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 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.
In this episode, in the Practicing Buddhism in a Pandemic section, Geshe Tashi once again quotes from 1001 Pearls of Buddhist Wisdom. Reading and commenting on entries from the Dhammapada, from a Sri Lankan teacher, from a Pali Sutra and quoting Shantideva, he takes as his overall theme how to achieve stillness, tranquillity, equilibrium, and peace in the face of all the disturbing thoughts and emotions that this pandemic brings.
If we come to know the nature of things as they are — their shared nature, such as their impermanence; and their specific nature, for example the body is made up of flesh, molecules and DNA, whereas the mind is not — if we can come to know the nature of things in this way, we can know stillness and peace.
A tranquil mind, such as one steeped in bodhicitta, won’t be disturbed by praise and blame, loss and gain, and adversity.
A practice that cultivates equilibrium through tackling negative pride and arrogance, that pernicious mind that lurks behind the fronts we present to the world, such a mind of equilibrium won’t be disturbed by praise and blame.
We need to approach our disturbed, upset mind from many different angles, with many different approaches, if we want stillness, calm, tranquillity, equilibrium, peace. This is one of Geshe Tashi’s signature methodologies, masterfully drawing on many different sources and traditions to help us broaden our minds and gain perspective around suffering and its origin.
Khen Rinpoche Geshe Tashi Tsering taught in London for over 25 years and is currently Abbot of Sera Mey Monastery in Karnataka State, India.