I first visited Rangjung Yeshe Institute in 2010. Immediately upon witnessing people engage with, practice, and study the dharma in such an intensive way, I felt the wish to be able to do the same. There were obstacles that needed to be overcome in order to make this happen, but by 2013 I made it. And now that I am here, every day I wake up and feel as if I am living in a dream. Every day I feel immense gratitude toward everyone who makes studying here at the shedra possible.
I think of the Buddha and the lineage masters, and the indescribable good fortune we have of encountering the priceless wisdom of the teachings. I think of the kindness of the guru, whose love and compassion make all things possible. I think of the ordained sangha whose depth of study and practice inspire us. I think of all the westerners who traveled to faraway places and regardless of living situations, language barriers, and other hardships, remained committed to learning challenging foreign languages and deepening their understanding of the dharma. I think of my teachers here at shedra, who have studied tirelessly and now are kind enough to be so generous with their time to share what they have learned. I think of my fellow classmates, who share in a sense of camaraderie and mutual support. I think of the administration, who is always ready to help assist in some way and with such goodwill. I think of those who are working to make the teachings available online, who helped me stay connected through the Tara program, online courses, seminar, and other talks before I could make it here to Nepal, and who continue to make it possible for those who can’t attend in person. I think of the people who maintain the buildings and the grounds. I think of those who work hard to help feed the monks and the students. I think of the benevolent donors and sponsors who generously give their support and make scholarships available for students to come study. I think of everyone who comes together to make this such an amazing community, a labor of love which supports anyone who wishes to come and study and practice the precious dharma, in order to benefit sentient beings.
Thinking in this way, it is hard not to be overwhelmed with love and gratitude. And I realize the only way to repay such kindness from so many is to study and practice to the best of my ability. It is the only thing one can do with such an incredible opportunity.
~Karen from USA
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