Rinpoche taught at Oxford University’s Oxford Center for Buddhist Studies for three weeks in November, to inaugurate the Khyentse Visitorship program. The program, unique in the world’s universities, will bring together Buddhist monks and nuns from all traditions to give lectures and tutor degree candidates at Oxford. Most of Rinpoche’s tutorials and academic meetings were for Oxford students and scholars. He also led a meditation session for patients at the Oxford Mindfulness Centre, which treats psychiatric cases.
Wolfson College, Oxford’s largest graduate college and a centre of Buddhist scholarship, conferred on Rinpoche the official title of Visiting Fellow. Rinpoche’s four public talks included a three-hour session on Buddhism and science to a standing-room-only audience that included prominent scientists.
Oxford degree candidates and their dons appreciated Rinpoche’s down-to-earth approach to difficult Buddhist concepts. The only “shortcoming” of the visit, they say, is that it was too short. One attendee writes, “At the Oxford panel discussions, Rinpoche was in top form, as expected. He was totally brilliant, pithy, funny and self-deprecating.”
Venerable Dhammasami, abbot of the Oxford Buddha Vihara, commented, “Rinpoche’s visit to Oxford was fantastic. Everyone was very pleased.”
Rinpoche’s next public teaching will be on the Bodhicharyavatara by Shantideva at Deer Park Institute in Bir, Himachal Pradesh, India, 26-29 May 2011.
Photo: Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche and Ven. Dhammasami in Oxford. Photo by Janine Schultz.