A Hidden Yogi and Master – The Most Ven. Geshe Dadul Namgyal la

It is a great loss for Dharma and sentient beings that such an enlightened master has left the world, while at the peak of service to both Dharma and sentient beings. It is our lack of karma to continue to reap the benefit of the presence of such an enlightened master that this has come to pass.

My condolences to all the family members of Ven. Geshe Dadul la, and the members of Sravasti Abbey – his students.

Let us fervently pray that the lotus feet of Ven . Geshe Dadul la’s reincarnation appears in a place where there will be greatest benefit for Dharma and sentient beings, just as much as he was an incredibly great light of Nalanda Buddha Dharma in this life.

Particularly, I request and join with Sravasti Abbey students of Ven. Geshe la, to make the prayers that Ven. Geshe la’s reincarnation appears and once again gives teachings to liberate the wandering sentient beings in samsara like us, to students in the vibrant Sravasti Abbey thriving under the leadership of Ven. Thupten Chodron la, and future students from all over the world.

May His Holiness the Dalai Lama, all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas bless us that this prayer of ours comes to fruition and blossoms for the benefit of all dear mother sentient beings.

Geshe Dorjee Damdul

Geshe Dorji Damdul
Tibet House
Cultural Center of H.H. The Dalai Lama
New Delhi

Geshe Dorjee Damdul
Dear Venerable Thubten Chodron and comunity,

I recently learned of the passing of my friend, Geshe Dadul, whose life ended tragically in a pond on the Abbey’s property. I’m profoundly saddened by this loss. Recognizing that we cannot change what has transpired, it is essential for us to embrace this with skillful means that lead toward Buddhahood. Let us join in prayer for the continuity and spiritual journey of Geshe-la. May he achieve full enlightenment and succeed in alleviating the suffering of the world as he wished.

Warm regards,
Geshe Yeshi Lhundup

A Ministry of Veradale UCC
611N Progress Road
Spokane Valley, WA 99037
January 13, 2024

Letter from Faith Leaders and Leaders of Conscience

Dear Venerable Thubten Chodron, Venerable Sangye Khadro, and all that practice Dharma at Sravasti Abbey,

We join with you in remembering Venerable Geshe Tenzen Chodrak and grieve that we will not get to know his humble, thoughtful teachings in this life.

Our spiritual practices join with yours in understanding that death is inseparable from life. May you find refuge in the sangha. May the experience of the humble, thoughtful, knowledgeable teachings of your beloved Geshe-la be with you all along your monastic path.

With compassion,

The Reverend Genavieve Heywood
Convener of Faith leaders and Leaders of Conscience of Eastern Washington and North Idaho and Pastor of Veradale UCC
Pam Silverstein, MD
Jewish Community member
Naghmana Ahmed-Sherazi
Muslims for Community Action and Support
Samantha Mumford
Church Council Member, Veradale UCC
Jim Anderson Murphy
St. Clare Ecumenical Catholic Communion
Mark Hamlin
The Reverend Roger Hudson
United Methodist Church
The Reverend Rose Mary Volbrecht
St. Clare Ecumenical Catholic Communion
The Reverend Kaye Hult
United Church of Christ, member of Shalom Church in Spokane
The Reverend Walter Kendricks
Pastor, Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church
Brianna Dilts
Faith Action Network
Senator Maralyn Chase
Sr. Pat Millen, OSF
Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia
The Right Reverend Gretchen Rehberg
Bishop, The Episcopal Diocese of Spokane
The Very Reverend Heather VanDeventer
St. John’s Cathedral
Joan Berkowitz
Jewish Community member
Don Young
Life Deacons Chair, Veradale UCC
Jan Young
Life Deacons, Veradale UCC
Mary Noble MD
Jewish Community member
Elise DeGooyer
Executive Director, Faith Action Network
Teresa McCann
Spokane Pax Christi
Linda Kobe-Smith
St Clare Ecumenical Catholic Communion
Mary Stamp
The Fig Tree
William Aal
Principal Associate Tools for Change
The Reverend Jim CastroLang
United Church of Christ and Board Member, Faith Action Network
The Reverend Pamela Starbuck
Manito Presbyterian Church
The Reverend Dr. Scott Starbuck
Manito Presbyterian Church
The Reverend Andy CastroLang
United Church of Christ
Joan Broeckling
Unity Spiritual Center member
The Reverend Rick Matters
Episcopal Church
Petra Hoy
Community Organizer
Jennifer Gale Compau

