July 16, 2009
July 16, 2009.... It’s the time of the year again where all of us come together as a family to celebrate our dearest teacher Geshe Tenzin Zopa’s 34thbirthday and we are indeed blessed to have spent another meritorious, wonderful, fulfilling and fun packed year with him. Countless thanks Geshe-la for being part of LDC and our Family!!!
That day however turned out to be an “extra special” day as we had Khadro-la visiting us and LDC combined Geshe Zopa’s birthday celebration together with Khadro-la’s welcome dinner into one big celebration. That really drew a large crowd to LDC!!!
Like always, our party was pot luck style and members took time and effort to cook, bake and some placed order of their favourite food, deserts... etc. Like all previous years, Geshe Zopa had the karma to receive so many birthday cakes and they were rich and heavenly deserts. How rejoicing!!! The food was delicious and simply irresistible. Plus there were so much food, members not only had the opportunity to eat in but take away as well. ;-D
Many students and members of LDC got involved in the preparation in one way or another for this occasion. There was plentiful of ideas that were filled with enthusiasm and hard work by everyone. A group of talented kinds from the “Dharma for Kids” class started the ball rolling with a great show and a few song presentation for Geshe Zopa and another song presentation for Khadro-a. This was followed by a rap performance by Clarence and a special birthday message for Geshe-la from all his students, written by William, Huei and myself. Geshe Zopa listened attentively when William and I (representing all LDC members) read the message to him. Please scroll down below to view those pictures taken during the pot luck, copy of rap performance and the birthday message.
Generous members of LDC also queued up to offer kata and personal offerings to both Geshe-la and Khadro-la. Such rejoicing moments!!
Posted by Candy Tan
Rap Performance by Clarence.
Not many will hear what you’ll say,
But whether you can hustle or at least portray.
Life is like a battle its one of the same,
They don’t see the face,
They just see the chains.
But you’re there when I hustle,
You’re there every time,
When I’m in the office,
Or when I am in the front line.
Your words of wisdom I will surely follow,
Taking me back and guiding my tomorrow.
In this crazy world with so much rage,
I’m a burnt book,
But you give me a new front page.
When I am down in submission,
You are there to listen,
As though its your mission,
With trust and compassion.
So when I go out thumping the streets,
I know I won’t feel samsaric defeat.
In my darkest hour you always come to me.
With your words of wisdom you set me free.
The fog is gone my eyes are no clear to see.
So even when you are close or far away,
I know you are with me everyday.
Life takes me down and makes my palms sweaty,
And yet this burden called karma is not that heavy.
You give me strength and unlimited power,
Teaching me to care and trust one another.
A guide to the trust you are my light,
That shines away through the darkest night,
And like that light that shines so bright,
You never go away without a fight.
And what I say is definitely true,
There is no one on Earth just like you.
Birthday Message from LDC members,
To our most beloved and dearest Geshe Tenzin Zopa,
Some of us have known you before you became our “Geshe-la” in LDC. At that time, you projected yourself as a simple monk but we always felt you are someone special and full of wisdom. You have always been a shy and humble person and yet accommodating and approachable. That “simple monk” is today our Geshela who has numerous students not only from Malaysia but from around the world, who treat you as their holy teacher and some even as their root guru.
Geshe-la, you are truly a person who practices what you teach. An extra ordinary person whose experience doesn’t seem to match your age, being full of wisdom and living in the six perfections. One of your special characteristics is your contagious laughter to everything, whether good or bad.
You give so much to the point of forgetting about yourself.
You are simple and you accept any food offering without any fuss or complaints even though your doctor has told you to eat certain types of food due to your poor health.
You have adjusted remarkably well in Malaysia after only two and a half years that you now speak with a Malaysian accent and some typical Malaysian words like “kiasu” and “cannot tahan”!! You’ve learned well our ways, the weather, the people, their lifestyles and all their good and bad habits.
Geshe Zopa, you are truly a 21st century Guru with extremely high standards and expectations too. You’ve set very high standard for yourself, the centre you represent and all your students and disciples. You take the trouble to go all out to learn and get to know about everything so that you can relate more to our daily lives, like attending functions, sports activities and other mundane things. This is because you have to play many roles besides being a Geshe-la. You are our Teacher, our Dharma brother, a marriage counsellor, a career, business and financial consultant, our personal doctor and health adviser, child care adviser, education consultant and a family counsellor. At times, you also play the role of an entertainer to cheer those who are feeling down and going through bad times. You also play a great host to those who visits Kopan monastery in Nepal and make them feel really like home. And how can we forget, Geshe Zopa you are also an actor, sometimes humouring us, sometimes showing the folly of our ways!!!
