FPMT touring teacher Geshe Tenzin Zopa recently completed an eight-week So-Wide Visitorship for Traditional Scholars in the Tibetan and Himalayan Studies program, part of the Faculty of Oriental Studies at Oxford University in the UK.
A small group of master’s and doctoral students in the Tibetan and Himalayan Studies program are learning the Tibetan language so that they can work with Tibetan texts. Geshe Tenzin Zopa met with a group of students once per week for eight weeks, guiding them through the reading of a Tibetan text. He was also busy giving public talks, meeting with students to discuss their projects, and leading meditations. The students also had the opportunity to watch the film Unmistaken Child.
Geshe Tenzin Zopa spent some time getting to know the Oxford faculty and their teaching styles through attending lectures.
The Visitorship was offered to Geshe Tenzin Zopa by the nonprofit So-Wide (The Society for the Wider Understanding of the Buddhist Tradition) in association with the Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies and the Faculty of Oriental Studies at Oxford University.
While at Oxford, Geshe Tenzin Zopa resided at the Oxford Buddha Vihara, but traveled the UK to give talks at FPMT centers.
In March, Geshe Graham Woodhouse and former Jamyang center director Marcos Troia traveled to Oxford for Geshe Tenzin Zopa’s farewell event. They attended a talk he gave to thirty people about the traditional monastic system and Sera Je Monastery. Geshe Graham Woodhouse contributed his experience as a Westerner in India. Geoff Bamford, who organized the Visitorship for Geshe Tenzin Zopa on behalf of the Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies and So-Wide, also spoke at the event.
Reflecting on his experience at Oxford, Geshe Tenzin Zopa had this to share:
“Om Ah Hum! … After learning a bit of history about how this place has developed as a great learning institution, it reminds me in many ways of, and makes me feel a deep appreciation for, the great ancient Nalanda University in ancient India, as well as the Tibetan monastic universities like Sera.
“It made me feel so proud of myself and those who have had the privilege of studying in great monastic universities like Sera, Drepung, and Ganden. We are so extremely fortunate to have such extraordinary learning institutions within the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. Rejoice, rejoice, we must rejoice.”
Geshe Tenzin Zopa is now attending Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s Bodhicaryavatara and Rinjung Gyatsa Retreat at The Great Stupa of Universal Compassion in Bendigo, Australia.
Watch Lama Zopa Rinpoche teach during the Bodhicaryavatara and Rinjung Gyatsa Retreat at The Great Stupa of Universal Compassion in Bendigo, Australia, March 30-May 12, 2018.
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