Sunday, November 26
Geshe Dadul Namgyal’s family has visited the Abbey in the last week, reviewing the search efforts, considering next steps, and sharing the Dharma together. It has been a healing time.
After an intensive local and even regional search on the ground, the Abbey and the family have together realized it is time to move into a research phase. Geshe-la’s family will take the lead on all next steps. Deputy Murray continues to follow up on tips that come in to the Pend Oreille County Sheriff’s Office.
The Abbey joins Geshe-la’s family in abiding within our Buddhist spiritual principles: trusting in the Three Jewels, the infallible workings of karma, and in the power of the truth—emptiness and dependent arising.
On behalf of Gesha-la’s family as well as the Abbey, we thank each of you for your care, and invite your continued prayers on behalf of Geshe Tenzin Chodrak (Dadul Namgyal).
We will share any solid news that comes forward.
Our beloved teacher, Geshe Tenzin Chodrak (Dadul Namgyal) has been missing from the Abbey since Tuesday evening (November 7).
This is difficult for us to share, as we respect the tenderness of the situation, Geshe-la’s privacy, and that of his family. However, the sad news has spread widely and we know you are concerned.
We discovered his absence when he did not appear as expected for the Lama Chopa Puja. A search began immediately, and has continued in the ensuing days.
The Pend Oreille County Sheriff’s office responded to our calls immediately. Dozens of Search and Rescue volunteers have joined Abbey residents to comb the Abbey property and surrounding properties. They have brought in drones, trained dogs, and a helicopter. Their kindness and generosity is overwhelming.
With deep refuge and faith in the Three Jewels, the search continues. Thanks for your prayers and support.
We will post any new information as it arises.
We are unable to respond to your emails and phone calls personally at this time. Watch the box above for updates. We’ll also post on Facebook. Thank you all for your support.
Bio of Geshe Tenzin Chodrak (Dadul Namgyal)
Venerable Geshe Tenzin Chodrak (Dadul Namgyal) is a prominent scholar in Tibetan Buddhism. He has a doctorate (Geshe Lharampa) in Buddhism and Philosophy from the Drepung Monastic University earned in 1992. He also holds a Master’s degree in English Literature from Panjab University in Chandigarh, India.
Author of several articles on Buddhism, Geshe-la was also a professor of Philosophy at Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies at Sarnath, Varanasi, India for seven years. In addition, he has been the Spiritual Director of LSLK Tibetan Buddhist Center, Knoxville, USA.
Due to his facility in both Tibetan and English, he has served as interpreter and speaker for numerous conferences exploring the interface of Buddhism with modern science, Western philosophy and psychology, and other religious traditions on both a national and international level. His language ability has also enabled him to serve as an English language translator for His Holiness the Dalai Lama throughout the world.
As a published author and translator, Geshe-la’s credits include a Tibetan translation of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s Power of Compassion, a language manual, Learn English through Tibetan, and a critical work on Tsongkhapa’s Speech of Gold. He also serves as a Board Member for Tibet House, New York.
From 2010 until recently, he had served as Senior Resident Teacher at Drepung Loseling Monastery in Atlanta. Around the same time, he began full-time position as Senior Translator/Interpreter with the Center for Contemplative Science and Compassion-based Ethics at Emory University, Atlanta. There he was working in producing a six-year bilingual (English and Tibetan) science curriculum and preparing additional research & pedagogy materials in Modern Science for use in Tibetan monasteries and nunneries.
Geshe-la visited several times, inspiring us with his passion for Madhyamaka philosophy and his sheer joy in sharing Buddha’s teachings. See photos of Geshe-la teaching at Sravasti Abbey in 2016.
The Sravasti Abbey community is delighted that Geshe-la is now a resident teacher at the Abbey. He brings his abundant knowledge, compassion, and humility and acts as an excellent role model for new monastics at the Abbey. Since joining our community, he has decided to go by his ordination name, Venerable Tenzin Chodrak.
Saturday, November 18
We are following up on a report from a woman who reported seeing a Tibetan monk on Thursday or Friday morning, November 9 or 10, near the Sagle, Idaho post office on Idaho Hwy 95, about 40 miles northeast of the Abbey. We have no verification that the person she saw was Geshe la, nor can we corroborate that the person was definitely a monk.
