19 September 2022

Geshe Kelsang Gyatso (1931--Sept. 17, 2022)

The celebrated and accomplished Tibetan monk and "geshe" (advanced practitioner/scholar) in the Kadam or Gelug tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, has died. He died Saturday. He was 91. His followers refer to his passing as "showing us the way to pass peacefully into the clear light." 

I formerly considered Geshe Kelsang my "spiritual teacher" and it was from his teachings, writings, and disciples' teachings that my husband and I learned what we were able to about traditional Tibetan Buddhist thought and practice. I still regard him as a great teacher and wonderful example, despite some aspects of the tradition he created ("New Kadampa Tradition") that I, at any rate, found unsupportable and in some cases not believable. We mark his passing with sadness but also with recognition that his time had come and he did accept and understand passing "into the clear light" as another part of the life of a spiritual teacher.  

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