Welcome everybody!
I was asked by our teacher, Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, to present the training program of the Lishu Institute.

General information about Lishu
Our teacher, Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche established the Lishu Institute for Western students to be able to study the Bon tradition regularly for longer periods (a few months or years). The Institute is located in the northern part of India, in the locality of Kotra Kalyanpur near a large city of Dehradun. The program began in September 2015.

Lishu Institute

Teaching schedule
The morning teachings start at 7-8 a.m. when we have the Tsa Lung and Inner Refuge practice, 9-10 a.m. – teachings from the medium hagiography of Tonpa Shenrab (Zermig), 11-12.00 – sutra teachings, 14-15.00 – Tibetan language lessons (two days of lessons for beginners and two days of advanced lessons) and two days per week from 15.30 to 16.30 - learning basic prayers of Bon. We do the Sherab Chamma practice and the invocation to Yeshe Walmo at 20.00.

Sangmo Yangri, a Tibetan with a doctoral degree in philosophy of Bon at the Varanasi University will be teaching us for the first three months (September-November 2015). The first part is devoted to lower sutra. As of January 2016, there will be teachings about higher sutra guided by Geshe Sherab Lodro from Menri and Tantra teachings will begin in March. The entire first year is devoted to teachings from the Nine Ways of Bon from the Central Treasure.

Climate and surroundings
It is still warm at this time of the year (September-October) and humidity is rather high. The temperature reaches ca. 30 degrees during the day and ca. 20 at night. It is good to have fans in our rooms. The area is very nice; Lishu is located in an area with few buildings, about 20 km from the large city of Dehradun. There are only small villages in the vicinity.

The Tibetan language
At our beginner Tibetan language lessons we learn about the alphabet: syllables and how to connect them.  During the advanced Tibetan classes, we work on translations of texts. Two members of our group of nine persons attend advanced classes.

We spent one Saturday in Dehradun where there is quite a large Tibetan community. Monasteries of various Tibetan traditions can be found there, including Mindroling, the main monastery of the Nyingma tradition. On our return from the excursion, we also visited a Bön monastery Za Mongyal (which is located at half an hour by car distance from Lishu). It is a small monastery where the 7th Kundol Rinpoche is the abbot. There are only 7 monks living in the monastery now. Its specificity involves the fact that it mainly accepts young people who attend school at the same time. They can choose later and leave the monastery to study at a university or go to Menri for further monastic training.

Our group in Dehradun.

Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche has been in Lishu since September 30 to October 2; his presence and teachings encouraged us to study diligently. Rinpoche was stressing the role of learning and preservation of the Bon tradition. Later, our entire group and Rinpoche went to the Menri monastery; we had a meeting with His Holiness Lungtok Tenpai Nyima, Ponlob Rinpoche and Nyima Dakpa Rinpoche. We visited the monastery of nuns and the house of Lopon Sangye Tenzin. Menri is a beautiful and magical place. We all felt at home there.

Our teacher Sangmo Yangri with His Holiness

There are 9 of us at the moment: Tal (USA), Brita (Denmark), Ricardo and Daniela (Brazil), Jorge (Mexico), Katalin and Abel (Hungary), Tiana (France) and I. Everybody is very friendly and sociable. With our wonderful teacher Sangmo and Geshe Thupten, we make up a good team.

Jacek Trzebuniak, India, October 7, 2015

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