Venerable Geshe Sangey Thinley
Fondly known as Geshe-la, is Jam Tse Dhargyey Ling’s resident spiritual teacher.
Geshe-la is a highly skilled teacher who has attained the highest level of education in the Tibetan monastic system. Geshe-la was born in the Kham Province of eastern Tibet in 1941. When he was seven he was enrolled in the Dhargyey Monastery to begin his studies. In 1957 he went to the great Monastic University of Sera, near Lhasa, this was a 3-month walk at the time.
In 1959 at the Norbu Lingka Palace of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, he took novice monks’ vows from the incomparably kind Kyabje Trijang Dorje Cjang and continued studying, but immediately had to leave because of the military action by the Communist Chinese.
With many others, Geshe-la fled to India and Buxa where three monasteries had been set up. He studied Madhyaaka, Prajnyaparamita and Pamana there for ten years until 1969 when, in accordance with His Holiness’s wishes, he moved to South India to help build the new Sera Monastery. For three years, there was little opportunity to study until the new Sera was completed. In 1973 he began to study, until 1985 when he entered the Lharam class, the highest class in the monastery. He was awarded first-class in the 1989 examinations. He then sat through final Geshe debates before the whole monastery, gaining his Geshe degree in 1990.
From 1991 onwards he taught logic, Buddhist philosophy and practice to the monks at Sera Je School. At the same time, in his house at the monastery, he looked after the needs of 80 students to ensure their shelter, adequate food, health and advise them on conduct.
“In 1998 I had the good fortune to be able to go to Tibet and visit my home country and Dhargyey Monastery, as well as other places of pilgrimage.”
Upon returning back to Sera Monastery, Geshe-la received the invitation to come to New Zealand.
It has been the Centre’s great privilege to have been under Geshe-la’s wisdom, compassion and guidance since October 1999.
Geshe-la’s teachings, which are open to all, give wonderful insights, advice and practical methods on how to deal with issues of daily life with tools to overcome challenges and develop a kind, patient and compassionate mind and heart.