RYI – A Unique Combination of Academic Scholarship and Traditional Buddhist Wisdom 

-Patric Zwahlen, BA student from Switzerland

This year, I started the 4th year of my BA program at RYI. It is an excellent time to take a break and reflect on my experiences during the last three years.  

At the beginning of the BA program, I sometimes had concerns regarding the academic approach. My primary motivation was to study the dharma and to learn the Tibetan language, not to pursue an academic career. However, looking back, I am happy to say that my concerns were completely unfounded. 

The Rangjung Yeshe Institute is a unique example of holistic education, seamlessly combining modern academic studies with timeless Buddhist wisdom. 

Being part of this unique learning environment has been a truly inspiring experience. Over the past few years, I have experienced that modern academic studies and traditional Buddhist education are not contradictory but mutually complementary and enriching. Modern scholarship gains depth and relevance through the Buddhist context, while ancient wisdom is taught in a way relevant to today’s world with all its challenges.  

This unique combination is of tremendous importance in our constantly changing world today. It does not only lead to intellectual growth but also the emotional and spiritual development of the students. In this sense, RYI trains its students to be experts in their field, but apart from that, it also develops their ability to contribute to a better society by teaching them how to cultivate inner qualities such as wisdom, compassion, and tolerance. 

In the face of environmental and humanitarian challenges, it is of utmost importance that, in addition to technical and material progress, also inner qualities are developed. I hope that for a long time to come, many more people can benefit from this program and that by doing so, all of us will contribute something to a society where all beings can live together in friendship, peace, and harmony. 

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