Bodhicharya Online Shedra Survey January 2013 A Summary. 1. When did you start following the teachings? How did you find about the teachings? - PDF

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1. When did you start following the teachings? When did you start following the teachings? Approximately: Answer Options Percent Count 2 years ago 61,9% months ago 11,2% 15 1 year ago 12,7% 17 6
1. When did you start following the teachings? When did you start following the teachings? Approximately: Answer Options Percent Count 2 years ago 61,9% months ago 11,2% 15 1 year ago 12,7% 17 6 months ago 6,0% 8 recently 8,2% 11 How did you find out about the Bodhicharya Online Shedra? 124 answered question 134 skipped question 0 How did you find about the teachings? Top Ten sources mentioned (answers total 124): 1) From Bodhicharya website 2) Through online search 3) From a friend or other students 4) Through a dharma group/centre or teacher 5) From Rinpoche 6) By from Bodhicharya 7) At the Bodhicharya summer camp 8) In Rinpoche s teaching event 9) In other Dharma event 10) From other Dharma websites 1 2. Which chapters have you completed? Please select all the chapters you have completed. Which Chapters have you completed? Please select all the chapters you have completed Answer Options Percent Count None fully 22,0% 27 Chapter 1 52,8% 65 Chapter 2 54,5% 67 Chapter 3 47,2% 58 Chapter 4 44,7% 55 Chapter 5 39,8% 49 If you know the title of the video you are on please note it here: 44 answered question 123 skipped question 11 Almost half (47,2 %) of those 123 students who answered the question had completed chapter 3. Almost 40 % had completed chapter 5, which was the last chapter completed at the time of the survey in January One fifth (22 %) of the respondents had not completed any of the chapters fully. 2 3. How many times would you watch each teaching video? How many times would you watch each teaching video? Answer Options Percent Count 1 47,5% ,7% ,0% ,5% 3 5 1,7% 2 more 1,7% 2 How do you find out when a new teaching has been posted? 96 answered question 120 skipped question 14 How do you find out when a new teaching has been posted? Top Five sources mentioned (answers total 96): 1) By 2) By checking regularly on the Bodhicharya website 3) Through Facebook 4) Through itunes/podcast 5) From a friend 3 Most respondents received an announcement of new teachings and other updates by from Bodhicharya website. However, there were some students who did not know about this service. 4. Have you encountered any difficulty with accessing the video or audio teachings? Have you encountered any difficulty with accessing the video or audio teachings? Answer Options Percent Count Yes 17,5% 21 No 82,5% 99 If yes, please describe the difficulties you have had: 28 answered question 120 skipped question 14 82,5 % of the respondents had not encountered any difficulties with accessing the teachings. By the 17,5 % (21 respondents) who had encountered some difficulty, these kinds of difficulties were mentioned: 4 Internet connection or the computer facilities of the student: - broad band / internet connection not good enough where I am - sometimes the video freezes / streaming is slow - some public libraries cannot get the video but can get the audio - cannot access the video, only audio - difficulty with downloading audio on Mac Website maintenance: - website was down for maintenance - sometimes the video was not available / player didn t work / video was difficult to access - occasional problems but they were always sorted Accessibility and navigation: - mp3 sometimes not easy to find - wasn t able to locate a work book to study from Technical issues related with video or audio quality: - trouble with volume but that was corrected Special needs: - people who have problems with hearing would prefer to watch the transcript simultaneously with video playback Language: - English teachings in general give for a German some possibilities for interpretation 5 5. What is your native language? What is your native language? Answer Options Percent Count English 56,3% 67 French 15,1% 18 German 10,1% 12 Spanish 2,5% 3 Finnish 3,4% 4 Other 12,6% 15 Do you use the audio translations? Do you find them helpful? And if your language is not provided for please specify your language: 58 answered question 119 skipped question 15 56,3 % of the 119 respondents to this question were English speakers. In addition to French (15,1 %), German (10,1 %), Finnish (3,4 %) and Spanish (2,5 %), the remaining 12,6 % were speakers of e.g. Portuguese, Dutch, Norwegian, Polish, Italian and Luxemburgish. The Bodhicharya Online Shedra appears to be a rich and diverse, multicultural and multilingual community. Of the 58 respondents who answered the question Do you use the audio translations, 14 said they used 6 them. Those 14 had found them good and helpful. However, most of the non-english speaking respondents were able to listen to Rinpoche s teaching in English without the help of translations. 