“There is so much benefit to helping those who want to study and practice. Especially practice. It is important that we train Tibetans how to teach religion to the Westerners. I feel that there is quite a gap, a cultural gap that lacks real communication. If we really want to help people understand Buddhism, I think that it is quite important for westerners, non-Tibetans, themselves to teach.”
– Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche
Individual Practice Grants
Khyentse Foundation Individual Practice Grants support individuals who wish to practice Dharma on retreat, at public teachings, or in other practice environments. KF accepts applications from practitioners and retreatants from all traditions, schools, and sects of Buddhism.
KF accepts open scholarship applications twice a year, from December 15 – January 15 and from June 15 – July 15. Applicants will be notified by May 15 and November 15, respectively.
Applications are reviewed by an international selection committee appointed by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche.
KF Practice Grants generally range from US$500 to $5,000, and occasionally more, depending on the project.
DJKR on Creating Practice Environment
It is beyond doubt that the past glory of Buddhism was due to its followers’ courage in seeking the true meaning beyond a material life. But we should never forget that this glory was also due to the support provided by people and nations who saw value in such pursuits. Even great kings and warlords have put aside their usual ambitions in the interest of supporting the Buddhadharma. Khyentse Foundation wishes to follow in these footsteps. Buddhism has enjoyed many golden eras – the age of Ashoka’s Mauryan Empire (3rd century B.C.), the Chinese Tang Dynasty (8th century A.D.), Japan’s Tendai Dynasty (9th century A.D.), Kublai Khan’s reign (12th century A.D.), and preinvasion Tibet. During those times, Buddhism suffused all parts of society. Just as people nowadays worship Ivy League graduates, Hollywood stars, and football players, the general public had tremendous respect for professional renunciants. They saw the value in investing in the enterprise of seeking enlightenment. We are trying to build an atmosphere and circumstance of a Dharma-friendly world, to become patrons to all the aspiring practitioners from all traditions. In traditional Buddhist countries, when sadhus and yogis begged for food on the street so they could practice the Dharma, people looked at them with awe and respect, the way we in the present-day look at cancer research doctors. They thought, “Wow, these people are doing an amazing job, searching for the truth for the benefit of the rest of the world.” So they offered food and shelter, they paid homage, they gave respect. Times have changed. Now, these sadhus are shooed away from the doorsteps and Citibanks.
We read instructions in classic texts telling us to become homeless wanderers, go to the mountains, dwell in the forest. But the modern world does not allow most of us to do that. Nevertheless, to become a Dharma practitioner, it is important to create the conditions for Dharma practice. Not simply buying meditation cushions and incense but creating the habit of Dharma practice. Not just for oneself but for others. Obviously, we can’t go around and make the whole universe a Dharma-friendly environment — but we can aim for that goal.
Practitioners often come to me worried that they have lost the inspiration to practice the Dharma. This is one of the biggest challenges. But the fact that you consider this as a problem is very good, because that means you have an awkward feeling. Awkwardness is a good sign. If you are feeling awkward, Buddhanature is in action.
– Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche