Nineteen years after ground was broken for a shedra (monastic college) at Surmang Dutsi Til monastery in Tibet, and thirteen years after the shedra complex went into use for various purposes, including educating young monks and children, the main shrine room is now finished. The long process was due in particular to the elaborate furnishings, and especially the three very large rupas (statues) in the shrine room, which were just completed. Viewed left to right, the rupas are of Manjusri, Maitreya Buddha, and Green Tara. Surmang is the home monastery of the Trungpa lineage of teachers.
Many hundreds of people from the sangha in the West contributed to the shedra effort over the years, coordinated by Konchok Foundation. Now that the shedra complex will be focused on its main purpose as a monastic college, some people are continuing their support, helping to fund the ongoing operations of the shedra. (Click here to donate to the shedra.)
Several dozen monks from Dutsi Til are participating so far in the shedra, studying Gampopa’s Jewel Ornament of Liberation. The number of monks in attendance is expected to increase to about seventy in the coming months. The Kyelaka nunnery associated with Surmang had been conducting its own study programs, which are equivalent to a shedra but don’t have that name because there is no separate building for those programs.