Practising Buddhism in a Pandemic – Geshe Tashi Tsering’s Coronavirus Update 2nd September

Practising Buddhism in a Pandemic – Geshe Tashi Tsering’s Coronavirus Update 2nd September

This is the final week of our current blog series with Geshe Tashi Tsering’s Practising Buddhism in a Pandemic.  It began, just as the Coronavirus first swept the world, with Geshe Tashi recording a series of very short and (as we received them) jumbled WhatsApp messages in high winds from his rooftop.  The tone seemed somewhere between the Blair Witch Project and The Walking Dead.  We both froze as the first apocalyptic message cut off mid-sentence. It was hard to hear the next two clips in the high wind, and to piece together what was going on.  For a good few minutes we feared the worst.  As relief slowly accompanied understanding, so too the realisation – they need to hear this, and – we can’t post these.

 

As the reality of lockdown settled in, the three of us decided to set up regular updates on Zoom.  Geshe Tashi had two aims: to keep his community of friends and students updated with the situation at Sera, and to respond to the many emails he was getting requesting help and practice advice in those difficult times.  Geshe la’s astonishing and irrepressible enthusiasm for the dharma came to the fore, and these short updates soon became full length classes packed with common sense, scripture, wit and wisdom, which we recorded and posted every other day. 

 

In the last couple of months, we have happily settled into a regular weekly teaching routine.  It will be a bit of a wrench for us, and no doubt for many of you, not to have our weekly sessions with Geshe la over the coming weeks.  He will, however, be back with a one-off event in early October, followed by regular classes through to December, and then again from January 2021.

 

In today’s episode, Geshe la gives us a word by word translation and commentary on the mantra at the end of this work, Maitreya’s Prayer of Love.  As usual, he carefully consults Chone Jetsun Drakpa Shedrup’s commentary to give us the fullest possible picture.

 

He then translates and comments on the three dedication verses.  The English translation we are using only gives one verse, so Trisangma has edited Geshe la’s translation, and we are printing this for you below.  As Geshe Tashi explains, these are prayers for each of us: to be born alongside Maitreya in Ganden paradise; to be the first to receive teachings from him when he comes to this world as our 5th Buddha; to complete the bodhisattva deeds in his presence; to experience the essence of his dharma teachings; and to receive in a prophecy the time and place of our own enlightenment.  May we all receive these teachings together!

 

When we have some free time, Geshe la advises us to read Maitreya’s Prayer of Love line by line, verse by verse, allowing time for the meanings to sink in as we go along.  This is the prayer used daily in the monastery’s annual Maitreya practice around November and December.  It is recited slowly to allow reflection, and is set, Geshe la adds, to a nice tune. 

 

We’d like to join Geshe Tashi in thanking you for being a part of this, for all your comments, messages of support, and genuine enthusiasm.  We hope you will join us in our new programme of events in October.

 

With best wishes,

 

Your Admin Team

 

 

Maitreya’s Prayer of Love (Mantra & Verses 25, 26, 27)

Jampai Monlam

 

The Mantra of Maitreya’s promise:

Namo ratna trayaya, namo bhagavate shakyamuniye, tathagataya, arhate samyak sambuddhaya, tadyatha, om ajite ajite aparajite, ajitanchaya hara hara maitri avalokite kara kara maha samaya siddhi bhara bhara maha bodhi manda vija smara smara asmakam samaya bodhi bodhi maha bodhi svaha.

 

By these wholesome acts may I and all living beings

be born in Ganden Paradise soon after passing from here,

(Which for the Teachings is the loftiest of palaces.)

There may I become son or daughter and

The Dharma Lord Mipham’s principal disciple.

 

When you, Regent and master of the ten levels

Come to this world and realise the state of ten powers,

May I be among the very first to experience the essence of your teachings,

And may I complete all the activities of a Buddha

 

Immediately after passing from this place,

May I be born in Ganden, place of the joyful mind.

There may I please you Maitreya, Protector,

And receive your prophecy of my enlightenment.

 

Translated by Geshe Tashi Tsering & Trisangma Watson

 

All these verses and the whole series of teachings by Geshe Tashi are available on our blog hosted on both websites below:

https://geshetashi.org/

https://foundationsofbuddhistthought.org/

 

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 20 Comments

  1. Jane

    Dear Geshe la, Tri & Peter
    Many, many thanks. It would be lovely if we could hear some of the recitations during the Retreat at Sera Mey …
    I do hope very much that all have remained safe and the outbreak has not spread too far.
    Thank you for kindly organising Saturday and look forward to seeing/hearing ‘live’..
    Love to all
    Jane

  2. julie

    Oh Geshe la! Thank you so much for sharing this inspiring prayer, am overwhelmed with gratitude and sense of good fortune to have met with you and the dharma. Thank you Tri & Peter for making these precious teachings available to us. Your combined efforts have produced a magnificent silver lining to an interestingly dark cloud floating around the planet. Love to all. julie

    1. admin

      Wow, what a great image! Thank you again, Julie.

  3. Brian

    Dear Geshela, So much benefit for my mind in listening to your teachings these last few months (since April I recall); I can always go back over any of them whenever reqd as well due to the kindness of the platform Peter & Tri have established.

    Whenever you can find space in your schedule to teach again will be marvellous. Can I thank you also for suggesting in an answer to my question previously to refer the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life teachings by Shantideva (English translation) my elderly copy is now being utilised almost daily. Goodbye until your next teaching.

