Teaching by Geshe
"Now when the
point of death approaches, what should we do?
There are five powers that we
should develop to help us with the transference of consciousness.
First, there is
the power of the seed. Offer your possessions to the Buddhas, the
poor, to your family, and then give up attachment to the things of
this life - body, family, possessions, country, life itself. Give
these up with a positive state of mind, not a negative
is the power of fearlessness. Think that the situation you are in is
not just your problem, everyone has to die, and that this is
natural. Give up your attachment and think of your next life. Purify
any negativities, and if you have taken any vows, take these
is the power of prayer. Make good offerings and take refuge,
and renew your other commitments. Make offerings
to Mahakala and make a request that you remember your practice in
the bardo. Request help from all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.
Importantly, pray that you may practise Bodhicitta in the bardo and
in the next life.
Some people die
in their sleep, others die only after great suffering. The bardo is
like a dream, you may not recognise it but you will not be able to
see yourself in a mirror or see the sun or moon. Whilst you are in
the bardo, if you can, you should meditate and stay in the body for
three days until the gross energies are absorbed into the subtle
mind. When the mind passes on, then the body starts to decompose. If
your karma is good, your experience of the bardo will also be good.
If your karma is bad, your experience will be bad. If you can
remember to do your practice in the bardo, this will really help.
Pray during this life to be able to do so.
Fourth, is the
power of the antidote. Think like this: all bad things come from the
self cherishing mind. If I don't give up this self cherishing mind
then it will continue to cause me many problems. Realise that this
self-cherishing mind is the worst enemy of
Bodhicitta. You need a strong decision the day before you die that
you will do your practice the following day. In the time of the
bardo, practice is very strong, very clear, so you must have this
strong motivating power to practise.
The fifth power
is the power of habit. Meditate again and again on Bodhicitta so as
to create a strong habit. When you realise that you are dying, lie
on your right side with your right hand under your cheek and with
your head facing North. Then, as you breathe out, give all your
virtues to all sentient beings and as you breathe in take in all the
suffering from all sentient beings. Practising Tonglen like this
whilst you die is a wonderful death.
that all phenomena, all samsara, comes from the mind, and meditate
on emptiness. If you die doing emptiness meditation, that also is
So don't have
any fear or worries at the time of death and practise in this way."
The full talk will be
available on the Talking Buddhism pages of the Jamyang website.
Geshe Soepa has now moved to the Lama Yeshe Ling centre in Canada,
were he will be teaching. Thank you Geshe
Hello from me. Not having written in Gentle
Voice for eight/nine months, I want to say from my heart "hello" to
everyone who reads Gentle Voice. I had a really really good time and
I enjoyed very much my last seven months away from Jamyang in India.
Although I didn't have any blissful experiences, I enjoyed very much
- first doing prostrations in Bodh Gaya for more than two and half
months, then a short pilgrimage to Sri Lanka, four/five days, then
engaging in my retreat for about another 2 months. All these
activities which I managed to do were extremely enjoyable, and
beneficial to my mind, although as I said earlier, no deep down
blissful experiences. I want to say thank you all at Jamyang for
giving me this great opportunity, for your support in giving me this
long break. At the end of my time in India, I joined a
group of people, mostly from the UK. About 33 of us did this month
long pilgrimage, the third pilgrimage organised by Jamyang. As with
the previous two, this latest one was an extremely enjoyable
journey. Of course from time to time there were hardships. But
visiting these great places, where the Buddha Shakyamuni himself
spent time and gave teachings and where great events like his
enlightenment at Bodh Gaya and his first teaching at Varanasi
happened, I really enjoyed visiting all those places with a group of
very pleasant harmonious people. The pilgrimage went very well, as
I'm sure you can gather from other people's reports.
Now I'm back
at Jamyang, and as you see, a new programme started in the middle of
April. Mainly I just want to
say "hello" and thank you" for all your support. Thank you!
Update on His Holiness the Dalai Lama's
teachings in UK-
There are still
tickets available for the teachings, both for the Mon-Wed teachings,
and for the Public talk HHDL will give on the topic of "Caring for our world". We advise
you to buy tickets as soon as possible. Geshe Tashi will be heading up the panel
discussion Introduction to Buddhism on the Saturday
for our World
25th May: 2.30-4.00pm
In Conversation with His Holiness
the Dalai Lama and Jonathan Dimbleby
response to the huge demand to hear His Holiness speak, an
extra public talk has been arranged for the afternoon of
Sunday 25th May in the Nottingham Arena, focusing on how, as
individuals, we can meet the challenges of our times - in
particular, environmental issues and concerns. Jonathan Dimbleby,
the well-known TV and radio presenter and president of the Soil
Association, will host the event.
