Giving to the Buddhist Community at MIT

The Buddhist Community at MIT is a non-sectarian and non-denominational organization fostering the practice and study of Buddha's teachings. We greatly appreciate your generous support and donation that help us fund public lectures, meditation retreats, and related events.

To make a contribution please contact Ven. Tenzin Priyadarshi through the Office of Religious Life at MIT. Online contributions can be made through the MIT Giving Site (look for account #2737293).

With Palms Together

Past Events

Introduction to Zazen
Rev. Ichigaku Nagira

Thursday, September 2, 6pm-7pm
Venue: MIT Chapel

A one time opportunity to learn about Zen Meditation from one of the bests. Rev. Ichigaku Nagira is the disciplinarian monk of Myoshinji Temple (Headquarters for Rinzai Zen) in Kyoto, Japan. He oversees the training of novices at Myoshinji and Hanazono (affiliated university).

Open to: the general public

Cost: Free

Sponsor(s): Buddhist Community at MIT, Graduate Student Council, Prajnopaya @ MIT


Finding Peace and Happiness Within
A Talk by His Holiness Chhetsang Rinpoche

Friday, September 3 at 7PM
Venue: MIT Building 10, Room 250 (10-250)

Suggested donation of $20. All proceedings go to Drikung Boston.

Prajnopaya is pleased to present one of its Spiritual Patrons, His Holiness Chhetsang Rinpoche the 37th Drikung Kyabgon, the co-head of the Drikung Kagyu order of Tibetan Buddhism. He resides at JangChub Ling in Dehra Dun, Northern India. In 1985 Drikung Kyabgon founded the Drikung Kagyu Institute, an education center, which emphasizes both traditional monastic education and contemporary training. The Institute has started a research project collecting all the Drikung Kagyu texts and the latest project is a Computer Library, where documentation materials on the ways of living, philosophy and religious thought of the peoples of the Himalayas are to be centrally registered. There is also a meditation retreat center nearby.

His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche was born in 1947 in Lhasa. In 1969, he was a student in Chinese schools and later worked in communes in Central Tibet. The latter became an invaluable experience for learning about the Tibetan spiritual and temporal condition in a changed society.

Co-sponsored by Prajnopaya at MIT and Drikung Boston


One Day Retreat: Introduction to Mantra and Visualization Practices
With Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi

Saturday, August 28, 2010, 10:30am-4pm
Venue: MIT Building 4, Room 303 (4-303)
Cost: $40 (Free for MIT Students).

Register online at or call 413.24UPAYA

In this one-day retreat, Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi will present the benefits of mantra and visualizations practices as taught in the Indo-Tibetan Buddhist traditions. We will also explore how such exercises are helpful in changing over-bearing habitual patterns and mental attitudes.

This retreat is ideal for those interested in learning more about Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism. The day's activities will include teachings, discussion and meditation sessions.


Sand Mandala Workshop

Friday, May 7, 2010, 4:30pm-7pm
Venue: W79, Simmons Dining Hall
MIT Community Only
Cost: Free

Mandala @ MIT invites the MIT community to join us for some fun and food. Bring out the artist in you- create new designs and play with colors. Watch Werner Herzog's "Wheel of Time" to inspire you. People will be encouraged to work in teams.

Indian food will be served following the workshop.

Co-sponsored by the MIT Large Event Fund (LEF) and the Residential Scholars Program @ Simmons Hall


Retreat: The Foundation of All Good Qualities
with Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi

Saturday, April 17, 2010, 10:30am-4pm
Venue: MIT Student Center, Room 491 (W20-491)
Cost: $40 (Free for MIT Students). Register online at or call 413.24UPAYA

In this one-day retreat, Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi will present the short-text ''Foundation of All Good Qualities'' by Tsongkhapa. These instructions describe the bodhisattva's basic attitude and path of cultivation.

This retreat is ideal for those interested in learning more about Mahayana Buddhism. The day's activities will include teachings, discussion and meditation sessions.


From Me to We: A New Look at Resilience and Well-Being
A Talk by Daniel Siegel

Friday, March 19, 7:30pm-9pm
Venue: Changed! University Hall, 1815 Massachusetts Ave., Lesley University, Cambridge, MA
Cost: $35. Register online by following the link from here.

