By Rashika Stephens (Fa Hua)

Rashika wrote this moving dedication to send late Geshe Dadul Namgyal (Tenzn Chodrak) on to his next life with love and appreciation. Geshela passed away in 2023. He was a Buddhist monk and resident teacher whose kindness, compassion, and sharp intelligence spurred his students on the path to awakening.

I have been thinking a lot about Geshela and I wanted to share some of my hopes and prayers for him. I imagine this while I’m chanting the Medicine Buddha mantra. Thinking of him passing into his next life like this makes me smile, and I thought it might make other people smile.

Although I don’t know if my thoughts about the pure lands are 100% accurate, these are still nice thoughts!

I like to imagine Geshela being reborn in Amitabha’s pure land, Sukhavati, arriving there seated on a fully open lotus with his wonderful big and bright smile, joyously waiting to hear the teachings directly from Amitabha Buddha himself!

I imagine Geshela being overjoyed with the sight of all the living beings that, through great effort, have achieved a wonderful rebirth in a pure land.

I imagine Geshela and the other beings in the pure land preparing their offerings for the Buddhas.

I can see Geshela complimenting the other beings on their offerings, saying how wonderful their offerings are and that the Buddha will surely be pleased! 

I imagine Geshela inviting others to make offerings to the Buddha with him!

I see his wonderful smile growing bigger and brighter as he rejoices in the virtuous activities taking place and all the merit that will be dedicated to progress along the path. All the while, he is dedicating the merits of his own rejoicing in the virtuous activities of all holy and ordinary beings. Dedicating it to the awakening of all sentient beings!

I see Geshla discussing the Dharma with other sages in the pure land. Despite having an ocean of Dharma wisdom, he always speaks with the upmost sincerity and humility, expressing that this is just his limited understanding. Advising others to constantly request teachings and contemplate those teachings, he encourages them to openly discuss Dharma with other practitioners and to request guidance from the wise ones. And he encourages them to always trust their practice [of ethical conduct]!

I imagine Geshela smiling, listening in awe of the wind blowing against the tree and the magical sounds like an endless number of sentient beings chanting the Diamond Sutra.

I see Geshela with single-pointed concentration. Enjoying a brief moment of stillness. Listening to the birds singing the Heart Sutra in perfect harmony as they fly overhead! 

I imagine Geshela looking up at the clear night sky, being reminded of clear-light mind that all sentient beings possess—our true Buddha nature. 

I imagine the water of the rivers in Sukhavti, waters that are pure, clean, sweet and nectar like. There are an endless number of precious gems at the rivers’ beds—the water symbolizing the clear nature of the mind. The jewels that rest at the river bed instantly invoke feelings of great joy and comfort, reminding all that the Three Jewels are a reliable source of refuge!

I imagine Geshela receiving a prediction of his awakening directly from Amitabha himself, while in the pure land he gives rise to the awakened mind and achieves full awakening! 

Now possessing every good quality imaginable and having developed them to their fullest extent, now being able to join in all the awakened activities of a Buddha, now having gained the ability of swift magical and limitless emanations, now having given rise to the omniscient mind, he repeatedly appears in all samsaric realms. There he expertly teaches the holy, liberating Dharma. 

With his wonderful smile, big heart, great sense of humor and joyous effort, he vows to take rebirth in the samsaric realms. Until all beings achieve the true peace of non-abiding nirvana!

Thank you Geshela! Hopefully I’ll get the opportunity to sit across from you in the dining hall and discuss the Dharma again soon!

If this dedication makes your heart sing, please insert the name of your loved one who has left this life and is going on to the next life.