6. How are you studying the Bodhicharyavatara? Select all materials and methods you use. How are you studying the Bodhicharyavatara? Select all materials and methods you use. Answer Options Percent Count Watching Rinpoches video teachings 89,1% 106 Listening to the audio teachings 44,5% 53 Studying the original text 75,6% 90 Studying teaching transcript 42,0% 50 Studying commentary 48,7% 58 Meeting to study and discuss with others in person 15,1% 18 Also following other regular online teachings by other teachers 15,1% 18 Please offer any insights you have had into what has helped you in your study: 44 answered question 119 skipped question 15 Most of the students followed Rinpoche s video teachings (89,1 %) and studied the original text The Way of the Bodhisattva by Shantideva (75,6 %). Audio recordings were used by 44,5 %. Almost half of the respondents also used the commentary and the transcripts. 15,1 % studied with local study groups or otherwise discussed the teachings with other students. 7 Some of the students insights into what they have found helpful in their study: I would like to be studying more of supporting material but find I don't have or maybe don t give myself enough time. Maybe I need to make a study plan for myself and then follow it. Like I will study a set number of hours at a set time each week. Teachings. Not only on Bodhicharyavatara, but teachings on Bodhicitta etc. I tend to study several teachings and related material at a time. Find it useful to draw up a study plan and 'tick' once various sections have been completed. Initially, studied all material twice, but now once only. Possibly a complete review once all chapters has been completed. I like the word to word method of Rinpoche s commentary. It helps that his knowledge is far beyond scholasticism. It is good plain solid. His honesty gives it a further dimension. Try to receive teachings on Bodhicharyavatara from other teachers. Often reflect on the teachings to find my faults and try to minimize my negative emotions. To be honest and humble. Going through the teachings several times and watching them in a group are all very helpful. Trying to practice even the little bit of anything that I can understand is very very helpful. Letting it mold me slowly and sometimes faster is like an adventure and makes life worthwhile. Watching the video, studying the text both before and after the teaching, and studying the transcript are the most helpful means to me. At the same time I'm studying 2 Padmakara translations of the poem of Thogmé Zangpo, The Thirty-Seven Practices of the Bodhisattvas: one commentary of Dilgo Khyentse and the other commentary of Tulku Pema Wangyal. I find it is helpful for better understanding the Bodhicharyavatara. Having all audios with cover-tag on an IPod / Phone! Next is to have all transcripts together in one PDF on an ipad. When I watch the video I always sit properly on a chair with a good upright posture. I treat it as if I am sitting with Rinpoche live receiving the teachings. To make some notes, and go over them (which I should do more often, and contemplate on them) and of course to watch the excellent example of the teachers like Rinpoche and HH Karmapa and the sangha, especially those who give the right example. That can be anyone, from them I learn always a lot. Following 3 times the teaching of Dalaï Lama, in India and Belgium. On my way in life, I've met different Lama's and Rinpotché, and every day at work, I am working to Dolma store in Brussels, I observe and try to practice my best, the disciples who are studying and practicing Bodhicharya. The clear way that the text is explained by Rinpoche and the questions and answers are very helpful for the questions I should ask but don t, also the pace of it is good to pace one s self. Repeated exposure and familiarization, i.e., listening, reading and reflecting on teachings several times. I usually try to check on the download text when I am working on the auto study, I am also reading the book and after seeing the videos, sometimes I listen to the audio. But my lifestyle is very irregular so my way of studying depends on what suits better that period in my life. 8 I also studied the commentary in the beginning. However, due to my own lazyness and the fact that Rinpoche's teachings are very clear, I usually stick with the original text and the video teachings. I have used the scripts a little when answering the study questions at the end of the chapters. First, I listen to and take notes during the Rinpoche's lecture; then I go through the pertinent sections of the lecture he gave in Berlin and the Manjushri; after the transcript comes out, I download and go over it careful, reworking my notes. I find the study questions most helpful because they force me to review what I learned. The combination of the video, text and commentary is very helpful. Also from H.H. Dalai Lama in Hamburg Germany. The transcripts are very valuable as are the commentaries. Am also using Pema Chodron's book. The videos are very good, as you can go over certain parts again to listen to it as often as you like; the transcripts and