Dan Siegel received his medical degree from Harvard University and completed his postgraduate medical education at UCLA with training in pediatrics and child, adolescent and adult psychiatry. He served as a National Institute of Mental Health Research Fellow at UCLA, studying family interactions with an emphasis on how attachment experiences influence emotions, behavior, autobiographical memory and narrative. An award-winning educator, Dan Siegel is currently a clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine where he is a Co-Investigator at the Center for Culture, Brain, and Development ( and is Co-Director of the Mindful Awareness Research Center (

Co-sponsored by The Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at MIT and Lesley University


Retreat: Foundations of Buddhism
with Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi

Saturday, February 27, 2010, 10:30am-4pm
Venue: MIT Student Center, Twenty Chimneys (room W20-306)
Cost: $40 (Free for MIT Students). Register online at or call 413.24UPAYA

In this one-day retreat, Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi will present the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path. These practical teachings are considered to be the foundation of Buddhist practice. These were the first teachings of the Buddha which he continued to teach throughout his life.

This retreat is ideal for those considering adopting the Path of Buddhism, but is also beneficial for advanced practitioners. The retreat will consist of teachings, discussion and meditation sessions.


IAP Activity: Roll Your Own Sushi/Movie Night

Wednesday, January 20, 2010, 7pm-10pm
Venue: Sidney-Pacific, 3rd Floor Kitchen
Cost: None, no advance sign up required

Join the Buddhist community in rolling, munching, and viewing. Staple sushi making ingredients will be provided, but feel free to bring your own favorite items. Once dinner is underway, we will watch acclaimed Korean filmmaker Kim Ki-Duk's "Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring." Described as "a visually stunning and contemplative piece of work" on review site, this film spans the lives of a Buddhist monk and his disciple who live on a lake in a floating temple.


IAP Activity: Grooving with the Dharma

Friday, January 22, 2010, 1pm-3pm
Venue: W20-407
Cost: None, no advance sign up required

This workshop will engage the moving body as a vehicle for contemplative practice. Structures will include seated and walking meditations as well as hip-hop warm ups, creative movement exercises, free-form dance scores, and small group choreography. These embodied experiences will be informed by traditional Buddhist teachings and concepts. No dance or Buddhism experience needed.

Harrison Blum, M.Ed., is a Boston-based dancer-educator focused on kinesthetic learning and embodied spirituality. Over the past two years, much of his work has been wedding Buddhist practice with improvisational dance ( His workshops are tailored especially toward encouraging comfort and enjoyment for less experienced movers. Harrison is a Master of Divinity student focused on Buddhist ministry at Harvard and currently an intern at MIT Prajnopaya.


Retreat: Parting from the Four Attachments, written by Drakpa Gyaltsen
with Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi

Saturday, January 23, 2010, 10:30am-4pm
Venue: MIT Student Center, Twenty Chimneys (room W20-306)
Cost: $40 (Free for MIT Students). Register online at or call 413.24UPAYA

In this retreat, Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi will present "Parting from the Four Attachments," a teaching universally regarded as one of the jewels of Tibetan Buddhism. According to tradition, Drakpa Gyaltsen (1167-1216) received the teaching as a direct transmission from Manjushri. These practical teachings are considered to be essential to anyone wanting to genuinely enter the practice of Dharma. Freeing oneself from the four attachments allows the sincere practitioner to recognize and avoid the typical pitfalls encountered on the spiritual path. It is believed that this teaching has the power to instill realizations on all who receive it with proper intention. Understanding the true nature of mind, that it is the source of all problems and solutions, allows one to alleviate the personal suffering that is caused by ignorance and confusion. The retreat will consist of teachings, discussion and meditation sessions. Text will be provided.


Pizza/Movie Night

Wednesday, February 3, 2010, 5pm-8pm
Venue: Sidney-Pacific, Seminar Room
Cost: None

Relax with some slices and German dramatic comedy "Enlightenment Guaranteed," the story of two brothers' unexpected adventures en route to and during a stay in a Japanese Zen monastery.


