In This Issue:
Rinpoche's First Visit to Jerusalem
Words on the UM Chair
“This historic gift will allow us to expand both our undergraduate and our graduate programs in new directions. We are deeply grateful to Khyentse Foundation."
—Professor Donald Lopez, University of Michigan
What Makes You Not a Buddhist in Hebrew
In celebration of Rinpoche's first visit to Israel, a KF donor sponsored a Hebrew translation of What Makes You Not a Buddhist
Words From Rinpoche
"May I return here and become a dictator and sort out all the mess in 7 days. May I become at all times, both now and forever; a protector for those without protection; a guide for those who have lost their way; a ship for those with oceans to cross; a bridge for those with rivers to cross; a sanctuary for those in danger; a lamp for those without light; a place of refuge for those who lack of shelter; and a servant to all in need."
—Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche's aspiration in front of Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Help us build Khyentse Foundation's funding base so that we can continue to support the study and practice of all traditions of Buddhism around the world for this and future generations.
Monthly Donations Matched
When you become a monthly donor, every dollar you donate is matched by Patrons of Manjushri.
KF Social Media
Here are some highlights from the past month:
MiddleWayEducation.org is officially live, hosting a database of resources to engage young people in the Buddha’s view of wisdom and compassion, all free.
Landmark KF Chair at University of Michigan
Rinpoche's Remarks on the Second KF Chair in North America
In November 2016, Rinpoche made a rare visit to North America to visit Ann Arbor, Michigan.The reason was to investigate a possible partnership with the one of the preeminent Buddhist program in North America, led by Professor Donald Lopez at the University of Michigan. During that visit, Rinpoche sat in on classes, held discussions with professors, and found time to check out the film department.
The result of that ground-breaking visit is what we are proud to announce today: KF's second, and largest to date, academic chair, the Khyentse Gendun Chopel Professorship of Tibetan Buddhist Studies at the University of Michigan. Please read on for Rinpoche's reflections:
My colleagues at Khyentse Foundation and I are delighted to inform you that we have established a new chair of Buddhist studies at the University of Michigan.
As citizens of a world that is ever shifting, changing, and even precarious, we must all seek and contemplate sources of strength and sanity. For centuries, Buddhist study and practice have proved to bring stability and harmony to both individuals and society. So in this day and age, it is more crucial than ever that such wisdom be preserved and kept alive in important institutions of learning like the University of Michigan.
...I am particularly pleased that this new chair of Buddhist Studies is being established at the University of Michigan, where I had the privilege of visiting and meeting with some classes a year and a half ago. Not only is the University of Michigan one of the highest ranked public university in the United States, but it also has one of the oldest, largest, and most active Buddhist studies programs in North America. With a history of more than 40 years, the University of Michigan Buddhist studies program is a real pioneer in this field from which many other Buddhist academic programs have evolved.
Impact of the University of Michigan Chair
Largest Tibetan Buddhist Endowment in North America
The gift is largest dedicated to the study of Tibetan Buddhism in North America. The Khyentse Gendun Chopel Professorship of Tibetan Buddhist Studies will further enhance one of the largest Buddhist studies programs in North America, in large part due to the leadership of Professor Donald Lopez, chair of Asian languages and cultures and the Arthur E. Link Distinguished Professor of Buddhist and Tibetan Studies.
"Professor Lopez is unparalleled among senior figures in the fields of Buddhist and Tibetan Studies for his intellectual breadth as a scholar, his gift as an undergraduate teacher, and his near superhuman prolifacy as an author and translator," said
Andrew Quintman, Department of Religion associate professor at Wesleyan University. "He has fostered an approach that emphasizes the study of Tibetan religious traditions while working across geographic boundaries, historical periods, and disciplinary divides. The result is perhaps the most methodologically varied and intellectually diverse Buddhist Studies program in the world."
Michigan is the second Khyentse chair in North America. The first was established at the University of California, Berkeley, in 2006.
“I'm looking forward to being part of a growing network of scholars and programs that these chairs will provide,” said Jacob Dalton, holder of the Khyentse Chair at Berkeley.
“Tibetan Buddhist studies is a small field, and a sense of community is important both for moving our research forward and encouraging new students," Dalton continued. "Michigan and Berkeley's Buddhist studies programs already form a kind of lineage. Both Professor Robert Sharf and I received our Ph.D.s from Michigan, and Berkeley's program was in many ways built on Michigan's earlier model, with an emphasis on the study of languages and the comparison of Buddhist traditions across cultures.”
Rinpoche's First Visit to Israel
KF Relationship with Hebrew University of Jerusalem Deepened
Photo courtesy of Alexander Dogaev.
In mid-June 2018, Rinpoche visited Israel for the first time for a series of dharma teachings with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. During his visit, Rinpoche and KF executive director, Cangioli Che, made plans with Dr. Eviatar Shulman, Senior Lecturer in the Departments of Religious Studies and Asian Studies to deepen KF's support of the Buddhist studies program at the university.
"When I was first invited to speak at the university and they asked me to speak about meditation, I was really surprised," Rinpoche said. "The academic world is where people seriously, scientifically, observe the outer world, inner world, and secret world, which I appreciate very much. That’s how it should be. It complements with what Buddha himself said, to never take his teachings at face value. You have to analyze it. You have to test it. You experience it and you decide."
While in Israel, Rinpoche held a three-day workshop on meditation for 80 university students, one of the few instances that Rinpoche has been asked to teach meditation in an academic setting. He also held a public talk, What Makes You Not a Buddhist, to a standing-room only crowd of 250 people.
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