Local media have reported the story and missing person flyers have been posted throughout North Idaho. Businesses near the Sagle post office have checked security cameras, but have seen no images of someone dressed like a monk.
Tibetan lamas continue to advise making strong prayers for Geshe la’s safety and for his return. They especially advise Arya Tara practices to overcome obstacles.
Thursday, November 16
We continue to search and investigate tips to see if they are reliable.
We have received letters of support from the Chief administrator at Drepung Losel Ling Monastery in India and Geshe Yeshe Thabkhe from the Drepung Loseling Institute of Texas among many others. We greatly appreciate the prayers from around the world in support of the search for our teacher.
Wednesday, November 15
The search continues.
The Spokesman-Review has posted an article that summarizes what has happened so far.
Drepung Loseling Monastery (Atlanta), where Geshe-la previously taught, has posted a beautiful letter from their spiritual director. They have posted videos from pujas held in Atlanta and India, including one from the entire assembly at Drepung Loseling.
Geshe-la’s brother, Tsepak Rigzin, has offered a video message from the family. It’s in Tibetan with English subtitles. Please share with all concerned communities.
Tuesday, November 14
A professional tracker, Burke from HARP Rescue, has volunteered his services. His search continued today via horseback to get a different vantage point of the terrain. He will continue tomorrow.
Gala Rinpoche has posted videos of the search terrain on the Drepung Loseling Institute of Texas Facebook page.
Monday, November 13
A Special Prayer Service for Geshe Dadul Namgyal’s Safe Return on Monday, November 13 @ 7 PM Eastern Time
Drepung Loseling Monastery (DLM) in Atlanta invites everyone to join Geshe Lobsang Tenzin and the Drepung Loseling monks for a special prayer service for Geshe Dadul Namgyal’s safe return. They write, “Geshe Dadul Namgyal has been missing since Tuesday, November 7th, and all efforts to locate him by the Pend Oreille County Sheriff’s office, the Sravasti Abbey residents, and dozens of Search and Rescue volunteers, using various methods, have been unsuccessful so far. Despite this and the cold weather in Newport, WA, we remain hopeful that he will be found soon.”
Sunday, November 12
The search for Geshela continues. We are grateful for so many individuals and communities making prayers and doing pujas on his behalf.
Monks of Drepung Loseling in India, especially Geshela’s Khamtsen, are doing extensive practices. Maitripa College and Sakya Monastery in Seattle have offered special pujas as well.
On every step of our search, we have been working hand in hand with the family members of Geshela. We invite your prayers for them too.
At the beginning of her Friday night teaching, Venerable Sangye Khadro gave a short report on the situation and offered ways to use the Dharma to practice with this challenging situation. See it there.
After four days of intense combing and gridding the land on and around the Abbey property, the Pend Oreille County Sheriff’s office and Search and Rescue have concluded that aspect of their search.
Scores of trained and certified rescue workers, along with Abbey residents and friends, have covered the land and buildings multiple times. Searching with trained dogs, drones, and helicopter has yielded no sign of Geshela.
We are now looking further afield. “Missing person” signs are posted throughout our nearby town of Newport. Laminated posters are also posted in the local forest off the Abbey property where hunters have begun their season.
Through Gala Rinpoche and others we are receiving suggestions from Tibetan lamas. All divinations say that Geshela is still alive, and we have no evidence to the contrary. Thus the search continues.
Thanks and going forward
We appreciate yesterday’s visit from Ven. Khenpo Jampa Rinpoche of Sakya Monastery in Seattle, along with four representatives from the Tibetan Association of Washington. They came to offer their support on behalf of the Tibetan community. They also had a chance to talk directly with the sheriff’s deputy about the search. Their brief report is on their Facebook page.
Your practice is the best remedy for your own concern for Geshela and your prayers are welcomed on his behalf. You can do the Tara practice to aid in the search.Ven. Chodron guides the meditation on Green Tara here.
Saturday, November 11th
Gala Rinpoche has arrived from Houston to join the search. Teams will continue to comb the area today.
We will have a Medicine Buddha Puja on November 12. Please register by 1:30 pm Pacific to receive the Zoom link.
Thank you for your prayers, good wishes, and pujas. May all of our prayers come to pass!