Practicing Buddhism in a Pandemic – Geshe Tashi Tsering’s Coronavirus Update 5th April

Practicing Buddhism in a Pandemic – Geshe Tashi Tsering’s Coronavirus Update 5th April

In this extraordinary series, Geshe Tashi gives us regular updates on the Coronavirus Pandemic amongst the Tibetan diaspora in India through the lens of Sera Mey Monastery, home to around 6,000 monks. In response to emails asking after his welfare and requesting advice on Coronavirus and Buddhist practice, he generously shares his observations, thoughts and advice in his usual warm-hearted and accessible style.

Geshe Tashi has been waiting for this terrible virus to hit his community, and in today’s update, he generously shares with us how he was feeling low yesterday.  Despite our best efforts this is just the way things are, he concludes, and sometimes the things we try to help us feel better don’t work.

His naughty and irreverent sense of humour, however, comes to the fore as he describes the run up to a state mandated commitment at 9pm tonight.

In the Practicing in a Pandemic section, Geshe la revisits the Four Foundations of Mindfulness, briefly reviewing body and feelings, and then addressing mind and phenomena. He offers us a skilful variation on mindfulness of mind, suggesting we bring up love and compassion at this point, and gives us a helpful explanation of the purpose behind the mindfulness of phenomena.

As a little note from us, we’d like to thank you for all your comments.  Geshe la has said many times how he enjoys reading them.  It is, however, a genuine pleasure for us to read them too, something we always look forward to.  Please don’t be shy, we’d love it if you keep them coming, and we really appreciate our regular contributors – this is the community we were hoping for.  As most of you have realised, your comments don’t post immediately, but are held instead until we can check them for spam, occasional mistakes, accidents and so on, so please expect a delay of some kind.

With best wishes on this sunny Sunday,

Your Admin Team

Khen Rinpoche Geshe Tashi Tsering taught in London for over 25 years and is currently Abbot of Sera Mey Monastery in Karnataka State, India. 

This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. Valentina Galli

    Thank you so much wonderful Ghén là. Hopefully all these precious teaching and instruction will be collected in a publication 🙂

  2. Jane Sill

    Dear Geshe la

    Echoing others’ comments. Thank you so very much for your insights and suggestions. As always, very practical and relevant. For many, at times like this, practice has really become a lifeline. Not mere words and going through the motions, but a deep sense of appreciation of its value. Thank you for some lovely images – the chanting water birds with the long beaks and beams of strong Swiss torchlight illuminating the skies above Sera. Why 9 minutes – why not 8 or 10?! Thank you again and certainly not too long. As Sue and others have said, we are very lucky you can continue to teach us from afar. I am catching up late and do hope all goes well for you and that the situation hasn’t deteriorated too much in India, likewise the rest of the world. Stay safe. Love to all and Easter greetings, Jane

  3. Sue Aldam

    Dear Geshela, thank you for another lovely teaching…don’t worry if they get longer…we don’t mind! It would be wonderful if everyone had the support that we have from you. Paul and I went for a walk last night and although there weren’t many people around, the people we saw nearly all smiled, said “hello” or “Good evening”. This happens in the countryside in England but it is interesting that this is now happening in London. Love and prayers, Sue

  4. Susan McKenna

    Thank you Geshe Tashi for your great kindness🙏🏻❤️
    I enjoy seeing life at a Sera thorough your videos.
    Please continue to teach us🙏🏻

  5. Dear Geshe-la, thank you for teaching the 4 Foundations of mindfulness in such a clear and relevant way. It’s very useful for coping with the constant adjustments in daily life at the moment, responding to others while tolerating the limitations imposed on us by the response to the virus. It’s a delight to see and hear you chatting and teaching as in the old days at Jamyang. Best wishes Liz

  6. Genevieve

    To me the value of Geshe Tashi’s teachings and thoughts is very big. I have been reminded of the value of vows, „simple“ lay vows, as a helpful reminder when things get tough emotionally, which quickly can be the case, in spite of trying to adapt quickly to the daily changes. It’s a good „tool“ not to get lost in some of the feelings arising. To me it is very valuable too to see a little bit how other countries deal with this crisis. Here nobody lits candles at a specific time – but the image occurred in me whereas all the people here were holding a syringe waiting for their vaccination shot 😉

  7. Shirley

    Tashi delek

    Many thanks. Your humour is infectious. Sometimes you have to laugh.


  8. Patrick, London

    Dear geshe labour
    Thank you for this teaching. Like you I am deeply moved by some of the scenes and reports on television. Especially reports of Dr and nurses losing their life in the service of others. It does make tearful when I hear this. Real buddhasatvas! Some of the them so young.

    I listened to a particular story of 2 Drs who came from other countries to work in the British nhs. One of them had retired and came back from retirement to help out in this crisis and both of them lost their lives.

    At moment in London their is a much greater sense of community and people coming together to help each other.

    Someone mentioned that the virus is trying to teach us something, that we are interdependent, that we cannot continue to live just for ourselves. Pollution levels have plummeted in London as less people use cars. So the virus is saying look after environment. Also, the virus is saying be kind and loving to each other, you don’t know when I will take your loved ones away! Finally, the virus is saying, after I am gone, create a more compassionate and loving world.

  9. Ros Williams

    Reply to April 5. Dear Geshela.
    It was interesting listening to your talk. It brought up the thought which I have had for a long time that all my sons have a likeness to each of my Lama’s, The likeness doesn’t come when I look at my sons that they remind me of my Lama’s .
    It is the other way around , when I look at my Lama’s then I see certain features that remind me of my sons. Maybe I am off the wall, so to speak .i remember telling Radik and I don’t think he would mind me mentioning it but I very often talk to the Lama’s particularly HHDL maybe because his picture is the biggest.. I guess rather than meditating I am entranced by their faces which to me show their good qualities ( in a very general way ) and makes me think I would like to be like that.
    I am sending this reply to let you know how greatly you are missed. You were our teacher for a long time. Take care Love Ros.

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