Geshe Tashi visit

Geshe Tashi has told us he “will be coming home” for a short visit in November. As you will no doubt have heard, Geshe la was awarded the British Empire Medal for services to Buddhism in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List. He had been advised to take a trip out of the country for visa purposes anyway, and so is taking this opportunity come back for a short while and attend the awards ceremony at the Tower of London on the 15th November.

This is only a preliminary announcement, but he plans to visit his sister Drolma la in Leeds from the 4th November, and then spend some time in London around the time of the ceremony. He says that at this stage he has no plans to teach. He did add, however, that the will be returning next year for a longer trip.

When we have more news you will all of course be the first to know.

With best wishes,

The Admin Team

Geshe Tashi and the Queen’s Birthday Honours list

We are delighted and very proud to announce that Geshe Tashi has been awarded the British Empire Medal in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list, for services to Buddhism in the UK. Below is an excerpt taken from The Gazette, or Official Public Record:

THE QUEEN has been graciously pleased, on the occasion of the Celebration of Her Majesty’s Birthday, to approve the award of the British Empire Medal (Civil Division) to the undermentioned:
B.E.M.
Geshe Tashi TSERING
For services to Buddhism in the UK

The medal was created in 1917 as a way to recognise the contributions made by people in their communities. Geshe la is now entitled to use the initials BEM after his name.

We have copied the full text from The Gazette below:

Published by Authority | Est 1665

Notice details

Type:

State

British Empire Medal

Publication date:

7 June 2019, 22:56

Edition:

The London Gazette

Issue number:

62666

Notice ID:

3295670

Notice code:

1130

British Empire Medal

Civil Division

Central Chancery of the Orders of Knighthood

St. James’s Palace, London SW1

8 June 2019

THE QUEEN has been graciously pleased, on the occasion of the Celebration of Her Majesty’s Birthday, to approve the award of the British Empire Medal (Civil Division) to the undermentioned:

B.E.M.

Geshe Tashi TSERING

For services to Buddhism in the UK.

Geshe Tashi’s Travels: a Brief Update

Geshe-la has kindly recorded a video message for us.

He shares his latest activities as Abbot of Sera Mey Monastery; his trip to Bodhgaya to lead Essence of Eloquence seminar groups and meetings with His Holiness the Dalai Lama; his trips to Varanasi and Ganden Monastery; Tibetan New Year at Sera Mey; and attending His Holiness’s teachings in a cold and snowy Dharamsala.

Enjoy!

Geshe Tashi’s Christmas Message

Dear online community,

Geshe la is in the middle of the winter debates, and also busy preparing for his departure for Bodhgaya for His Holiness’s teachings, but he has also found time to record a Christmas message for us all.  It seems he is planning to send us more videos, and hopefully some Dharma teachings in 2019, reasons to be cheerful in the coming year!

Geshe Tashi’s Christmas Message

We’d like to follow his example and wish you all a very Merry Christmas, and a very Happy Holidays!

With love from

The Admin Team xx

Geshe Tashi Tsering’s interview on the Study Buddhism YouTube channel

Great news!

Matt Linden from Study Buddhism has been in touch with us at geshetashi.org to let us know that Geshe la’s video is now up and running on the Study Buddhism YouTube channel.  Matt has been working on this a long time and has done an absolutely fantastic job.

Matt recorded this with Geshe la at Jamyang shortly before he left for Sera Mey to be Abbot.  Geshe la told us he was very tired during this interview, but for us it is wonderful to see him teaching the dharma, and a timely reminder what a unique and precious teacher he is.  How wonderful to be able to go straight to the essence of taking refuge!

We are delighted to be able to bring Alex Berzin’s wonderful YouTube channel and site to your attention.

We hope you enjoy!

Yours,

The Admin Team

To access the video, please click here.  Matt has divided this into a series of short videos, but if you use this link, they should play one after the other.

 

My Dad’s passing and thank you.

Geshe la has asked us to upload this message to you about Jamyang la’s passing.

Jamyang la surrounded by his children, with Dekkyi la behind him.  Behind Geshe la and just to the right is his late brother Phurbu la.

And below, from the Jang Chub Lam Rim teachings 2012, with Dekkyi la to the right, and the late Phurbu-la just behind.

Photo by Kirsti Kilbane

 

Enthronement part 2: my trip to see His Holiness

The next part of my enthronement story is my trip to see His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Initially I requested an audience with him by email, and His Holiness’s office responded by saying that the 25thof June would be the best time, after his visit to Europe.

So my brother Geshe Wangchuk and I set off for Dharmsala on what was to be a very, very tough journey.  First of all, we spent five hours in a car, driving from Sera to Bangalore.  Then we flew to Delhi.  We arrived relatively early in the morning in Delhi.  Even so the temperature was above 41 degrees, it was really burning.  But we had a nice air-conditioned car to take us to a hotel run by Sera Mey monastery.  We rested there until  7.30 that evening.  Then we took a twelve and a half hour bus journey to Dharamsala, arriving the next day around 8 in the morning.

