Tibetan Buddhist lama Geshe Tashi Tsering has been recognized on the Queen of England’s Birthday 2019 Honours List. The list was released on her official birthday, June 7. As Buddhist Door reports, Tsering was given a British Empire Medal “for services to Buddhism in the UK.”
Tsering was the resident teacher at Jamyang Buddhist Center in London from 1994 to 2018. In 2018, he was asked by the Dalai Lama to be the abbot of Sera Mey Monastic University in India, where in 1987 he received his Geshe Laramapa degree, the equivalent of a doctorate degree, following 16 years of study.
Tsering was one of the first Tibetan lamas to spread Buddhism in Europe, teaching first in France and then London. In 2017, he received an MA in social anthropology at London University’s School of Oriental and African Studies. He is the author of the six-volume series The Foundation of Buddhist Thought.
The British Empire Medal was created in 1922 and is awarded twice a year, once as part of the Queen’s Birthday Honours and once at the New Year. It recognizes “hands-on service to the local community,” and is divided into both civil and military medals. Tsering, who received the civil medal, was among 1,073 people from around the United Kingdom recognized for extraordinary service through a variety of awards and medals, including actress Olivia Coleman and musician Elvis Costello.
Tsering was not the only Buddhist teacher recognized in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours List. Also included was Ajahn Brahm, a monk of the Thai Forest Tradition, who was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia for his work on gender equality.