The program is taught by our resident teacher, Geshe Jamphel Gyaltsen. Geshe-la was born in 1968 in Zogong in Kham, the eastern region of Tibet. At the age of seventeen Geshe-la ordained as a Buddhist monk at Zogong Monastery, where he stayed until 1989. It took Geshela 28 days to escape from Tibet and cross the border to Nepal, after which he went to Sera Monastery in South India, where he started his geshe studies.
After 23 years of study and debate, he obtained the highest geshe degree of Geshe Lharampa. Lama Zopa Rinpoche advised Geshe-la to go to Nalanda and join our Abbot, Geshe Lobsang Jamphel, in teaching the western monks, nuns, and lay community the Dharma. Geshe-la has a wonderful ability to explain the teachings in a way that enables western students to relate easily relate to them. We feel most fortunate to have such a qualified Tibetan Buddhist geshe among us to teach us all the wonderful subjects of the Basic Program.
The teachings are given in Tibetan, with English translation by Katy Fradet. Katy has been our translator for most of the previous Basic Program and has time and again proved her skills due her perfect understanding of Tibetan which enables her to clearly transmit Geshela's teachings to the students. We will do our best to provide simultaneous translation from English to French, but we cannot currently guarantee that we will find a French translator. It is highly recommended that applicants for the Basic Program have a strong grasp of English in order to fully understand the teachings and study materials.
The teaching assistant
Review classes form a large component of the study program. Yael Altaratz will be our Teaching Assistant and will give daily review classes to help make the teachings of Geshe Jamphel Gyaltsen more accessible to the students. Yael successfully completed the previous Basic Program and very quickly showed her qualities in explaining difficult points to the other Basic Program students. Due to the high standard of our Basic Program, a Teaching Assistant skilled in summarizing and clarifying the main points of Geshela's teachings has become indispensable. It is expected that all the students will actively participate in these review classes in order to fully understand the study material. The students living in Nalanda will be asked to attend all the guided morning meditations on the lamrim which will be led by the Basic Program students.