In Tibetan culture, and many others, lapis lazuli is considered a most precious stone, often even treasured as more valuable than diamonds. Traditionally, lapis has always been associated with spiritual attainment, honor, vision, the sea, the sky, wisdom, and truth. Among Tibetans and many others, its deep blue color has long been associated with healing. Aligning the mission of Maitripa College with these qualities, we chose the name Lapis for this space in the Maitripa mandala.
“Lapis: The Learning Story” will reflect the living pedagogical narrative of Maitripa College, which is a completely unique blend of traditional Tibetan Buddhist and Western approaches to teaching and learning. Please check here often for regular glimpses into the unique teaching, learning, and practice that is flourishing in the programs and community at Maitripa College.
In the first months of the year 2000, about 50 students from all corners of the globe huddled in the meditation hall at Tushita Meditation Centre in Dharamsala, India. We were all in various states of fear, joy, and expectation, having untethered ourselves from our daily lives in other places for the next two months to come to India, receive daily teachings, and be led in meditation and practice in retreat on the lamrim, the graduated path to enlightenment, by our teacher Yangsi Rinpoche. >READ IN FULL
Five years ago while I living in Austin, Texas, well before I had any idea that I might attend school at Maitripa College, my partner and I went to a Buddhist center for a meditation session. The center was relatively small, with room for about 20 people. Immediately upon entering, the meditation hall felt foreign. The various altars, the images of the gurus, the bright golds, yellows and reds of the decorative cloths—I did not know what to make of it; the culturally foreign aspects of the experience felt distracting and unnecessary. >READ IN FULL
In the nearly fifteen years that I have been in dialogue with applicants of Maitripa College programs, a few main questions have arisen over and over. These questions are deeply felt and important, and, since they have arisen from many voices over the years, we have decided to focus this conversation around them. >READ IN FULL
Our motivation for learning Tibetan, or learning to translate a Tibetan work into English, tends to be focused on the end result—the way that our labors fulfill the goals of others. But there is another aspect of working with Tibetan texts that is important, which lies in recognizing the value of engaging with them for the purpose of advancing our own development. >READ IN FULL