Namgyal Monastery Institute of Buddhist Studies
Namgyal Monastery Institute of Buddhist Studies in Ithaca, NY, is the North American Seat of the Personal Monastery of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The founding of Namgyal-Ithaca in 1992 marked an important new phase in the history of Buddhism and Tibetan culture in America. Launched with the inspiration of the late Namgyal monk Venerable Pema Losang Chogyen and several of his American friends, with the blessing of His Holiness the Dalai Lama Namgyal-Ithaca was established as a branch of the main Namgyal Monastery located in Dharamshala, India. The primary mission of the newly established Ithaca branch was to offer Western students the opportunity to study authentic Tibetan Buddhism in a monastic setting.
In keeping with the tradition of the original Namgyal Monastery in Tibet, Namgyal-Ithaca is a non-sectarian institution staffed by monks deputed from Namgyal India and offers students the opportunity to study aspects of all sects in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. Classes at the monastery are taught by our faculty of Namgyal monks and visiting teachers. Students are part-time and full-time and range in age, background, interest and profession.
Since its founding, the monastery has developed a regular student base and has expanded its teaching and events programming to fit the growing needs of the students. Programs include a three-year core curriculum, weekday teachings, daily meditation, training in the Tibetan language, guided pilgrimages, celebration of Tibetan holidays and weekend intensives in Buddhist philosophy taught according to the established traditions of Namgyal masters. Namgyal’s visiting faculty includes prominent western scholars, clergy, and teachers from all traditions of Buddhism.
Namgyal Monastery was founded in the 16th century, by Gendun Gyatso, the second Dalai Lama of Tibet. The monastery was adjacent to the famous Potala Palace, the private residence of the Dalai Lama in - the center of the capital city of Lhasa and supported the ritual practices and teachings of the four main Tibetan Buddhist lineages. When Tibet lost independence in 1959, the headquarters of Namgyal was re-established in Dharamsala, India. During these last six decades in exile, Namgyal expanded by opening branch monasteries in various parts of India.
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