Awakening Enlightened Mind

One-Day Retreat
Saturday, May 30, 2009, 10:30am-4:30pm
Location: Simmons Hall MPR

The Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi will lead us into Awakening Enlightened Mind during this one day retreat. This is a wonderful opportunity to learn about and experience the compassion and surpassing intention of bodhichitta as expounded upon and embodied by Buddhists down through the ages.
Our retreat will include teachings, discussion, and practice. -----------------------------------------

Retreat: Introduction to the Mind-Only School

Saturday, February 21, 2009 (10:30am-4pm)
Venue: 60 Hartwell Rd., Carlisle, MA

See the calendar for details.


Meditations on Dependent Origination

October 3, 2009, 10:30am - 4:30pm
Venue: MIT Student Center, Twenty Chimneys (room W20-306)

This central concept of Buddhist thought is concerned with the inter- connectedness of all things and the effects of consciousness on what happens to us daily both inwardly and outwardly. The realization of Dependent Origination (or Interdependence) gives one a wonderful insight into the intricacies of how we operate within the domain of cyclical existence.

This retreat, open to all, will include teachings, meditations, and discussion. Please join us!

Click here to register.

Open to: the general public

Cost: $40 (Free for MIT students)


The Attention Revolution

A multimethod inquiry into meditation, cognition, emotion, and motivation
Speakers: Cilfford Saron and B. Alan Wallace
September 11, 2009 at 6PM
Venue: Simmons Hall MPR (229 Vassar Street, Cambridge, MA 02139)

Clifford Saron, Ph.D. is currently an Assistant Research Scientist at the Center for Mind and Brain at the University of California at Davis (, and faculty member of the UC Davis M.I.N.D. Institute.

Alan Wallace, Ph.D. a scholar and practitioner of Buddhism since 1970, has taught Buddhist theory and meditation throughout Europe and America since 1976. Having devoted fourteen years to training as a Tibetan Buddhist monk, ordained by H. H. the Dalai Lama, he went on to earn an undergraduate degree in physics and the philosophy of science at Amherst College and a doctorate in religious studies at Stanford.

Co-sponsor: Brain & Cognitive Science at MIT; The Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at MIT


Cultivating Emotional Balance

A two-day workshop with Alan Wallace
Saturday & Sunday, September 12 & 13, 2009 (10AM-5PM)
MIT (room W20-407)
Registration Fee: $150 (free for MIT students)
Registration Required. Register at or call 413-24-UPAYA

In this workshop Dr. Alan Wallace will present methods drawn from the Buddhist contemplative tradition and modern psychology for cultivating emotional balance. Such practices are based on the distinction between hedonic pleasure, which is aroused by pleasant stimuli, and genuine happiness, which stems from what we bring to the world rather than what we get from it. In Buddhist practice, mental balance is cultivated on the basis of an ethical way of life, and it is developed within the broader context of conative, attentional, and cognitive balance. Central to such mental training is the development of attentional and metacognitive skills, which are indispensable for cultivating emotional balance.

Biosketch of B. Alan Wallace:

B. Alan Wallace began his studies of Tibetan Buddhism in 1970 in Germany and was ordained as a Buddhist monk by H. H. the Dalai Lama in 1975. He has taught Buddhist meditation and philosophy worldwide since 1976 and has served as interpreter for numerous Tibetan scholars and contemplatives, including the Dalai Lama. After earning his undergraduate degree in physics and the philosophy of science at from Amherst College in 1987, he went on to earn his Ph.D. in religious studies at Stanford University. He is now the founder and president of the Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Studies.


Buddhist Community Welcome Dinner
Wednesday, September 23, 2009 at 6:30PM
Venue: MIT W11-155

Come meet members of the Buddhist Community. Learn more about what we do. Bring a friend. Feel free to bring a dish, dessert, or a drink.


Community Dinner at the Royal East

Venue: Royal East (792 Main St., Cambridge)
Wednesday, December 10, 2008 (6:30pm)
Please RSVP to Laura Montijo, lmontijo at prajnopaya dot org ASAP.


One Day Retreat: Listening to the Sound of Silence
With Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi

Venue: Twenty Chimneys, MIT Student Center, 3rd floor (W20-306)
Saturday, December 13, 2008 (10:30am - 4pm)
Cost: Free

A day of silence with sitting and walking meditation.  Instructions will be given at the beginning.  All are welcome!


