Thursday, December 1, 2016 @ 7pm
On Thursday evening, we were honored to have Geshe Gelek visit the URI campus and speak about his religious practices and the mental world.
Geshe Gelek Rabten (Gela), born in 1970 in Kham Drango (Sichuan), entered the Drango monastery in Kham in the late 80s. He then joined Drepung Loseling Monastery in south India where he received his novice level, as well as full ordination as a monk from His Holiness the Dalai Lama and other great and esteemed lamas.
Geshe Gelek received his MASTER OF PRAJNA-PARA-MITA BUDDHIST PHILOSOPHY (equivalent to B.A.), MASTER OF MADHYAMIKA BUDDHIST PHILOSOPHY( equivalent to M.A.), his GREAT MASTER OF BUDDHIST PHILOSOPHY (equivalent to M.Phil) and the RIME GESHE degree (equivalent to a Ph.D.) In 2007 he again received a GESHE degree from Drepung Loseling Monastery. In 2010 he composed his Ph.D. thesis on the Ultimate Nature of Reality According to the Four Tibetan Buddhist Traditions, which is soon to be published.
During his sixteen years at Institute of Buddhist Dialectics Geshe Gelek studied the Buddhist scriptures and philosophy of the Sakya, Kagyu, Nyingma and Geluk traditions, as well as advanced study of both English and Chinese. In 2004 during his winter vacation Geshe Gelek Rabten visited Germany and France where he delivered invited lectures on Buddhist Psychology and Philosophy for about two months. In January 2010 Geshe Gelek and his classmate Geshe Kelsang Wangmo (first female Geshe in the world) founded the Tibetan Children Educational Project, a non-profit organization that assists Tibetan students in need. In the spring of 2010 he returned to his hometown in Kham (Sichuan) where he serves as a master teacher of Buddhist Studies for the Tehor Drakgo monastery in Tibet and in many places in China including Beijing, Guandong, and Shanghai.
The University was very fortunate to learn from Geshe Gelek during the Thursday evening event about the inter-relatedness of ancient wisdom traditions of Buddhism with the emerging research based perspectives of modern positive psychology. Also he explained how we can find the Inner Peace we all seek at this important intersection, the inner source from which we can draw our positive emotions – and in doing so develop the practices that reduce stress, allay our daily anxieties, doubts and worries, and lead us to healthier mental and physical well-being.
He discussed how the mental world is the center for happiness. In Buddhism, the nature of the human mind is loving compassion. He went on to describe how this can be diluted by negative emotions. To further explain this idea, he used water as an example. The nature of water is clean, although it can get dirty when it is mixed with something. In a few days it will be clean again.
He continues his talk by mentioning how negative emotions, as well as those people or persons who want to hurt us, are the enemies. Our enemies are our best teachers of tolerance and patience because of their intention to harm. Finally, he concludes by discussing how precious the human life is and the importance of cherishing its’ worth.
After the talk concluded, he mentioned that it would be beneficial to mediate in the morning time, after one wakes up, and also in the evening right before you go to bed.
Thank you Geshe Gelek for your great words of wisdom for our daily lives!