Ordained at Nalanda: Ven. Chödrak / Yann Dulac

On May 2, 2014 Yann Dulac was ordained as a getsul (junior monk) at Nalanda. Chödrak, as he is called now, tells us how he became a monk and how he feels now.

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“In 1995, at the age of 30 everyone told me that I had made it in life. I had an excellent job, a good income and a nice girlfriend. I could enjoy life every day, like eating out and entertaining friends, and every year, I could travel all around the world for a whole month.

And then I became bored, thinking to myself: is this all? Is this the purpose of life? Problems emerged as well: problems at work, with money, with friends and with my girlfriend. I found all this meaningless. Then, the desire to spend time with others and find purpose in my life awakened. I started to become interested in various spiritual traditions; but never found clear and satisfactory answers.

In 2000 a friend gave me a book by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, "The Art of Happiness". Finally, in it I found many clear and evident answers to my questions, full of common-sense wisdom. But these answers raised new questions. I decided to join a Buddhist center, so I went to the Kalachakra center in Paris. Early 2001, I took refuge with Geshe Jamphel, the current abbot of Nalanda; and also met the most Venerable Mogchok Rinpoche.

In March 2001 Lama Zopa Rinpoche came to Paris for a few days. A lot of people were very excited; however, because I didn’t know him, I had no expectations. Before meeting with Lama Zopa I had never met a holy being, but the encounter with Lama Zopa really was a direct and personal experience of meeting an enlightened being. For me there was no doubt that Lama Zopa is an enlightened being.

Then, until 2005, I went to listen to Dharma teachings almost every weekend at the Kalachakra center. I spent one month at Nalanda, I did several short retreats at Institut Vajra Yogini (near Nalanda), culminating in a one-month retreat with Lama Zopa at the Institut. I also had the opportunity to listen to the teachings of His Holiness the Dalai Lama on several occasions.

As a volunteer of Kalachakra center, I participated in the life of the center and participated in numerous events. I greatly valued this period which for me was a practice of guru yoga, serving Lama Zopa and working to achieve his holy wishes. Perhaps it was at this time that I accumulated the merits necessary to take ordination thanks to the kindness of the whole team of the Kalachakra center.

The idea to become a monk emerged very early on, but I was not ready. I had not reflected sufficiently on the subjects of Lam Rim. I continued my professional life until 2012, when my mind was ready to fully consider monastic life. When I met Geshe Jamphel in September 2012, he confirmed that I could ordain. He recommended I come to Nalanda in February 2013, to take ordination and start the Basic Program. After a year, on Friday, May 2 at 16:30, I took ordination at Nalanda as a getsul with Geshe Jamphel.

Since I have taken the vows I feel much more free, less stressed and more relaxed. I have chosen to live in accordance with my deepest aspirations, with the values we try to cultivate. Takings vows and respecting them is the best way to abandon non-virtuous actions of body, speech and mind. This ethical practice is the basis for obtaining once again a precious human rebirth, and developing realizations of the Lam Rim.

For the future I have no specific plans or expectations. I just want to dedicate my time to listening to, reflecting on and meditating on the Dharma, and to develop loving kindness and a warm heart. 

I do not know how to express my gratitude to all those precious Lamas and Geshes who patiently take care of us. If I have obtained any understanding of the Buddhist path, I owe this only to their great kindness. In fact, I do not think I will be able to ever return their kindness. But I will try to apply their advice to tame my rebellious spirit and to benefit others as much as I can.”




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