Speaking from the hospital in Rochester, Minnesota where he is undergoing precautionary prostate treatment, His Holiness the Dalai Lama offered a brief message on the occasion of the upcoming Tibetan New Year (Losar, beginning Feb. 9 and lasting 15 days). There, he reassured friends and supporters that he is in good health and is being well looked after by hospital staff. His message focused on expressing his appreciation to those who have sent prayers and well-wishes for his health and recovery, reassuring them: “And I want to tell you that I am doing very well. The treatment only takes a few minutes every day, but it will take time to complete the treatment. It’s nothing complicated, it’s not serious, there’s nothing to worry about.”
He then went on to encourage us not to simply take the Tibetan New Year as an “opportunity to offer ‘che-ma’, drink ‘chang’, and gamble.” The meaning of ‘Tashi’ -as in the Tibetan greeting “tashi delek”- is:
If you create the causes of happiness, if you lead your life in benefiting others and not harming them, that’s a meaningful life, a life that has ‘tashi’. On that basis saying ‘Tashi Delek’ means ‘May you be happy in the here and now and, as we Buddhists say, may you finally achieve definite goodness.’
With that, the Dalai Lama wished all a ‘Losar Tashi Delek’ and requested that all “please try to live up to what it means.”
*correction, an earlier version of this article had Feb 8 as the start of Losar.