Vajrayana School: Educating the Public in Boudha, Nepal

Volunteer Teacher with Students at Vajrayana School

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Boudha, Nepal is a special place. It’s considered one of the holiest Buddhist sites in Kathmandu. The ancient Buddhist stupa of Bouda (also called Boudhnath) is one of the largest in the world. The region is also home to a growing population of Tibetan refugees who have built over 50 monasteries throughout the region. Boudha is a center of enlightenment, pilgrimage, and prayer, made all the more mystical by its proximity to the mighty Himalayas. According to The Lonely Planet, “this is one of the few places in the world where Tibetan culture is accessible, vibrant, and unfettered.” Interestingly, Boudha and Lhasa have always been linked by trade routes, so today’s intercultural community is no surprise. Boudha is a vibrant and culturally rich city but many of its residents have never had access to formal schooling. Enter: Vajrayana School.

Empowering Tibet with the Tibetan Village Project and Conscious Journeys

Employees of Conscious Journeys in Tibet

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A few years ago my husband traveled to Tibet with his grandfather. The high elevation was difficult for his grandfather, so they ended up spending a lot of time sitting with people, talking about the history of the Tibetan Plateau. Tibet is a unique place on this planet, the highest region on earth (at 4,900 meters), isolated from the rest of the world. Subsistence agriculture has traditionally been Tibet’s economic engine but tourism is becoming an increasingly important source of economic support. But the region has seen more than its share of unrest. Over the past thirty years, Tibetan separatists have been engaged in a power struggle with China, working to gain Tibet’s independence, and China has waged war in response. Human rights organizations have been working to help Tibet for years, though today Chinese influence in Tibet is commonplace.