Friends of Nalanda
What makes Nalanda so special?
In the West, Buddhism is fairly recent and it is growing. This is partly because the Dalai Lama was forced to leave his country, Tibet, due to the occupation by China. He went to live in exile in India. It is also partly because westerners have begun to discover the true values of life. Since its foundation in 1981 by Lama Yeshe, many volunteers, students and monks have lived at Nalanda, which is located in the South of France. People from all over the world have come to hear about and visit Nalanda. Some stayed for a few days, or months, or even years, and some never left!
It is a place for Western monks in the Tibetan tradition to train in philosophy, monastic discipline and perform retreats. There are also discussion groups and debate classes. Therefore it constitutes a unique opportunity to live and study the entire Buddhist path in a monastic setting. Nalanda maintains a very special environment where people from every corner of the Earth come together to live and study. Presently people from 25 different countries live here. Spreading the Dharma, diffusion of very important ideas around the concept of compassion, and how to become a better person, are all becoming easier because everybody in Nalanda has family, friends and relations in his country who have become interested in what their friend is doing in that Tibetan monastery in the South of France.
Why is it important to help Nalanda spread sharma teachings?
Of course this is vitally important, as we all live in the same world, and it is up to us what we make of the future! The teachings can help us to motivate others and to bring them into practice. The more people do their best to study and practice Dharma teachings, the less NGO's are needed, because we will live in more harmony with all living sentient beings. We will develop more knowledge about how to make the world a better place!
I hope that in future there will be 10,000 monks here. It's clear that great places fall and end in ruins, but also that small places grow.
So we shouldn't get fixed on the idea about how it is now, but look to the future.
Khensur Rinpoche Geshe Jampa Gyatso - Previous Abbot
Why should I join "Friends of Nalanda"?
As Nalanda relies totally on donations it is of crucial importance to generate a regular income. Any person visiting Nalanda realises the importance of a place like Nalanda. In the new building there's a guestbook where visitors can write down their experience of staying at Nalanda. All the stories are positive ones! It often happens that people meet for the first time and very soon new friendships are made. Gradually, year by year, a worldwide network of Nalanda friends is coming into existence. Many people try to live out the Dharma in their country after having been inspired by the teachings of the Geshes and spiritual friends at Nalanda. Most people return and do so several times. Due to this success the new building is already too small and we are planning on expanding with more buildings.
Further benefits for ‘Friends of Nalanda'! Of course the most important benefit is, that by donating a minimum amount of 10€ a month, you know you are helping the Dharma to flourish worldwide. But there are further benefits! When you are able to visit, in addition to the advantages and special experience of living in a Buddhist Sangha, talking with monks, the opportunity of making friends and living in inspiring and harmonious surroundings, a ‘Friends' discount will be allowed on accommodation, study, retreat, courses, etc. Naturally, this will depend on the study program.
How do I become a "Friends Of Nalanda"?
By joining "Friends of Nalanda" you really do become a friend, and this means that it is also because of you, that the Nalanda fire can flourish. The only thing you have to do is to fill in the form. Within a few days you will be welcomed as a ‘Friend of Nalanda!' So think about this and decide to become a ‘Friend of Nalanda' today. Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.
We are not trying to reproduce a Tibetan monastery in the West, but rather to create a monastic community in the Gelug-pa tradition which is adapted to western needs. Nalanda is an affiliated member of the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition. "May the Nalanda Sangha always increase, uphold the Three Higher Trainings and spread the Teaching, source of all happiness!"
What we should do from here onwards is protect and keep a vision for the future, to change this whole place
into a very large university-style monastery where many people will come to live and study.
Geshe Jamphel - Abbot