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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 2011-2014

Buddhist Community Lunch and Meditation

Saturday, March 1, 12pm-1:30pm
Venue: Sidney Pacific dorm kitchen

Join the Buddhist Community for food and informal conversation ranging from life @ MIT to Dharma theory and practice. All are welcome! No experience with Buddhism necessary. Vegetarian food will be provided.

Please RSVP to minhtuev@mit.edu.


Relaxation and Mindfulness Workshop

Monday, January 20, 2014, 10:30am-1:30pm
Venue: W20 (Student Center), PDR 1 and 2

Come and join us for a day of mindfulness, relaxation and yoga. Relax your mind while stretching out your body. Enjoy a light lunch and find out about wellness resources at MIT.

Bring a towel and wear comfortable clothes. No experience required.

Jointly organized by Community Wellness at MIT Medical and the MIT Buddhist Student Group, and sponsored by the GSC.


Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence, by Daniel Goleman

Wednesday, December 4, 2013, 7pm-8:30pm
Venue: E62-262

Daniel Goleman is an internationally known psychologist who lectures frequently to professional groups, business audiences, and on college campuses. Working as a science journalist, Goleman reported on the brain and behavioral sciences for The New York Times for many years. His 1995 book, Emotional Intelligence (Bantam Books) was on The New York Times bestseller list for a year-and-a-half; with more than 5,000,000 copies in print worldwide in 30 languages, and has been a best seller in many countries. Goleman's latest book is Ecological Intelligence: How Knowing the Hidden Impacts of What We Buy Can Change Everything. The book argues that new information technologies will create "radical transparency," allowing us to know the environmental, health, and social consequences of what we buy. As shoppers use point-of-purchase ecological comparisons to guide their purchases, market share will shift to support steady, incremental upgrades in how products are made -- changing every thing for the better. Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships, was published in 2006. Social intelligence, the interpersonal part of emotional intelligence, can now be understood in terms of recent findings from neuroscience. Goleman's book describes the many implications of this new science, including for altruism, parenting, love, health, learning and leadership.

Web site: http://thecenter.mit.edu/

Open to: the general public

Cost: Free

Sponsor(s): Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values, MIT Leadership Center


Meditation Open House

Thursday, December 5, 2013, 6:30pm-8pm
Venue: TSL Cambridge (44 Walker St. Cambridge, MA)

An introduction to meditation with instructions and Q&A with Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi.


Buddhist Community Dinner

Friday, October 25, 2013, 6pm-7:30pm
Venue: Maseeh Hall Senior Lecture Room (1st floor)

Join the Buddhist Community for food and informal conversation ranging from life @ MIT to Dharma theory and practice. All are welcome! No experience with Buddhism necessary. Vegetarian food will be provided. Mr. Home Nguyen, a TEDx speaker and a war-refugee, will share with us about the power of mindfulness in healing conflicts as he details his physical journey from the war-torn Vietnam to America to achieve peace within.

Mr. Nguyen is an adjunct professor at Teachers College, Columbia University, where he designs and teaches programs on Self-Awareness, Mindfulness and Contemplative Practices.


Alash - Masters of Tuvan Throat Singing

Wednesday, November 6, 2013, 7pm
Venue: Simmons Hall, W79

Free and open to the MIT Community only. Please register: click here.

Alash are masters of Tuvan throat singing, a remarkable technique for singing multiple pitches at the same time. Masters of traditional Tuvan instruments as well as the art of throat singing, Alash are deeply committed to traditional Tuvan music and culture. At the same time, they are fans of western music. Believing that traditional music must constantly evolve, the musicians subtly infuse their songs with western elements, creating their own unique style that is fresh and new, yet true to their Tuvan musical heritage.

