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Young Hearts in Boudha: Our Family’s Relocation to Kathmandu 

-Anna Yamshchikova, MA-TTIP student from Russian Federation

Over a decade ago, I first learned about Rangjung Yeshe Institute (RYI) and the incredible opportunity it offered for the studies of Buddhist philosophy and Himalayan languages. I had always harbored the desire to study there, but living in a different part of the world made it seem like an unattainable dream. However, when the COVID-19 pandemic unexpectedly opened the door to online study, I leaped at the chance. One specific aspiration had always burned within me: to learn the Central Tibetan dialect, distinct from the Amdo dialect I had previously learned. With the new door of online learning available, I embraced this opportunity right away. The quality of education provided by RYI shone even in the online format, so after four semesters of studying Tibetan language online, without a second thought, I decided to continue in an MA Preparatory program. Afterward, I realized that I could not see my life without continuing my Dharma journey and pursuing my dream of becoming a Dharma translator. However, for this dream to become a reality, I needed to relocate to Boudha in Kathmandu, Nepal, and that decision was not without its challenges, especially when it came to our family with a 7-year-old daughter.  

Questions and concerns swirled in my and my partner’s minds. What would our daughter do in Boudha? How would she adapt to a new environment? What about her schooling, her activities, and her social life? The decision was daunting, but as a family, we decided to embrace this new chapter of our lives. 

Looking back, I can see that it was the best decision for all of us. I had always wanted to provide our child with an education that extended beyond the basic curriculum, focusing not just on foundational knowledge but also on cultivating a compassionate, self-reflective, and virtuous individual. Buddhist education, deeply rooted in teachings of wisdom and compassion, seeks to unlock the full potential of the human mind. 

Conventional education often emphasizes material success, status, knowledge, and lucrative careers, but it often neglects the inner realm of compassion and self-awareness. Our children need the tools to sow the seeds of virtuous habits in their interactions with the world, their peers, and themselves, and the Buddhist approach provides the guiding light for this journey. 

As Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche wisely said: “When it comes to Buddhist education, I’m not necessarily talking about a school where we teach sutras and make children recite shlokas. I’m talking about a school or curriculum that emphasizes being a decent human being rather than being rich.” 

With this vision in mind, we relocated to Kathmandu, where our 7-year-old daughter began her first-grade journey in a traditional Tibetan Buddhist school. Here, she began her studies in two Himalayan languages, Tibetan and Nepali, alongside English. She adapted to her new school and environment very well, studying with children from all over the Himalayan region. I believe that the Buddhist environment of her school and the Boudha community is the ideal setting for nurturing a compassionate, kind-hearted, and mindful spirit. I am deeply grateful for our relocation to Boudha, not only for the continuation of my studies but also for our daughter. Introducing our young minds to Buddhist wisdom and values, and fostering an appreciation for the Buddhist way of life, lays the foundation for cultivating a compassionate and empathetic nature.  

5 thoughts on “Young Hearts in Boudha: Our Family’s Relocation to Kathmandu 

  1. How wonderful! Was it Mansarovar Academy? My husband and I sponsored two boys there—it’s a great school! And many congratulations on your studies at RYI

    1. Thank you, Ellen! Our daughter is in Shree Mangal Dvip school, established by the late H.E. Trangu Rinpoche. She is already in her 2nd grade and doing well!

  2. wonderful story! your daughter will undoubtedly benefit. our daughter lived in Kathmandu from age 5 months until she went off to college at 18 and she couldn’t have done better.

  3. This is amazing and reassuring. Nepal has a lot to offer. We’re indeed very grateful for this opportunity to raise our kid in the Buddhist environment of Boudha.

  4. Hi Anna, thank you for sharing this post! I’m planning to attend the summer intensive at RYI accompanied by my 5 year old daughter from next month. Will the schools there, particular the one you sent your daughter, accept a child for only 2 months?

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