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In Mandala October-December 2013, Geshe Thubten Jinpa writes about the benefits of the Sera Je Food Fund, an FPMT Charitable Project dedicated to offering three meals a day to the 2,500 monks of Sera Je Monastery.
A 78-year-old monk walks back and forth two times every day for the meal being served in the main prayer hall of Sera Je Monastic University, situated in South India. After each meal, he comes back with a half-loaf of bread that he did not finish. I thought the leftover bread would go in the garbage bin, but I was wrong. He puts the bread in the sun and lets it dry. Later in the day when his young disciples come back hungry from class, he offers the dry piece of bread as a snack with a cup of black tea.
This old monk has been doing this for decades. Now it is just a habit, but 30 years ago he started this ritual out of helplessness and responsibility. In those days, senior monks who had young disciples had to save half of their food so that their young pupils could eat and be able to continue their studies in the evening without an empty stomach.
… Today, the Sera Je Food Fund provides highly nutritious meals, hygienically prepared for thousands of monks every day. Since the food fund started in 1991, the health of all the monks improved dramatically. They are now able to devote their full time to their Dharma studies without worrying about their meals or if they will have enough food. The most significant impact of the Sera Je Food Fund can be seen by the increase of numbers of the monks, and that senior monks like Geshe Wangchen are now able to accept as many new students as they can without worry.
From Mandala October-December 2013
Currently, the Sera Je Food Fund offers over 3 million meals annually. You can learn more about the fund and make a contribution to the project online.
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About Mandala Publications
Mandala Publications is the official publication of the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), an international charitable organization founded by two Tibetan Buddhist masters, Lama Thubten Yeshe (1935-1984) and Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche. FPMT is a vibrant international community, with a network of 160 affiliate centers, projects and services, and members in more than 30 countries.
Mandala print magazine is published in January, April, July and October. Mandala is available via the Friends of FPMT program.