Education: M.Div. Harvard University M.A. University of Hong Kong B.A. Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University
Priya Rakkhit Sraman joined the University Chaplaincy team in August of 2016 as Buddhist in Residence and became Buddhist Chaplain in July of 2018. He is originally from Chittagong, Bangladesh and he received his Master of Divinity degree from Harvard Divinity School in 2017.
As the Buddhist in Residence at Tufts, he leads mindfulness meditation sessions twice a week. He also guides dharma discussions after the meditation sessions. It involves reading important Buddhist texts in a group. While the meditation focuses on strengthening mindfulness and concentration, the discussion is meant to help with understanding Buddhist principles in relation to our personal and social living. There is a practical purpose to it, in that it reminds us that the Buddhist teachings are for our daily usage, not merely for the intellect.
Besides, Priya also helps with the organization and celebration of special Buddhist religious events like the Visakha Day, and the various other full-moon ceremonies. He guides Buddhist Pali chanting on different occasions. Among his other activities are leading retreats and providing pastoral care to the community.
He has been living as a Buddhist monastic since 2003. He has travelled to Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Hong Kong to pursue the academic study of Buddhism. He spent six years in Sri Lanka learning Pali and Sanskrit in addition to Buddhist studies, another four years in Thailand earning his BA in Buddhism. After that, he received a master’s degree in Buddhist studies from the University of Hong Kong.
Besides engaging with Buddhist texts academically, he has also been practicing Buddhist meditation and spirituality. Living with and among different Buddhist communities has allowed him to develop a varied understanding of Buddhist practices. He is interested in exploring the practice of Buddhist teachings for individual and social harmony, and how Buddhist spirituality contributes to enhancing and balancing our psycho-physical wellbeing in order to lead a good and healthy life. He is also interested in learning about and from other spiritual traditions and philosophies that expound on harmonious living.
He is grateful for his post at Tufts for allowing him the opportunity to engage with a diverse community of students, faculty, and staff with curious and open minds. He also hopes to make his residency a good opportunity for the Tufts community to learn more about Buddhist spirituality. He welcomes everyone into the meditation sessions and dharma discussions in the University Chaplaincy to practice, discuss, and learn about spirituality and about each other. His other interests include photography and hiking.