    1. admin

      Thank you Brian, and for your question once again, which has proved so beneficial!
      With best wishes,
      P & T

  4. Grace

    Dearest Geshe-la, Tri and Peter,
    Thank you so much for making this precious teaching so available and for all your patience and kindness during these months. All 3 of you working as a team because Geshe-la would not be able to get his precious teachings out to us without you both!
    The teachings have brought me back to the Dharma in a deeper way and have been so vital in the times of Virus and catastrophic bush fires. They have enabled me to be present with what is and to put leather on my feet when the going got very prickly! With your help, I’ve coordinated about 3000 trees to come into our area and they are now starting to flower and put out leaves. Shelter for animals and birds, bringing joy to our hearts and minds. Thank you so much.
    Dearest Geshe-la, please live long and teach us until we realise the Enlightened mind.
    Stay safe and well all of you,
    Grace

    1. admin

      Dear Grace,
      Thank you so much for your kind comments and for being a regular contributor. It is wonderful to hear how helpful Geshe la’s teachings have been, and to hear about your heroic tree planting. It is heart warming to think about the work you are doing, and the benefits for the animals, birds and fellow humans.
      With best wishes,
      Peter & Tri

  5. Rosalyn

    Dearest Geshe’la
    I find this teaching a poem about love by Maitreya to be a unique teaching, something I haven’t heard before and have copied it into my notebook. Sometimes teachings come at the right time when you are more open to them and I have already copied most of Maitreya’s prayer on love to keep foremost in my mind. Enjoyed very much the translation of the Buddha’s Mantra.
    I Very much appreciate all the years you have taught us at Jamyang. I feel so fortunate to have met the dharma and to have had all those years to try and put it into practise.
    Thank you so much for all your patience skill love and compassion. Difficult to put into words how much your teaching meant to me. I hope that the virus disappears as quickly as it descended. And all the monks and the Tibetan community and the local population stay healthy.
    May you have a long and healthy life Geshe’la, so that as many people as possible may benefit from your teachings and receive your blessings.
    Love
    Ros
    PS Thank you dear Tri and Peter for making the whole project possible x

    1. admin

      It’s our pleasure Ros, we love hearing from you, X

  6. Volker Hessel

    Dear Geshe-la,
    thank you, thank you, thank you!
    Looking forward to hearing and seeing you again!
    All the best,
    Volker

  7. Brenda

    Thankyou dear Geshe La for your resilience in offering these regular teachings and your uplifting good humour despite such a difficult time for your monastic community…..plus your devoted care for us all, your western students.
    I admit that since lockdown ceased I have not managed to listen and send thanks so regularly. The lockdown period was a precious opportunity for a more reflective time to do a little more study and meditation as well as to enjoy the tranquility of nature….so I rather miss that.
    However I am very pleased that all your wonderful teachings will still be available to us to savour in the months ahead. So a HUGE thankyou to Peter and Tri, our dedicated admin team, for making all these teachings available to us, despite dodgy internet and other obstacles. I rejoice in the merit of your virtuous and tireless actions :)))
    I also intend to go through the blogs so that I have the whole of the beautiful Maitreya prayer to reflect on.
    We look forward to retreating with you dear Geshe La, online of course, when you are able. Meanwhile, we wish you and all in your care the warmest wishes ……..love, brenda

    1. admin

      Gosh Brenda, thank you very much! We are so happy to hear that you plan to go through the blogs now, reflecting on Maitreya’s prayer, it certainly makes our work worthwhile. We look forward to hearing how it goes.
      Thank you and best wishes from us,
      The Admin Team.

  8. Richard Boardley

    Dear Geshe-la,

    My deeply-felt thanks to you for this wonderful series of talks over what has been the most unusual and unsettling of times. It has been a real privilege to hear you again – your clear, practical and engaging analysis of some beautiful texts has been a great joy.

    Thanks so much to the redoubtable admin team as well!

    Kindest,

    Richard

    1. admin

      Thank you Richard!

  9. Sue Aldam

    Thank you so much Geshela for these wonderful teachings. And thank you too to Peter and Tri for making them available to us. I shall look forward to seeing and hearing you again soon. May you and all those in your care be safe and free from the virus. With much love.

    1. admin

      That’s a pleasure, Sue! We’re looking forward to the next instalment…

  10. Losang/ Rita Riniker

    Thank you so much dear Khen Rinpoche Geshe Tashi-la, and everybody else who made these sessions possible. It was so helpful at the beginning of this pandemic, when we all felt at loss and not really knowing what will be in the future. I am sure that these talks helped all of us to get the mind back to some stability.
    So thank you very much from the bottom of my heart.

    Could you kindly let me know, where I can find the whole of Maitreya’s Prayer of Love? I was looking in the individual teachings, but could only find parts of it. Is there a place where I can find the whole prayer? Thank you so much , and please everybody take good care. Losang

    1. admin

      Hello Losang, The only way to get the whole prayer will be to go through the blogs from beginning to end. If you do that, though, it’s all there!

  11. Gália Saouma

    Thank you Venerable teacher for connecting us to Maitreya,, and encouraging us to go all the steps till we reach enlightment as his disciples and your students.

  12. carmen willcox

    Thank you, Dearest Geshe la, for your caring and your wisdom. May Buddha’s Blessings continue to surround you always. With love and prayers, Carmen

Leave a Reply