So it seems spring semester 2022 will also be online. This decision was recently made public, and now would be an opportune time for me to write about how grateful I am to Rangjung Yeshe Institute for the way they handled the coronavirus pandemic. This transition to online classes started off abruptly for me. I was in an uncertain space, forced to leave my home and my community without a stable living situation to return to. As with so many others, the first few months of quarantine were filled with trepidation. In that time the faculty of RYI successfully transferred all course material online, no doubt a herculean task. In those initial months I needed additional support from my professors. Both the faculty and administration were always available for my questions, always ready to offer words of encouragement. Now, after one full year of online learning, I still struggle at times to adjust to spending so much time on the computer. Despite the obvious downfalls of a fully digital learning experience, the greatest benefit is increased accessibility. Students around the world now have the opportunity to study the Dharma from their home country. During these challenging times, wherever we are in the world, we have a community we can rely on. In the last year I have come to appreciate more than ever how tenuous and illusory our notions of stability are. In the moments when the world seems rampant with madness, my fellow classmates and professors offer a bit of sanity and much compassion. I know for the faculty at RYI, this is truly a labor of love. It is my hope that anyone living abroad who has considered enrolling at RYI but was unable to relocate to Nepal now takes this opportunity to begin their studies. I’d like to thank everyone who has worked tirelessly to make this transition successful. “A Hui Ho!” from Maui, with love.
~Rachel Kay See