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Tashi Choeling Tibetan Buddhist Centre

THE WAVE OF BURNING IN TIBET

 

Tashi choeling Tibetan Buddhist Centre was founded by Geshe Jampel Senge on 6th of February 2000. It was made possible only through the kind help rendered by Dr John Clarkson, Antoniya Mineva, Sue Townsend, Libby Clough, Danuta and Duncan. In appreciation of their contribution in laying the foundation of our centre, the initial Committee Members will remain Life Members of our Centre. Our sense of gratitude to them is inscribed in our hearts and will remain so until this centre exists. It is safe to say that it was not an easy decision for them. They had been into Buddhism with Geshe La only three years and therefore were not very well grounded. More important than this was the fact that it is no small responsibility to shoulder when you have to have the means to look after and care for the person one has taken upon oneself to keep in Australia. However, all persevered and Tashi Choeling started its journey as a little known group with very modest means. The amazing thing was a dedicated core group developed in the South of the river and gradually another group mushroomed in the North of the river. This is how it gradually got its footing in Western Australia. Slowly, a Sunday Meditation group also emerged and it became popular for Sunday morning to come for meditations. People were quite prepared to forgo their late Sunday sleeping habits to attend the meditations. As a part of samsaric existence, Tashi Choeling had its fair share of difficulties as well. There came a situation when Geshe La had virtually nowhere else to go to live as the resources had exhausted themselves. No doubt, well meaning students were trying their best to accommodate him but it remained to be seen how these would develop in the future. The initial apprehensions now truly haunted members as to how to continue with Geshe La’s livelihood and accommodation. Their were no easy answers to anything and for a time being Tashi Choeling’s dream run had run out it’s course and was precariously hanging in the balance. Then a strange incident came up when Geshe La was posted to Switzerland by HH the Dalai Lama to bring awareness among the Tibetans especially the younger generation about Tibetan Culture and Religion. It was an amazing quack of fortune which seemed to have Devine connotations. Much as he would have loved to stay and teach, he had to oblige as it was coming from HH the Dalai Lama. So, in early May 2004, he left for Switzerland to live at the Tibet Institute. He has been living there until December 2011. As Geshe La is slowly but steadily growing old, it naturally becomes necessary to put into place some future planning if Tashi Choeling wants to remain active in serving the people who have joined and became part of the institution. Geshe La therefore suggested that Dr John Clarkson start giving some talks to the people so there is an uninterrupted teaching lineage which has been passed onto the senior students by Geshe la during the last thirteen years since he has been teaching in the West. Geshe La has given a lot of thought for this and is not just one of his whims. Dr John has been attending Geshe La’s teaching very regularly since 1996 has been a devoted student and there fore Geshe La has asked him to teach what he had learned from Geshe la during these many years. The centre’s student population like any other Buddhist centre has more women than men. Therefore it becomes important for the women to be more active in taking upon themselves the task of teaching as well. This is also part of the Women’s Emancipation Movement. However, to get that, they must attend the teachings very regularly. The Buddha said, “You cannot teach what is unknown to you”. Keeping this in mind, it is hoped that some of the female students take the teachings more seriously and attend the teachings on a more regular basis. Owing Geshe La’s absence, Tashi Choeling will remain much the same but whether it survives or not also depends upon the people who are part of it. It is they who make or break it. Even though it is a Geluk Centre, it welcomes all traditions with utmost respect. Tashi Choeling seeks to bring about understanding among different religious traditions and contribute in creating a harmonious world.