Kham to Kathmandu: Monastic Vajrayana in Motion, A Historical, Demographic, and Ethnographic Study of Ka-Nying Shedrub Ling

Tuesday, April 9

Tibetan House
4900 Tchoupitoulas Street
$10 suggested donation
This presentation focuses on Ka-Nying Shedrub Ling monastery in the Kathmandu Valley. The monastery was founded by Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, one of the foremost meditation masters of the 20th century from Kham in Eastern Tibet. It will explore:
- Historical context of the how the monastery was founded in the wake of Tulku Urgyen’s escape from Chinese rule in Tibet.- How Tibetan diaspora was received in the Kathmandu Valley and the resurgence of monastic Vajrayana in Nepal.
- Understanding Vajrayana practice and aspects of the term “Tibetan Buddhism.”- How should this term be understood when dealing with monasteries outside of Tibet?- Demographic makeup of the monastery, mainly exploring where in Nepal most of the monks at Ka-Nying come from and how Buddhism is practiced in the home villages of the monks.- Humanizing the monastic experience by presenting the daily rhythms at the monastery, how many of them became monks, and how they are able or not able to uphold their vows

About Robert Offner
Robert Offner has lived in New Orleans off and on since 2008, when he first moved here from St. Louis to study at Loyola. A few years after finishing college, he decided to pursue a master’s degree in Buddhist Studies in Kathmandu, Nepal. This was largely inspired by seeing the Dalai Lama speak to Tulane’s 2013 graduating class in the Superdome and my exposure to zazen practice through the Mid City Zen Center.

Robert spent roughly 3 years studying and practicing Buddhism at Rangjung Yeshe Institue in Kathmandu’s Tibetan neighborhood, Boudha. Founded by Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche, the institution coexists within Ka-Nying Shedrub Ling Monastery founded by his father, Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche. Robert’s research focuses on the lives and practices of the monks at Ka-Nying and how the Tibetan monastic tradition has resurfaced in diaspora. He recently moved back to New Orleans after completing his studies in Nepal and wishes to share some of these experiences with Tibetan House.