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 2001-2005

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.

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 Events and regular meeting announcements are made on our "buddhism" Athena mailing list. Add yourself to list "buddhism" using the blanche command on Athena, or use the moira web portal here (MIT email addresses only; contact the student group leaders in person if you wish to receive announcements at a non-MIT address).
  • mit list Event announcements are also made on our (lower traffic) "dharma" mailing list (open to MIT affiliates and invited guests).
  • Non-MIT affiliates, please look into the Prajnopaya Institute for a larger organization to get involved with, or the Bodhimarga study group to focus on Buddhist study.
  • Events are occasionally posted to the MIT Events Calendar ; do a quick-search for "buddhist".