What does throat singing sound like? "Imagine a human bagpipe-a person who could sing a sustained low note while humming an eerie, whistle-like melody. For good measure, toss in a thrumming rhythm similar to that of a jaw harp, but produced vocally-by the same person, at the same time." -Newsweek (March 17, 2006)

Event webpage: http://www.prajnopaya.org/alash

Event poster: (PDF)

Sponsored by the Chaplain to the Institute, Prajnopaya at MIT, BSC at MIT, and Simmons Hall.


MIT Interfaith Dialogue

Tuesday, September 24, 2013, 7:15pm
Venue: W11, Main Dining Room

All are welcome for this open discussion about religion at MIT. Desserts will be provided.


Buddhist Community Dinners

Wednesday, Sep 11, 2013, 6pm-7:30pm
Venue: Maseeh Hall Senior Lecture Room (1st floor)

Join the Buddhist Community for food and informal conversation ranging from life @ MIT to Dharma theory and practice. All are welcome! No experience with Buddhism necessary. Vegetarian food will be provided.


Meditative Concentration (On-Campus One-Day Retreat)

Saturday, May 18, 2013, 10:30am-4pm
Venue: 4-303
Free for MIT students, $45 otherwise. Please register here.

Acharya Shantideva begins Chapter 8 of A Guide to the Boddhisattva's Way of Life by emphasizing the importance of stabilizing one's mind -- but that is only the beginning. He goes on to explain how craving and vagaries of daily life keep one distracted, trapped, and unable to see the true nature of reality. In this retreat we will discuss the short- and long-term benefits of settling the mind, along with other antidotes to the traps, like the practice of mind training.


Vesak Celebration and Dinner

Saturday, May 18, 2013, 4:30pm-6pm
Venue: 4-303

A brief puja, sutra recitation followed by dinner. All are welcome.


Kyudo: Meditation and the Art of Archery

Sunday, May 5, 2013, 3pm-4pm
Venue: Maseeh Hall Courtyard

Please join us for a discussion with Don Seckler, an accomplished Kyudo (Japanese Archery) instructor at MIT, on Meditation and the Art of Archery. Come to relax, enjoy a good discussion about meditation and Japanese culture.

The event is open to all. Japanese snacks will be served.


Buddhist Community Dinners (Note: location has changed)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013, at 6pm
Venue: Maseeh Hall Senior Lecture Room

Join the Buddhist Community for food and informal conversation ranging from life @ MIT to Dharma theory and practice. All are welcome! No experience with Buddhism necessary. Vegetarian food will be provided from Grasshopper restaurant.

Our guest speaker for this dinner is Ms. Leslie Hubbard (formerly Sister Suchness) from Thich Nhat Hanh's tradition, coming to share her experiences with mindfulness and relaxation.


Prayer Session for Victims of Marathon Bombing

Thursday, April 18, at 6pm
Venue: MIT Chapel

The Buddhist Community will be doing a short prayer session on Thursday, 6pm at the Chapel for the victims of the recent bombing attack. One of the prayers is the Four Immeasurables, a traditional Buddhist prayer:

"May all beings have happiness and the cause of happiness.

May they be free of suffering and the cause of suffering.

May they never be disassociated from the supreme happiness which is without suffering.

May they remain in the boundless equanimity, free from both attachment to close ones and rejection of others."

The prayers will be followed by the usual meditation session until 7pm.


Buddhist Community Dinner (Note: location has changed)

Thursday, March 21, 2013, at 6:30pm
Venue: Maseeh Hall Senior Lecture Room (On first floor, by lobby)

Join the Buddhist Community for food and informal conversation ranging from life @ MIT to Dharma theory and practice. All are welcome! No experience with Buddhism necessary. Vegetarian food will be provided from Grasshopper restaurant.

Our guest speaker for this dinner is Ms. Leslie Hubbard (formerly Sister Suchness) from Thich Nhat Hanh's tradition, coming to share her experiences with mindfulness and relaxation.