The afternoon is open to a general
audience but young people will be actively
HELP NEEDED: If you are going to be at His Holiness teachings
and would like to help out at Jamyang's stall giving out information
about Jamyang, we are looking for 4 volunteers. Please contact Anil
at: [email protected]
|Human Rights in
recent abuse of Human Rights in Tibet, here is an
extract of a letter His Holiness wrote as an appeal to the Chinese
Today I would like to
make a personal appeal to all Chinese spiritual brothers and
sisters, both inside as well as outside the People's Republic of
China, and especially to the followers of the Buddha. I
do this as a Buddhist monk and a student of our most revered
teacher, the Buddha. I have already made an appeal to the
general Chinese community. Here I am appealing to you, my
spiritual brothers and sisters, on an urgent humanitarian
The Chinese and the
Tibetan people share common spiritual heritage in Mahayana
Buddhism. We worship the Buddha of Compassion - Guan Yin in
the Chinese tradition and Chenrezig in Tibetan tradition - and
cherish compassion for all suffering beings as one of the highest
spiritual ideals. Furthermore, since Buddhism flourished in
China before it came to Tibet from India, I have always viewed the
Chinese Buddhists with the reverence due to senior spiritual
brothers and sisters.
As most of you are
aware, beginning with the 10th of March this year, a series of
demonstrations have taken place in Lhasa and across many Tibetan
areas. These are caused by deep Tibetan resentment against the
policies of the Chinese government. I have been deeply
saddened by the loss of life, both Chinese and Tibetans, and
immediately appealed to both the Chinese authorities and the
Tibetans for restraint. I specially appealed to the Tibetans
not to resort to violence.
Chinese authorities have resorted to brutal methods to deal with the
development despite appeals for restraint by many world leaders,
NGOs and noted world citizens, particularly many Chinese
scholars. In the process, there has been loss of life,
injuries to many, and the detention of large number of
Tibetans. The crackdown still continues, especially
targeting monastic institutions, which have traditionally been the
repository of ancient Buddhist knowledge and tradition. Many
of these have been sealed off. We have reports that many of
those detained are beaten and treated harshly. These repressive
measures seem to be part of an officially sanctioned systematic
With no international
observers, journalists or even tourists allowed to Tibet, I am
deeply worried about the fate of the Tibetans. Many of those
injured in the crackdown, especially in the remote areas, are too
terrified to seek medical treatment for fear of arrest.
According to some reliable sources, people are fleeing to the
mountains where they have no access to food and shelter. Those
who remained behind are living in a constant state of fear of being
the next to be arrested.
I am deeply pained by
this ongoing suffering. I am very worried where all these
tragic developments might lead to ultimately. I do not believe
that repressive measures can achieve any long-term solution.
The best way forward is to resolve the issues between the Tibetans
and the Chinese leadership through dialogue, as I have been
advocating for a long time. I have repeatedly assured the
leadership of the People's Republic of China that I am not seeking
independence. What I am seeking is a meaningful autonomy for
the Tibetan people that would ensure the long-term survival of our
Buddhist culture, our language and our distinct identity as a
people. The rich Tibetan Buddhist culture is part of the
larger cultural heritage of the People's Republic of China and has
the potential to benefit our Chinese brothers and sisters.
In the light of
the present crisis, I appeal to all of you to help call for an
immediate end to the ongoing brutal crackdown, for the release of
all who have been detained, and to call for providing immediate
medical care to the injured.You can
find this and other news at: http://www.dalailama.com/news.htm
Some useful websites to go to if you are
interested in learning more about what is going on in Tibet and how you can
Office of Tibet http://www.tibet.com
Students for a Free Tibet http://www.studentsforafreetibet.org
Tibetan Centre for Human
Rights and Democracy http://www.tchrd.org
Campaign for Tibet http://www.savetibet.org
Australia Tibet Council
Jamyang is looking for a committed
volunteer to help manage our "Friends" database. Basic computer skills required.
