Thank You Letter For Ven. Geshe Tenzin Tenphel

The FPMT Basic Program’s residential and on-line students, at the end of the period of study dedicated to the Fourth Chapter of the Ornament to Clear Achievements, wanted to thank with a homage master Geshe Tenzin Tenphel, who teached them for these last three years. The students will continue with the subject on Tantra “Grounds and paths of secret Mantra” with Geshe Jampa Gelek. We share the letter of deep thanks and devotion, written by and on behalf of all the students.

Venerable Master, Geshe Tenzin Tenphel, source of all knowledge and profound inspiration, kind spiritual guide, the kindest of all the Buddhas, we are here, in your presence, after three years of intense teachings that you have tirelessly given with profound knowledge, experience, loving kindness and generosity.

We started this incredible journey together last September 2018.

As the travellers of a special space fleet under the command of an extraordinary Captain such as you are, we set out on this exploratory mission aboard the spaceship of the deep and vast Dharma.

The crew following him, we sensed from the beginning, and found over time, is the best we could have in terms of ability, commitment and dedication.

We wish to remember their names and thank them all from the bottom of our hearts;

Venerable Tzultrim, who assisted us from the beginning, like a mother, an older sister, accompanying us for most of the journey.

Our two Tutors, without whose constant presence and commitment the study would have been incomplete and distinctly difficult to fully understand: Joan for residential students and online English-speaking students; Valentina for the large presence of Italian language students online.

Venerable Dechen and Marta, who together with Joan taught us and guided us in meditation.

Our translators: Chiara who accompanied us at the beginning, to immediately pass the baton to Rita, who has translated until today, and the ever present Daniela; and the translator Sherab, for emergencies.

Without you, since we do not have the merits to hear the teachings directly from the word of the Buddha, whose quality is to be understood directly in the different languages ​​of the listener, we would not have understood anything. You have filled this gap of ours with skill, professionalism, and a great heart.

The didactic office, made up of Beatrice and Jeremy, together with the spiritual coordinator Elisa, who through their work have assisted us with the procurement of teaching materials, communications, updates of our web page, advice and emergency solutions.

The audio and video technicians (Nicola, Renato, Emanuele..), who despite the continuing difficulties caused by this particular period have managed to provide us with this important and indispensable service.

The Venerable Antonella who promptly made us always find the meditation room in perfectly tidy and ready for use.

The whole Institute in its various components; director, deputy director, secretaries’, accountants, communication workers, cooks, cleaners and other services, such as maintenance, garden, travel, and all volunteers. Without this center, conceived, designed and built by its founders, Lama Tubten Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche, with the approval and blessing of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, a curriculum such as Basic would not have had the necessary conditions to be held; without the commitment and determination of Geshe Ciampa Ghiatzo, who created it together with others, today probably the Basic program as we know it would not have existed.

Our journey began with the first subject, “Mind and Cognition”; we have recognized, through the mapping of our mind, that in order not to get lost in its vastness, it is necessary to acquire the teaching of Buddha, which is vast and profound.

With the second subject, “Philosophical systems”, it appeared in its evidence that this path, this faith, is based on reason and not on mere “revelations” and that the conclusions of the different schools of thought to which they refer, may differ one from the other while maintaining their validity and usefulness.

We are in 2019, and unexpectedly a great fear, a great concern dismisses us; our beloved Captain is in danger of his life. A heart attack surprises him in the middle of teaching in Bologna. Fortunately, everything turns out for the best, but GesheLà is forced to discontinue teaching the following subject.

There could not have been a more suitable title, “The Heart Sutra”, which was masterfully guided by Venerable Birgit, with professionalism, knowledge, humility and a good heart. To her a passionate thank you and great gratitude.

In September 2019 GescheLà resumes his teaching by leading us, for 13 weeks, along the stages of the path, the “Lam Rim”; there is a gradual path, the essence of the teachings of Buddha, to be walked, in order to get out of cyclic existence. How fortunate to be inundated with so much wisdom.

We arrive in 2020, and without any of us having ever imagined, nor planned in our uncontrolled and stretch of imaginative conceptualizations, we found ourselves in the midst of a global pandemic, which after about a year and a half, still continues .

In addition to the cost so far, of over 3.5 million victims worldwide, due to the difficulties generated by this, some travelling companions who left with us from the beginning, unfortunately, had to interrupt the study program; our love, understanding and encouragement go to them.

We started like this with this novelty, the first subject of the year 2020, “The Essence of the Tathagata”, also masterfully guided by Venerable Birgit.

“The Essence of the Tathagata” allows us to understand that everyone, absolutely everyone, has the possibility of becoming Buddha. And Thanks to the great compassion and determination of the Tathagata, everyone will become one. If this is the case for everyone, it also applies individually to each one of us.

Revelation, based on valid reasons, so exciting like this, we could not have!

April has arrived, in full lock down. The whole nation is at a standstill, as is the rest of Europe. Flights stopped to and fro from the whole world; so much fear for so many people.

Magically, as if the subject which was about to begin had been specifically programmed to deal with this critical period, the “Mahayana Mental Training” has begun, with the text “The Wheel of Sharp Weapons”

This time only online, to which everyone, even non-subscribers, could access, staying comfortably at their homes.

Thanks to Geshe Tenphel for teaching this text, which gives instructions on how to turn any unpleasant event we encounter in life into the path to enlightenment.

Thanks to the Institute which generously offered everyone this opportunity free of charge.

We arrive in June of the same year, and we begin a journey, which will accompany us until April of this year, for 23 weeks, with the subject “Lifestyle of the Bodhisattva”, which together with the “Lam Rim” is part of those texts necessary and indispensable basis to study and put into practice, to make a significant positive change in the mind.

Twenty-three weeks of Bodhisattvacharyavatara was a great and rare opportunity, invaluable.

In mid-April of this year the last subject taught by the sublime G.Tenzin Tenphel began, the fourth chapter of the “Ornament of Clear Realisations”, which ended today.

If as a result of having studied so far some of us had the illusion of having reached a broad understanding of the Dharma, with the arrival of this text this presumption was ingloriously shattered against the actual difficulty of comprehending.

Now we know what we are entitled to if we decide to continue our studies with the next Masters program; it will still be a good challenge.

During these three years, our guide, our captain, every day, punctually, together with the commentary of the texts, gave us useful instructions for the practice, underlining with experience and refined creativity, the importance and indispensability of the continuous generation of the correct motivation, the vital need for constant control of our mind and thoughts, which ones to adopt and which ones to abandon.

He described the benefits that come from studying, as well as the errors we can face if we are unaware, such as the danger of arisal of a strong pride, which looks down upon those who have not yet done the same course of study, which gives rise to competition with our peers and envy to those with more knowledge.

Our guide during these three years has manifested himself for what he is: the perfect teacher endowed with the 10 qualities.

Like everything that begins, this period of study with Him also ends.

It has been a fantastic and meaningful three years for each one of us, precious Master.

We are grateful to you, enormously grateful, indescribably grateful, Precious Master.

We all hope to receive teachings from you again and again, in this life and in future lives, in all future lives, to be guided by you until the final Liberation is attained.

And please live long and healthy, to continue to benefit beings, not only us, but also all those who will have the same good fortune as us to meet, know and appreciate it.

Thank you, thank you, thank you from all of us from the bottom of our hearts.

9th of June 2021, Pomaia