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Message from His Holiness The Dalai Lama, on his 86th Birthday

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama’s message on his 86th birthday: “I am just one human being. Many people really show they love me. And many people actually love my smile. In spite of my old age, my face is quite handsome. Many people really show me genuine friendship. Now that it is nearly my birthday, I want to express my deep appreciation of all my friends who have really shown me love, respect and trust. For myself, I can assure you, that for the rest of my life.

I am committed to serving humanity and working to protect the climate condition. Since I became refugee and now settled in India, I have taken full advantage of India’s freedom and religious harmony. I want to assure you that for the rest of my life I will be fully committed to reviving ancient Indian knowledge. I really appreciate the Indian concept of secular values, not dependent on religion, such as honesty, Karuna (compassion) and Ahimsa (non-violence). So, my dear friends, on my birthday, this is my gift. Please keep it in mind. I myself am committed to non-violence and compassion until my death. This is my offering to my friends. I hope my friends will also keep non-violence and compassion for the rest of your lives. All my human brothers and sisters should keep these two things- non-violence and compassion, until your death.”

Prayer for the abbots and lamas of Tashi Lhunpo Monastery, South India

“Having qualified teachers, especially monastics who have devoted their entire lifetime to studying, embodying, practicing and sharing the Dharma is so very precious. They have taken on the responsibility to make Dharma the number one priority in life and to really carry the teachings into the Twenty-first Century through rebuilding monastic institutions that fuse traditional education with the modern curriculum. This is a prayer of gratitude to the Khenpos, or abbots, who have served as leaders of the great Tashi Lhunpo, a Tibetan Buddhist monastic institution rebuilt in southern India to keep the valid unbroken lineage teachings alive. We are very grateful to their dedication, and thus this prayer reflects our love, devotion and appreciation. It also serves as an oral historical record of the leadership of the institution” – Venerable Tenzin Dasel

The abbots, lamas, and general monastic assembly of the Tashi Lhunpo Monastery that is a branch of the Great Dharma Center in Tibet made the following request: “We need a lineage prayer for those who have held the abbot’s throne.” Therefore, the Dalai Lama, Shakya Bhikshu, and proponent of the Dharma composed these verses on the third day of the second month of the fire bird year of the seventeenth cycle, March 30, 2017.

Summer Pause!

A PERSONAL NOTE FROM VENERABLE TENZIN DASEL:

Warm greetings, dear Dharma friends,  

With warmer weather setting in for the next few months, we at Tashi Gatsel Ling Buddhist  Center will be spending more time outdoors and putting our practice where the rubber hits  the road. Here in India we will be in silent retreat diving deeply into the peace that passeth understanding. Therefore, we shall be pausing our monthly programming of Medicine  Buddha Puja and Maine Moment Meditation so our community can invest more time in  personal practice.  

Here are a few ideas: 
– Walks in nature or at the beach 
– Retreat for a few hours, a day, a weekend or a week  
– Saying additional mantras each morning and evening 
– Increasing morning meditation sessions by adding 10 minutes more  
– Adding an evening meditation session 
– Committing a new prayer to heart 
– Sharing practical Dharma with a child or grandchild with a focus on happiness, healthy habits, truth telling, and kindness activities  
– Feeding the hungry: birds, people, or shelter animals 
– Growing more flowers, plant a new garden  
– Practicing a vegetarian diet by going meatless two days a week 
– Sitting out on the screen porch in the evening, skipping the evening news
– Taking someone out for a surprise ice cream cone or sundae (don’t tell them where  you are going) 
– Cleaning out items no longer needed or worn and giving them away 
– Recalling the times you felt altruistic loving kindness and deep compassion by writing these stories down or sharing them with others 
– Becoming less opinionated and become a fresh observer without labelling, let the mind rest in open awareness  
– Living in Noble Silence for at least 30-60 minutes a day  
– Eating just breakfast and lunch with no snacking in between, lite dinner 3 days a week
– Setting up a dedicated sacred meditation/prayer area in your living space
– Taking a news and media fast, alternate a day on and day off for summer months.

The main point is to make whatever you decide to focus your practice on personally meaningful. It is essential to approach what we do in our practice with confidence in order to gain support and clarity on the path toward enlightenment. By lightening our load and  schedule, we are able decide what will be the most joyful and beneficial way to hone in our  daily commitment. Then, absolutely, make a clear commitment and timetable for  practice.  

Let’s not kid ourselves, there are reasons we must schedule appointments at the doctor’s  or dentist’s offices and cannot just randomly show up when we get in the mood.  Likewise, we need a schedule built into our days to help us keep our practice on course. We  cannot just do it when the feeling moves us. It is like learning to become skillful at the  piano, we must practice the scales.

With all good wishes that your practice supports and grows your happiness, day by day, breath by breath, sending love and gratitude to all. May all be free and blissful,  
~Tenzin Dasel

Saka Dawa begins today!

