THE NEW VAJRADHATU SEMINARY
The Vajradhatu Seminary was initiated in 1973 by the Vidyadhara Chögyam
Trungpa Rinpoche as a means for entering his students into the study and
practices of vajrayana as well as to train them deeply and thoroughly in
the buddhadharma. He took great delight in the fact that this could be
initiated for his students in the West and felt it to be one of his greatest
While the essential components and view of the Seminary remain unchanged,
the format is being re-designed. The Sakyong and Acharyas feel that this
is a crucial next step in developing a more flexible system for training
students in the path of buddhadharma. It will make it possible for more
people to participate because the financial and time commitments can be
spread over several years. Most importantly, it will allow people to process
these teachings on a deep level over time. In the summer of 2001, in a
step to implement this approach, we will initiate a two part Seminary track
as described below.
THE SUTRAYANA SEMINARY
The Sutrayana Seminary (hinayana/mahayana) is a one-month program that
will be led by an Acharya and other senior teachers. Students will study
and practice the hinayana and mahayana within a Shambhala Buddhist container.
There will be classes, discussion groups, oryoki meals, and personal meditation
Students who have completed a dathün and an intermediate level of
buddhist study in the Shambhala Centers can apply for the program. This
will be defined as completion of foundation-level courses. In centers where
the new curriculum is being introduced, students are encouraged to take
whatever courses are being offered. All students should study the 1999
Sutrayana Seminary transcripts (study guides can be found in the study
manual, in the members section of this web site) and prepare for the Gateway
exam, given at the beginning of Sutrayana Seminary (this exam is also in
the study manual). As always, we can be flexible about these pre-requisites,
particularly for those that live in remote areas or are with smaller centers.
THE VAJRAYANA SEMINARY
This program is the gateway for entering the Kagyü/Nyingma lineage
stream of vajrayana buddhist practice and study as transmitted through
the Vidyadhara Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche and his lineage heir, Sakyong
Mipham Rinpoche. This program requires a deep and personal commitment to
Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche and the Shambhala buddhist mandala.
It will be a four-week program consisting of teachings by Mipham Rinpoche and other senior Shambhala teachers. Following the vajrayana transmission students will begin the special preliminary practices of ngondro under Rinpoche's personal guidance.
Students must complete a Sutrayana Seminary program and the pre-Vajrayana
Seminary course, Entering the Vajra World. It is highly recommended that
students complete Shambhala Training through Golden Key. A seven to ten
day shamatha retreat is also highly recommended.
SCHEDULE AND APPLICATION PROCESS
There are Sutrayana Seminaries scheduled at RMSC, Dechen Chöling and Karmê Chöling and Dorje Denma Ling over the next year. Applications for Sutrayana Seminary will be available through the host Practice Center.
The next Vajrayana Seminary is scheduled for the summer of 2003 at Dechen Choling in France.. Applications for any Vajrayana Seminary will be available through the Vajradhatu Office of Practice & Study.
There will be a scholarship fund available for students who need financial
assistance. If you feel that you cannot afford a program please do not
hesitate to request assistance. Shambhala is committed to making every
effort to giving everyone the opportunity to attend these programs. If
you are in a position to donate to a scholarship endowment fund, that would
be extremely welcome.
For general information about these programs you can contact the Office
of Practice and Study at Shambhala International, email@example.com,
or write to 1084 Tower Rd., Halifax, NS, B3H2Y5, 902 425 4275.