As Geshe-la

By Ven. Thubten Ngawang

As Geshe Dadul, I learned from you first in Atlanta as a newcomer to Dharma
As Guest Teacher, you inspired me at the abbey with your praise of bodhicitta
As my acharya, you dressed me in clothes of liberation, repeatedly showing me how
As Resident Teacher, you offered me a field of merit by serving you, many times reluctantly
As spiritual father, I became close to you, felt safe with you, looked up to you
As Geshe Chodrak, I relied on you for my first varsa, without knowing what to do
As playful brother, we balanced a pinecone on the hood of Haroldina down Yamantka
As silly schoolboy, we delighted in a winter picnic, snow flying into soup as we ate
As regular passenger, I drove you to appointments, once leaving you too long unattended
As Tibetan monk, you showed me my cultural blindness and arrogant disregard for tradition
As Virtuous One, you were amends attester, instructing a new monk in Vinaya
As valuable lesson, I prepared a place for you with resentment unknowingly for the last time
As Missing Monk, you illuminated my denial, shock, proliferation and confusion
As uncle, brother, I reconnected to humanity, familial love, tender care and compassion
As transient being, you taught impermanence, duhkha and selflessness one final time
As simply Geshe-la, I respectfully bow

Geshe-la, With Love

By kt rusch

Walking in the fresh mountain air
the fragrance of the cool abbey incense pervading beyond the walls
the soft light of autumn reflecting upon trees,
the crisp swish of warm maroon robes
the light step of footprint to earth
headtop suspended
wholesome breath
heart open.

a slanting spear of light reflects between the trees onto a spiral glitter of ice

I have a mind that asks why
that seeks a linear chain of cause and effect
and a unified wholeness
a clarity of reasoning
and a ruler to measure.
it’s ok
to right now at this moment
not know
the vast web of love and karma.

Ponds, aquifers, streams and rivers
one river gives it’s journey to the next, writes poet Alberto Rios

I imagine the ‘Nagas’ of North America
(water panthers and snakes,
honored with ancient mounds
that surround the springs and wetlands,
the entrances and pathways to worlds
the ancient ones revered for communication and harmony).

just a fleeting thought of Geshe la in meeting
they hold him gently and give him the precise teaching
harmony, balance, wisdom, and so much more.

I let go of my imagination
and feelings
into a smooth stream of gratitude
and just simply breathe into the connection,
for one who benefited so many lovely students.

Thank you sweet teacher.

Poem for Geshe-la

By Ven. Thubten Pelgye

Never take for granted
A smile with a person
A breath I take
An afflicted mind

This great loss to us
Shows us nothing will last
Its a good teaching to appreciate and cherish
Before anything vanish

The I that never ultimately exist
Impermanence never cease
The disgust of cyclic existence
Spur me to renunciation

Through this great teaching
May we become closer to what we want to be
What we aspire to be
And eventually becoming what we can be

Geshe la live forever in our heart
We repay his kindness by practicing hard
Wherever he may be
I know he will be free

The big smile, reassurance and walks
Are etched in my memory non-stop
As I continue to be free from the waves of samsara
His teachings are deep and will spread far…

Wise Compassion

From local friend Linnaea

I think a lot about Geshe Dadul. After listening to the poems, praises, and life story of Geshela spoken during the Medicine Buddha Puja, read in the posts, and heard on the videos on Sravasti website, I am awed by his service to many different projects, his teachings and many other ways of benefiting sentient beings. Such a breadth and depth of practice. I can feel his wise compassion through those he met.

Geshe-la Taught Humility

A talk by Ven. Thubten Chonyi