One of my brothers, Yamphel, was waiting for us at the bus station.  He took us to his place, which is a place from his work.  He is the director of Sambhota Tibetan Schools, so he has that official residence, a simple, bungalow type house. Geshe Wangchuk and I rested there the whole day.  The next day early morning we were asked to come to His Holiness’s residence at 8am, so we were there at 8.  There were many Indian people going to see His Holiness, and there were other Tibetans – one lama, and also one geshe who is the newly appointed abbot of Drepung Loseling monastery.  We were asked to wait until all the Indian audience had finished.  In addition there was a pre-arranged live brief talk and Q&A from Melbourne, Australia, and so His Holiness’s schedule was running quite late.  So we were told we would need to wait until 11 am, but there was no problem – we were all served with tea and so forth.

Around then, one of His Holiness’s attendants asked me to come with him.  I approached His Holiness in his official rooms, in his own chair.  It was a very nice change, because in the last few years whenever I have met him it has been mainly in a hotel – in Europe in different hotels.  But this time was in his residence.  Seeing him very relaxed and so on was very nice for me.  He gave me some good advice, and one of the pieces of advice – of course most of the advice was on how to run the monastery, particularly around the monastery’s educational programmes, but also that the monastery should have the ability to provide good teachers for the ordinary Tibetans as well as non-Tibetans – but one of the pieces of advice His Holiness gave me was very interesting and surprising.

His Holiness asked me when I’m going back to the UK, and I said, “No, I’m not going back.   I’ve resigned from Jamyang.”  He said, “Okay, you have resigned, but you should go back to the UK and continue to keep your connection with the people with whom you’ve built a connection over the last twenty-something years.  It is very important to keep that connection.”

That was a little bit surprising advice for me, because I had decided I wouldn’t visit Europe for at least two years, but His Holiness said I should go at least once a year to lead classes and keep a connection with those people I already have a connection with.  So, that was quite surprising advice.

Then His Holiness asked me to join an interview with two other people (this newly appointed Abbot of Drepung Losling, and another person, a young lama).  We were taken to a bigger room and asked to sit together, and he explained some of his visions.  His Holiness the Dalai Lama usually outlines three visions. Out of those three, one of them, from within the teachings of the Buddha, and particularly from those Nalanda masters, is to extract Buddhist psychology and epistemology, Buddhist logic and philosophy and to try and make them available to non-Buddhists in educational institutions, and to other ordinary people.  His Holiness has been working hard to do that. He asked me and this other Geshe to join a conference that was being organised by the New Delhi Chief Minister.  They had invited His Holiness for that conference.  It is called “The Launch of Happiness Curriculum”, and it is led by this New Delhi Chief Minister. There were about 5,000 educators and teachers, and some students who attended on the 2nd of July.  His Holiness asked us to join because he wanted to say to these people, “We have institutions, like Sera, Ganden and Drepung, which can provide them with good teachers to really bring genuine happiness without any religious content.” And in that context he wanted to introduce me and this other Geshe.  So, that was also quite a surprise for me.  It was very good advice, so we both accepted, of course.  But I also had to return to Sera first, so that same day in the evening, my brother Wangchuk and I took the return 12 hour bus journey back to Delhi, staying in Delhi during the day.  In the evening, we flew to Bangalore, then from Bangalore to Sera, once again we took the five hour car journey.  We arrived really early in the morning the next day.

Then I had two full days of activity at Sera Mey. The first day was for the master who wrote the commentaries on some of Sera May’s great texts – the ones we use to study -particularly the Madhyamika teachings and also Abhisamaya-alamkara teachings.  This yearly anniversary of his death was also the first day of my joining in with and participating fully with the monks.  I needed to give a brief talk about this master.  Then the next day there was a full day performing prayers for protection.

After that I needed to go back to Delhi on the first of July, do the same journey – 5 hours back and forth from Sera to Bangalore, then again fly to Delhi, and the next day join the conference.

That conference was quite interesting because His Holiness was the chief guest, and there were other education leaders who gave talks. And me and the new Drepung Loseling Abbot were asked to join the lunch for His Holiness and some of the other chief guests.  So there His Holiness talked a lot – sometimes in English so all the guests could understand.  That all finished the 2nd of July around 2pm.  Then we went back to the hotel for a shower because it was extremely hot, and then back to Delhi to fly back to Bangalore, where a Sera Mey car was waiting for me, to take me back on the 5 hour journey to Sera.

So all that was part of my enthronement as the newly appointed Sera Mey Abbot, which included going to see His Holiness to seek his advice.

Now, my first meeting with the heads of the different departments: education, health, school, and finance, and representatives from the 14 houses, is arranged for the 8th of July, which will come soon.  That will be my first time leading the actual meeting as Sera Mey’s Abbot.  There I will talk briefly about what my priorities will be as Abbot, and I will also share with them the advice His Holiness has given me.  Then I’m going to visit each department, day by day, and try to learn all about those things.

So, this is what I have been doing in my first month or so after leaving London.  I hope to share with you more of my coming activities once again in my later news.

Thank you and bye bye!

Also as I said at the beginning, people who read and also give comments, I’m very happy with that, thank you for that too.

 

Bye bye,

 

Geshe Tashi