Candlelight Vigil Against the Mumbai Terror Attacks

Venue: MIT Killian Court
Tuesday, December 2, 2008 (5:30pm - 7pm)
(more information here)

Special Events for Family Weekend

Expanding Love Towards Self And Others
With Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi
Saturday, October 18, 2008 (10:30am - 4:00pm)
Venue: MIT Student Center, Room: PDR 1 & 2

Calmness, Clarity, & Insight: An Introduction to Meditation
With Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi
Saturday, October 18, 2008 (3:00pm - 4:00pm)
Venue: MIT Student Center, Room: PDR 1 & 2



Advancing the Legacy of William James: The Radically Empirical Study of the Mind
Speaker: B. Alan Wallace, Ph.D.
Wednesday, April 2, 2008 at 7:00pm
Venue: MIT Building 4, 4-270
(Open to the General Public)
(Click here for more information and to register)

Contemplative Science, Mind, & Physics: Discussions with B. Alan Wallace
Moderator: Professor Christopher Moore, Dept. of Brain & Cognitive Sciences

Thursday, April 3, 2008 at 10:30am
Venue: The McGovern Institute, 46-3189
(Open to the MIT community only)
(Click here for more information and to register)

In the late nineteenth century, scientists turned their attention for the first time to the investigation of the mind, and this presented them with an unprecedented challenge. Philosophers had long speculated upon the nature of subjective mental events without coming to any significant consensus. In contrast, for three centuries scientists had meticulously examined and analyzed objective physical phenomena and had made enormous progress in discovering their natures and the regularities in their causal interactions. The challenge that faced the pioneers of the mind sciences, such as William James and Wilhelm Wundt, was to apply the scientific spirit of empiricism to the study of mental phenomena, which cannot be objectively measured by any of the instruments of technology. But by the early decades of the twentieth century, the initial emphasis on the first-person investigation of mental phenomena themselves was eclipsed by the study of the behavioral and neurological correlates of mental phenomena. In this lecture, Alan Wallace will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of this objective approach to the study of phenomena that are inescapably subjective in nature, and he will propose ways in which sophisticated first-person and third-person methodologies may complement each other.

Dynamic lecturer, progressive scholar, and one of the most prolific writers and translators of Tibetan Buddhism in the West, B. Alan Wallace, Ph.D., continually seeks innovative ways to integrate Buddhist contemplative practices with Western science to advance the study of the mind.

Dr. Wallace, a scholar and practitioner of Buddhism since 1970, has taught Buddhist theory and meditation throughout Europe and America since 1976. Having devoted fourteen years to training as a Tibetan Buddhist monk, ordained by H. H. the Dalai Lama, he went on to earn an undergraduate degree in physics and the philosophy of science at Amherst College and a doctorate in religious studies at Stanford.

With his unique background, Alan brings deep experience and applied skills to the challenge of integrating traditional Indo-Tibetan Buddhism with the modern world.


A Thalamic Gateway toward Selfless Insight: Kensho and the Loss of Self
Conversations with Dr. James Austin, MD
Tuesday, April 15, 2008 at 11:30am
Venue: 46-3002, The McGovern Institute
(Open to all)
(Click here for more information and to register)

Zen and the Brain
Speaker: Dr. James Austin MD
Wednesday, April 16, 2008 at 7:00pm
Venue: MIT Building 3, 3-270
(Open to the General Public)
(Click here for more information and to register)

Dr. James Austin has spent most of his years as an academic neurologist, first at the University of Oregon Medical School and later at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. He is currently Clinical Professor of Neurology at the University of Missouri-Columbia's Health Sciences Center. Included in Dr. Austin's cultural background was his first sabbatical spent in New Delhi, India; and the second spent in Kyoto, Japan, where he began Zen meditation training with an English-speaking Zen master, Kobori-Roshi, in 1974. He maintains a keen interest in the experimental designs and findings of investigators who study meditation, insight, and related states of consciousness. His early research background includes publications in the areas of clinical neurology, neuropathology, neurochemistry, and neuropharmacology. Dr. Austin is the author or co-author of more than 140 professional publications, including three MIT Press publications: Zen and the Brain: Toward an Understanding of Meditation and Consciousness (1998); Chase, Chance, and Creativity: The Lucky Art of Novelty (2003); and Zen-Brain Reflections: Reviewing Recent Development in Meditation and States of Consciousness (2006). His next book is entitled, Zen Brain, Selfless Insight: The Meditative Transformations of Consciousness (MIT Press, 2008).


