Practicing Buddhism in a Pandemic – Geshe Tashi Tsering’s Coronavirus Update 14th May

For Mary, with love. The best of friends.


In today’s episode of Practicing Buddhism, Geshe Tashi continues his commentary on A Harvest of Powerful Attainment by Lama Tsongkhapa.


In verse 4, Geshe Tashi gave a commentary on how we should relate to a teacher.  Continuing from last episode, he comments in verse 5 on the mindset we need to cultivate as students.  Revisiting the drawbacks of being caught up in desires, he brings to our attention the link, which is so easy to miss, between contentment and joy.  Contentment, he says, brings joy; without contentment, there can be no joy.  He also draws our attention to the link between those two vital qualities of awareness – mindfulness and conscientiousness – and reminds us of the importance of those we associate with on the path.  He gives a commentary on the Three Qualities of a Qualified Student, one of our favourite teachings from the Lam Rim Chenmo.


In verse 6 he explains that we need to be familiar with the certainty of death, and the uncertainty of its coming, not just at the level of words, but at a deep down, gut level.  This will lead us to develop a deep dislike for wealth and fame, seeing both as meaningless and without purpose.  Just because we don’t consider ourselves wealthy or famous, doesn’t mean we don’t suffer from this insidious mind.  As an interesting aside, Geshe la tells us how these insights inspired Lama Tsongkhapa’s to lead an itinerant lifestyle.


A Harvest of Powerful Attainment (verses 5 & 6)

Prayer for Blessings of the Close Lineage


Bless me that I be of few desires, at peace, a mind controlled,

of sincere quest for freedom, honest in speech,

practiced in awareness, reliant upon the best of friends,

and of pure view that falls not to bias.


Bless me that I develop in all naturalness

a sense of urgency with regard to time,

an utter disregard for fame and fortune

that arises from honestly contemplating upon

death’s inevitability and its unannounced arrival.


p.109 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.

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    Thank you for your wonderful interpretation of this beautiful text. And may I add my own sorrow at the passing of Mary. I have many fond memories of her, especially on our pilgrimage in India in 2006. She will be missed by many people who’s lives she touched.

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