CANCELLED due to snowstorm Meditative Concentration (On-Campus One-Day Retreat)

Saturday, March 9, 2013, 10:30am-4pm
Venue: 4-349 (Pappalardo Room)
Free for MIT students, $45 otherwise. Please register here.

Acharya Shantideva begins Chapter 8 of A Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life by emphasizing the importance of stabilizing one’s mind - but that is only the beginning. He goes on to explain how craving and vagaries of samsara keep one distracted, trapped, and unable to see the true nature of reality. In this retreat we will discuss the short & long-term benefits of settling the mind and of other antidotes to the traps, such as the practice of “Lojong.”


Dhammapada Part III (On-Campus One-Day Retreat)

Saturday, December 1, 2012, 10:30am-4:30pm
Venue: 4-349 (Pappalardo Room)
Free for MIT students, $45 otherwise. Please register here.

The Dhammapada, attributed to the Buddha, is a beloved Sutra in 423 short verses that reflect on right living and how to end suffering. During this retreat we will contemplate these insightful verses and how they capture the essence of Buddhist teaching.


Bodhi Day Celebration and Community Dinner

Saturday, December 1, 2012, 5pm
Venue: 4-349 (Pappalardo Room)

Join the Buddhist community for a Bodhi Day dinner after the meditation retreat.


Cultivating Happiness through Mind Training (one-day retreat with Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi)

Saturday, September 15, 2012, 10:30am-4:30pm
Venue: 4-349 (Pappalardo Room)
Free for MIT students, $40 otherwise. Please register here.


Whatever joy there is in this world
All comes from desiring others to be happy,
And whatever suffering there is in this world
All comes from desiring myself to be happy.
- Shantideva, Bodhicaryavatara, VIII.129

In the Buddhist view, a principal cause of human unhappiness and suffering is the deeply rooted belief in what is called “self-cherishing.” Self-cherishing can manifest in many ways: through greed, vanity, pride, hurt pride and countless other diminishing qualities. At the core, one finds a small, scared, and finite self, always scrambling to protect one’s individual needs.

Shantideva, the great Indian yogi scholar, states that joy and lasting happiness come from wishing others to be happy. How is this accomplished? How does an individual make the transition from self-absorption to a genuine caring for others? In this retreat we will explore the long tradition of Buddhist “mind training” and the different techniques that have been taught and practiced for centuries, touching on Shantideva’s Bodhicaryavatara, Eight Verses on Mind Training by Langri Thangpa, and Chekawa’s Seven-Point Mind Training. We will practice some of these techniques in meditation sessions during the retreat.


Stages of Meditation: Buddhism for the 21st Century (teaching by His Holiness the Dalai Lama)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012, 9am-11am
Venue: MIT
Limited tickets will be available sometime after Aug. 25, 2012. See here for details.

On the occasion of the 10-Year Anniversary Celebration of Prajnopaya at MIT, His Holiness the Dalai Lama has graciously agreed to bestow a teaching based on Acharya Kamalashila’s “Stages of Meditation.” Regardless of the level of practitioner, developing an understanding about meditation techniques, as well as gaining clarity on one’s motivation, form the basis for cultivating a compassionate and enlightened mind. This teaching will give insight on how to practice in the 21st Century and how contemplative practice is relevant to our daily lives.

Stages of Meditation (Sanskrit. Bhavanakrama; Tibetan. Gomrim Barpa) offers lucid instructions on cultivating a meditative mind. In great detail, it instructs practitioners on acquiring familiarity and developing expertise in two forms of meditation that will lessen suffering and ultimately lead to enlightenment. These two are shamatha or calm abiding and vipashyana or stainless insight. Kamalasila clearly outlines why both methods are essential to the practitioner’s development and why both must be grounded in compassion.


Buddhist Community Dinner

Tuesday, May 1, 2012, at 6pm
Venue: 4-349 (Pappalardo Room)
(optional RSVP to eep at mit dot edu by April 29)

Join the Buddhist Community for food and informal conversation ranging from life @ MIT to Dharma theory and practice. All are welcome! No experience with Buddhism necessary.