Reason, Experience and Search for Happiness
Speaker: Monsignor Lorenzo Albacete
Wednesday, April 30, 2008 at 7:00pm
Venue: MIT Building 3, 3-270
(Open to the general public)
(Click here for more information and to register)

Msgr. Lorenzo Albacete, a close friend of Pope John Paul II, is a physicist by training. He holds the degree in Space Science and Applied Physics as well as a Master's Degree in Sacred Theology from the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. He holds a doctorate in Sacred Theology from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas in Rome. He is co-founder and has been a professor at the John Paul II Institute in Washington, DC. He has taught at St. Joseph's Seminary in Yonkers, NY, and from 1996 to 1997 served as President of the Catholic University of Portorico in Ponce. He has been Advisor on Hispanic Affairs to the US National Council of Catholic Bishops.

He is a columnist for the Italian weekly Tempi, has written for The New Yorker, and has appeared or has been interviewed on CNN, The Charlie Rose Show, PBS, EWTN, Slate, The New Republic, and Godspy.

Msgr. Albacete is the author of God at the Ritz: Attraction to Infinity. A Priest-Physicist Talks About Science, Sex, Politics and Religion.

As Hendrik Hertzberg (The New Yorker) has noted: "Lorenzo Albacete is one of a kind, and so is God at the Ritz. The book, like the monsignor, crackles with humor, warmth, and intellectual excitement. Reading it is like having a stay-up-all-night, jump-out-of-your-chair, have-another-double-espresso marathon conversation with one of the world's most swashbuckling talkers. Conversation, hell-this is a Papal bull session!"

Theodore Cardinal McCarrick of Washington wrote of the book: "Monsignor Albacete has a keen insight into the mystery of God and a wonderful sense of humor even when he is speaking about very heavy subjects. Perhaps it is precisely this sense of humor-and wonder-that brings people of all faiths to Msgr. Albacete's writings to find there a source of goodness and strength."

Sponsors: MIT Prajnopaya, MIT Center for Ethics & Transformative Values, Office of Religious Life
Co-sponsors: Simmons Hall, Dept. of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Dept. of Linguistics and Philosophy, Technology & Culture Forum, Tech Catholic Community


Bodhi Day Celebration

Wednesday, December 12 at 7PM

Meet at MIT-W11
(Open only to MIT Community Members)

Celebration of Buddha's Enlightenment Day followed by Community Dinner.


Contemplative Life Initiative @ MIT

Living in Awe: Buddhist Methods of Stillness and Wonderment
Unleash the power of your creativity and inner wisdom

Saturday, December 15, 2007 (10AM- 5PM)

Venue: Twenty Chimneys, Stratton Student Center, MIT
(across 77 Massachusetts Avenue)

Cost: Free by donation for MIT/ $60 others

(Click here for more information and to register)

For a child, the world and everything in it is a source of wonderment, filled
with endless possibilities worth exploring. In discovering the world, a child
unleashes amazing creative energy envisioning its possibilities.

As we age, we gain the knowledge to work in the world and push our own
limits.But, along with the feeling of self-assurance that comes with knowledge, our
views and opinions harden, so that we no longer see all the possibilities
and opportunities around us.  How can we tap back into our childhood
amazement and curiosity without giving up all our worldly experience?

Buddhist methods of stillness allow us to recognize the difference between
what we think and who we are, and thus recognize which habits of
the mind block our creative energy. This awareness through stillness is the
pick that can break the ice surrounding our wonderment.

Come explore these techniques through a day of practice and instructions.


Peace Vigil for Myanmar (Burma)

MIT Prajnopaya and Amnesty International invites you to a Peace Vigil in solidarity with those persecuted in the recent violence in Myanmar (Burma). Now, more than ever, we are called to extend and demonstrate our sense of care, compassion, and freedom for all.

Silent Meditation & Prayers for Peace

Wednesday, October 3, 2007 at 8PM
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Steps of the Main Building
(77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA)


Social Intelligence

A Public Talk by Daniel Goleman

September 12 , 2007 at 6:00PM

Venue: MIT Simmons Hall (229 Vassar St.)


Meditation & Discussion

Click here to order book
Shunryu Suzki's
"Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind"

Wednesdays at 7PM
Guided Meditation every other Wednesday.

