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The Sound of Two Hands ClappingThe Education of a Tibetan Buddhist Monk$
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Georges B.J. Dreyfus

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780520232594

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520232594.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 25 July 2021

Tibetan Monasticism

Tibetan Monasticism

Chapter:
(p.32) 2 Tibetan Monasticism
Source:
The Sound of Two Hands Clapping
Author(s):

Georges B. J. Dreyfus

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520232594.003.0003

This chapter examines the nature of Tibetan monasticism, focusing on the institutional framework in which scholastic studies take place. The author narrates his own encounter with Tibetan monasticism at the end of the spring of 1971. After being in Dharamsala for a few months, he had decided to enter a monastery to devote himself to the study and practice of this tradition. He stayed at Nam-gyel, the Dalai Lama's own monastery. Soon after, he was ordained as a novice by Lati Rin-po-che, the rather stern monk who would be one of his main teachers. Few of the elder monks seemed to be very learned or even interested in study and meditation. The younger monks were involved in studying Buddhism, but it was clear that for them this task was a distant second to rituals, the main task of the monastery. The author discusses some of the central features of Tibetan monasteries, such as their corporate nature and their role as ritual centers. He also differentiates local monasteries from the large monastic universities where the scholastic culture flourishes.

Keywords:   Nam-gyel, Dalai Lama, monasteries, monks, monasticism, monastic universities, Buddhism, rituals

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