Maitripa Institute Begins at Last
The new Advanced Buddhist Studies Program at Maitripa Institute has begun in Portland, Oregon. Namdrol Miranda Adams reports.
Speakers at the welcoming ceremony on Sunday, January 22, 2005, expressed great joy and excitement about the start of the program, with faith in the dream that this will be the seed for a fully accredited Buddhist university in the West..
The academic program started in earnest on Monday, January 23, with more than thirty students attending the first night of classes in Buddhist philosophy taught by Yangsi Rinpoche. The general feeling among the students was that of great excitement and joy, and even when presented with the rather daunting lists of translations, language texts, and philosophical commentaries, each student expressed sincere determination to see the program through to its end and to be a part of Maitripa’s first graduating class in 2009.
The Maitripa program is composed of a unique curriculum, combining scholarship, meditation, and community service as three aspects of a complete education in Buddhist studies. Students enrolled in the program will complete four years of Buddhist philosophy, history, literature, and language study under the leadership of the Maitripa faculty. In addition to their studies, students will engage in regular meditation practice and retreats on the subject matter. Finally, course participants will engage in social service projects of their own research and design as a method both of offering service to their local communities and taming their own minds.
In addition to the Advanced Buddhist Studies program, Maitripa Institute will be offering a spiritual program for the general public in its new facilities in the FPMT International Office building in Portland. The spiritual program will include traditional weekly Dharma teachings, tsog offerings on auspicious days, and visiting guest lamas, geshes, and Sangha.
The Institute is also organizing a three-week retreat with Yangsi Rinpoche during the summer program break, and plans to host a conference of geshes, scholars, and scientists on views of reality according to Buddhist teachings and modern Western scientific thought, as well as several other special events throughout the year.
This article is an excerpt of the full article printed in Mandala.