SMD Branch School for Young Monks at Namo Buddha
In 2000, Rinpoche opened SMD Branch School (SMDBS) for young monks at Namo Buddha (about 2 hours away from the main school). There are about 100+ monks at SMDBS, under the capable guidance of Principal Khenpo Chonyi Rangdrol, who is also Principal at the main school. Karma Samdup is teh Vice Principal at SMDBS.
SMDBS was established to relieve overcrowding in the main school, and to give the young monks a wholesome atmosphere in which to live. The Branch School runs from Nursery up to Class 9. Rinpoche sends his more able monks down to the main school from Classes 6 to 10, with the intent that, when they graduate, they can become junior 'gegens' (teachers) at SMDBS. The reason for sending these monks to the main school is because, at the main school, the secular curriculum is more advanced, and the young monks can be exposed to modern teaching methods.
All the children who are put into Thrangu Rinpoche's care are given a secular education whether they are nuns, monks or lay children. When the monks and nuns reach the age of consent, the can then take full ordination if it is their wish. If not, they can leave the monastery or nunnery. With a secular education they are able to make their ways in life and the choice of full ordination thus remains a fairly pure choice.
The monks at the Branch School follow a modified curriculum with a heavier emphasis on Tibetan language, calligraphy and grammar, along with practice in ritual.However, their days are a little more rigorous than kids' at the main school; the Branch School monks have classes 6 days a week. Class times are from 8:30 AM until 3 PM, but they also study in the morning before classes start and they study Dharma texts in the late afternoons. They do a cycle of pujas, one a day. (Chenrezig, Green Tara, Mahakala, Guru Rinpoche, Medicine Buddha, White Tara and on special <auspicious days, like Guru Rinpoche Day> they also do pujas). They dedicate the merit to all sentient beings, especially to their sponsors.
Contact Gloria Jones to sponsor a young monk.