Teaching English in Buddhist monastery

SANG CHHOLING MONASTERY

Sang Chöling Monastery was founded in 1681 A.D at Phulasi by Lama Karma Thupten and again renovated in 1983 A.D by his generation in the tradition of Karma chyosang.

One of the most popular monasteries of Tibetan Buddhism is the Phulasi Monastery which is perched on a hillside of Phulasi. Phulasi Monastery was founded by Lama Karma Thubten in 1681nted in 1983 A.D by his generation in the of Tokole & Karma chyosang.  Interestingly, the spiritual offers introductory level courses in what is known as the Discover Buddhism series, dealing with the basic principles of Tibetan Buddhism and meditation. The series known as the Next Step series, leads on to a deeper exploration of these principles.

Residential courses in Buddhist psychology and philosophy. Courses very in length and some monks’ students spend months at the monastery devoted to their studies. During special pujas, large crowds of devotees climb up to the monastery to receive blessings and pay homage.

Yarlung Dynasty History and Significance:

Yarlung, located 55 miles SE of Lhasa, is a place that figures prominently in both Tibetan history and the Tibetan identity. Yarlung was home to the first king of Tibet, Nyatri Tsenpo, and remained the capital of the Tibetan empire until it was moved to Lhasa in the seventh century by King Songsten Gampo. The Yarlung Dynasty reached its peak during the military successes of the seventh and eighth centuries and abruptly came to an end in 842 due to the assassination of King Lang Dharma’s assassination. This event threw the empire into a century-long period of political fragmentation and chaos. Despite that the Yarlung dynasty would never recover its previous glory; it was nevertheless nostalgically portrayed by Tibetan historiographers as the “Golden Age” of Tibetan history. The tombs of the great Yarlung Emperors are still located in the Yarlung dynasty to this day, and are important destinations of pilgrimage.

Sang Chöling Monastery was founded in 1681 A.D at Phulasi by Lama Karma Thupten and again renovated in 1983 A.D by his generation in the tradition of Karma chyosang. A respected meditation master in the tradition of the Kagyu Lineage, Lama Karma Thupthen personally guides this active Dharma community, providing opportunities for students at all levels. In addition to a daily schedule of practice, study and work, the monastery offers weekend seminars taught by Lama Karma Thupthen and special courses led by visiting Lamas.

Since its founding, a major focus Sang Chhöling Monastery has been year program which was initiated in and offers training to serious students in the core teachings and practices of the Kagyu Lineage. This monastery was considerably by his generation grandson of Lama Dawa Dorje and as he wanted this monastery to be preserved for the future generation of their community so that they can know the tradition of their ancestors. He wanted upcoming generation peoples to follow the traditions that were followed by the Lama Karma Thupten so; He thought to establish an organization which will work for the preserving old tradition & to give knowledge to people.

Vision Nepal offers volunteers a unique opportunity to gain insight into Buddhist culture and practice. The volunteering Buddhist monastery project aims to be an exchange between devoted practitioners of Buddhism and those from other cultures, who can share language and other skills. You will have one thing in common; a desire to learn. This project is a great way for international volunteers to learn about Buddhist culture and have a platform to teach English to Buddhist monks.

Nepal is home to both Nepali and Tibetan monks. Thousands of Tibetan monks have lived in exile in Nepal since Tibet was invaded by China in 1959. While the Tibetans are now free to practice their religion and express their culture and heritage, they remain underprivileged and marginalized group within society.

Historically, education in Buddhist monasteries in Nepal has focused on scriptures and beliefs. Despite a more recent expansion in the scope of subjects, which now include English and Computer Science, teaching remains rudimentary and standards vary dramatically between institutions.

As a volunteer you will help provide basic conversational English to monks and nuns, who range from children to adults, in our partner institutions. You will work up to four hours a day, six days a week, teaching English to Buddhist monks and arranging creative activities, such as games and painting. You are welcome to share any other area of expertise you may have with them; medicine, science, business or similar. These are all subjects that will be of benefit, as even Buddhist monasteries need to be run efficiently.

In return, you will become a part of everyday life while living in a monastery; living among the residents, taking part in rituals and gaining rare and unforgettable insight into spiritual life. Your placement will last between one and five months, during which time you will live at the monastery; or, where space is in short supply, you will live with a nearby host family or at a guesthouse. Wherever you are located, the experience should be one of total immersion in both Nepali and Buddhist culture.

Buddhism in Nepal:

Nepal holds a significant place in Buddhist history; the country is hailed as the birthplace of the Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama. In its landlocked position between India and China, Nepal is seen as a place where Indian and Tibetan streams of Buddhism converge and is home to many of the most important pilgrimage sites in the world.

Following the Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1959, thousands of Tibetan Buddhists fled to Nepal. They settled at Boudha, north east of Kathmandu, and there are now over 20 monasteries and nunneries in the area. Bouddha also boasts a 36-metre stupa which is one of the most important centers for Tibetan Buddhism; visit, and you will see red-robed monks circling the huge base beneath ribbons of prayer flags, chanting and spinning prayer wheels.

