There is a culture of not looking after the sick

Unfortunately in most Dharma centres we have experienced that sickness is not looked upon with compassion. Many people who suffer from illnesses like M.E., cancer, nervous break-downs, arthritis and many other long tern illness that need patience and care, are asked to leave their home, the centre.

People who can not fulfil the many commitments to their current choice of study programme and the retreat commitments of that programme due to illness or work are told to leave that programme. It is our understanding that you are expected to be on a programme of some description or you have to leave the centre. People who can not also keep up their ‘voluntary’ work and cleaning areas are also asked to leave the centre.

So as a sick person if you can not keep up a study programme, your retreat commitments, your cleaning area and your ‘voluntary work you are perceived either as lazy or a burden and encouraged in one way or another to leave the centre.

At Manjushri centre a few years ago, there was a long standing joke that a dog who lived there called Tara would eventually be asked to leave because she wasn’t doing any centre work.

We understand that Geshe Kelsang has repeatedly said that sick people are not to be treated in this way but they still are and we feel it is really a disgusting way to treat people.

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