers both Sutra and Tantra.
In 2020 we will study the first eight chapters of the text, which present Longchenpa’s brilliant exegesis of key Sutra teachings.
The second half of the text covering the Tantra teachings will be taught at Shedra 2021. Attending the first year (Sutra) will be a prerequisite for the second.
“Rest is what we all lack most. Even more agonizing is that we don’t know how to do it; in fact, we don’t even understand what it means to rest. Who but Longchenpa can and will make absolutely sure that we finally understand what rest is?” —Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche
In his stunningly poetic exposition, the Trilogy of Rest, Gyalwa Longchenpa illumines the great path to enlightenment with unsurpassable depth and detail. Volume 1 of the trilogy, Finding Rest in the Nature of the Mind, sets us upon that path, grounding us from our very first steps through to the profound—showing the most profound to be grounded in unshakable simplicity. Brilliantly clarifying the complexities we create to come to this realization, Longchenpa easily and clearly reveals the concordance of the journey’s various stages.
This new translation of one of the greatest classics of the Nyingma School is wonderfully accessible and a most welcome contribution filled with the rich biographical and historical details of Longchenpa’s own journey. Reading this book, one cannot help but feel the ping of recognition that goes beyond words to the heart of direct experience.
” —Khandro Rinpoche
Our teacher will be Khenpo Tashi Tseten, a brilliant young Khenpo from Namdrolling Monastery in South India. He is one of the most promising Khenpo of his generation and has been teaching at the Rigpa Shedra for the past five years. Together with the wealth of his knowledge and the clarity of his explanations, he has a rare capacity to tune into students’ understanding and needs, which makes his teachings truly inspiring and illuminating.
The Rigpa Shedra East also offers all students the opportunity to learn Tibetan. Tibetan classes on several levels, from absolute beginners to translators in the making, are part of the shedra’s daily schedule.
If you are interested, please let us know by filling up the application form. We will get in touch with you and will be happy to answer all the questions you might have. We are aware that it is not always easy to free yourself for three months and to make your decision for such a big commitment. We can explore together to determine if this program is appropriate for your needs.
Note that the application is not yet a commitment on your side but will allow us to know you and contact you. The commitment to join our program only comes at the time of registration later in September, which is accompanied by payment.
Dates & Prices
Please note that the prices might be subject to change depending on the fluctuation of currencies. Final prices will be known once all applications have been processed and at the time of payment.
- For both classes :
January 8th to April 8th 2020
Total Fees: 2550€
details: Tuition 1500€, food 600€, accommodation 450€.
Additionally you can roughly plan for the following expenses:
- Flight: between 800€ and 1500€, depending on timely booking, distance & airline
- Visa for three months and one week: 130€. 100$ for the first 90 days visa to be imperatively done at the airport when you first arrive. After the first 90 days, each 15 days extensions costs 30$
- Mandatory Insurance: up to 350€, see medical disclaimer
- Extras: between 500€ and 1000€, depending on your life style. This includes 150€ for Tsok and other offerings.
The main class each day is either held in English directly or translated live from Tibetan into English. All other classes and activities are held in English.
Most foreigners find life very pleasant and easy in Nepal and Nepalese people are on average very welcoming and kind. Yet anyone coming to the Shedra must be aware that Nepal is a developing country; among the poorest in the world. This has consequences in terms of comfort, hygiene, power and water availability, quality of internet, roads and so on. Nevertheless, to the best of our capacities within this environment, the Rigpa Shedra offers comfort conditions that are suitable to Westerners and conducive to study (accommodation in single rooms with shared bathrooms, vegetarian meals under hygienic conditions, batteries for power outage, etc.), keeping in mind that it is a retreat and monastic environment, and not in any case a holiday resort. Since its inception in 2006, the Rigpa Shedra has welcomed more than 170 different students from all over the globe for several months (many of which have been returning every year) and most – if not all – have had a pleasant experience despite (or because of!) the differences from the typical Western environment.
The Rigpa Shedra cannot be held responsible for any loss, theft or damage to personal property or bodily injury or death during the period of the Rigpa Shedra East. We cannot provide medical or psychological care, medication, hospitalization or transportation. Please ensure that you are adequately covered. Proof of medical insurance is required to attend Rigpa Shedra. There are neither medical staff nor medical facilities on-site. The Shedra is a place for studying Tibetan Buddhist teachings which are not intended as a substitute for psychotherapy. If you have a psychological or psychiatric problem, we recommend that you inform your therapist before coming, and you need to notify us prior to your registration. If you are taking medication prescribed by your doctor, do not discontinue it during your stay. If you disregard this advice we regret that The Rigpa Shedra cannot be held responsible.
Natural Disaster Disclaimer
Nepal is part of the Himalayan region and is subject to unpredictable natural disasters such as earthquakes. Coming to Nepal involves taking a risk. Safety measures and facilities in this country do not always comply with Western standards. The Rigpa Shedra cannot be held responsible for damage to personal property, bodily injury or death during the period of the Rigpa Shedra program. For your information, the earthquakes which happened in 2015 haven’t damaged the Shedra buildings and everybody was safe.
Traditionally a shedra takes place in a monastic environment where a strict set of rules is implemented, permeating all levels of everyday life (for an example of these rules please visit the Ngagyur Nyingma Institute website). Khen Rinpoche Namdrol and other masters have advised that a similar set of rules be applied to the Rigpa Shedra since they have proven to be a great support for one’s study. It is not easy to transfer a system of rules designed for a Tibetan monastic environment to a group of western students, nevertheless a frame of rules will be proposed to the shedra students so that they will be able to make the best of their precious time.
In addition, we will operate under the Rigpa Code of Conduct, which we strongly suggest you familiarize yourself with it.