In an chextracurricular computer class at SMD Branch School led by volunteer Angela Absher, young monks have taught themselves how to make a movie. They have made a movie about life at the SMD Branch School. The moves are on YouTube so Rinpoche's students all over the world can watch them.
ABOUT THE SCHOOL
At Thrangu Tashi Yangtse Monastery at the sacred site of Namo Buddha, under the care of the Venerable Lord of Refuge Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche, Shree Mangal Dvip Branch School was established for young monks. On this subject, Rinpoche said: “Education is not merely the basis of attaining happiness in one’s own life. One should also serve humanity and the people of one’s country and region. This cannot be accomplished without education, and therefore when one is young the most important thing is to study and take an interest in knowledge and education. Being able to complete such training depends on a school that has all the necessary resources and facilities.” Accordingly, the SMD Branch School was founded in 2002.
The school has developed over time, and now it offers a general education in Tibetan, English and Nepali, supplemented by complete training in religion and culture. In order to cultivate gentle, honorable students, the teachers give a Dharma-related talk every other week. To foster the monastic community, in addition to the religious activities of listening, contemplating, and meditating, the students also learn lama dancing, ritual practice, chanting, playing instruments, and Tibetan spelling, grammar, writing, and recitation. When they complete the school program, in accord with each student’s intellectual ability and readiness, some enter the shedra; some begin ngondro practice; and a few whose scholarship and conduct have been exemplary have the opportunity to become teachers for a few years.
At present our school has more than 70 students and 12 teachers; it runs from first grade through ninth grade. All the teachers are monks. Occasionally volunteers come from abroad to teach. In addition to formal study, we are also concerned about taking care of the environment: Each week the members of the Thrangu Environment Club clean the monastery grounds. And from time to time the teachers meet to discuss the development of the school, carrying out the advice and guidance of Thrangu Rinpoche.