Geshe-la, you don’t get bored meeting with people of all levels, whether they are just a child, a difficult to handle and confused teenager, many funny and weird adults or simply old and fussy people. You tirelessly listen to people and their endless problems. You tried so many methods to communicate with everyone from all walks of life, not only to people whom you know but to strangers whom you get to know by chance (locally in Malaysia, in Kopan or around the world during your travels) or those who just decide to walk into the centre to seek help.
Due to your inquisitive nature, you are genuinely interested to know more about a person’s welfare and you easily get people to open up and talk about themselves as you always offer to lend not one but both your ears to them. You show endless love and care to everyone equally and we have no doubt you are a guru who practices equanimity.
You use so many different styles and ways to reach out to these people and spread the teaching of Shakyamuni Buddha – through teachings, publications, emails, phone, text messages, personal consultation, personal blog, LDC and FPMT website.
You are flexible and resourceful and are truly an entrepreneur in the sangha community. Through your great guru devotion, you can actualise so many big dreams that even for normal corporation would be a challenge- from building stupas, handling fund raisings and taking charge of monasteries to starring in movies. Your current “Unmistaken Child” is taking the movie world by storm and had created so much awareness for Buddhism in general! Is there anything you can’t do?? ;-)
Dearest Geshe-la, your teachings are clear, precise, full of wisdom with explicit explanations. Your way of using real life examples only reinforce the teachings and we rejoice at your endless patience with everyone with their “ridiculous and repetitive” questions. Your dharma classes are truly enjoyable with the way you inject humour, satire and creative ways to ensure that the lessons cut through the clutter of our ignorant minds.
Your direct, ‘no nonsense’ way of teachings and giving real-life examples has mesmerized your students, creating quite amongst us, quite an addiction to your teachings! Without the need for a translator, you are able to communicate with us directly. How precious!
Without forgetting the root of the teachings, you are very strict to all your students to practice all rituals, teachings and practices according to the unbroken lineage of Shakyamuni Buddha. Geshe-la, you are no different from any Buddha and his teachings. You represent the 84,000 teachings of holy dharma and through you, you have opened the doors to enlightenment for many of us and we are indeed blessed to have you in our lives. Thank you Geshe-la! No words can express our appreciation to you! We promise never to take you and your presence for granted and we will continue to treasure every moment we have with you as you have thought us well enough to practice ‘impermanence’.
Geshe Tenzin Zopa, please, please, please continue to live long and healthily and turn the wheel of dharma in Malaysia in particularly in Losang Dragpa Centre, and to benefit everyone of your devoted disciples and students with your holy advice, teachings and your presence here.
Everyone of us here in LDC, with much love and endless devotion, wishes you a wonderful 34th birthday filled with limitless power to accomplish all your Dharma works and loads of happiness and fun on this special day and always, and may you continue to have many great years ahead and may we have the glorious karma to spend those wonderful years with you.
We like to include this message to you with a special paragraph taken from the text “Words of My Perfect Teacher”...
You are the great ship carrying us beyond the seas of samsaric existence,
The true navigator, unerring charting the sublime path,
The rain of nectar quenching the inferno of emotions and actions,
The sun and moon dispelling the darkness of ignorance,
You are the earth, immensely patient,
The wish granting tree, source of help and happiness,
The perfect vase containing the treasure of the Dharma,
You provide all things, more than a wish-granting gem,
You are a father and mother, loving all equally,
Your compassion is as vast and swift as a great river,
Your joy is unchanging like the king of mountains,
Your impartiality cannot be disturbed, like rain from a cloud.
Our dear Geshe Tenzin Zopa, we conclude this message by respectfully requesting Geshe-la’s forgiveness to all us members and students for any wrong action of body, speech and mind that we have committed towards Geshe-la. Delusions sit heavily in our minds and thus need Geshe-la’s compassion to forgive us.
Geshe-la, we beseech and supplicate to you to please have a long and stable life and remain with us here at LDC to turn the wheel of Dharma, until each and every one of us attain enlightenment. Please Geshe-la, remain with us for this purpose, please Geshe-la never leave us for this reason and may the holy Dharma flourish in Malaysia and in this whole universe because Geshe-la chooses to remain with us to guide us to enlightenment. Please live long, please live long, please live long!!!
Your birthday makes this day very special... just like you!
Happy birthday Geshe Zopa!!!
Pictures taken by Bel and Candy