Practising Buddhism in a Pandemic – Geshe Tashi Tsering’s Coronavirus Update 20th August

Practising Buddhism in a Pandemic – Geshe Tashi Tsering’s Coronavirus Update 20th August

In Practising Buddhism in a Pandemic this week, Geshe Tashi Tsering continues his commentary on Maitreya’s Prayer of Love, and the Six Perfections.  He urges us, as best we can, to integrate these extraordinary practices into our everyday lives, rather than treating them as some kind of “wish list”.


Verse 22 brings us to the Perfection of Wisdom.  There is a very involved verse, and Geshe la goes into considerable detail on the main topics presented here, the Three Doors of Liberation and the Three Direct Knowledges (or awarenesses).


The Three Doors of Liberation are emptiness, signlessness and wishlessness.  They show us how we can best use our direct insights into emptiness to reach complete liberation, or enlightenment.  To pass through these three doors we need to overcome self grasping, not just of the object itself (emptiness), but also the object’s causes and conditions (signlessness), and the object’s results (wishlessness).  In this way we will realise that the past, present and future are all equally empty of inherent existence.


The Three Direct Knowledges are three of six that bodhisattvas need to develop to help approach living beings.  These direct knowledges allow bodhisattvas insight into the past lives of living beings under their care; their potential futures as well as the best means and methods for helping them bring their afflictions to an end. 


As usual Geshe la makes these advanced topics seem relevant and approachable.  These are fascinating teachings by Geshe Tashi, and well worth listening to and taking on board.


Verse 23 is missing in the English translation, which is a shame, because this is a very uplifting verse.  Geshe Tashi explains that when someone begins their bodhisattva journey, the Buddhas praise, support and appreciate that person.  The result is that person has a tremendous sense of joy and fulfilment.


Verse 24 brings us full circle to the one who was named Love (Tib Jampa, Skt Maitreya) because of the deeds he performed and the perfections he completed.


As a reminder, there will be no episode next week (we are in retreat), but the three of us will be back to finish up Maitreya’s Prayer of Love on the 2nd of September.


With best wishes,


Your Admin Team


A note on the translation below: because verse 23 in the FPMT translation is missing, and in the light of the many major corrections Geshe la had to make to the meaning of these verses, we are presenting our own translation here, a team effort.


Maitreya’s Prayer of Love (Verses 22, 23, 24)

Jampai Monlam


Through realising the three doors of freedom,

Seeing the three times as utterly equal,

And mastering the three kinds of direct knowledge,

May I complete the perfection of wisdom.


Entering the path of the bodhisattvas,

I will be praised by all the buddhas.

Ablaze with joy at having found my life’s true purpose,

May I engage in the joyous effort of the bodhisattvas

And fulfil my own wishes and those of all others.


In performing these deeds,

He became famed as “Maitreya”, love,

And by completing these Six Perfections,

He reached the 10th bodhisattva ground.

 Translated by Geshe Tashi Tsering & Trisangma Watson


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 12 Comments

  1. julie

    Greetings Geshe la, Have had a long pause before listening to this. In meantime have been wondering which word to use for “getting rid of” The True Enemy and here you have given it, before I’d asked, “extinguish”.
    Diolch o galon/Heartfelt thanks Geshe la & Peter & Tri. So happy to be part of this community : )

    1. admin

      Happy you’re a part of our community too, Julie!

  2. Grace

    Dear Geshe-la, Peter and Tri,
    Thank you so much for bringing these teachings into my life here. I so appreciate all your dedication.
    Especially hearing the Tibetan and then Geshe-la’s translation. Now to continue to practice!
    Enjoy your retreat Peter and Tri.
    Greetings from a Spring day in Australia!

  3. Jane

    Dear Geshe la
    Many thanks. They are very beautiful verses. We are very lucky to be able to ‘hear’ them and understand a little better the depth of their meaning. I do hope everyone in the monasteries and settlements stay safe and that the exams go well. I am sure they will be far better organised and not dependent upon algorithms! Hope you have a good break, Tri & Peter. Cornish waves should be at their best just now
    Love to all

  4. Brian

    Dear Geshela thanks so much for presenting these teachings so clearly, picking apart each Tibetan word and explaining so well in your English. To agree with Emily on the point about actually using these verses in everyday life, rather than their implicit meaning being allowed to collect dust metaphorically on our book shelves. I need to be reminded of this constantly. Signlessness and wishlessness particularly I think I should recall this time…..Hope all of you Geshela, Peter & Tri enjoy your respective breaks. Very much appreciated that you are providing this virtual platform for listening to the dharma across the world.

  5. Emily

    Thank you so much, Geshe Tashi-la, for the 6th perfection teaching. I heard many times of the 3 doors of liberation (and always remembered 2 but not the third)… But your explanation was so clear for each one and for their relationship with each other. I now really can see how wisdom comes through awareness and reflection on these three.
    And thank you for your continued inspiration to put the teachings into practice in life. Just before I listened to your teaching, I lost patience in a common situation – and was feeling the lingering emotions from that. Your wonderful presence brought things back to the teachings and to what is beyond the continually arising appearances. Thank you so much.
    And thanks to Peter and Tri for your efforts.
    With a wish that the year end exams, changed due the virus, bring inspiration to all the students to make this unusual exam format very worthwhile as a teaching and opportunity to embrace the challenges and learning that come from change.

  6. Natasha

    Hello Dearest Geshe Tashi

    Now the life is slowly returning to some kind of “new” normality, and we try to find our ways to coop and restart. I wanted to send you warmest greetings and a huge thank you for your tireless and kindest efforts to bring your wisdom, your love and thoughts to us all.

    We miss you so much in London (!) and treasure all of your postings and videos filled with knowledge and love.

    Wishing you kindly to stay well and safe and thank you for bringing happiness and kindness into our lives. (Always!)

    Ps: a special thank you to Peter and Tri for working so so hard and for lifting our spirits and making sure we dont loose the sense of commitment and community.

    Stay well and safe.

    With kindest regards

    Loyal student and admirer

    1. admin

      That is a lovely, uplifting message, Natasha, thank you so much!

  7. Rosalyn Williams

    Dearest Geshe’la
    I tried very hard to follow your teaching but not looking for praise! A point I would make later. It seems that intellect can never be separate from values. I was thinking of the three times and how they all were equal in the sense they are empty intellectually. But in terms of pursuing enlightenment I don’t think reflection of the past deeds or misdeeds / or dreaming of the future when all beings might be free of suffering would not be as useful as /using your body speech and mind in the present to work towards enlightenment. Which is hard work until you find a
    Guru to guide you. Our values do indicate what paths we are following and promote or demote types of intellectual thinking. I have found to be aware of the eight worldly dharma’s helps to keep me on the path.
    It may sound too simple but I am a slow pondering thinker.

  8. Katia Di Bernardini

    Dear admin it seems well working although I was already signed at geshe lak’s mailing list, thank you

  9. Katia Di Bernardini

    I have been not successful on signing up for geshe la’s mailing list, can the admin answer to me?
    Thanks for the attention, ven Jampa Sangmo FPMT student

    1. admin

      Hi Ven Jampa, thank you for letting us know. We checked and found a glitch. Actually, we’ve been meaning to change the mailing list form for some time now, so we’ve taken this opportunity to sort it out. Can you please try signing up again using your preferred first and last name? We’ve tested it and it should work this time. If not, please let us know.
      With best wishes, the Admin Team

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