Venue: MIT-W11
(Open only to MIT Community Members)


Teachings on
Stages of Meditation of Acarya Kamalshila

Selected Mondays at 6:30PM
(Click here to check schedule)

Venue: MIT Chapel
(Open to All)


Photographs from the Tsa Tsa Workshop, January 2004

Buddhist Community Dinner
March 10, 2005 at 8:00pm
Main Dining Room (W11), MIT.

Come and join us for an evening of Indian and Tibetan cuisine. Feel free to bring some dessert or drinks to share. Relax, meet some new people and just have\ a wonderful time!

Gender, Race, and Spirituality in the Present Moment
Talk and Discussion by Hilda Ryumon Gutiérrez Baldoquín
Tuesday, April 5, 2005, 4:30pm - 6pm
MIT, Room 14E-304

Introduction to Chenrezig
A Talk by Bardor Tulku Rinpoche
Friday, April 22, 2005 at 7:00 - 8:30pm
Room 4-237, MIT

Listening to the Sound of Silence

A Day of Silent Meditation

Led by The Venerable Tenzin LS Priyadarshi

Saturday, January 29, 2005 10:30 am - 4:30 pm

MIT Chapel

(Where is this place?)

Suggested Donation: $50 (non-MIT); Free for MIT Students

(Scholarships available for other High School and College Students)


For Registration Contact Bill Seaver (billseaver at earthlink dot net)

Parking information to follow after you register!

MIT affiliates RSVP to Ven. Tenzin Priyadarshi

What is the nature of the mind when it is not actively engaged in thinking? During this retreat we will alternately practice sitting meditation, walking meditation, and chanting as means to get a glimpse into serenity. Your lab, the object of your experimentation, and the subject of your focus is none other than your own mind - are you ready to work on it? It is a day when you can teach your mind to "hibernate" - to actualize the power of silence and the dynamism of stillness!

Chinese Brush Painting

A workshop with Ming-chien Liang

Saturday, January 29, 2005 6:00 pm- 7:30 pm

Room 4-149 at MIT (77 Massachusetts Ave.)

Cost: $10 (MIT Students); $15 (non-MIT)


Signup by: 25-Dec-2004
Limited to 20 participants.
Single session event

Chinese ink painting is simple in form, rich in meaning and an aesthetic experience, and at once realistic and abstract. In its attempt to capture the essence of the subject, Chinese ink painting explores beyond the external appearance. It aims at lifting us to a transcending realm where the self is forgotten and worldly concerns distilled. Thus it is imbued with tranquility and even spiritual intensity. With the pliant brush and highly sensitive paper, this high art form demands union of the technique to master the brushstrokes derived from calligraphy, the artistic sensitivity and imagination, and the cultivation of ethical purity, intellectual and transcendental insight.

Contact: Tenzin LS Priyadarshi


Non-violence in Education
(The Tibetan School Project)

Tuesday, February 1, 2005 7:00 pm in Room 2-105

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
77 Mass. Ave., Cambridge, MA 02139

Soenam Jamyangling is Chairman and Founder of the Tibetan School Project and the Swedish Tibetan Society for School & Culture. Hear his dynamic approach to building schools on the roof of the world.

The Tibetan School Project is a nonprofit venture of Tibetan exiles and Westerners
to build 108 schools inside Tibet.

This event is Co-Sponsored by:
MIT-Prajnopaya, The Buddhist Community at Massachusetts Institute of Technology
US Tibet Society for School & Culture

(Re)generating the Altruistic Mind
(A Retreat Based on the Avalokitseshvara/ Cenrezig Sadhana)

Led by The Venerable(s) Tenzin LS Priyadarshi and Lama Sonam

Saturday, December 11, 2004 10:00 am - 4:30 pm

MIT Chapel

(Where is this place?)

Suggested Donation: $80
(Scholarships available for High School and College Students)

MIT affiliates RSVP to Ven. Tenzin Priyadarshi
(Proceeds to benefit the activities of The Prajnopaya Foundation)

This holiday season give yourself the wonderful gift of Bodhicitta (Enlightened Altruistic Mind) and deepen your understanding of the gift you already have, a precious human life. Words cannot adequately describe the wonderful qualities of these two - we invite you to come get a taste of them. This one day retreat will give you the opportunity to reflect on the year that just passed, and to contemplate on the time that is coming - how to make the best use of this time, this body, and this life. The great teacher Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche once exclaimed, "I ask myself why we do not practice, just for those few moments of time in which death has lent us our body."