Morning Meditation Sessions

Mondays, 9am-9:30am
Venue: MIT Chapel, basement

Regular morning meditation sessions led by Elliott, one of our group's leaders. Contact him at hedman at mit dot edu to coordinate if interested.

Dhammapada Part II (On-Campus One-Day Retreat)

Saturday, May 12, 2012, 10:30am-4:30pm
Venue: 4-349 (Pappalardo Room)
Free for MIT students, $40 otherwise. Please register here.

Details TBA


Dharma and Art (excursion to "Seeking Shambhala" MFA special exhibit)

TBD
Venue: Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave., Boston

Students should bring their IDs for discounted admission. We will meet in front of the Huntington St. entrance.

From http://www.mfa.org/exhibitions/seeking-shambhala:

Shambhala, in both physical and spiritual senses, has been part of Tibetan Buddhist art and culture for centuries. “Seeking Shambhala” explores this spiritual realm within the Tibetan tradition, and brings to the fore two contemporary artists’ personal journeys to Shambhala.

In 1906, the Museum acquired a set of 17th-century Tibetan paintings depicting the mythical Shambhala kings and the Buddha. Tibetan Buddhist scriptures state that there have been and will be 32 kings (we are currently in the reign of the 28th) and that the last will usher in an age of enlightenment.

The paintings have been recently conserved and restored back into traditional thangka (hanging scroll) mounts. “Seeking Shambhala” presents these 23 paintings along with Buddhist ritual implements, sculpture, and other objects, putting these colorful, complex images in context. Also on view will be works by Japanese graphic artist Tadanori Yokoo, including his SHAMBALA series of prints produced in 1974. The contemporary Tibetan artist Gonkar Gyatso, whose collage titled The Shambala in Modern Times was shown at the 53rd Venice Biennale, will also be represented.

Shambhala MFA image


Buddhist Community Dinner

Tuesday, February 21, 2012, at 6pm
Venue: 4-349 (Pappalardo Room)
(optional RSVP to eep at mit dot edu by February 19)

Join the Buddhist Community for food and informal conversation ranging from life @ MIT to Dharma theory and practice. All are welcome! No experience with Buddhism necessary.


Cultivating Patience (On-Campus One-Day Retreat)

Saturday, March 3, 2012, 10am-4pm
Venue: 4-349 (Pappalardo Room)
Free for MIT students, $40 otherwise. Please register here.

Acharya Shantideva, the great 8th century Indian scholar-yogi, begins his discussion on Patience, Chapter Six in The Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life, with this thunderclap verse:

"Whatever wholesome deeds,
such as venerating Buddhas, and generosity
that have been amassed over a thousand eons,
will be destroyed in a moment of anger."

Shantideva proceeds to outline why anger, hatred, and other negative emotions are not only corrosive and dangerous to this life, but also to future lives. Using battle imagery he underscores the necessity of eliminating even the slightest traces of these seemingly real, but in fact illusory enemies, that reside in one's mind and keep one in misery.

During this retreat, Ven. Tenzin Priyardarshi will combine both teaching with meditation techniques to deepen one's understanding of the dangerous hold +that negative emotions can have in life.


Buddhist Community Dinners

Sunday, December 11, 2011, at 6pm
Venue: 4-349 (Pappalardo Room)
(optional RSVP to eep at mit dot edu by December 8)

Join the Buddhist Community for food and informal conversation ranging from life @ MIT to Dharma theory and practice. All are welcome! No experience with Buddhism necessary.


Retreat on Dhammapada

(On-Campus One-Day Retreat)
Saturday, November 19, 2011, 10am-4pm
Venue: 4-349 (Pappalardo Room)

Please register here.

