“We’re trying to present 2,500-year-old values to the 21st century.”

– Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

 

The Dharma is transforming lives around the world as people from all walks of life discover the wisdom and compassion that define the Buddha’s teachings. There are now an estimated 500 million people studying, practicing, and seeking teachings on the Dharma. Therefore the current and next generations of Buddhist teachers, tulkus, lamas, and scholars—lay and monastic, eastern and western, male and female—have a historic opportunity to make a positive impact on society. KF is investing in helping the next generation of Buddhist leaders and teachers meet the challenges of the 21st Century.

Khenpos and Tulkus

In the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, tulkus are expected to be secular leaders, managing their own monasteries, retreat centers, or institutes of learning, and many will oversee nonprofit charities or foundations. But despite their rigorous Buddhist training in the monastic environment, few have acquired the leadership and management skills they need to fulfill their roles. Khyentse Foundation is developing innovative programs to help those who are responsible for Buddhist institutions acquire the skills of modern leadership and management. Based on the best practices in employed by businesses and global nonprofit institutions, these trainings offer the tools, skills, and processes necessary to deepen the connections between today’s Buddhist leaders and institutions and our global society.

The foundation is also coordinating large-scale programs to offer courses for khenpos and tulkus in languages (primarily English and Chinese), computer science and technology, progressive teaching methodology, social studies, history, economics, and more.

Leadership and Management Training at a Glance
  • Most of the training of today’s tulkus and rinpoches takes place in a traditional monastic environment.
  • Tibetan tulkus and rinpoches and teachers from other Buddhist lineages need to also be skilled as “secular” leaders or managers — for example, steering their monasteries in practical terms, heading large nonprofit organizations, and understanding and teaching students from nontraditional backgrounds.
  • Khyentse Foundation’s Leadership and Management Program is a comprehensive development curriculum to give today’s tulkus and rinpoches access to cutting-edge skills and capabilities in leadership and management.
  • The KF Visiting Scholar Program gives future leaders an opportunity to be immersed in western culture and academia.
  • Monastic managers interested in hosting training programs at their institutions can contact: christine@khyentsefoundation.otg

 

Leadership and Management Team Members

Chris Jay, Project Director, Leadership Development for Khenpos and Tulkus

Sydney Jay, Project Director, Leadership Development for Khenpos and Tulkus

Anja Hartmann, Faculty

James Hopkins, Faculty

Elizabeth Mygatt, Faculty

Joy Zhu, Faculty

Douglas Gerber, Faculty

Rainer Schmitz, Faculty

Mrs. Jaya Das, Teacher Trainer

Milestones

2010 Rinpoche asks Chris and Sydney Jay to design a leadership and management program to “bring the monks into the 21st century.”

2011, 2012, and 2013 Khenpos and tulkus at Dzongsar Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö Institute attend ten-day workshops, led by Chris and Sydney Jay.

2014 “Excellence in Leadership and Management: Core Concepts and Best Practices” workshop held at Shechen Monastery, Boudha, Kathmandu.

2015 Teacher training with Mrs. Jaya Das in Chauntra, attended by more than 40 rinpoches, lamas, tulkus, and khenpos, including the heads of four major monasteries.

2015-2016 Leadership programs organized for the Shechen, Sakya, and Drukpa Kagyu communities.

Participants

 

