Rongton Buddhist Training College
Each term Lama Choedak Rinpoche teaches on a different topic of Buddhism in the Rongton Buddhist Training College. The teachings, which have been running since 1997, are held at our centre in Evatt, ACT. This is an extraordinary opportunity to receive teachings from one of the most highly regarded Tibetan Buddhist teachers residing in the west.
Go to Classes to find out which topic Rinpoche is teaching on this term and the location of our Evatt centre,.
For at least the last 8 years, all the teachings that Rinpoche and other visiting teachers have taught have been recorded. This represents an enormous archive which is accessible by contacting the office or visiting our shops. You can enjoy these teachings in one of following ways:
Rongton Distance Education - This programme has been established to make the teachings accessible to everyone. Students may take the course on their own, in part or whole, but are encouraged to form study groups when possible. The programme covers most of the fundamental features of Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana traditions, their philosophy, history, teachings and practices, delivered in a style both traditional and modern. The most benefit is to be gained from studying the full 5 years, but students can participate on a casual basis. An enrolment form can be sent to the Rongton Distance Coordinator to commence.
Dharma Study Groups - There are more than twenty sister centres around Australia and New Zealand affiliated with Sakya Losal Choe Dzong which Rinpoche visits regularly. Many of the centres have weekly study groups that listen to recordings of teachings that Rinpoche has conducted in Canberra. These recordings include live webcasts of Rinpoche's Tuesday philosophy classes on topics like "Introduction to Vajrayana Buddhism".
DIY - You can purchase any teachings on CD/MP3 and listen to them at home. Click here to access the full schedule of recordings.
Rongton Buddhist Training College is named after Rongton Sheja Kunrig who founded Nalendra monastery in 1436, naming it after the famed Nalanda Mahavihara (university) near Rajgir in India. Kamalashila and Acharya Sinhabhadra are the two of the many past incarnations that Rongton has acknowledged as his predecessors. Rongton was a celebrated disciple of Mahapandita Vanaratana of India, and also the Tibetan teachers Yakton Sangye Pal and Thekchen Choeje Kunga Tashi (1349-1425) - as such he became a jewel in the crown of all the Tibetan scholars.
His collected writings cover sixty major subjects in the Buddhist scriptures. These included the complete commentaries on the Five Dharmas of Maitreya, the only extant commentary on Kamalashila's Bhavanakarma: Stages of Meditation; and some monumental commentaries on Vinaya and Prajnaparamita. Rongton's works are respected and studied by all the schools of Tibetan Buddhism.
He was the teacher of many eminent scholars such as Tashi Namgyal, Choeje Gewa Gyaltsen, Gorampa Sonam Senge (1429-1489), Panchen Shakya Chogden (1428-1507), the first Panchen Gendun Drupa (1475-1542), Gungru Sherab Sangpo, and many others. Sakyapas proudly claim to hold the views and doctrines of Gorampa, but Gorampa would have given the credit to his eminent teacher, Rongton. Most rivers have their source in the high mountains, and in this respect Rongton is acknowledged as having attained the sixth bhumi. Tsongkhapa is among the many undisputed masters who recognised Rongton as an emanation of Maitreya.
Lama Choedak Rinpoche has a particular affinity with Rongton's work, and Rongton Buddhist Training College was founded with the blessings of His Eminence Chogye Trichen Rinpoche, holder of Rongton's throne, during His visit to Australia in 1997. Lama Choedak Rinpoche has translated and taught from Rongton's works on the Perfection of Wisdom, Mahayanasutralankara, and Stages of Meditation.