Smear: NKT students are encouraged to devote all their time to supporting a Center so that there is no time left for personal spiritual development

Truth: No one in the NKT is encouraged to work to the detriment of their other spiritual practices. Geshe Kelsang has explained that according to Je Tsongkhapa’s example there are three spheres of Dharma activity: Dharma study, meditation and Dharma work. All three must be in balance.

Those sponsored by NKT Dharma Centers receive a monthly allotment for accommodation, utilities and food, plus a stipend. Sponsored personnel agree to work 35 hours per week, Monday-Friday or weekends as needed.

The amount of 35 hours per week was suggested by Geshe Kelsang to allow sponsored personnel sufficient time in the week for their study and meditation programs and practice. They are under no obligation whatsoever to do more hours than this.

Sponsored personnel also accept 4 weeks of vacation per year (including Festival attendance), plus 8 public holidays. In addition to the 35 hours, if they are resident in a Centre they will also be required to do approximately 2 hours of community work per week, such as cooking and housework, making a total of around 37 hours. Volunteers can of course work for as many or as few hours as they wish.

It is possible to gain as much personal spiritual development from Dharma work as from the other two activities of studying and meditating, as can be seen from examples such as Dromtonpa and Lam Chung. However, NKT students are encouraged to develop a stable daily meditation practice and find time for study.

Resources

Taking Down the Smears

What is a Kadampa?

A Kadampa is someone who integrates their knowledge of all Buddha's teachings into their everyday lives. Find out more in the booklet Modern Kadampa Buddhism

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