West of Kathmandu, Swoyambhunath stupa (also dubbed the monkey temple owing to its copious primate squatters) looks out across the chaotic and colorful city. Positioned on a hillside, the stupa is one of the most ancient Buddhist sites in the world. It is one of Kathmandu’s main visitor attractions, for both pilgrims and tourists. Again, prayer wheels line the base, while great statues lead the way up the eastern steps.

To the south east of Kathmandu, is Namobuddha, another important pilgrimage site, where Buddha is said to have allowed himself to be devoured by a tigress, as she was starving and had a desperate need to feed her cubs.

There is also Lumbini, the birthplace of The Lord Buddha, on the flat Terai plains. A Unesco World Heritage site, it is now being developed as another Buddhist pilgrimage centre. These sites are only a glimpse of the Buddhist heritage you can explore when you visit Nepal; volunteer at a Buddhist monastery, and you will be immersed in all aspects of this ancient practice.

Buddhism, Vision Nepal and You:

If you are wondering what a prayer wheel, a mandala, or a stupa is then Buddhist volunteer work may be for you. In addition, if you are interested in Karma then living with monks in Nepal will give you the opportunity to explore its origin and deeper meaning. Did you know that there is more than one form of Buddhism? Mahayana, Hinayana, Vajrayana, Therevada; these are all different schools of thought.  Living in a monastery or nunnery will give you a chance to learn about each one and understand its core beliefs. In the monastery you will have access to a small library of Dharma (religious) books; the monks will gladly share their philosophy and culture, as much as their English allows.

Nepal:

Nepal is a home of Buddha. The Buddhism in Tibet was spread from Nepal to Tibet and then to outer world. Buddhism and Hinduism are major religions of Nepal. Buddhism in actuality is not a religion but a philosophy for happy life. The Buddhism is more meditation based but the Mahayana Buddhism of Tibet is ritual based. Buddhism practiced by local newer of Kathmandu and that practiced by Tibetan origin monks is different. The Sakyapa, Gelugpa,  Nyingmapa and Kagyupa are major four branches of Tibetan Buddhism. The drukpa’s have their rich and luxurious monasteries here in Kathmandu and in different parts of the country. In Tibetan Buddhism still the second son and second daughter should become monk and nun and should go to live according to the monastic life since their childhood. This is making Tibetan Buddhism more systematic with huge number of monks. Some of these monks and nuns get married but most of them become celibate and perform rituals in the monastery during their life.

Monks do make rituals, practice Meta, crack jokes, play games, eat mostly spicy food and more live a simple life. People love to become like monk for short time in their life, learn meditation and rituals from them, eat with them. Are you interested volunteering in Buddhist monastery in Nepal and learn Buddhism. This is the two way traffic where you can teach monks and learn with them at the same time. You can help in the kitchen or help in the dining room or help in the garden. Spend your some days of life in monastery to experience peace, to intense your compassion and love. Come to understand the law of impermanence with robe wearing people and Wishful filling.

Your Volunteer Experience:

A teaching qualification is not required for this volunteer placement (but if you already have one, will be very helpful), only the desire to communicate, learn and the ability to be flexible. Living with monks in Nepal will be very different to what you imagine; there is no timetable and events occur without prior warning. You might find the lesson you worked hard to prepare is cancelled and replaced by a ritual. During your stay in the monastery there will be many festivals and events, so be prepared to change plans, respond to their way of life and be creative with them.

Throughout your placement you will have the full support of Vision Nepal. Your safety is our highest priority. On arrival you will be greeted at Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport and transported to your hotel (alternative arrangements can be made for those already in Nepal prior to the start of their placement). You will then receive a comprehensive three – day induction, during which time you will be provided with information about your particular placement as well as general information, including basic Nepalese language and culture. This is also a good time to be with other volunteers and interns,  who may be great sightseeing companions and a source of support during your volunteer placement.

During the induction you will be accommodated in a hotel. However, a large part of the Vision Nepal experience comes from living in a home stay with a Nepalese host family.  While this is an essential part of the experience we also recognize that it can be a challenging one, becoming part of a new culture and getting accustomed to facilities that will be more basic than those you are used to. However, all our host families are experienced in accommodating volunteers – although their ability to speak English will vary-and you will have 24-hrs contact and support from our staff members during your placement.

Finally, the main source of income with which we fund our projects comes from our volunteers. Vision Nepal  receives no financial backing from governments or foreign agencies. Please be aware that a large proportion of your fee for this placement will be distributed to fund our community projects. Our work outside the community helps to develop networks of good sponsors-like you-to fund the work we do inside the community. The Teaching English at Buddhist Monasteries project works because all parties benefit; the monks receive valuable English Language education and some funding to support the education of their children; the volunteer has the unique opportunity to experience and understand another way of life and Vision Nepal receives funding that will help towards empowering those living in marginalized communities. We are mindful to ensure our costs and the resulting fees are kept to a minimum and that we maintain absolute transparency on how the fee you pay to us is spent. We think you will find the fees affordable, but are happy to answer any questions you may have.