Neil Meaney, ABC Regional, Australia: Having spoken to Geshe Sonam Thargye, when the monks of Tibet were in Shepparton on their “Sacred footsteps of the world tour”, Breakfast presenter Neil Meaney couldn’t resist the opportunity to meet Geshe in person and have a chat at ABC Goulburn Murray’s Wodonga Studio..
Neil asked Geshe how he came to be in Australia.. “I am now an Aussie monk, I have been here 5 years now, I permanently live here now.. I have one sponsor and she lives in Geelong and first I came when I finished study; Buddhism philosophy at the University, and (had a) holiday, came to Geelong and many local people asked if (I could) stay in Geelong and teach philosophy and meditation and I decided I would stay in Australia and within the last year I am an Australian citizen and I enjoy it very much..”
So did Geshe mind staying? “I believe Australia is a beautiful country, with food and education .. a very good country, but not a good country for monk and nuns.. (for) monks and nuns, Monasteries are best.. here not many Monasteries but (my) personality is a more social life and more contact with other people many different age, different culture, and very open mind and I enjoy it very much.. I like to surf Geelong close to beach and very good for me therefore..”
Why is it so valuable to Meditate.. “..because we need a healthy body.. we must exercise running or good food, that’s the cause and effect.. meditate is exercise of the mind, if you good meditate, you become healthy mind, In our lives its very important; body and mind”
“I meditate normally three times a day.. If I not busy, maybe morning one or two hours and then afternoon and before go to bed..”
Have you spent much time with the Dalai Lama? “..I spent time with him this year.. with almost 14 minutes just him and me.. he is a very humble and .. if you go in there you are amazed you know.. he is just normal.. I’m lucky I am very close to him”
Geshe was also again happy to chant for Neil, but said he wouldn’t be at his best “This morning only one half coffee and not good, if I have two coffee more good..”