the translations, Great to hear it in another language, as sometimes things are made clearer in your mother tongue. The podcast download option on itunes allowed automatic uploads; very useful for ipod transfer for the car; please continue this. I would not have studied this text without Ringu Tulku's excellent commentary. He has a gift for explaining difficult concepts with clarity and humour. The teaching has been invaluable, especially guidance on behaviour and right views. also Rinpoche's comments on attitudes and prejudices very helpful. It is like having him at home here. I train in the Zen school and this teaching is almost word for word as we have been taught,that is deeply reassuring! I feel very much at home with Rinpoche and am happy to continue on as I have started. They are all the documents on line, the books also whose Rimpoché gave the titles. I have other commentaries by HH Dalai Lama, Pema Chodron as well as the Kunzang Pelden edition. I find the recordings very inspiring, and Pema Chodron's book very readable. Video makes a huge difference - following this and highlighting passages from the transcript has proven invaluable and the next best thing to being at a teaching in person. Transcript of RT's earlier teachings to Rigpa groups. The way Rinpoche tells about it in clear, uncomplicated words. Makes it easy to understand it. The teachings help me with understanding the text and to look within myself. I found it not so easy to stick with the study. I really value the Shedra and find the teachings so beneficial. It is amazing to have this online link with Rinpoche. Daily life - practising the teachings studied. I find this to be the most rare and precious opportunity to study online and feel a huge debt of gratitude to Ringu Tulku. 9 7. Have you registered as a member on either of the main Bodhicharya websites? Have you registered as a member on ether of the main Bodhicharya Websites? Answer Options Percent Count No 11,8% 14 Yes, on 84,9% 101 Yes, on 32,8% 39 If no, could you say if there is a reason why you have not registered? 17 answered question 119 skipped question 15 Almost 85 % of all respondents had registered as a member of the Bodhicharya website, This is helpful, because registered members receive a weekly newsletter announcing new teachings and other updates posted on the website. 32,8 % had registered with the Bodhicharya Communities website, In order to develop the access to the teachings, those who had not registered were asked about the reason. 17 respondents specified why they have not registered on the Bodhicharya websites. Among the reasons given were: - lack of time - computer is not good enough - could not figure out how to register or login 10 - too complicated to use and get involved - forgot the password - the login form won t accept my password or username - until now I did not know about this - don t find it very useful One respondent reported of a problem with removing a registration from the community website. In case of any difficulties and in need of instructions on how to register, log in, or cancel your registration, please contact the webmaster of the Bodhicharya website either by at or by the contact form at the website. 8. Would you like to have more interactivity with other students through the websites? Would you like to have more interactivity with other students through the websites? Answer Options Percent Count Yes 33,9% 40 No 66,1% 78 If yes, how would you like to interact? And how often? 36 answered question 118 skipped question 16 11 If yes, how would you like to interact? And how often? Maybe an online chat space would be interesting to experiment with but I may find I don t have a lot of time to spend in it so maybe it would have to be an agreed time each week when people would meet in the chat space for one hour. If possible with Ngöndro practitioners through . I live in Portugal in a natural habitat next to a lake in a retreat kind of simple environment. If there is a serious practitioner from Rinpoches Sangha who would like to do a vacation combined with some practice I would be happy to share this pleasant place. I also have a little ruin next to my house which I would like to rebuilt to be used for more extensive retreats. Dharma discussions and indepth talks of the Vajrayana way. Studies of Tantra, Yoga, chants, and ritual and their meaning. By mail because I am not very good in internet. Once a month. Monthly. Chat, share questions and queries, any time. In an ideal world I would like to interact but so far the attempts have not been very successful. Not only in this Shedra, also in others. Forum. I'd be happy to see more people just connect and make use of the websites for their good purposes, and have the interactions naturally arise. I should be more active on communities. or chat room; once maybe twice per month. I'm not sure if I would say yes, because my English is not so good that I easy understand what is said. For some students it's important to interact, I think for me it's important to understand properly the