Practicing Buddhism in a Pandemic – Geshe Tashi Tsering’s Coronavirus Update 26th April

Practicing Buddhism in a Pandemic – Geshe Tashi Tsering’s Coronavirus Update 26th 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 requesting advice on Coronavirus and Buddhist practice, he generously shares his observations, thoughts and teachings in his usual warm-hearted and accessible style.


In this episode, Geshe Tashi comments on the sixth and seventh verses from Lama Tsongkhapa’s “The Essence of a Human Life”, giving an in-depth and very approachable commentary on the logic and reasonings behind the laws of karma.  Like gravity, these are natural laws: every cause will have its results, every action its consequences; and these results don’t magically appear according to our wishes, or even our favourite theories.  When it comes to the natural laws of karma, the results strictly correspond with the cause.


If you are thinking of becoming a Buddhist and taking refuge vows for the first time, or if you are planning to do a retreat at some point, we expect you will find the commentary Geshe Tashi gives here on the five lay vows and the eight Mahayana precepts extremely helpful.


As part of Geshe Tashi’s teachings on the Eight Fears that Tara helps us overcome, today we look at hatred or anger.  Geshe la very vividly brings the text to life, describing the psychological results of hatred as being like a forest fire that burns quickly through our good qualities and propensities, leaving us lost in the thick smoke of our conceptual fabrications.

It was a bit more of a process getting this teaching to you this time. As we mentioned in our email and as you will see, the internet was very patchy at the time of recording.  Fortunately, as a back up, we had already begun using a good quality recorder that Geshe Tashi uses for our podcast series A Buddhist Life with Geshe Tashi Tsering. It hasn’t been possible to perfectly sync this audio file with the Zoom meeting recording because the internet transmission delays are not consistent, so there is no perfect match. But it has worked out okay, and at least you now have sound for the frozen sections.  We hope you enjoy!


The Essence of a Human Life (verses 6 & 7)

Words of Advice for the Lay Practitioner


“From bad will come the long and unbearable pain

of the three lower realms;

from good the higher, happier realms

from which to swiftly enter the echelons of enlightenment.”

Know this and think upon it day after day.


With such thoughts make efforts in refuge,

live as best you can in the five lifelong vows,

praised by Buddha as the basis of lay life.

Take sometimes the eight daylong vows

and guard them dearly.


p.211-213 The Splendour of an Autumn Moon, Lama Tsongkhapa, trans. Gavin Kilty.


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 15 Comments

  1. Wendy

    Such a delight to hear such useful, meaningful teachings and to see you dear Geshe Tashi. Thank you for giving the time to make all of these very relevant podcasts.
    And BIG BIG thanks to Tri and Peter for the tech support – all of your time and skill is hugely appreciated.

    1. admin

      Thank you Wendy! Lovely to hear from you X

  2. Shelley

    Thank you Geshe la, we so appreciate these teachings. So many useful reminders here and all so grounding – being our own cctv, refuge, the delight of the precepts. And I loved hearing the birds – the sounds of your surroundings makes it feel more like we are there with you- although they were a little distracting because as an ecologist I was keen to peer out of your window and see what they were (sound like gulls?!) !

  3. Jane Sill

    Echoing thanks for the very speedy repair job on the video recording – it was seamless. Thank you again, Geshe la for very helpful teachings and reminders. Enjoyed the background chorus! Birdsong sounding extra loud in London these days.
    Love to all

  4. Shirley

    Tashi delek
    Thank you for your teaching. Timely words indeed, particularly with regard to the current situation, when minds can go into overdrive so easily.

  5. Brenda

    Dear Geshe La
    Thankyou again for digging deep into this text for us. A reminder of our crucial moral responsibility, brought very much alive by your image of the CCTV camera in our minds….perfect!
    The buffering wifi and the chorus of coconut tree birds was no problem. We are the first generation of dharma students who can have our precious teacher talking to us, on our phone screens,from across the globe. Gratitude for the amazing technology. And soooo many thanks to Peter and Tri for smoothing out the glitches and bringing these Luminating Lockdown Lectures to us all!

    1. admin

      Thank you Brenda, very much our pleasure. Fingers crossed for this morning’s internet connection. X

  6. Susan McKenna

    Dear Geshe la, thank you so much for continuing to teach during this difficult time. Hope you are well and happy. Sending love and bows, Susan (Brighton)

  7. Sandie Burland

    Dearest Geshe Tashi, how wonderful to hear your voice again which inspires me and causes my heart to rejoice. Thank you so much for your dharma, your sense of humour and the beautiful way in which you present your message. You are my precious teacher, and I embrace your transmissions. I have missed your presence here in the Uk and the lovely Easter retreats that I was priviliged
    to attend with you at Ackworth. May you live for a very long time and continue teaching dharma. Deepest gratitude and respect. Your student, Sandie, (Hull).

  8. Richard Boardley

    Thanks so, so much, Geshe-la. In this series of talks you are providing, yet again, a practical reminder of the timeless, fundamental wisdom of the Dharma – a platform of common sense in a very fluid and unsettling environment.

  9. julie

    Dear dear Geshe la, Thank you, thank you, thank you.
    Thought – there’s the NationalHealthService, and our Mental Health/Hygiene Service : ) International MHS even. Huge thanks. (Peter and Tri I know you’ll delete that if you feel it’s an inappropriate musing…!?)
    Many thanks too to The Amazing Admin Team.

    1. admin

      Julie, are you kidding? No question of any deleting. And we admit, we do like to be called The Amazing Admin Team!

      Many thanks to you Julie,

      The Amazing Admin Team!

  10. Galia Saouma

    Thanks to the admin team for a beautiful repair job
    Dear Geshe La
    I took refuge with you in 2016 during a retreat on the 8 vows. It was of course a turning point in my practice. I strongly believe that the law of cause and effect protected me In 2017 when I spent weeks recovering from meningitis through repeatedly taking refuge.
    With my deep gratitude also for giving us the opportunity to listen to your teachings and develop the relationship with you and all those who await eagerly your videos.
    Galia Saouma

  11. Brian

    Dear Geshela No problem with Internet speed or noisy birds only ever a background interference….your voice was clear and helpful as always….thanks

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