Geshe Tenzin Chodrak (Dadul Namgyal), 64, has been missing for more than a week from Sravasti Abbey, an American Buddhist community in eastern Washington state. Geshe Tenzin, commonly known as Geshe-la, was last seen walking on the evening of November 7 on the abbey's 121-acre property. After numerous efforts, the Pend Oreille County Sheriff's Office said they stopped the ground search while volunteers continued their efforts.
Geshe-la had become the abbey's first male teacher earlier this year. He has been a monk for more than four decades and was seen as a welcome leader to help the abbey's growing community of monks.
Before moving to Sravasti Abbey, Geshe-la was affiliated with the Center for Contemplative Science and Compassion-Based Ethics at Emory University, based in Atlanta. He also served for 13 years as senior resident teacher of Drepung Loseling Monastery in Atlanta. There he helped formulate a scientific program for Tibetan monks. The move to Sravasti was meant to serve as a semi-retirement for the monk.
A search began last week, immediately after he was reported missing from a bid ceremony. Local authorities used dogs, drones and a helicopter to try to locate him. Depending on the direction of his walk, he could have ended up in one of the many large, heavily wooded areas, or he could have crossed and followed one of the logging or residential roads that crisscross the surrounding area.
“We were all surprised. We were all very worried,” said Ven. Thubten Chonyi, a senior Buddhist nun at the abbey. “He is a wonderful scholar, a wonderful teacher and an excellent practitioner. » (KXLY)
About his disappearance, Chonyi said: “We assumed his march yesterday somewhere along the line. He walked in places he didn't know, or he walked in places, who knows if he fell or something. (KXLY)
Despite the suspension of official searches, volunteers, including a professional tracker, persist in their efforts, sharing updates on social media.
Fri. Sangye Khadro offered advice to the Sravasti Abbey community on using Dharma in such difficult times:
It doesn't help to let the mind get carried away with unhappy thoughts and worries. It is better to accept the situation and you can still do things on a spiritual level. We can always do prayers and practices and meditations, so there are things like that that we can do that are much more productive and much more helpful than unnecessary worries, fears, and anxieties.
(The spokesperson's review)
Fri. Thubten Chodron, the abbey's founder, said in a video posted on November 11: "Gesha-la has years and years of experience practicing Dharma, and in these kinds of situations he would take and give meditation. and he would do that all night and he would just take and give, take and give. She added: “If you think he's in a lot of pain, yes, have faith in his training. » (Religion unplugged)
Buddhist communities around the world, including Drepung Loseling Monastery in Atlanta and Maitripa College in Oregon, have engaged in special prayers and services for Geshe-la. A post updated Nov. 15 on the Sravasti Abbey website said the search was continuing.
The public is asked to call the Sheriff's Office at (509) 447-3151 if they hear or see anything relevant to the case. Posters representing the image of Geshe-la have been posted around the abbey where hunters and hikers can encounter them.