This retreat will focus on the practice associated with the Bodhisattva of Compassion, Avalokiteshvara, and will shed light on how to develop the qualities that this figure evinces. His Holiness the Dalai Lama has often said that there are no absolutes in Buddhism - but if there were one, it would be "compassion." During this retreat we will open our hearts and deepen our minds to the profundity of this refined sense of Compassion, as it is understood in the Buddhist tradition.

The participants of this retreat will receive an oral transmission of the Six Syllable Mantra of Avalokiteshvara.

The Venerable Lama Konchok Sonam began his Buddhist training at Katsel Monastery in Tibet. He studied with HE Chuntzang Rinpoche and HE Thristsab Rinpoche and served as a disciplinarian at Jangchhub Ling, Seat of the Drikung Kagyu School in India. He is currently the resident teacher of the Drikung Kagyu Sangha in Boston. For a full bio please visit

The Venerable Tenzin LS Priyadarshi began his training in Rajgir near the ancient Nalanda Monastic University in India. He studied under the guidance of HH the Dalai Lama who is also his preceptor and with other eminent teachers such as HH Sakya Trizin and HE Kushok Bakula. He is currently a Visiting scholar and Buddhist Chaplain at MIT and teaches at the Namgyal Monastery in Ithaca, the North American Seat of HH the Dalai Lama. For a full bio please visit


The Harvard-MIT Celebration of

Lhabab Duechen

Thursday, November 4 at 7 p.m.
MIT Chapel

Chanting and Worship Ceremony

Brief Dharma Talk by Lama Migmar Tseten,

Director of the Sakya Center, Cambridge, MA.


Followed by a catered Tibetan Dinner

The Buddhist Community at MIT is pleased to host the celebration of Lhabab Duechen. There are four events in the life of the historical Buddha Shakyamuni which occupy a significant place in the Tibetan Buddhist Calendar:

1. The Display of Miracles
2. Enlightenment
3. Turning the Wheel of Dharma
4. Return/Descent of the Buddha from the Heavenly Realm

Lhabab Duechen celebrates the last of these events when the Buddha Shakyamuni returned from the Realm of Thirty Three Heavens after preaching to his mother Mayadevi. Buddha ascended to the Heavens to teach Dharma to his mother as an act of repaying the debts, filial piety. Legend has it that on this day Buddha came back to the City of Kashi/ Varansasi to continue teaching Dharma to the people of this world. A Stupa was erected in Varanasi commemorating this event after Buddha's parinirvana.

Purification and Rejuvenation Retreat
(A Retreat Based on the Vajrasattva Practice)

Led by The Venerable Tenzin LS Priyadarshi

Saturday, November 6, 2004 10:00 am -5 :00 pm
Sunday, November 7, 2004 11:00 am - 1:00 pm

Retreat Venue and Directions will be given to you when you RSVP.

Suggested Donation: $120 (Scholarships are available for students!)
(All proceeds to benefit the charitable activities of The Prajnopaya Foundation

Seldom do we "plan" on committing misdeeds or non-virtuous actions (at least this is the way it appears to us when we try to reflect back on the nature of a particular non-virtuous action that arose "spontaneously" due to preceding events or circumstances). To counter such attitude of "spontaneous" non-virtuous deeds it perhaps becomes an obligation on our part as practitioners of Buddha Dharma to reside in a state of mind from which more "spontaneous" virtuous deeds arise. Such is the objective of this Spontaneous Retreat on Vajrasattva, the Clear Light manifestation of the Buddha that cuts through all negative thoughts and actions. The tradition tells us of the great Indian Acarya Dipankara Srijnana, popularly known as Atisha (author of A Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment (Bodhipathpradipam)), who engaged in a purification practice even after committing minor negative deeds (those that we tend to make disappear in the blink of an eye wishing and at times believing that it never happened only to find out in the future that our consciousness had registered it!) whether he was traveling on foot or riding on a horse back. This is to display the quality of an "attentive mind."

