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After Adopting 123 Kids, Former Buddhist Monk Transforms Education with Gen-la Lobsang Phuntsok (Episode #104)

There is nothing quite as enlightening as listening to the insights of someone who has been to the edge and back. Today’s guest – Lobsang Phuntsok – had been to many edges of human existence. He was abandoned at birth, left under dry leaves by his 13 year old mother, but rescued to grow up as a Buddhist Monk. After an amazing journey of insight, he is now “Dad” to 123 children in an amazing family that is also a school and community that could fundamentally change the goals of education worldwide.

About Our Guest

Lobsang’s years as a Monk were foundational to his clarity on life’s complexity and eventually, he found himself being one of 10 young monks trained, under the guidance of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, to share Tibetan Buddhism with the West. 

He lived in the U.S. and Canada for more than a decade and then, in 2006, he felt called to leave his life as a spiritual teacher in the United States, and returned to the region of his birth with a dream of rescuing unwanted children like he once was. 

Now, for 16 years, high up in the Himalayan mountains of northeast India, on the border with Bhutan, is a community, family, school for abandoned children that is changing the world. And everyone involved is showing the world what’s possible when we educate children to be very smart, and how to be the kinds of adults we all want to be around. 

It is time for a leap in what we think is possible in education.

People can support Jhamtse Gatsal and its mission with these three options:

– watching and sharing the Emmy Award winning documentary (short) ‘Tashi and The Monk which can be done using this link https://jhamtseinternational.org/tashi  This is the best Jhamtse (love and compassion) amplifier they have.

– support the current Jhamtse Gatsal Plastic Recycling Program campaign using this link https://recycle.jhamtseinternational.org/ and supported by this story https://recycle.jhamtseinternational.org/page/more-information

– sponsor a child using this link https://jhamtseinternational.org/sponsor-a-child  Sponsorship establishes a meaningful connection and long term support that has a generational impact.

Show Notes

[00:00- 06:55] Opening

[06:56- 14:50]

  • Mark Twain – “I have never let my schooling interfere with my education”
  • What is the purpose of education?
  • Every child has a right to the equal education
  • Scope of potential and competence
  • Jhamtse practice
  • Educating heart, mind and body
  • People are realizing that there is something wrong with our education

[14:51- 19:48]

  • We are teaching children to act in response to the situation rather than to create the world that they deserve
  • India
  • 5 global issues
  • We are making children stress out
  • Teach children to be lovers of all kind rather than fighter of their future
  • Primary responsibility as parents and as teachers
  • The future belongs to the children and we need to empower them

[19:49- 24:38]

  • How often do you make decisions out of love? Out of fear?
  • Indian education system
  • Integration of heart, mind and body
  • Japanese
  • Even when you clean you can transform your life
  • Educating heart, mind and body is essential

[24:39- 34:42]

  • Seeds of Sequoia trees
  • We don’t grow trees anymore, we grow bonzai trees
  • Our culture, our mindset is limiting the full potential, the full growth of human beings
  • Three essential practice in our day-to-day life
  • Garden of Love and Compassion

[34:43- 41:10]

  • The result is not so important at this time for us, the process is more important 
  • The power of giving
  • The source of happiness is gratitude
  • We need to figure out how we can help children to heal
  • Human machine
  • Dr. Martin Luther King 
  • Discipline
  • Building the habit
  • Harmonizing three energies
  • How your body say “I love you”
  • “If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michaelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.

[41:11- 45:10]

  • Joy of Contribution
  • We teach the importance of generosity
  • How your day is going to be today?
  • Happiness, peace is a choice.
  • Creating the day you deserve is your love for yourself

[45:11- 48:04] BREAK

[48:05- 01:01:19]

  • Everybody is educator
  • Holistic approach
  • Leave it cleaner than when you find it
  • Plastic waste management
  • We cannot control the world, but we can control our behavior
  • True education is practice and discipline
  • Plastic as social enterprise
  • Chinese trash in Himalayas
  • Small act of kindness will have a huge impact
  • If were going to clean the oceans, we have to start with the rivers

[01:01:20- 01:17:07]

  • The power of Inter-dependence
  • We need to come together and find the problem
  • Angola
  • Every wrong thing we do we understand the consequence of negative impact
  • Skipping one meal a week
  • Two kinds of compassion
  • Suffering and pain can be cause of compassion
  • Observe and reflect

[01:17:08- 01:22:14]

  • I don’t need charity
  • If you want to give, give that because the children are the real change maker
  • Children’s community is 18-19 hours drive to airport

[01:22:15- 01:25:48]

[01:25:49- 01:26:36] Closing

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