The Tergar Institute, a new Buddhist educational institution located in Tergar Osel Ling, a hilltop monastery on the outskirts of Kathmandu, welcomed its first cohort of students on September 20, who are now taking the course Foundations of the institute's Buddhist experience, which combines a traditional Vajrayana Buddhist approach to experiential teaching with contemporary approaches to learning.
The monastic seat of the revered Dharma teacher and tulku of the Karma Kagyu and Nyingma lineages of Tibetan Buddhism, Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, and spiritual home of the global Tergar community, Tergar Osel Ling is a fully functioning monastery, home to over 150 monks who live, study and practice there.
“Our students are at the center of everything: from the design of the magnificent Tergar Osel Ling enclosures to the pilgrimages we undertake; and classroom activities in which we engage in the curated contemplative curriculum,” the Tergar Institute explained of this historic undertaking. “Seeing people from all over the world, this group is enthusiastic, committed and deeply committed to the study-practice of the Dharma.”
Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche himself arrived at the institute on Tuesday, where he was greeted warmly and enthusiastically by the students. This week, Rinpoche began passing on the core of the three vehicles to the new cohort of practitioners.
“In the Foundations course, we . . . focus on an overview of the three vehicles using the ground, path, and fruit as an organizing framework. This course introduces the basics of the Kagyu-Nyingma lineages,” explained the Tergar Institute. “Using an experiential and applied learning approach, each of our courses uses a step-by-step meditative curriculum created by Mingyur Rinpoche, close readings of selected texts from the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, and in-depth exercises applied to the real world.
" THE . . . The institute offers rigorous programs of study and practice aimed at training students to imbue every aspect of their lives with awareness, love, compassion and wisdom. (Tergar Institute)
Describing his vision for the Tergar Institute, Mingyur Rinpoche said: “The Institute offers a transformational learning process to discover our inner well-being. The path to this discovery begins with conceptual understanding and deepens through direct experience. We then learn to apply our knowledge in everyday life. This style of learning combines both intellectual and experiential in order to develop healthy habits that inform all aspects of our lives. (Tergar Institute)
The institute plans to offer two courses in fall 2024: Foundations of Buddhist Experience; and Buddhist experience level 2.
Mingyur Rinpoche, founder of the Tergar Meditation Community, which has centers and practice groups around the world, is a renowned teacher and best-selling author whose books include: The joy of living: discovering the secret and the science of happiness (2007); Joyful Wisdom: Embracing Change and Finding Freedom (2009); And Turning Confusion into Clarity: A Guide to the Fundamental Practices of Tibetan Buddhism (2014)
Born in 1975 in the Himalayan border region between Tibet and Nepal, Mingyur Rinpoche received extensive training in the meditative and philosophical traditions of Tibetan Buddhism from his father, Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche (1920-1996), considered one of the greatest modern masters of Dzogchen, then at Sherab Ling Monastery in northern India. After only two years, at the age of 13, Mingyur Rinpoche entered a three-year meditation retreat, then completed a second one immediately after, as a retreat master. At 23, Rinpoche received full monastic ordination.
Mingyur Rinpoche undertook a solitary four-year wandering retreat through the Himalayas from 2011 to 2015. Recounting how he came to terms with the realities of his ambition to practice as a wandering yogi, Rinpoche revealed that he faced many personal and spiritual challenges, including, at one point, his own mortality. Rinpoche described the years he spent wandering the Himalayas as "one of the best times of my life".*
The essence of the Buddha's teachings was that although formal practice can help us develop a direct experience of emptiness, wisdom and compassion, such experiences are meaningless if we cannot apply them to all aspects of our daily lives. For it is in facing the challenges of daily life that we can truly measure our development of calm, insight and compassion.. (Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, 2007)
* Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche returns from a four-year wilderness retreat (BDG) and Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche posts a video offering insight into his retreat (BDG)