The practice of Vajrasattva is not a practice of confession as understood in popular contexts. Neither it is designed as "guilt trip" for individuals. It is a practice to firstly assess where one's mind stands; then to purify/ cut through the obstacles; and finally mental and spiritual rejuvenation that accompanies the results of this practice.

The participants of this retreat will receive an oral transmission of the Vajrasattva Mantra (the Hundred Syllable Mantra) and then engage in reflection/ recitation of it. This retreat will be a balance of discussion and practice.


Glimpses of Ch'an:
Listening to the Sound of Silence

Meditation and Talk by Dharma Master Hsin Tao
Founder, Museum of World Religions and Wu-sheng Monastery

Thursday, February 26, 2004 at 6:30 p.m.

The Wong Auditorium

Tang Center, MIT
(70 Memorial Drive, Cambridge, MA)

Meditation and Discussion on
Atisha's Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment

(Sanskrit. Bodhipathpradipam; Tibetan. Jangchub lamgyi dronma)
Every Thursday, 7:00 pm-8:00 pm in the MIT Chapel

A Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment is an essential work in Buddhist philosophy written about a thousand years ago by the great Indian pandit and yogi Dipamkara Shrijnana Atisha. Atisha trained in the Vikramshila Monastic University and was responsible for the establishment and reformation of Buddhism in Tibet.We will be reading this text with the help of a commentary on the text by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

The text will be provided by the Buddhist Community.

PS: Meditation and Chanting will begin at 6:30 p.m. for those who are interested in it.

Those who are interested in Shantideva's A Guide to Bodhisattva's Way of Life (Sanskrit. Bodhicaryavatara) may talk to Venerable Tenzin to set up a time.

His Holiness
The Dalai Lama of Tibet

Investigating the Mind:
Exchanges between Buddhism and the Biobehavioral Science on How the Mind Works

September 13-14, 2003
Kresge Auditorium, MIT

Buddhist Relics

Pray for World Peace

A rare opportunity to see and venerate the relics of the historical Buddha Shakyamuni and other great Buddhist masters.

September 10-14, 2003
Stratton Student Center, MIT

(adjacent to Kresge Auditorium),
Massachusetts Institute of Technology ,
84 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02139-4307

Wednesday, September 10 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Thursday, September 11 from 10:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Prayer for Remembrance and Peace 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Friday, September 12 from
10:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, September 13 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon.
Sunday, September 14 from 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

All are Welcome. There is no admission fee. Donations are appreciated. Proceeds subsidize the tour and benefit the non- profit Maitreya Project. Handicap accessible.

Poster of the Event.

Event Time Place
Vesakh: Celebration of Buddha's Birthday
May 6, 2003 West Lounge
The Movie Himalaya Jan 9, 7 p.m. Room 1-135
Mind Like the Sky: Introduction to Basic Meditation by Ven. Lama Migmar Tseten Jan 16, 7 p.m. Room 5-231
Tonglen: A Filter for Suffering by Ven. Tenzin L. Priyadarshi Jan 21, 7 p.m. Room 5-231
The movie The Cup Jan 23, 7 p.m. Room 1-135
Vegetarian Dinner Jan 30, 6 p.m. Religious Activities Center
Meditation and study of Shantideva's Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life by Ven. Tenzin L. Priyadarshi Thursdays (starting Feb 27; except 4/17, 5/18 and 5/29) MIT Chapel

A four-part series sponsored by the Harvard Hillel and the Harvard Buddhist Community focusing on Jewish and Tibetan experiences of exile from February 13 through March 6, 2003.

Feb 13 through Mar 6 See poster

10 years of MIT Prajnopaya

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Welcome! The MIT Buddhist Community is a group of keen individuals interested in the study and practice of Buddhist meditation and Buddhist philosophy.

  • Led by MIT's Buddhist Chaplain, the Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi, we participate in weekly teachings, regular meditation exercises, and periodic all-day retreats.
  • Undergraduates, graduate students, and alumni are all welcome!
  • mit list Event announcements are made on our Athena mailing list. (open to MIT affiliates and invited guests)
  • google
  group The Google Group is used for quotes-of-the-day and general discussion.
  • facebook Join our Facebook group!.
  • Events are also posted to the MIT Events Calendar ; do a quick-search for "buddhist".