If you are interested and would like to learn more
about what the job entails,
please contact Sally at: [email protected]
|Our next Dying Well day is on the 10th May - 10
am till 5 pm. Our main subject for investigation will be
bereavement. We will be joined for the morning by
Clare Ziegler of Cruse Bereavement Care. Clare is a bereavement
councillor and as she doesn't want to give a formal talk, we think
the best way to structure the morning is around questions. So... if
you can join us on the 10th, please think of things you would like
to ask her, either about dealing with our own bereavement or how to
help others in that situation.|
We have two relevant audio tapes
and there will be discussion and meditation as
I am really delighted to have joined the
Jamyang Community in the role of Manager of Repaying the Kindness
(RTK), taking off where Estelle is leaving it, that is, in its
currently strong position as one of Jamyang's sister
projects. I hear that I have a hard act to follow
but I will do my very best to maintain and where possible increase
the measure of happiness brought about by the RTK.
I have only been working at Jamyang for a
couple of days but already it feels like home. It's really wonderful
to be working alongside such a warm and committed group of people
and the whole environment at the centre is ideal for a Buddhist
working in the city.
A little about my background.
I recently returned from Kathmandu, Nepal having
been studying at the Rangjung Yeshe Institute in
Boudhanath, Buddhist Studies and Tibetan for four
years. The studies took the form of a degree and gave me an
opportunity to delve into the teachings for a sustained period.
During this time I came back to the UK for the summer to teach
English as a Foreign Language, before returning to resume my studies
in Nepal for the next year.
Before going to Nepal I did a variety of
things including qualifying as a solicitor and managing a small
sandwich business. When I became a Buddhist in
1996 my whole world went a bit topsy turvy while I reassessed my
world view and approach to life. I studied as much as time would
allow here in the West under the wing of my main teacher Shenphen
Dawa Rinpoche who skillfully led me through this period and under
whom I completed my first set of preliminary practices (Ngondro).
During this time I also travelled several times to India and Nepal
on pilgrimages and for teachings, and loved it so much, I decided to
return for full time study.Now, happy to be home and feeling more
grounded through the process of study, reflection, and (a little)
meditation, I am so glad to have found this position here at Jamyang
and RTK. I look forward to working with joyful
effort on these wonderful events aimed at bringing lightness and
happiness to others.
It is great to welcome Sam as the new
manager of Repaying the Kindness: her energy and enthusiasm will be
a very valuable asset to the project.
Kindness owes it's success so far to the determined dedication of
Clare Walsh who has been the facilitator and Tai Chi teacher since
it's beginning in 2001, and to the hard work of all the volunteers
who have been involved over the years. We have a wonderful team of
volunteers who have been inspired by Geshe Tashi's teachings to put
compassion into action.
I have been involved with RTK since 2001;
first as a volunteer, then as coordinator, and for the last three
years as manager. I have learnt a lot and made some good friends.
The carers are good company and I will miss them.
I would like to
thank the trustees and Jamyang's staff for all their help over the
years. My especial thanks are for Geshe-la who has been a constant
inspiration.It has been a privilege to be part of
this ground breaking project, and I'm sure it will continue to
Estelle Rose, April 22nd
Dear friends,The cost
for doing all this work was only £107!
The work camp was a great
success, thanks to the efforts of all the volunteers.
The Tara room got revamped with a new coat of paint; the
basement was cleared of 6 years of accumulated matter; the garden
was weeded, cleaned and watered; a new water heater was installed
for the cell block; the two Gompas were given a spring clean; and
the final decoration of the healing room was
Well done to
everyone!with love Anil xx
|Jamyang has a new meditation group
that meets on Thursdays at 6pm. Dave Benn, who is one of the
group's facilitators, writes:|
in mind & heedful,the
sage trained in sagacity's ways:He
has no sorrows, one who is Such,calmed
& ever mindful
As a dominant species mankind has one
prominent characteristic, this is to be in a constant hurry
inventing new strategies while rushing to meet deadlines.
In reality the mind is
like a mountain lake when a high wind is blowing, the surface may
appear rough and choppy but deep down all is calm.
Jamyang will be holding
pre teaching class sessions of Shanti peaceful meditation; these
will involve minimal verbal input where we will just sit quietly
while alert letting the constant inner chatter subside, finding a
haven of tranquillity to aid us functioning in an ever stressful
This will be an area
away from the social function of Jamyang with chatter and bonding
over tea and biscuits. In these sessions there will only be your
perceived awareness and your evolving karma.