Abaya Rinpoche
Adzom Gyalse Tulku
Avikrita Rinpoche
Changling Rinpoche
Chenrab Palden
Chogyad Zhabdrung Rinpoche
Christine Ng
Chung Tulku (Bhutan)
Dagpo Zhabdrung Rinpoche
Dawa Drukpa
Do Tulku
Dongtsang Zhabdrung Rinpoche
Drawu Meghen Tulku Rinpoche
Dudjom Yangsi Rinpoche
Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche
Emily Crow
Gyalse Tulku, Sechen Bhutan
Gyalwa Dokhampa Rinpoche
Gyangkhang Rinpoche
Hanna Hegan
Huang Jing Rui
Jamyang Tenzin
Jennifer Yo
Jigme Tenzing
Josh Lee, Director SI-HK
Khenpo Chenyang Gyatso
Khenpo Choying Dorjee
Khenpo Choying Lhundup
Khenpo Chozin
Khenpo Gyurmed Tsultrim
Khenpo Jamzang
Khenpo Jurmay Tshulthrim
Khenpo Ngawang Dorje
Khenpo Ngawang Gyaltsen
Khenpo Ngawang Woser
Khenpo Pasang
Khenpo Samdrup
Khenpo Sangay Phuntskok
Khenpo Sonam Phuntsok
Khenpo Sonam Singgy
Khenpo Sonam Tsewang
Khenpo Tashi Dorjee
Khenpo Thinley Chosal
Khenpo Thinley Dorjee
Khenpo Thupten Drukdak
Khenpo Tsering
Khyentse Yangsi Rinpche
Kyorpon Choying Tsering
Kyorpon Kunzang
Kyorpon Lodoe
Kyorpon Palden Dradul
Kyorpon Sonam Drakpa
Kyorpon Tsewang Dondup
Kyorpon Yonten Gyatso
Lopon Dechen
Lopon Dhargyay
Lopon Dolma Dhargye
Lopon Kuntus
Lopon Lodoe Rabsang
Lopon Ngawang Khedup
Lopon Pema Lodoe
Lopon Pema Longdrol
Lopon Phurbu Tsering
Lopon Thutup
Lopon Tsewang Rinzin
Lucie Jurikova
Markham Tulku
Mei Yee Wong
Ngawang
Noa Jones
Norbu Tsering
Nyiyak Tulku
Pawo Choying Dorje
Pema Abrahams
Polu Tulku
Ratna Vajra Rinpoche
Sithar Samdrup
Sonam Gyaltsen
Sonam Jamtsho
Stephanie Lai
Suzie Erbacher
Taklung Shabdrung Rinpoche
Tashi Yolmo
Ted Lipman
Thangtong Tulku
Thartse Khen Rinpoche
Thinles Chossal
Thinley Khyentse
Tsering
Tsering Gellek
Tsewang Dondup
Tulku Ngawang Jigme Lodoe
Tulku Ngawang Kunga Thinley
Tulku Ngawang Thigchok Zangpo
Tulku Pama Wodzer
Tulku Pema Wosal
Tulku Sonam Rinchen
Tulku Tashi Paldhen
Tulku Tenzin Woser
Tulku Tsepak Namgyal
Wamgon Tulku
Yulia Sheynkman
Zhu Zheqin
Zodpa Tulku

Areas of Activity

Leadership and Management Training

leader-devThe first in this series of groundbreaking management training workshops took place at Dzongsar Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö Institute (DKCLI) in 2011. The workshop featured three main elements: structured problem solving, relationship skills, and self-awareness. Every year since, KF has hosted workshops for tulkus, monastic leaders, khenpos, and a host of lay practitioners from all Buddhist traditions. Following the success of pilot programs at DKCLI, the first Leadership Training Workshop for tulkus and khenpos was held at Shechen Monastery in Kathmandu in February, 2014. Rinpoche and about 30 participants, including 20 tulkus and khenpos, attended the 6-day workshop to learn core concepts and best practices in modern leadership and management. Chris and Sydney Jay, Anja Hartmann, Edouard Janssen, and James Hopkins were the faculty for the workshop. In addition to the content-driven course material, this workshop included experiential exercises designed to facilitate more creative, comprehensive, and effective team functioning.