A full day of meditation and Buddhist teachings with MIT's Buddhist chaplain. Teachings will derive from the Dhammapada, one of the most popular and revered texts in Buddhism. In the words of the Buddha himself, orally transmitted by his students and collected in 423 short verses, it captures the essence of Buddhist teaching. Compiled in the third century BCE, the text is part of the Pali Canon, the Sutta-pitaka (collections of sermons) of the Tripitaka and can he found in the Khuddaka Nikayan (collection of little texts).

The Dhammapada is an inspiring text that covers moral teachings and teachings on mindfulness as well as on how to obtain happiness and find a way out of suffering.

Field Trip to Leverett Peace Stupa

Wake Up to Life

(Mindfulness Seminar)
Thursday, October 20, 2011, 6pm-7:30pm
Venue: MIT Chapel

Free event, please register here.

Join us for a mindfulness workshop offered by students of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh. See here, or view the promotional flyer (pdf) for more information.

(Dedication ceremony of the new temple)
Sunday, October 2, 2011

Details forthcoming.

Joyful Living

(On-Campus One-Day Retreat: live webcast teachings with the Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi)
Saturday, September 24, 2011, 1pm-3pm and 5pm-8pm
Venue: 4-303

A day of meditation and Buddhist teachings with MIT's Buddhist chaplain.

Buddhist Community Dinner

Monday, September 5, 2011, at 6pm
Venue: 4-349 (Pappalardo Room)
(optional RSVP to eep at mit dot edu by September 3)

Join the Buddhist Community for food and informal conversation ranging from life @ MIT to Dharma theory and practice. All are welcome! No experience with Buddhism necessary.

Booth at Freshman Activities Midway

Friday, September 2, 2011, 4pm-6:30pm
Venue: Johnson Athletic Center

Come hang out at our meditation booth.

On-Campus Meditation Retreat: "Buddha Nature"

Taught by the Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi
Saturday, May 7, 2011
12:30pm-2:30pm and 4:30-7pm

Venue: Pappalardo Room (4-349) , MIT
Cost: $40 (free for MIT students)
Please register by May 5 here.

Buddha Nature refers to the realization that all beings, without exception, have the same nature and potential for enlightenment. Just as clouds temporarily cover the sun, so too can ignorance temporarily obscure our Buddha Nature and hinder our development of compassion and wisdom. Meditation practice can allow us to see the true nature of things and develop these naturally present seeds of enlightenment.

Buddhist Community Brunch

Saturday, May 7 at 10:00am
Venue: Bambara Restaurant (google map)
Please RSVP by May 5 by emailing "eep" at mit dot edu.

Join the Buddhist Community for food and informal conversation ranging from life @ MIT to Dharma theory and practice. All are welcome! Inspriration for this discussion session will derive from this four-line verse from Training the Mind.

Buddhist Community Dinner

Thursday, April 21, 2011 at 6pm
Venue: 4-349 (Pappalardo Room)
Please RSVP by April 19 by emailing "eep" at mit dot edu.

Join the Buddhist Community for food and informal conversation ranging from life @ MIT to Dharma theory and practice. All are welcome! Inspiration for this discussion session will be derived from this four-line verse from Training the Mind.

Buddhist Community Luncheon

Sunday, March 13, 2011 at 12 noon
Venue (changed!): 4-349 (Pappalardo Room)
Please RSVP by March 11 by emailing "eep" at mit dot edu.

Join the Buddhist Community for informal conversation ranging from life @ MIT to Dharma theory and practice. We will venture on a gastro-spiritual journey in search of food and enlightenment.

Buddhist Community Luncheon

Sunday, February 6, 2011 at 12 noon
Venue: Meet in E25 lobby.
Please RSVP by Feb. 4 here (ignore payment instructions; just hit 'continue').

Join the Buddhist Community for informal conversation ranging from life @ MIT to Dharma theory and practice. We will venture on a gastro-spiritual journey in search of food and enlightenment.

10 years of MIT Prajnopaya

facebook google group mit list

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".