Prominent Buddhist monk to lead Carbondale retreat |

Prominent Buddhist monk to lead Carbondale retreat


Who: Buddhist scholar Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi

What: Retreat on the Eight Verses of Thought Transformation

When: Saturday, Dec. 12. Attendees are asked to arrive at 9:30 a.m.

Where: Carbondale Community School

Contact: or call 970-510-0583

Renowned Buddhist scholar Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi will lead a retreat on the Eight Verses of Thought Transformation on Saturday at the Carbondale Community School.

The visit and retreat is hosted by the Way of Compassion Dharma Center, a local Buddhist center that serves the greater Roaring Fork Valley.

John Bruna, director of Way of Compassion, emphasized that it is “truly a rare and precious opportunity to be able to receive teachings from such a highly regarded lama. We have been working to make this happen for nearly two years and are thrilled to see it come to fruition.”

The visit and workshop came after the Dalai Lama had to cancel teachings in September in Boulder. “We requested Venerable Priyadarshi come to Carbondale to teach on the same topic — and he accepted,” Bruna said.

Priyadarshi is president of the Prajnopaya Institute and Foundation, a worldwide 501(c)(3) humanitarian organization. He was ordained by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, his spiritual mentor, and has trained under many great Buddhist teachers. He is the spiritual director of Bodhimarga, a Buddhist study and meditation group. Priyadarshi is also the founding director of the Dalai Lama Centre for Ethics and Transformative values at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Born in Bihar, India, to a Hindu family of high-ranking bureaucrats, political leaders and scholars, he ran away from home at the age of 10 to become a Buddhist monk. When his parents objected, Priyadarshi struck a deal with his parents and agreed to undertake both secular education and monastic studies.

He eventually came to the United States where he studied at Le Moyne College, graduating summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree as an integral honors scholar studying philosophy, physics and religious studies with minors in international relations and Japanese. He proceeded to Harvard, where he completed a graduate degree in comparative philosophy of religion.

In his work with Dalai Lama Center, he trains MBA students and heads of companies in ethics. Priyadarshi also works with MIT students to design apps that promote moral awareness and empathy. Fluent in several languages, Priyadarshi travels internationally advancing numerous humanitarian projects.

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