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New - teachings by Gelong Thubten during July and August

Posted on 4 Jul 2014


New - teachings by Gelong Thubten during July and August
July/August 2014
 
Kagyu
 
Samye
 
Dzong
 
London

Monthly newsletter

 

Welcome to the July/August Newsletter. The picture at the top this month is of HH 17th Karmapa having just arrived at Kamalashila on his first visit to Europe. You can see many more pictures on Facebook and, on our own website, a gallery of the UK expedition which set off from Samye Dzong London        

Contents
 
Kagyu Samye Dzong aims to provide a place of peace and tranquility for all in central London, with the shrine room available for individuals to come and sit during the day.  For full details of the Centre, including the programme of evening meditations and forthcoming events, visit the website.
News in Brief
  • Extra events at Spa Road - Gelong Thubten is offering a number of evening and weekend courses during July and August.  These are not in the printed programme. See below for more details.    
  • Don't forget the summer closure which is approaching with alarming speed. Both Spa Road and Manor Place will close at 9.00 pm on Sunday 27th July and reopen on Wednesday 13th August.  
  • Volunteer day at Spa Road - gather those karmic brownie points, plus bonus cups of tea while helping clean up the Centre before our summer closure.  
  • Manor Place change of open hours - from the beginning of July until 10th September, Manor Place will only be open on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 6.00 - 8.30 pm, and from 2.00 - 6.00 pm on Sundays.  
  • There will be no Medicine Buddha or Guru Rinpoche pujas during July and August while the sangha are in Samye Ling for Drupon Rinpoche's teachings.  The normal programme of pujas will resume in September.       
  • Official Announcement Regarding the Passing of Kunzig Shamar Rinpoche from the Gyalwang Karmapa -  You may have heard that on 11th  June the 14th Kunzig Shamar Rinpoche died suddenly in Germany at the age of 62. A statement by His Holiness can be found on the website. 
    Dates for your diary 
  • Choje Lama Yeshe Losal Rinpoche - will be giving a Refuge Ceremony on Friday 26th September, followed by teachings on Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th September. More details to follow. 

  • The Calling of the Mandala - a one-day art therapy workshop with Phillipe Jacquet will be taking place at Spa Road on Saturday 20th September.  More details can be found on the website.      

  •  Embracing death and dying - a celebration of life through reflection on death will be taking place on Sunday 16th November
    at Spa Road.  The day will inlcude a Death Cafe where you get to drink tea, eat cake and talk about death.  We are also looking for a solicitor to give a workshop/talk on how to write a Will - if you know anybody who can help, please get in touch.  
Meditation - a deeper approach to dealing with stress

Gelong Thubten will explain, over three weeks, methods for transforming our attitudes to stress, as well as our way of dealing with stressful situations and relationships. Meditation is an ancient technique but completely applicable to modern times, and can be practised regardless of religion.

Each week's session will build on the last. Subjects covered will include meditation and mindfulness, tolerance and improving working relationships, as well as using awareness to implement better working practices.

This is a weekly course taking place every Friday evening between the 4th to the 18th July from 19.00 and 20.30 and is perfect for beginners. It is possible to drop in for one-off classes.

 

The Buddhist Approach to Change and Death 

 

Over the weekend of the 19th-20th July, this weekend will focus on the Tibetan Buddhist approach to dealing with change, as well as death and the process of dying.
Everything is naturallyimpermanent, yet we find it hard to accept this truth. We suffer when we resist change, however we can learn to wake up to the reality of the constant flow of impermanence, through contemplation and reflection. This can enable us to develop deeper  acceptance and wisdom.

 
The Buddha, the Four Noble Truths and Meditation

 

Over the weekend of the 16th-17th August this course will cover the life and first teaching of Lord Buddha, as well as some instructions on meditation.
The Buddha's life story is rich with teaching and symbolic meaning. Through learning about the story and its inner meaning, we can develop more faith, confidence and commitment for our own practice and path.  Through studying the Four Noble Truths, we can develop a deeper understanding of the states of suffering and happiness, both our own and that of others, as well as the path to Buddhahood.
There will also be meditation instructions given during this weekend.
These teachings are suitable for those who are new to Buddhism as well as the more experienced. 

You  can book your place for any of these courses online by following the links above for each one and scrolling to the bottom of the page for that event.  Alternatively you can contact the Centre's office on 020 3327 1650.
This workshop will be focused around personal practice. It will enable people to gain personal experience of various mindfulness and compassion practices drawn from a combination of Western therapeutic and Buddhist approaches as outlined in the book 'Mindful Compassion' (2013) by Paul and Choden. This practice workshop will introduce a range of breathing, body focusing and imagery practices in a step by step way that supports the development of a mindful  compassionate self, and learning how to focus it for the benefit of self and others.  

A key theme of this workshop will be developing our compassionate
capacity as way of (re)organising the mind and balancing our often
over-activated threat and drive systems that cause so much stress and
unhappiness.
 
