Appreciation Speech by the representative of the graduates - Ven. Tshering Penjor, BA
The Founder and the Council Chairman of International Buddhist College, the Most Venerable Shifu Dr. Wei Wu, Respected Venerable Mahāsaṅgha, Council members, Honorable Rector, Vice Rector, Dean of the Graduate school, Professors, Lecturers, Dear Faculty members and staff, Distinguished Guests, Dear Graduates, Family members, friends of the graduates, ladies and gentlemen
A Very Good afternoon to all!!
First of all, I wish to express my sincere gratitude to the organizing committee for giving me the opportunity to say a few words on this auspicious day, the 12th Convocation ceremony of the International Buddhist College. I am extremely delighted to be present today and to represent all the graduates of 2019.
Today, on behalf of all the graduates who are awaiting to contribute their services upon returning to their homeland or stepping into society, I would like to take this opportunity to express my deepest appreciation to everyone who had worked tirelessly for our success. Let me start by congratulating my fellow graduates for their completion and achievement of tertiary studies. The graduation ceremony is one of the most memorable events in a student’s life. This comes at the end of a long journey of academic and social learning, struggles and combats. We should be aware that our graduation today is not our final destination. It is but a mark of the beginning of our career as a student of discernible responsibility in Buddhism, a good monastic or lay member of the society. We must further cultivate ourselves to be good, kind-hearted, altruistic and wise. We still have so many things to learn and accomplish in life. Therefore, now is the time for us to set up our goals and work for it.
I am from Bhutan and in Bhutan, the majority of us practice Vajrayana Buddhism. I completed 5 years of monastic studies in Tiger Nest (Taktshang) and attended Lekshered Juney Sharda (Bhutan Higher Buddhist Institution) for 6 years studying Buddhist philosophy, literature, poetry, grammar and so on. Later, I became interested to learn other modern languages and to pursue further studies of Buddhism in a tertiary institution.
In 2015, I was accepted for admission at the International Buddhist College for a 4-year Bachelor Degree program in Buddhist Studies. I decided to come to IBC because it is a non secterian college thus an ideal place to learn about the different Buddhist schools, namely Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana.
Studying in IBC gave me the opportunity to meet and know students from different parts of the world and the opportunity to learn about different cultures, languages, philosophies and lifestyles. I am deeply thankful to IBC, it is a loving and compassionate home for most of us. Here we are able to acquire the teachings of the three major Buddhist traditions.
IBC has created an environment for us to cultivate the spirit of brotherhood among all the international students, especially from South East Asia. Besides our academic concerns, we participate in community work which teaches us how to live our life harmoniously and happily in a community. Our schedule includes daily slots for some outdoor sports and exercises to keep our body healthy. Our academic studies emphasize theories that are complemented and enhanced through our daily chanting and meditation sessions. I would like to emphasize that IBC not just provide us the opportunity to learn the dharma in theory but also teaches us how to put them into practice as well. Without IBC, we might not have the chance to study about the teachings of Buddha from the different Buddhist and scholarly perspectives, and acquire the opportunity to experience such a diversity of cultures and traditions.
I would now like to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt gratitude to the most Venerable Shifu, Dr. Wei Wu, the founder of IBC. Owing to Venerable’s dedication, hard work, loving kindness and compassion towards Buddhism and Buddhists around the world we now have this wonderful institution called IBC. By establishing IBC, Venerable Shifu has created an environment where we are taught and encouraged to spread the Buddha’s messages of metta and karuna towards all people and other living beings throughout the world. I am also deeply thankful to the donors (dāyaka) and sponsors, who have been financially supporting IBC in providing scholarships to students, offering potential students from different parts of the world to further their studies in Buddhism under the supervision and guidance of accomplished and knowledgeable professors and lecturers. Without their kind supports, we would not be able to pursue our BA, MA or PhD degrees in IBC. We are really indebted to them for their generosity and selfless supports. I would also like to express my utmost gratitude and respect to all the professors and lecturers for their dedications and efforts in preparing and delivering their lectures ways that we could easily understand the important messages of the Buddha, and information about different Buddhist traditions, history and cultures.
I also want to express my sincere thanks to all the staff and other members of the IBC family for helping us in various matters such as visa application, food, lodging and others.
Finally, on behalf of all the graduates today, I would like to say a big “THANKS!” to IBC, and to the founder Ven. Shifu, the sponsors, managing committee, staffs, the country of Thailand and its people for all their kind support, care, love, compassion and generosity towards us. I hope all those graduating today would find the best and most meaningful ways in near future, to establish themselves further in Buddhist knowledge and practices, and to dedicate their lives for the benefits of the world.
Thank you very much.
May Triple Gems Bless you all.