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This was the first workshop designed specifically to meet the needs of young Tibetan Buddhist leaders as they begin to assume the responsibilities of leading and managing large Buddhist organizations in non-Tibetan cultures and countries. The workshop focused on theoretical material and experiential exercises designed to:

  • Improve the practical ways in which these leaders organize, plan, and run their institutions, including leadership development, setting the vision for their organizations and students, and methods of motivation in implementing actions.
  • Enrich their personal behavior, both as leaders and managers of their institutions and in more personal interactions.
  • Offer ways to better understand the mental “landscape” of their non-Tibetan students, to help them connect with those students

Drawing on the experiences in the DKCLI workshops, content especially relevant to these principles was refined to meet the special needs of this group. Essentially, the DKCLI workshops served as pilot projects for the Kathmandu workshop in content and also for the learning processes. Relevant content included:

  • Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), a personality instrument that measures cognitive functioning in working with others and in problem solving
  • Communication skills, including using personal stories to build connections with others and to motivate and inspire them
  • Leading meetings
  • Case examples for problem-solving skill development
  • Managing money and developing both financial and management processes for monastic and other Buddhist institutions.

One important aspect of this workshop, requested by Rinpoche and the faculty, was that the program did not stick to traditional hierarchical practices and behaviors. This approach was mostly successful, although one participant pointed out how difficult it was for the young Tibetan lamas to modify how they relate to the older lamas. However, this young lama also pointed out that some participants would not be completely honest within the hierarchical structure, so it was important to set up the workshop to eliminate these behaviors.

“Of all the material we presented, the monks seemed to respond the most eagerly to some models of basic intercultural differences that we presented in the first year. Using their fine-tuned analytical skills and natural curiosity, they showed a genuine thirst for all of the material we presented.” – Sydney Jay

Visiting Scholar Program

khenphoKF programs build bridges of both social and scholarly understanding, friendship, and financial support between Buddhism’s birthplace in India, lands in which it has been preserved and has flourished over the centuries, and lands in which it is beginning to blossom today. The foundation’s sponsorship of visiting scholars is a bridge between the old and new Buddhist worlds. The KF Visiting Scholar Program gives young tulkus, rinpoches, and khenpos the opportunity to be immersed in western culture and academia. The program was launched in 2010, when Venerable Khenpo Jamyang Lobshal, principal of Dzongsar Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö institute in Bir, India, spent a semester as a visiting scholar at the George Washington University Department of Religion in Washington, D.C. Other visiting scholars have included Khenpo Choying Dorjee, Dongsung Shabdrung Rinpoche, and Chung Tulku at the University of California at Berkeley and Lopön Dechen Lhundrub in Singapore. “This opportunity to teach Buddhist philosophy at a western university and to help to translate these ideas into English has been a very important experience for me, and I thank Khyentse Foundation for making this possible.” — Khenpo Jamyang Lobshal

 

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Language Courses

It is Rinpoche’s long-time wish that some of his khenpos are able to teach Dharma in English, Chinese, Hindi, and other languages to students all over the world. The importance of language and cultural communication cannot be emphasized enough in the mission to spread the teachings of the Buddha.

  • DKCLI—English and Chinese Courses
  • Dzongsar Derge—Chinese
  • Dewathang—English
  • A large-scale pilot 3-year intensive English course in Thailand.

A major aim of these language courses is to train qualified translators, so that the Dharma can be made available to people in their own languages—the fundamental condition for the Buddhadharma to take root and flourish in any country.

“When Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche gave the speech at the end, he talked about modernizing the system we have here, which was the key message to all. There was a complete silence [as he spoke], a silence of acknowledgement, like a wake-up call, a silence of self-reflecting realization.”

Wamgon Tulku

Wamgon Monastery and Nunnery, Derge

“We hope that this program will enhance and complement the vigorous training that our tulkus and khenpos are going through in monasteries, and will bring a new sphere of knowledge and experience to better prepare them for the challenges of the 21st century.”

Cangioli Che

KF Executive Director

“Rinpoche has said that it is a top priority to support the academic study of Buddhism because universities and professors have so much credibility in the Western world. This really touched me because I know firsthand how hard professors work at increasing knowledge in their fields.”

Sydney Jay

Co-director of KF’s Leadership Training Program