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Ngawang Lobsang Choekyi Nyima


'Monnik Giel'

Junior spiritual director of the Jonang Kalachakra Centre Belgium NPO
Ngawang Lobzang Choekyi Nyima, meaning:
has mastered speech, warm-hearted sun of the teachings of the Buddha - was born in Belgium on the 21st February 1998.

In his homeland of Flanders he is also known as monk Giel.
From the age of six he had the desire to become a monk in a Tibetan Buddhist monastery. He was not
really into the lessons at school, with which he had no connection, but he was all the more enthousiastic
whenever he got the chance to receive teachings from his teachers Tulku Lobzang and Dzongsar
Khyentse Rinpoche at their retreats.
At the age of 15 Lobzang Nyima finally received the authorization from his teacher Tulku Lobzang to

become a Buddhist monk and to study Buddhist philosophy at the Jonang monastic University in Shimla,
Everything was meticulously prepared; the public authorities were informed and a visa had been applied
for. Nothing seemed to stand in the way for Lobzang Nyima's dream to come true .... however ....
Lobzang Nyima's best friend's father, Arvid, wrote an article about his choice to become a monk in a local
newspaper, which caught the attention of the makers of the programme Telefacts from the Flemish TV
Channel known as VTM. An episode of their programme was dedicated to Lobzang Nyima's story and
released shortly before his departure. The consequences were a tug-of-war between various administrative
and legal authorities and Lobzang Nyima wasn't allowed to leave on the expected day. Luckily some
weeks later he got the approval to leave on the 13th November 2013.
In the mean time his story had drawn the attention of the national and international press and Lobzang
Nyima was willy nilly declared a famous flemish Belgian. The last thing on his mind was getting all this
attention, although it gave him the opportunity to explain to whomever wanted to listen that he didn't have
any inhibitions in leaving everything behind. All the more because he had the constant feeling of finally
being able to return home!
In the Jonang monastery his main teacher and mentor is Tulku Choekyi Nangpa. Monastic life is hard and
the lessons are entirely in Tibetan. The novices have to get up at 5.00 'o clock and they only get a half
our's leasure time after 21.30h, just before going to bed. There are no courses on Sundays. Thanks to his
enthusiastic and persistant commitment Lobzang Nyima feels happy there and ... at home!


© Radio 1 VRT

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