Last year, Khyentse Foundation established a joint financial aid fund with Rangjung Yeshe Institute in Nepal (RYI). Founded by Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche more than 25 years ago, RYI combines traditional Buddhist monastic learning with modern academic scholarship in Buddhist studies and Himalayan languages. International and local students at RYI earn BA or MA degrees accredited by Kathmandu University, and KF has donated $US10,000 toward financial aid for ordained sangha, regular students, and work-study participants. In particular, KF funds have enabled RYI to offer Ordained Sangha Scholarships since spring 2011. Tuition awards are partial or full, depending on need, and allow students to pursue their commitment to Dharma.

RYI’s website (shedra.org) quotes Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche’s praise of learning, taken to heart by its students:

Listen to the Buddha’s teaching and you become pure, serene and gentle.

Contemplate and you gain confidence in liberation.

Meditate and you discover your inner natural wisdom.

Therefore, strive hard to listen, contemplate and meditate!

In spring and fall 2011, a diverse group of students qualified for scholarships.  Among the recipients were Ven. Joyadip, a Theravadin monk from Bangladesh; Ryan Conlon (Lungtok Rabsel) from Canada; Heather Daniels (Ani Sangye Chödrön) from the USA; Gabriel Jaeger (Ngawang Tenphel) from Brazil; Moa Brattwall (Ani Dhondrup Drolma) from Sweden, recommended by Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche; and Lucas Henriksson (Dhonyo Namgyal), also from Sweden.

Non-ordained students from Nepal, Tibet, Russia, Denmark, Austria, the Czech Republic, the United States, Canada, Germany, and Mauritius are also receiving support for their studies. Lungtok Rabsel successfully defended his thesis, “Waves on the Ocean, Tracing the Fault-Lines of Ontological Commitments in the Madhyamaka Conventional Truth.” Ven. Joyadip also received his MA with the thesis “A Study of the Vinaptimatra Doctrine of Vasubandhu and Dharmapala in the Context of Critiques Found in Candrakirti’s Madhyamakavatara.”

Financial aid students maintain academic excellence, and many are actively involved in RYI’s operations through video, web, library, and audio transcription projects. All aspire to contribute to Buddhadharma through future works such as text translation, formal retreats, teaching, and translating for Tibetan masters. RYI writes that the institute and students offer their profound gratitude to Khyentse Foundation for its financial and moral support.

Fall 2011 Group:

Front row, left to right: Moa Brattwall (Sweden), Gabriel Jaeger (Brazil), Lucas Henriksson (Sweden), Heather Daniels (USA)

Middle row: John Harris (USA), Puja Shrestha (Nepal), Julie Jay (Canada), Ales Ryznar (Czech Republic), Timothy Hinkle (USA), Anna Zilman (Russia)

Back row: Gregory Bouchard (Mauritius), Yuri Gruznov (Russia), Chloe Cramer (Germany)

Not in the photo: Tenzin Choezom (Nepal)