Rinpoche appointed Tashi Chozom as the country representative for Khyentse Foundation in July, 2015. She works for the Royal Civil Service Commission and is a board member of Jamyang Khyenpa, the organizing body of Chökyi Gyatso Institute, which helped fortify and restore the mule track to the sacred Bhutanese valley of Singye Dzong. Here she tells us a bit about her role and her aspirations.
My perception could be biased because of my personal interest in the study of Buddhist philosophy, but I feel that now a days there are a lot of young Bhutanese interested in Dharma practice. We have traditional notion that Bhutanese are only Buddhist because we are born as one, but I feel there is a growing number of youth who now believe in what was taught 2,500 years ago and this is not out of blind faith but because they have examined these fundamental beliefs and have been convinced. Some may not want to be categorized or stigmatized as being “too religious” because that is not what the “cool” dudes do. Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche has not only made truth accessible, but he has also made it cool and trendy and acceptable in a way that fits the young minds of today.
I hope to contribute in my own small way towards achieving the vision of Khyentse Foundation, which is to support institutions and individuals engaged in all traditions of Buddhist practice and study. The first activity I am helping with is the Leadership Development Program in Paro.
While there is an emerging interest to study Buddhism, there aren’t many avenues for young lay Buddhists. I feel this is where Khyentse Foundation can provide its support. Khyentse Foundation even as of now is doing a great job for we have come across Bhutanese who are undergoing Buddhist studies in institutes such as Rangjung Yeshe Institute in Nepal, sponsored by Khyentse Foundation. I feel Khyentse Foundation should continue its support. And my role as KF representative would also be to link young Bhutanese aspiring to study Buddhist philosophy with opportunities provided by Khyentse Foundation. I am still figuring out how to be this perfect link.
I consider myself very fortunate to have this opportunity and I hope that I will be able to live up to the expectations and carry out my responsibilities well.