Scholar to offer insight on Buddhism

By JENNIFER PATTERSON, Times Union, September 16, 2006

Event aims to introduce traditions to those interested in pursuing practice
Albany, NY (USA)
-- The Venerable Khenpo Ugyen Tenzin, a Tibetan scholar, will introduce interested people to the practice of Buddhism this weekend.

Ugyen will hold a Refuge Ceremony and give the vow of the Three Jewels on Saturday at the Karma Thegsum Choling Buddhist Center, located at the Doane Stuart School.

"According to the Buddhist tradition, we find refuge in the Three Jewels, which are the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha," said center director Laura Roth, of Niskayuna. The seminar is open to everyone, but is intended for those who are seriously committed to the practice.

Khenpo Ugyen will hold teaching sessions and meditation workshops on the Three Jewels, to explain the significance of each and benefits they offer.

"The Buddha is the teacher who himself transcended all suffering, Dharma is his teaching that provides the path to liberation and Sangha is the assembly of practitioners who assist us in the journey," Roth said.

Ugyen was born in central Bhutan -- a tiny nation situated between China and India -- in 1956 and enrolled in the Karma Shri Nalanda Institute for higher Buddhist studies in Sikkim, India. He received a master of Buddhist Studies degree and taught at the institute for a number of years. He now serves as the resident Lama -- a Tibetan Buddhist teacher -- at the Karma Triyana Dharmachakra Monastery in Woodstock.

The title of "venerable" is given to an ordained Buddhist monk and is comparable to a reverend in the Christian tradition.

Khenpo is the highest title a monk can earn through studying Tibetan Buddhist philosophy. Monks who hold this title usually teach Buddhist philosophy and hold higher positions within a monastery.

"A white scarf, which is a traditional Tibetan form of greeting, and an offering is typically presented to the Lama when you take refuge or receive a blessing," Roth said. "We hold special events like this only a few times a year and hopefully, we'll see many new people interested in pursuing the Buddhist path." Jennifer Patterson can be reached at 454-5340 or by e-mail at

Buddhist seminar

What: "Taking Refuge in the Three Jewels" seminar

When: 10 a.m. to noon and 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. A refuge ceremony begins at 5 p.m. Saturday

Where: Karma Thegsum Choling Buddhist Center, located at the Doane Stuart School, Route 9W, Albany

Cost: A $15 donation is requested Information: 374-1792