My Life at the International Buddhist College
( IBC May 12, 2008 ) My name is Bhikkhuni Silananda of Thailand, and I write to share with you about my life and to offer a gracious welcome to everyone to come and study Buddhism at the International Buddhist College in Thailand.
Here we have B.A., M.A. & Ph.D. programs in Buddhist studies in the English medium, and also in the Chinese medium. We have a four-fold Sangha too! And, the price is right at about $1,800 US per year, which includes tuition, food & lodgings. However, this need not be a deterrent as there are also different types of educational assistance available here.
Most of my time here is dedicated to studying: reading and doing my assignments. I wake up early at 4am and go to bed around 11pm. Sometimes, we have community activities here in the afternoon or evenings, and of course we have regular meditation practice and chanting in the morning and the evening.
Here I have had a unique opportunity to explore and experience Buddhism in depth and from a non-sectarian point of view. We have students from around the world, who represent the various lineages of Buddhism.
I want to share with you about some of the obstacles which I faced and then some of the benefits that I have received from my studies. My first obstacle was English, so I entered into the intensive English preparation program at IBC before my M.A. studies began. Then I had to hone my skills about academics and Buddhist knowledge. Last, I had to cope with financial challenges for my traveling when I go to meet other nuns in my country or having small money for my photocopying, etc. Fortunately, I am learning to overcome each of these obstacles, and am beginning to see many benefits.
First, I feel very lucky to study at IBC and learn about other traditions of Buddhism. The emphasis of compassion and generosity here has really opened the door of my heart. The professors and texts that I am learning from are very different from what I have experienced in the past. My mind is opening. For example, I have studied thus far in the M.A. Program:
- History of Indian Buddhism
- Mahayana Buddhism
- Readings in Pali Texts
- The Sunyata Doctrine
- Buddhism in Thailand
- Research Methodology, Ethics & Writing Skills
I will study 5 more courses and then write a mini-thesis.
It is very beneficial for me to see here the Bhikkhus, Bhikkhunis, samaneras, samaneris and the laity who embrace the principle of the Bodhisattva's harmony and charitableness, this really heals me. Overall, I feel that by studying here that I will be able to offer many benefits to people in society in the near future.
Thank you very much.
So, if you would like to study here, then please do contact us at:
International Buddhist College
88 Mu 2, Thung Mo Subdistrict
Khuan Sato, Amphoe Sadao
Note: The writer of this article was one of the few honoured with 'Outstanding Women in Buddhism Awards' by the Committee of the same name in March, 2008 in Bangkok, Thailand. Congratulations