Supporting monastic institutions was the impetus for the formation of Khyentse Foundation, and it remains core to our mission of preserving and promoting Buddha’s wisdom. For centuries, high standards of academic excellence have defined Tibetan Buddhist monastic education. By subsidizing the operational costs of the monastic institutions that are under the supervision of Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, the foundation helps these institutions remain robust and relevant beacons for today’s practicing and aspiring Buddhists.
Dzongsar Monastery in China, Dzongsar Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö Institute in India, and Chökyi Gyatso Institute in Bhutan maintain and continue the Khyentse lineage. The foundation supports the costs of day-to-day operations, encourages the health and well-being of the resident monks and staff, and helps the monasteries to act as resources in their local communities.
As Khyentse Rinpoche often points out, these monasteries and shedras are important. Not only were they important in the past, but also at present and for as long as possible it’s important for these institutions to continue training monks, tulkus, and lamas to become Buddhist teachers.Drubgyud Tenzin Rinpoche
Khyentse Foundation was created in 2001 to help relieve Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche of the financial responsibilities that came with the legacy he inherited as a child. In 1999, Rinpoche was personally supporting hundreds of monks at his various monasteries. Today, with the help of donors from all parts of the world, Khyentse Foundation offers financial support for room, board, and health services, ensuring that thousands of monks have continuing access to strong academic and training programs.
Monastic academic programs, known as shedras or monastic colleges, typically consist of an intensive 8-to-12-year curriculum of Buddhist philosophy and methodology that is based on a gradual and systematic accumulation of knowledge and proficiency. The literal meaning of shedra in Tibetan is “place of teaching.” Each of the Khyentse monasteries in India, Bhutan, and China has a dedicated shedra.
Ritual activities such as chanting, prayer ceremonies, puja, and sacred dance are essential tools and methods for both learning and spiritual attainment. In monasteries, monks receive specific training for these practices, maintaining the unbroken traditions of the lineage.
Teachers for the World
While some monks return to their regional monasteries and become teachers in their communities, others bring the dharma to the world. Serving as role models, graduates are the propagators of Buddhist wisdom and education.
As has been true for centuries, monasteries are cultural and spiritual centers for their communities, hosting festivals and offering services such as spiritual care, medical treatment, and library access.