Shedra Institute, Retreat Center and regular Monastery monk’s curriculum:
Monks learning Sutra, Tantra and treatise at the Shedra Institute learn English, Tibetan, Hindi and Mathematics in their primary classes till class eighth. Thereafter, they join the Shedra Institute and begin their studies starting with the study of poetry and grammar, then moving on to study texts such as letter to a friend by Nagarjuna, Words of my perfect teacher by Paltrul Rinpoche, Dakpo Rinpoche’s Jewel ornament of liberation, Shantideva’s Bodhisattva’s way of life, Dialectics, Madhayamika, Prajnaparamita, Vinaya, Abhidharma, Pramana etc. It takes nine years for a student to complete his studies at the Shedra Institute.
Retreat monks in their first year of the three years retreat, practices a week’s accomplishment prayer of the Vajrakila, a week’s accomplishment prayer and meditation of Tara, five month’s practice of the general and extraordinary preliminaries of the Karma Kagyu tradition and completes the four hundred thousand practice of prostration and refuge, Dorje Sempa sadhana, Mandala offerings and guru yoga. Thereafter, they practice guru yoga of Marpa, Mila, Dakpo Rinpoche and Karma Pakshi for four months followed by two months practice of Shamatha and mind training. At the end of first year they practice Mahakala for one week.
In the second year, they practice outer; inner and secret mantra incantation and accomplishment practice of Vajravarahi for seven months, then comes three month’s practice of extraordinary preliminaries of Naropa’s six yogas and the yoga of psychic heat. Thereafter, one month each is spent on the practice of yoga of illusory body, yoga of dream, yoga of clear light, and yoga of intermediate state and consciousness transference, altogether taking seven months to complete all these practices.
In the third year, the first four months are spent in outer, inner mantra incantation, accomplishment practice and rituals of Chakrasamvara, likewise three months are spent in the outer, inner and secret mantra chanting, accomplishment rituals and sadhana of Red Chenrezig, one month’s practice of Buddha Vairocana, one month’s practice of Buddha Akshobya, one month and twenty day’s practice of Amitabha, one month and seven day’s practice of Chod practice and offering of hundred times Tsog. Thereafter one month’s Jonang tradition practice of Tara ritual, and finally a month’s accomplishment practice of the Mahakala are done. Thus, three years and three months retreat practice is done through a combination of the profound six yogas of Naropa as the method and Mahamudra as path with an impetus from the retreat master through his inherited treasury of vision, experience and accomplishments of the past retreat masters.
Monks in the Monastery learns Torma making, Torma decoration, lama dance, preparation of Mandalas and various geometric figures used in prayers and different tunes of chanting ritual texts from their teachers and through a collected experience of past masters and in accordance with Karma Kagyu tradition. In addition, they learn to blow various dharma wind instruments, different ways of beating the drum for different Tantras and rituals and chiming of bells for different rituals. Reading, writing and practicing also forms a part of their daily exercise. They go through memorization of texts and taking exam too. After completing all these exercise, they are promoted to the rank of chanting master and issued a certificate in the manner of appointing a Geshe.