Activities of the Monastic Community
The monks' duties are defined by the religious and cultural traditions of monastic life, such as communal daily prayers held in the prayer hall or personal meditation and study in their cells. In addition the monks perform duties arising from the religious and cultural needs of the Tibetans in Switzerland, and the aims of the Tibet Institute.
Administering to the spiritual and cultural needs of the Tibetans
The monks administer to the needs of their fellow countrymen in many ways:
- Providing spiritual guidance during sickness and death, as well as advice in other difficult circumstances
- Performing religious ceremonies during the Tibetan festivities
- Teaching Buddhist philosophy and the Tibetan language to Tibetans, also to youth and children
- Maintaining close contacts with Tibetan organizations in Switzerland
Imparting knowledge of Tibetan culture
The monks convey their knowledge of Tibetan culture and religion also to interested western and other non-Tibetan people. This is achieved mainly through teaching activities organized by the Tibet Institute as well as by lectures at external institutions and dialogue with students and scholars.
Science meets Dharma
In 1998 H.H. the Dalai Lama sought help from the Tibet Institute: The Tibet Institute was to contribute to providing monks and nuns of the Tibetan exile monasteries in India with access to education in natural sciences. Out of this idea the project «Science meets Dharma» was born.
Accordingly, and also with the aim of rejuvenating the monastic community, monks from India are admitted to the Tibet Institute for a few years on the basis of a rotational system. These monks not only assist the monastic community in its duties, but are also educated in western natural sciences, as well as in the Jewish-Christian spiritual tradition.