Florence Koh, Chair of the KF Scholarship Committee, shares some great news for dharma students and institutions. Khyentse Foundation plans to substantially increase its funding for scholarships in the next five years.

We have been concentrating so hard on the Tibetans, on the monks and nuns, mainly the renunciants. I think the goal is very narrow, we do not think beyond monks and nuns. We do not go beyond Tibetans. It breaks my heart when I go to France and see these people from the Czech Republic, dharma students who drive all the way from the Czech Republic to Dordogne. With very little money they have saved, they sleep in their car for months, eat one meal a day, and receive teachings. They don’t have any support.

Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche
KF Asia Planning Meeting, Taipei, Taiwan, 10 May 2006

With these words, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche explained his reasons for making the Scholarship Fund the highest priority among the five core projects supported by Khyentse Foundation. At present, there is practically no support system of any kind for Buddhist study and practice, especially in countries where Buddhism is relatively new, such as Europe, the United States, and Australia. Khyentse Foundation plans to provide financial assistance to students and practitioners of the Buddhadharma all over the world, in all Buddhist traditions.

Khyentse Foundation plans to substantially increase its funding for scholarships in the next five years. Rinpoche hopes that by 2011, Khyentse Foundation will be able to support 30 people in three-year retreat and 70 more in full-time Buddhist study or practice.

The Khyentse Foundation Scholarship Committee was established in April, 2005. The members of the Committee, who were appointed by Rinpoche, are Chair Florence Koh, United States; Ann Marie Huck, Canada; Doris Wolter, Germany; and Stuart MacFarlane, United Kingdom. The first task of the Committee was to define policy and guidelines. Working closely with the KF Executive Committee, the beneficiary coordinators, and the KF treasurer, the Scholarship Committee has successfully processed two rounds of open applications and has supported many individuals and institutions in the study and practice of the Buddhadharma. In evaluating the applications, the Committee gives priority to individuals who have worked to save part of the funds required for their period of study or practice. The Committee also works with Isaiah Seret, Director of Project Development, to identify individuals, group, and institutions that are worthy of support. (See “KF Partners with KEAP to Support Theravadin Tradition in Cambodia” in the web archive.)

We have a long way to go to raise the necessary endowment funds to support the students, practitioners, and institutions that apply for assistance. However, with Rinpoche’s guidance and blessings, and with so many patrons rejoicing in the diligent study and practice of others, we are hopeful that Rinpoche’s wish will be fulfilled by 2011, or sooner.

We welcome applications for KF scholarships from individuals as well as from Buddhist institutions that provide study or retreat programs. There are two yearly application periods, with deadlines of January 15 and July 15. For the coming round, please submit applications to the Scholarship Committee between December 15, 2006 and January 15, 2007.

Applications can be dowloaded here.