May 12 starts the auspicious month of Saka Dawa. Saka Dawa refers to the fourth month of the Tibetan Lunar Calendar during which Buddha’s ordination, enlightenment, and parinirvana are celebrated. Saka Dawa runs from May 12 to June 10.

On Wednesday, May 26, Tashi Gatsel Ling is hosting a virtual event of a powerful Medicine Buddha Puja and Saka Dawa. We will extend our time together to 2 hours starting at 6:30 pm EST to 8:30 pm EST. Here is the Zoom link to access this event.

This is a Buddha Day when karmic results are multiplied one hundred million times, as cited by Lama Zopa Rinpoche in the Vinaya text Treasure of Quotations and Logic. As Buddha Days are particularly powerful, it is encouraged to put effort into creating merit through virtuous actions.

Eco-Dharma Center

We are very excited to announce our efforts for our biggest project yet, that of building an Eco-Dharma Buddhist Center in Maine, USA. A place of gathering where our Dharma practice can be supported and enhanced. If you feel moved, you can support this project by making a donation via our Donate page. For more information and any questions, please connect with us via our email address tglmaine@gmail.com.

A new teacher, a new teaching offering: Rinpoche Palden Sengye

Beginning Sunday, May 2, 2021, 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM EST, with subsequent teachings on the first Sunday of each month

Tashi Gatsel Ling Buddhist Center is excited and honored to announce that we will be providing a new series of teachings on the first Sunday of every month starting May led by Rinpoche Palden Sengye. Rinpoche will be engaging us in the Lojong, or mind training. Lojong is a core Vajrayana practice for transforming our mind by turning away from our self-centeredness and cultivating instead the mental habits that generate bodhicitta

The teaching format will be as follows:

  • Prayers: 5 min.
  • Meditation: 5 min.
  • Teaching: 25 min.
  • Q&A: 15 min.
  • Meditation: 5 min.
  • Dedications & Prayers: 5 min.

You can access the Seven-Point Mind Training text here. And the ZOOM link.

Rinpoche Palden Sengye was born in Lhasa, Tibet in 1987. He fled to India in 1993, and under the compassionate grace of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, was given an opportunity to study at TCV school. In 1998, His Holiness recognized him as the 7th reincarnation of Palden Sengye Rinpoche of Tashi Lhunpo monastery. During that same year, he began receiving his monastic education, and soon after, he observed the novice vows. At the age of 20, he received the complete vows of a monk.

Rinpoche underwent a rigorous study on the five treatises for many years and took part in the various examinations conducted by Gelugpa Universities. In 2019, he was awarded the “Kachen Rapjampa Degree” and subsequently the Geshe “Lharampa Degree” in 2020; this is the equivalent of PhD at the universities the world over. Since then, he has been serving as a teacher at the Tashi Lhunpo monastery. Currently, he is studying at the Gyuto Tantric Monastic University at Dharamsala to undertake one-year courses on the Tantric (also known as Vajrayana) Buddhist study.

Entering the Mystery of the Sacred Mandala in Vajrayana Buddhism

Saturday, March 27, 2021, 9 am – 11 am EST

Venerable Tenzin Dasel will host a lecture at the Maine Jung Center on the topic of the Sacred Mandala. To register please visit mainejungcenter.org.

What does it mean to be part of the circle of life? A circle is a symbol that conveys both process and form, implying there is a shared connection mysteriously linking us together, calling us to wholeness. It is fluid, soft, and imparts unbroken continuity lacking sharp edges or quick corners. In Vajrayana Buddhist tradition the mandala offers a rare opportunity: by gaining entrance into the sacred mandala through initiation, the possibility of attaining enlightenment in one lifetime presents itself. This represents an immense spiritual revolution and evolution of inner space awareness.

Day of Offerings

Venue: His Holiness’s Residence, Dharamsala, HP, India
Date: February 27, 2021
Duration: 1 hour and 24 minutes

His Holiness the Dalai Lama gives a short teaching from the Life Stories of the Buddha and from Chapter 1 of Nagarjuna’s Precious Garland on the occasion of the Day of Offerings from his residence in Dharamsala, HP, India on February 27, 2021. He also conducts the ceremony for Generating the Awakening Mind.


The Eight Verses of Mind Training

Sunday, February 14, 11:30 am – 1:30 pm EST Venerable Tenzin Dasel will hold the first of four Sunday meetings on Zoom on the Eight Verses of Mind Training and related Lojong, Love, and Compassion. This event is hosted by our friends at BodhiMind Center of Colorado Springs.

Venerable will go through the verses, discuss how to bring these into daily practice, and explore how the four Immeasurable Qualities relate to the practice. 

The event is free for all to attend and donations are encouraged.

The Eight Verses can be accessed here. Please email us at tglmaine@gmail.com to sign up.