Alumni Stories

In Harmony with Nature: Alumni Interview with Moondil Jahan

“The way I see it, it all comes down to being harmonious with nature, i.e. to be in accord with the way things truly are. All these activities, if done with wisdom and great compassion, will eventually lead to ultimate freedom…”

A Passion for Pramāṇa: Alumni Interview with Jo Donovon

“I feel very lucky and blessed to have the opportunity to be part of the monastery’s Shedra. I received the Tsadra scholarship which gives students the chance to do two years in the MA program and a year in the monk’s Shedra. It was an amazing experience to be in the monks’ classes every day, to debate with them and struggle with them. It was extremely hard but an amazing opportunity that I will be grateful for forever…”

Food of Sinful Demons: An Interview with Dr. Geoffrey Barstow

“..about two years into my PhD, I was reading Words of My Perfect Teacher by Patrul Rinpoche, and there were several lines in there where he was critical of eating meat. I was surprised by this, as I was a vegetarian myself, but hadn’t met many Tibetan vegetarians at that point. So I became interested in the question of how many vegetarians there had been in Tibet, what they had to say on the matter, and why more Tibetans weren’t vegetarian…”

Dr. David Saunders, MD, PhD

“As a result of my studies at RYI, I decided to pursue a PhD in Buddhist Studies alongside my medical degree. Thus from 2008 to 2015, I studied medicine at Cornell, and obtained a PhD under the mentorship of Dr. John Dunne at Emory University, whom I met for the first time after a talk he gave at RYI in November of 2007. When applying for PhD programs, I remembered that chance encounter, reached out to him to discuss the possibility of studying under him at Emory, and he graciously accepted. He, too, attended my wedding, and we remain friends to this day.”

Christopher Wilvert, RYI Visiting student

“Many post-secondary institutions offer the opportunity for a degree; few offer the opportunity for inspiration. That is what RYI provides, inspiration. So, to anyone who is considering pursuing a degree at Rangjung Yeshe Institute, prepare to be inspired. Prepare for moments that will take your breath away.”

Mukund Jha, PhD student 

“RYI’s academic-oriented research style resonated with me, aligning perfectly with my development studies background. ”

Elaine Lai – Translator Training Program

” I highly recommend enrolling in RYI for any of their programs, including their online ones. If you have a chance to travel and to live in Boudhanath, light lots of butter lamps, make pilgrimages, auspicious connections, and many aspirations at these sacred sites.”

Tsering Lhamo, Phd Student – Summer Program

“Within the span of 2 months, I’ve learned enough Nepali to get by in the city on a daily basis. I would highly recommend any language enthusiasts, researchers, and students of culture to take the Nepali summer course at RYI. I’m sure you would not regret taking the course.”


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