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The second cycle of the FPMT Masters Program at Istituto Lama Tzong Khapa (ILTK), Pomaia, Italy, is coming to a close. Students of the Masters Program class of 2008-2013 at ILTK are currently preparing for their final exams. Marina Brucet (Spain), Yumi Terada (Japan), Ven. Tiziana Losa (Italy), Hans Burghardt (Spain) and Jacob Fisher (England) have all participated in this Masters Program from the very beginning. They were interviewed for the October-December 2013 issue of Mandala about their backgrounds, their studies up to now and their upcoming retreats.
What was the best part of the Masters Program for you?
Marina: [The best has been] all I’ve learned about Buddhist philosophy, especially on emptiness and on the view of the Buddhist path. Parallel to that, the program gives you the conditions to practice Dharma and to work a lot on transforming your mind as you face all the different phases you go through when engaging in such deep studies. It also gave me the opportunity to start teaching introduction to meditation, which I appreciate very, very much.
Yumi: For me, it was Guhyasamaja Tantra because it was the culmination of all the presentations that we had studied before this text.
Ven. Tiziana: It is difficult to say, because all the texts have their own particular purpose, and they are all necessary to give an overview on the entire path.
Jacob: For me, it was studying the tantra modules with Geshe Gelek, as I found this part of the studies much easier to relate to. The transmission of the knowledge from the various realized lineage masters seemed so much closer and more direct. It also showed me in a much more precise way how an unenlightened mind can become free and transformed into that of a buddha. Geshe-la has a very profound knowledge of this area. I found his teachings very lucid and they helped me understand the great depth and intensiveness of the various teachings of tantra in this lineage.
Hans: Aside from the amazing teachings from Khensur Rinpoche Jampa Tegchok on the Madhyamakavatara and many other things, the best was the possibility to start teaching introductory courses. I’ve learned a lot from those whom we usually label as “beginners.” They’ve also given me a boost of motivation to further deepen my practical knowledge and to develop and strengthen the wish to go on one retreat after another for as long as possible, before I start teaching, to be able to give them as much as possible.
From Mandala October-December 2013
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Mandala Publications is the official publication of the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), an international charitable organization founded by two Tibetan Buddhist masters, Lama Thubten Yeshe (1935-1984) and Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche. FPMT is a vibrant international community, with a network of 160 affiliate centers, projects and services, and members in more than 30 countries.
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