Looking for the inner
space Longchen Rabjam states in his A Treasury of the Basic Space
magical expressions that originate within the unborn basic space are
completely indeterminate and not subject to any restrictions
whatsoever. They cannot be characterised as "Things" for they have
no substance or characteristics. In that their nature is like the
panoramic vista of space, they are unborn, spontaneously present,
and free of any time frame, any beginning or end"
With this as a
motivation we hope to transmit this profound ultimate truth of quiet
awareness just by living the good life when we exit from the shrine
The meditation will be
divided into at least two sessions to facilitate ease for creaking
bones and swollen joints, when stretching is in
one, come all, there is no place from where to
from India, Geshe Tashi has not only brought back his energy to
Jamyang, but also, with the help of the pilgrims, many things for
Do not hesitate to come
along and have a look at what is new.
We have new different
Tibetan incenses, beautiful statues, new malas, holy stones "eyes of
the Buddha", little clay
plaques with the Buddha on one
and his life on the other and many other
don't forget to have a look at our range of books; because
you come into our shop a lot, our stock moves quickly, and we
regularly renew it.
We try as much
as we can to have books relating to our teaching courses, and at the
moment we have some books on Vajrasattva, like Becoming
Vajrasattva and Preliminary Guide to
The best way
to have an idea of what we offer in Jamyang's bookshop
is to come and see for yourself. You
will probably find something that interests you. And, of course, any
purchase in the bookshop is a great way to help our
After a month travelling together in
India, here are some words from Michelle Mallet and images from
Roger Munro and Duncan Yuile. We will be sharing more poems and
photos in following editions.
When we landed in Bombay,
from above, like any suburbia.
But when we saw the dwellings by
No doubt, we had arrived in
But then again, that Chennai hotel,
You could have been in L.A. or
However, as soon as you left the area,
shacks, grime, cows, a quick reminder.
Yet, the luxury was
not to last,
For the contrast was soon felt.
Guntur, we could
have easily past,
As jumbo mozzies were hitting below the
Our buses were comfy and ACd,
Just like driving with our
own private chauffeur.
But the journeys from hell
Were those nights on the 'train a vapeur'.
Chai', they call all day and half the night.
At 10:30, at last comes
If you have no appointment, it's alright.
But 6 hours
late, even British Rail can do better!
With the tuc-tucs, you
took your life in your hands.
Well, if you have one left not turning
blue for holding on.
'How much to the big bazar?' Steve
'10 rupees per person'. - No, 5 - ok, come
For Jo, it was the Bodhgaya rickshaw trip.
coughs, or the run on and off.
But for Rose, at Li Meridien, she needed
And without her we had to take off.
We learnt a
few things about each other,
ie. that Svetlana was the inventor of the
'taking it with a pinch of salt' expression.
For some, it was
good to take time as a loner,
While for most, risking a face-off
with a load of bull wasn't an option.
As foreigners, we
attracted a lot of attention,
none more though than when we were
on a mission.
Indian travellers also became
stealing shots posing next to a white
Being in such a group can bring the kid out of
The problem is when he has to get back inside though.
become then 'your giggliness'
Afraid of being caught by 'his
We saw many kids on 2 legs, and
The latter became playmates for Steve and
Goats were everywhere, but we needed just
So, could someone email a picture to
Crackers, cookies, nuts, candies, going round and
round on the bus;
Forget the non-attachment, avarice and enviable
By that time, our system, for normal food, was begging
The cheese party on the express was great, though someone
forgot the Mutton Cadet.
In these modern times, it may be hard to
Living in the present is a technological
For some, the first question upon
arriving was: where is the internet?
While others hit the foreign
Some celebrated 3 birthdays on the month's
Others only felt as if, each time we had to stand up after
Free time was between swim, shop, drop or
For the rest of the day, Geshe la took the worries out of
Handwipes, no salad, mozzie cream, teeth with mineral
Hard to remember it all when you haven't slept well for
many a day.
But our nurse was never too far with advice - or the
stick - bless her!
We had to reach the finish line, come what
For sure, as a whole, this pilgrimage was truly a
Prayers at the holy sites, on the bus
However, Geshe-la's blah blah was the
Since no one was ready yet for
|What do you
want to see in Gentle Voice? We would love to hear
your ideas and comments about Gentle Voice, please
contact Esther at: [email protected]|