Swayambu, Kathmandu, Nepal
In the fall of 1994, the Venerable Yongdzin Lopon Tenzin Namdak Rinpoche initiated a 9-year Geshe Degree Program at Tritan Norbutse Monastery in Swayambhunath, Nepal. The 9 year educational curriculum involves an extensive and rigorous comprehensive study of a broad spectrum of the Bonpo religious tradition, including 6 years study of Sutra, 2 years study of Tantra, and 1-year study of Dzogchen.
The educational program also includes training in dialectical debating of the Dzogchen view, the study of cosmology, the study of black astrology from Chinese sources and white astrology from Indian sources, study of Tibetan grammar, Tibetan script and calligraphy, Sanskrit grammar, the drawing of mandalas and various religious iconography and images such as deities and stupas, the study of Bonpo medicine, and training in ritual worship such as torma construction, chanting, and the ritual of drums, cymbals and horns. Yongdzin Lopon Rinpoche as well as a small group of senior Geshes who were educated by Yongdzin Lopon Rinpoche in Dolanji, India provide education in these various areas of study.
Upon successful completion of the 9-year program, the monks are warded the distinguished Geshe degree by His Holiness the Dalai Lama at Dharamsala.
In addition to the Geshe Degree Program, Yongdzin Lopon Rinpoche provides guidance to a small group of advanced practitioners who focus their studies on Dzogchen meditation.
In early 1994 there were only 20 monks at residence in Tritan Norbutse monastery. Currently, there are over 170 monks in residence. Most arrived directly from Tibet, but also from other places, with neither personal funds nor personal belongings.
The monks arrive at Triten Norbutse with a great amount of enthusiasm and consider it an honor and privilege to undergo a prolonged program of study with Yongdzin Lopon Rinpoche, whose scholarship in the Bonpo tradition is unsurpassed by any living Bonpo master. Yongdzin Lopon Rinpoche is one of the last remaining great spiritual teachers in an illustrious lineage of Bonpo Masters who received their education in Tibet prior to the decimation of the Bonpo monastic system.
Since the Cultural Revolution monks in Tibet can only receive teachings at a Sutra level. Yongdzin Lopon Rinpoche's goal is to establishing a Dialectic School so that monks in exile can be trained to eventually bring the precious Bonpo teachings back to Tibet so that the Bonpo tradition will be preserved, and will again blossom and flourish in its own country.
The monastery is at present in need of € 1,400 monthly simply to pay for the basic operational costs of electricity and cooking fuel, and to provide for a simple daily diet.
The suggested sponsorship pledge is € 30 per month for each monk. This includes room, food and education. It does not include medical care, school equipment, clothes nor bedding. Of course any amount or donation is greatly appreciated. For those wishing to sponsor a monk it is strongly suggested that the funds for an entire year, or any major portion of a year, be provided in one installment.
There are also several other projects at the monastery that require urgent sponsorship. One of the projects involves the establishment of a Bonpo library. The estimated cost for building this library on the monastery grounds is approximately € 35,000 to € 38,000