Precious Opportunity: A Heartfelt Recommendation to Attend the Annual Fall Seminar
In 2016 after two months travelling in Nepal I had the constant and intense feeling that I really wanted to find an authentic spiritual tradition. Instead of meandering through different paths, I felt it was time to dive deeply into one.
While waiting for my Indian visa I decided to visit Boudhanath. I vaguely knew that there was some White Monastery where some teacher taught openly for Westerners. I searched for this place in the morning and suddenly found myself in the first day of the Fall Seminar!
The experience I had changed my life in such a deep way that I felt I had arrived home, and so, in 2017 I came back to join the B.A in Buddhist Studies program. To be honest I don’t recall exactly what the main theme of that seminar was; everything was so fresh and interesting, but I do remember the profound impact it had on me.
Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche and Phakchok Rinpoche led the seminar with such mastery; it’s as if we are all being transported through a Dharma symphony. The distinct character and teaching approach of these extremely kind masters has a beautiful and complementary synchronicity that fits and benefits students of all personalities and inclinations.
The culmination of the shedra studies at RYI is the Fall Seminar, where the essence of the topics we study is presented as straightforward, heart to heart advice aimed directly at the practical application of transforming our minds. As one dear professor noted: “We must learn to take the essence of the topics we study.´´ That being said, the seminar is an incredible opportunity to extract the precious nectar of Dharma which provides an ever helpful remedy for our confusion and suffering.
At the end of the Seminar, Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche offers a short retreat that usually involves pith instructions on recognizing the nature of mind. Although I do not claim to have recognized it, based on the little I know, I would say that there is nothing more precious than having a realized master point out the primordial awareness of the nature of mind, the one point that frees all – it’s the kindest gift anybody could ever offer you.
If getting closer to uncoiling all confusion, being released from suffering and expanding all boundless qualities of enlightenment doesn’t sound appealing to you, then maybe the amaaazing food that is served during lunch will. Therefore I encourage all students, both new and old, to take this precious opportunity to heart.
~Victor from Brazil