Tergar Ösel Ling
Center for Transformative Learning
Ösel Ling Monastery, Pal Tergar Ngedon Lungrik Osel Targye Lin, was originally built by Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche for the benefit of his sons, Tsoknyi Rinpoche and Mingyur Rinpoche. Until recently, Tsoknyi Rinpoche looked after the activities of the monastery and guided the monastic community as it has grown into a mature sangha of dedicated practitioners. In 2010, Tsoknyi Rinpoche and Mingyur Rinpoche agreed that it would be beneficial to the monastery’s monastic population to have a fully ordained monk as abbot. Therefore, Tsoknyi Rinpoche invited Mingyur Rinpoche to take responsibility for the monastery.
Ösel Ling’s thriving monks train in the broad range of philosophical and meditative practices of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. The unique approach of Ösel Ling’s monastic college brings together philosophical inquiry and meditative experience. Balancing theory and practice, the monks who attend the college study the classic philosophical treatises of the Buddhist tradition, while grounding their studies in the practice of meditation.
Mingyur Rinpoche’s Inspiration:
Upon returning from his 4 ½ year retreat, Mingyur Rinpoche was deeply saddened to see the extensive damage done to Ösel Ling Monastery by the earthquake that struck Nepal in the spring of 2015. He was so moved and inspired by the diligence and determination of the monks who were living in tents without facilities, he decided to build a new earthquake resistant Ösel Ling that would be a home for his monks and a place of training and experiential learning for his international students.
Mingyur Rinpoche’s vision for Tergar Ösel Ling is to provide a school for approximately 200 underprivileged boys and girls from the surrounding regions, a college of Buddhist philosophy (shedra) for 300 to 400 monks, a shrine hall for teachings and ceremonies, and a learning center for international students. Due to the damage done by the earthquake, the old buildings will need to be rebuilt. A new main complex will include a shrine hall capable of holding 2500 people, apartments for visiting teachers and guests, classrooms and dormitories. There will be three blocks of buildings that will accommodate 300 monks.
The primary school will offer classes for children grades 1-8. There will also be a kindergarten for the little ones. The college (shedra) will offer a 12-year curriculum for monastics, and the international learning center will begin by offering a 3-month study curriculum that will gradually be extended to 3-4 years. Students who choose will have the opportunity to take temporary or full ordination. Rinpoche’s unique vision for Ösel Ling is to present a holistic approach by combining traditional education with contemplation and meditation. There will be a separate curriculum in Chinese and English for international students. The Buddhist study programs will be taught by Mingyur Rinpoche, his trained khenpos and acharyas.
Transformative Buddhist Learning
Mingyur Rinpoche’s educational worldview is to provide learning that supports children’s inner development. Rinpoche believes that learning needs to be a joyful experience so it can cultivate in children a lifelong love of acquiring knowledge. Therefore, under Rinpoche’s close guidance, a new Transformative Buddhist Learning curriculum for kindergarten and primary school is being developed. In this approach, children are seen as whole beings from birth and each phase of their development is recognised and nurtured. Rinpoche points out that each child is a unique individual who must receive love, warm care, respect, and be treated as an equal in order to flourish spiritually.
The curriculum rests on an experiential Buddhist worldview using aspects of Waldorf education to bring together dharma and secular holistic education. Every aspect of this curriculum is aimed at nurturing the development of deepened awareness in children. It will include, for example, practical applications of wisdom and compassion, self-knowledge, ecology, the arts, experiential learning, and awakening wonder, respect and gratitude for all sentient beings. In this approach all aspects of learning and knowing are interconnected and are grounded in process with less focus on outcomes.
This curriculum will be implemented in Tergar Schools and beyond through a teacher training program and publications.
How you can help:
This is an opportunity to support Mingyur Rinpoche’s unique vision to benefit students from Nepal and around the world. The Ösel Ling programs will combine the very best approaches to learning that the East and West have to offer. In the primary school, the shedra, and the international learning center, Mingyur Rinpoche will offer students the same kind of experiential education that has been so profoundly beneficial in his own life. Please help Rinpoche make this dream a reality.
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