Traceless Memories gives a rich and detailed account of the life of an American Buddhist practitioner and scholar from his early years filled with magic and mystery to time as a troubled teenager and finally as an accomplished Buddhist practitioner, translator, and teacher. Losang Tsering’s story is an inspiration to fellow Western Buddhists who are navigating their way through the unique landscape of Tibetan Buddhism.
“Traceless Memories by Getsul Losang Tsering (David Gonsalez) will be vastly beneficial to others and is an excellent example of the proper way to practice and how to get the most out of this human life. This is an invaluable contribution to the community. Therefore I sincerely endorse the publication of this autobiography.” — Geshe Kunchok Tenzin, Lharampa Geshe of Ganden Shartse Monastery
Guru Dorje –
Venerable Losang Tsering was my Guru. I have been thinking of this and it is amazing that he brought the Dharma to me, a Tibetan, who had lost it frankly in his drive to become American. It had to be given back to me through the kindness of an American, and I was able to reclaim my own tradition, an amazing gift that the Tibetan culture was able to keep in their Snowy Lands. I say he is American but after reading his autobiography it becomes clear that he has been Tibetan for far longer, it is because of this that Tibetan came so easily to him, learning it conversationally in 4 months or so.
I had heard many of these accounts in my brief time with my Guru in this life. But they are amazing again to hear, I think that it must be understood that it is possible to live like this, that even if we can’t there is great confidence to know that another person has lived like this, for those of us in America it is often good to realize that there is one among us that did live like this, who had many of the experiences we have had in this life; work, western k-12 educational experiences, drugs, rock and roll, difficult family situations, isolation, all of the trappings of a western life, and in spite of this, despite this, or even because of this we can see that he truly made the most of his life. He was so kind.
I do not say this rotely, as a statement that one must say about their Guru, but honestly as I can. he was so sick and taught me, gave me tools in which I can help my loved ones, and taught me tools to see that in all the ten directions are my loved ones, to not diminish who I am with in this life, to elevate that love, to deepen it by removing the bindings of attachment, and use this as the causal force to realize the love that is, frankly, demanded of me for all sentient beings…this is not possible, I think, without a profound practice that must be taught to us by such kind, charismatic, and forceful Gurus, our minds are so deluded and our cultures are in direct opposition to this truth.
There is a moment in this book where he describes his death process in a previous life. And it has stuck with me. That he (we) are surrounded by the deepest most profound love and compassion (my words not his) that permeates all the world, all the beings, all the particles, the very space-that we are never alone-though, because of our ignorance, we seemingly have to practice alone, we seemingly go into death (and life) alone, and many of the text tell us this, because of the ignorance we have to ‘do it’ ourselves, this is true, but we are never alone even as we practice this way. The Buddha’s omniscient mind, the Buddha’s omnipresence are always with us, the Guru is the embodiment of the 3 jewels and they are with us too-filled with the depthless, boundless, love and compassion for us that is not diminished in any way that it is also for all other beings, infinity, the eternal, has no end in each of its engagements.
We are never alone. This passage lets me know. In our prayers to help ‘all sentient beings’ we, I, put out there a wish to be like this too, but I believe we add to this flux of eternal Truth, the Truth that is known by the first concept of “love” and “compassion”. As with all things, we are entangled, we never get away from each other, eternally, even with the rocks and trees, and as we manifest deeds of mind, body, speech, it adds to this matrix. Never mind, this is too long.
Gen La taught me how to Love, in essence, to be Compassionate, and all those I love are forever benefited. He taught me, this hard head, so well that even I believe, when in my normal mind, that it is possible to be like him, to go beyond into that eternal well of Love and Compassion, to fulfill the Bodhisattva’s creed. This book talks briefly about a western man who through the kindness of his Gurus and his indomitable Will was able to ‘do it’. What’s my excuse??? I have none. I bow to you my Guru, I am trying.