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Online Dharma: Khyentse Foundation Announces Week-long Workshop “Living Is Dying”

The program will be led by Khenpo Sonam Phuntsok. From Deer Park Institute Facebook

Khyentse Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded by the revered Bhutanese lama, filmmaker, and author Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche, has announced that a week-long workshop will be held in Bangalore, India, from 23–29 June on the theme “Living Is Dying: Embracing Life’s Transitions.”

The workshop, intended to offer a “transformative journey of self-discovery, compassion, and preparedness for life’s transitions,” is for “all who are interested in exploring the various aspects of life and death through explanatory teachings, guided experiential arts, and mindfulness and meditation sessions,” Khyentse Foundation said in an announcement shared on social media.

The foundation emphasized that the gathering would provide opportunities to “engage in interactive sessions that will enrich your understanding and appreciation for mindful ways of life; participate in daily meditation sessions that will enhance your awareness and concentration; and meet and connect with your inner self and like-minded people who share your interest and curiosity.”

Although the event is designed for in-person participation, Khyentse Foundation noted that the workshop’s valuable theory sessions would be live-streamed on Zoom for registered participants.

Khyentse Foundation is a nonprofit organization founded by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche in 2001. Its aim is to promote the Buddha’s teaching and support all traditions of Buddhist study and practice. The foundation’s activities include major text preservation and translation projects, support for monastic colleges in Asia, a worldwide scholarship and awards program, and development of Buddhist studies at major universities, alongside training and development for Buddhist teachers and developing new modes of Dharma-inspired education for children.

“This retreat welcomes everyone—seekers, householders, students, professionals, or anyone on a journey of self-discovery, compassion, and wisdom beyond life’s boundaries,” the foundation remarked. “This workshop is designed to help you understand the stages and processes of life and death; gain practical wisdom for the inevitable transition; learn compassionate ways to support loved ones in their final moments; explore the significance of death with grace, courage, and mindfulness; experience arts from a different perspective, as practiced in Tibetan monasteries; and recognize and release patterns hindering your potential.”

Click here for registration and full details

From Khyentse Foundation Facebook

The program will be led by Khenpo Sonam Phuntsok, who will explore the basics and different stages of the bardos. Khenpo is a senior student of Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, who trained in classical Buddhist philosophy at the Dzongsar Khyentse Chokyi Lodro Institute in classical Buddhist philosophy. He has also completed a three-year meditation retreat in Bhutan. 

Ishwor Chandra Vidya Sagar Shrestha, a scholar and educator with a master’s degree in theological studies and Buddhist ministry from Harvard Divinity School, and a master’s degree in Buddhist philosophy and hermeneutics from Rangjung Yeshe Institute, will provide translations from Tibetan into English during the art sessions and will lead specialized meditation sessions.

Explorations of thangka painting as practiced in Tibetan monasteries, will be led by art teacher Ven. Jamyang Chozang from Bhutan, a student of the at Dzongsar Khyentse Chokyi Lodro Institute.

“We are extremely grateful and thrilled to share that Dr. Ngawang Jinpa will be joining us to share his extensive research on life (sok) and thukdam from the perspective of Tibetan medical system and Buddhist philosophy,” Khyentse Foundation added. “Dr. Jinpa will explore . . . lesser-known processes of life and death, [and] despite his busy schedule, he has generously set aside time to join us to facilitate two sessions with Q&A on the last day of the workshop.”

The seven-day workshop has been sponsored by Khyentse Foundation India and organized by Khyentse Foundation India, the Dzongsar Khyentse Chokyi Lodro Institute, and Siddhartha’s Intent India. This retreat is offered free of cost, with all art materials provided.

Khyentse Foundation’s achievements over the last 20 years include: more than 15 million pages of Buddhist texts preserved and made available online; education provided for the children of more than 1,000 families; support for Buddhist studies at more than 35 major universities through endowed chairs and professorships, graduate support, and the establishment of Buddhist studies centers; more than US$1 million in sponsorship for Buddhist teacher-training granted; sacred Buddhist texts translated into more than 15 languages, thanks to the efforts of 84000: Translating the Words of the Buddha, the Kumarajiva Project, and the Khyentse Vision Project; over US$1.8 million in funding granted to uphold Buddhism in its mother countries, including grassroots partnerships to revitalize interest in Buddhism in India; more than 2,000 scholarships and awards in recognition of excellence in Buddhist study and practice; support for over 3,000 monks and nuns to maintain the tradition of Buddhist scholarship in a monastic setting; and more than 120 open-access Ashoka and Trisong grants distributed to support Dharma and well-being programs.

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Khyentse Foundation
Khyentse Foundation (Facebook)

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