Frequently Asked Questions
Please browse these questions and contact us for further information.
Do I need to be a Buddhist to study at Namgyal Monastery Institute of Buddhist Studies?
No. Anyone with an interest in studying Buddhism may attend Namgyal regardless of their religion.
Can I be ordained as a monk or a nun at Namgyal Monastery?
The resident monks at Namgyal cannot ordain students as monks or nuns, but they are happy to talk to anyone with questions about monastic life, and give advice to those who are interested in pursuing that vocation.
What is the lineage of the teachers at Namgyal Monastery?
The resident monks at Namgyal were ordained by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and are of the Gelukpa school of Tibetan Buddhism. Although many of the core courses at Namgyal reflect the Gelukpa tradition, the faculty and staff of Namgyal are open to the teachings of other Buddhist schools and traditions.
When is it appropriate to do prostrations at Namgyal Monastery?
Prostrations are optional for students at Namgyal, although it is traditional for students to do three prostrations when first entering the shrine room or in the presence of one’s lama (teacher.) In place of prostrations, as a gesture of respect a student may do one short bow with hands together when entering and leaving the shrine room. On some occasions, doing large numbers of prostrations may be part of a student’s individual Buddhist practice.
Is financial aid available for students at Namgyal Monastery?
Namgyal cannot provide student loans or other financial aid, but work-study opportunities are available on a limited basis for eligible students. For more information on work study opportunities, see the work study section of the student handbook or see the Namgyal administrator.
Does Namgyal provide housing for students?
Namgyal is not able to provide housing for students at this time, however once Dü Khor Choe Ling is complete, housing will be available on a limited basis. Presently, the Namgyal office can provide students with a list of available housing options in the Ithaca area.
Can I get a college degree or academic credit for courses at Namgyal?
Although Namgyal Monastery Institute of Buddhist Studies does not award academic degrees, college credit for courses at Namgyal may be available through cooperation with the State University of New York at Empire State College. Interested students are advised to speak to the Namgyal administrator for more information.
What can I expect to gain from my studies at Namgyal?
- Learning and strengthening one’s own meditation practice.
- In-depth study of both traditional sutra and tantra teaching.
- Beginner, intermediate and advanced-level Tibetan language instruction so that one can become proficient enough to be able to translate Tibetan for a Buddhist teacher or from a Tibetan text, for a Western audience.
- Opportunity to study and be in contact with other dharma practitioners.