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Ven. Tenzin Yonten: "Another significant point for me was meeting a Nalanda monk at Kopan in 2002. He stopped me dead in my tracks as I bombarded him with my regular flood of questions that came out when I met a western monk, as I looked for answers on how a regular English guy like me lives as a monastic in the Tibetan tradition. He brought it down to a much more practical level by telling me that the best possible place for me to ‘see’ those answers from different points of view was to offer service at Nalanda Monastery.

After another stay in Kopan for the 2003 1-month course and a 3-month Vajrasattva retreat, the pieces finally came together for me to come to Nalanda and serve the community as their cook and kitchen manager.

In 2004, I took my Getsul vows, and in 2007, I took my full Gelong vows from His Holiness the Dalai Lama in India. In this way, I now have this opportunity to help so many beings through devoting all aspects of my life to serving the wishes of His Holiness and Lama Zopa Rinpoche.

I continue to study the teachings and serve Nalanda’s community to the best of my ability. There is no doubt for me that my path remains an adventure with no shortage of internal and external work to develop my mind, but there is also no doubt that I feel my life as a monk is the most fulfilling way to lead my life. I feel so fortunate to be able to call Nalanda my home, and to have so much support from my brothers at Nalanda, my teachers, and my family and friends."

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