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Student Life

Student life at Namgyal Monastery can be a full-time or part-time experience. There are many opportunities for study intended to accommodate anyone's schedule and all levels of spiritual and academic experience in Tibetan Buddhism, as well as those from other religious backgrounds. Students can enroll in the two-year curriculum, individual classes, or just come for a Saturday afternoon teaching. Core classes are taught in the evening by semester, and weekend retreats take place in most months, often twice a month. For an in-depth study of Buddhist topics, students can attend one or both of the two weeklong retreats offered each summer.

Western students learning hand gesture Western students discussing text

Students of diverse ages and backgrounds learn at Namgyal Ithaca.

Many local residents enjoy participation in the evening meditation sessions offered three days a week, on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Traditional tsog offerings, monthly Friday social teas, and Tibetan religious holidays are celebrated at the monastery, and are open to all who wish to attend. Community dinners hosted at the monastery offer a place to meet other students, locals Tibetans and the resident Namgyal monks, teachers, and staff.

Presently, Namgyal cannot offer any on-site housing but can provide students with a list of available accommodations in the local area. Once the new site, Dü Khor Choe Ling, is completed, student housing will be offered on a limited basis. Namgyal does offer a work-study program that is available on a limited basis for those in most need of assistance, but does not offer any financial aid at this time. Additionally, senior citizens are offered a 15% discount on the cost of all classes and events taking place at the monastery.

Daily classes, meditations, weekend intensives, and many special events take place at the monastery, which is located on Aurora Street in downtown Ithaca. The Aurora Street house is also the monks' primary residence; students are therefore asked to respect the privacy of the Venerables who reside there.