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It is semester break for the students of the study programs at Rangjung Yeshe Institute. Being a BA student myself, I enjoy the open schedule after an intense period of study while completing the fall semester.
Now, the many practice opportunities here in Boudha easily fill my schedule yet again! However, I find delight in the fruits of study: in conversations, interactions and while listening to teachings, I keep encountering the material studied during the previous semesters and it seems to continue to connect the dots of knowledge further and further.
Especially the teachings on dependent origination that many of us contemplated through the presentation of Mipham Rinpoches “Gateway to Knowledge”, keeps being a wonderful framework for any daily encounter. – How did my meal come about? How come, I heard of some event at a particular time? How is it that I meet the people I meet? All these events seem almost magic, considering the reflection of not being in control myself, but to be made moment to moment by causes and conditions. Any interaction and meeting changes me in turn and I am not the same person going to bed, who awoke in the morning.
In this way, I find how the study at RYI makes ‘me’. The causes of sitting in class rooms for hours (and the way I sat in there), now led to the many new thought, views and considerations that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. And my current intentions will surely bounce off and through the upcoming material to be met in the coming year. Material for study that is being presented in and outside the classroom.
The flux of developing my view had not often been that rapidly transforming as I observe it to be during this study course. I notice gratefully, how my study at RYI spurns me to be clear in my understanding of every event of my life. I mean, like with the topic of dependent origination for example: how could I leave that to mere book knowledge? And how does this topic not lead to further questions? It is wonderful.
I wish all students of the Dharma a wonderful new year of study, reflection and mediation. May we accomplish our goal to free all beings from suffering and may all our wholesome wishes be fulfilled. Happy 2014!
~Shoho from Germany