Practicing Buddhism in a Pandemic – Geshe Tashi Tsering’s Coronavirus Update 17th April

Practicing Buddhism in a Pandemic – Geshe Tashi Tsering’s Coronavirus Update 17th 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 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.

As part of this Practicing Buddhism in a Pandemic series, Geshe Tashi continues with what has become a leading theme for him during the Coronavirus pandemic –  how we can help others through small, manageable acts of kindness or generosity.  Citing Captain Tom Moore in the UK raising many millions by walking 100 lengths of the grounds where he lives, Geshe Tashi makes the point that small, simple actions, done with the right heart and intentions, can become big events when they meet with the right causes and conditions.  The vital ingredients here are the ones we have some degree of control over – our intentions and actions.

Using the analogy of our actions being like a drop of water in an ocean, Geshe Tashi brings the Mahayana teachings on the vast potential hidden within one small act startlingly alive and relevant.  In just a few short sentences, Geshe la offers us evidence of the tremendous power and reach that can potentially be gained from following the Mahayana path. 

He quotes Ann Radcliffe, a pioneer of Gothic fiction, saying “one act of beneficence, one act of real usefulness, is worth all the abstract sentiment in the world.”

We can keep things manageable and simple.  We can keep up our practice of setting our intentions to help all living beings, we can take action to help others through small acts of kindness, and we can dedicate these acts to fulfilling the vast scope of our intentions.  In this way, he says, we all have the potential to be legends.

Geshe la’s next update will be on Monday.  Until then, cheer up!

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 7 Comments

  1. Jane Sill

    Dear Geshe la

    Many thanks again and for stories! I don’t remember the one about the friends. So glad that you and the surrounding communities are keeping well – hope that is still so. Catching up. Captain Tom has now raised even more millions! Hope they may make him a Major and then a popular song can be dedicated to him.
    Love to all

  2. Agustin BLANCO-BAZAN

    Thank you Geshe la. These thoughts will fill my Sunday and encourage small actions in the right direction for many of us.

  3. Shirley

    Tashi delek
    Thank you for this valuable teaching. Leading by example works because people take more notice than we tend to think. In these uncertain times, where people are full of fear, anger, anxiety and sorrow, to put the buddhist values of loving kindness to the fore, regardless of the situation we may find ourselves in, must surely “rub off”

  4. Daniel Argent

    Thank you for your consistent sharing at this time Geshe-la.
    You always raise a smile in me and ground my perspective with your own.
    I’m sure i’m not alone in being curious about why people, if they could read your mind, would think you are crazy. I think that it surely the case for all of us, is it not?
    This morning I stumbled across a friend’s social media posts, which turned out to be prolific and extreme conspiracy theories, which seem to be running wild at this time.
    I think for a short while that made me a little crazy and I wonder what on earth it has done to her and the others that need to come to such extreme conclusions in their minds.
    This period was very challenging for many with politics as it is, let alone Covid-19 and the impact it is having. It surely gives us some entitlement to wonder what on earth is going on, to have some crazy thoughts, because we are living through a crazy time. I just hope we come through it with the best of positive lessons learnt, and with that in mind I wish to express my deep gratitude once more for your kindness in connecting with us and giving us a positive message to focus on.
    Best of health and happiness to you and all at Sera.

  5. Volker Hessel

    Dear Geshe-la,
    I am happy and grateful that your brain is mad, as you mentioned. Maybe that is the reason why my crazy mind might be able to follow your bla-bla and enjoy it so much! 😉
    Please keep on going,

  6. Thank you so much for your thoughts and wisdom as you blend the ‘situation as it is’ with quotes and Buddhist philosophy.
    I enjoy catching up with you in this interesting way from your room to mine here in Australia.
    Looking forward to next time…
    With love …

    1. Brenda

      Dear Geshe La
      Another lovely teaching for us. Thank you!
      And reminding us to ‘just do’ even small beneficial actions rather than waiting forever for the grand action to present itself!
      The other day I heard the phrase, ‘ be the unknown friend to everyone’, and I think this sums up what you were saying, about acting for others; quietly, creatively, lovingly, without advertising oneself.
      Looking forward to hearing about your weekend and your reflections on Monday:))
      Warmest wishes, brenda

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