This is a copy of a letter I wrote to my teacher – Geshe Thubten Loden – a few days before leaving for Ph.D. in Tasmania (2009). I am publishing it here now as a means to create the merit for Geshe-la’s quick return (He passed away in 2011).
This letter is to say thank you for the kindness you have shown me over the past 14 years, in particular the teachings, initiations, and daily guidance I received from you over that time.
You have been more than a father, more than a mother, more than a best friend. You put a roof over my head, fed me, and helped me find work. You have taught me everything from philosophy to politics, from meditation to the benefits of eating well. You have given me initiations into the highest yoga tantra meditations, along with the vows, as well as bodhicitta vows and ordination as a Buddhist monk.
Your generosity, patience, and compassionate actions are extraordinary. Your peerless skill in leading others from an unenlightened to an enlightened experience is truly amazing. Through your guidance, I have learned the value of hard work and the value of caring for others.
You have shown me that courage, wisdom, and perseverance are necessary conditions for success in whatever endeavor we choose in life. I feel truly blessed to be your student and will never forget these priceless lessons.
Thank you also for making my recent trip to India far easier and more beneficial than it would have been if not for your letters. As you know, rarely are private audiences with His Holiness the Dalai Lama granted.
Through your kindness, however, I was granted a private audience with His Holiness. This alone requires a big, thank you.
Moreover, please forgive me for all the many mistakes I’ve made throughout the years. For all the times I misunderstood your instructions or simply didn’t listen properly.
Even though I will never come close to repaying your kindness, I hope, in time, and in some small way, I can repay a little by working to benefit others.
It is for these reasons, albeit with a twinge of sadness, that I feel it is important to move to Tasmania in order to ensure that I do well and complete the Ph.D.
Please continue to bless, guide, and inspire us for many years to come.