Being back in Lhasa for summer holidays after one year’s study outside the country was very different. I worked as tour guide during this summer holiday just as I did before when I was in Tibet. The good thing is that the holiday was very joyful and meaningful. Thinking about what the cause is for that joyful period, I came to realize that it is the dharma classes I am taking at Rangjung Yeshe Institute. Dharma Studies made me look a lot like an authentic Tibetan and made me a busy tour guide this summer.
Being a tour guide in Tibet requires a lot of experiences and information on Tibetan history, culture, politics, geography, and so on. On top of that, it is never enough to provide the tourists with explanation on Buddhism since Buddhism plays the key role in Tibet and most tourist attractions are monasteries. The explanation within one particular monastery differs from guide to guide. Some focus more on history, some more on culture. However, the ideal service is to focus on the explanation of Buddhist philosophy and wisdom. This time when I led tourists, besides the history of a monastery, its master, and statues in each temple, I tried my utmost to add Buddhist philosophical teachings as much as I could even though my knowledge is very limited. When difficult questions were asked by tourists I asked monks or other intellectuals for compelling answer and then delivered them to the tourists. Like this whenever we finished a tour for the day all the tourists expressed strong gratitude and admiration. More importantly a lot of them showed great interest in learning more about our culture and religion.
Their interest and appreciation was, in reverse, very touching and encouraging. It encouraged me to pursue my study with more determination and brought me a lot of happiness and satisfaction. At the same time it made me feel that I am a useful Tibetan. As Tibetans, we have the great advantage of studying Buddhism, which is an effective path to world peace or everlasting bliss. Our urgent task is to help others along this line towards the great joy and a harmonious human community.
Finally, all I have experienced this summer originated from my one year pursuit at RYI. Thus, I am very certain that studying at RYI will bring immeasurable bliss and benefit to whoever pursues their studies here. As a Tibetan, RYI will make you a great successor of our venereal masters and cultures.
~ Champa from Tibet