text. However, If more interactivity is available... I would not say that I would never use it. By , as often as I could. Directly, but simply accessible and in between the teachings. Once in two weeks? Communication between members of communities would be great. It helps bring me into contact with other like minded people, as I don t often go to talks or retreats (old and don t travel well) and practise at home most of the time so it would help with contact and the means of discussing relevant material. Not sure how that would work. It would be a pleasure but I am fed up with interactions on internet to tell the truth... I'd rather have less. :) It would be great to have the opportunity to talk to other people who are studying the same chapter. Once a week and when new teaching is released. I'm not sure live web talks I dont type fast enought to keep up with a group. 12 I would appreciate interaction with other students as the sangha is very limited in Serbia, but the internet may not be the most helpful media for that purpose. I would like to discuss how other people deal with their practise. Have only just got reliable internet and I have a lot to do, but it is interesting to share, when I can. The written comments seem useful and I like the questions Rinpoche reads as these can reflect my own queries. But the language is a problem, English doesn't come naturally to me. I am ashamed that I do not find the time and energy at the moment. Some discussion of the text would be good as an option but in fact I love to have this opportunity for individual study and the way the Shedra works is perfect for me. Discussion thread? 66 % of the respondents were happy with the present amount of interaction. 34 % expressed a wish to have more interactivity among students. Monthly or twice a month organized chat hours among students and discussion threads on forum or discussions were mentioned as possible forms of connecting. The suggested subjects of discussion ranged from the study topics to the personal practice of the students. The Bodhicharya Communities website offers a wide platform for connecting with other students. It can be used by local groups and individual students. There is also a community for the Online Shedra, with a forum space where discussion threads on specified topics can be started and maintained. Please contact if you would like to volunteer in this field. 9. Do you feel any of the following need to be improved? Do you feel any of the following need to be improved? Answer Options Percent Count Technical facilities 2,6% 3 The schedule 1,7% 2 Notifications that new teachings have been posted 6,8% 8 How questions to Rinpoche can be submited 10,3% 12 Anything else that could be improved 5,1% 6 No - everything is working well 83,8% 98 Please describe how you feel the improvement could be made: 24 answered question 117 skipped question 17 13 83,8 % of the respondents appeared to be happy with the Online Shedra. Some need for improvement was expressed concerning the way questions can be submitted for Rinpoche (10,3 %) and concerning notifications that new teachings have been posted (6,8 %). Two or three respondents felt there was some need to improve the technical facilities and the schedule. Please describe how you feel the improvement could be made. I wonder if it would be helpful that people could submit questions in their own language and they are then translated into English by the translators. I would love to be able to compile all the MP3 for all the teachings so far and put them on my MP3 player and start revising the earlier chapters like that, I wonder if there would be a way to make that possible as a single download per chapter? Clearer coding of each talk so I know exactly which one follows on from which. Thank You! Maybe somebody's address for technical difficulties, in case there is a problem with log-in or something like that. I am also very interested to have other teachings of Rinpoché. For me is very good and I tell thank you very much for all. I would need a babysitter for my two small children ;-) to have more time for studying. Thank you, it is a wonderful contact and easy and clear to access. 14 Advertise more. People should hear about this. I should contribute more. It is an enormous privilege to get this teachings, just like Rinpoche comes to me home to give me this teaching, Nothing could be better. Thanks to Rinpoche. It's great just as it is! The long gaps at times have meant I lose the access codes. Could the system more easily recognise you once registered? As a student I should maybe keep a book of insight and go over it regularly and see how I progress or where I fail...and work on those issues and maybe share with others, ask how they succeed. Maybe students should register officially and we should invite friends to also follow and show them the materials. Although I think it is very good I do not have a computer at home and some libraries cannot access the visual part of teaching. It s hard for me to ask questions
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