The workshop will cover the following practices:   
  • Practicing mindfulness meditation focused on settling and stabilising the mind - including soothing breathing rhythm- and grounding in the
    body;  
  • Working with acceptance using the RAIN method: recognising,
    allowing, intimate attention and non-identification;  
  • Integrating RAIN with the compassion focused therapy approach to
    compassion that distinguishes between qualities needed for engagement with suffering and those needed for its alleviation and prevention.  
  • Exploring the process of creating an inner environment of safeness
    within the mind;  
  • Cultivating self-compassion practices working with body and breath;  
  • Working with compassionate imagery and imagining receiving
    compassion from an idealised other - our perfect nurturer;  
  • Cultivating the compassionate self using both method acting and
    meditation techniques;  
  • Focusing the compassionate self on the parts of ourselves that
    struggle, such as the anxious self, the angry self and the self-critical self;  
  • Working with fears, blocks and resistances to compassion;  
  • Widening our circle of compassion to include others using Buddhist
    practices like Tonglen. 
There is a registration pack for this workshop, or you can email the organisers. Attendance at this four day workshop is £395.

Thank you to Marilena Hettema who took the following notes during the Karmapa's teachings in Berlin during June and offered to share them here: 

 

"Karmapa's parents were his first spiritual teachers and taught him that all animals are our parents and should be treated with care and affection, even the smallest insect and ants need respect for their lives and treated with kindness. What Karmapa learned from his parents is kindness for all beings as a way of life, not from Buddhist theory. Their kindness and what he learned from them is a great inspiration and a source of great trust for him. Intellectual training can make lots of thoughts and the knots of doubt can become tighter than before. We have the quality of loving kindness innate, it is inborn. We then either further cultivate it, or let it diminish. Karmapa still remembers vividly the pain of the animals during the autumn slaughter time, as his family did not have access to vegetables, so they had to kill the animals to eat. The animals suffered a terrible death as the custom in his area is to kill the animal by suffocating, closing off the mouth and nose. It dies a very painful and slow death, it takes about one hour for it to die. But afterwards, he would certainly eat the meat, maybe he was one of the biggest meat eaters! His feeling of compassion then became hardened, as it seemed useless to have such feelings, as they had to eat the meat to survive. Meat was his favourite food, and it still is his favourite food, but he has been vegetarian for six years only. Now he does not have any favourite food, it all tastes the same.

 

We all love animals naturally, cats, dogs, birds, so we need to increase this feeling towards all animals and all people. This can arise naturally, it can slowly increase for all beings. This can arise naturally, uncreated, it can slowly increase for all beings. Otherwise, my compassion is very weak, because I switch it on and off, I am saying: this is not my business, and this lack of compassion is the greatest killer in the world today. All of us have this compassion, and we can develop it naturally. The connection between a bee and a flower is like the connection between a mother and child. It is like that for all of us, each of us is a part of the web of life that makes this planet and the whole of the solar system, all the planets and the universe. We humans are connected to each other, it is not like me-here and you-there, but we are all part of each other, we live in each other's space. The compassion means that you act, where you see some need. Not from me-here to you-there, as if from over here to over there, but from your heart. It is about much more than just being nice to each other, asking 'where are you from' and so on. It means that there is not separation between us. If we all keep sitting in our own little space, nothing will ever change."   

 

If you were unable to either go to Germany yourself, or watch the teachings when they were streamed live, you can still catch-up. Recordings of these talks are available to view or download from the Karmapa's official website. 

To see the full programme of activities at the Centre, please visit the website.

 

PLEASE NOTE - for courses run by Samye Dzong London, prices mentioned are suggested course donations only. A lack of funds should not prevent anybody from attending.

    

JULY 2014   


Meditation - a deeper approach to dealing with stress at Spa Road

with Gelong Thubten
Fridays 4th, 11th and 18th July, 7.00 - 8.30 pm

Suggested contribution: £30
Gelong Thubten will explain, over three weeks, methods for transforming our attitudes to stress, as well as our way of dealing with stressful situations and relationships.
 

The Buddhist approach to Change and Death at Spa Road

with Gelong Thubten

Saturday and Sunday 19th - 20th July, 10:00am - 4:00pm

Suggested contribution: £55
This weekend will focus on the Tibetan Buddhist approach to dealing with change, as well as death and the process of dying.


Volunteer Day at Spa Road 

Saturday 26th July, 10:00am - 5:00pm
Come and join in a general clean-up of the centre before the summer closure. Wear your old clothes for this day of: scrubbing cleaning dusting polishing sweeping drinking tea, etc. 


Summer Closure at Spa Road
28th July - 13th August 
The centre close for its annual summer break at 9.00 pm on Sunday 27th July and will re-open on Wednesday 13th of August.  


AUGUST 2014  

 

The Buddha, the Four Noble Truths and Meditation at Spa Road
with Gelong Thubten
Saturday and Sunday 16th - 17th August
Suggested donation: £55
This weekend course will cover the life and first teaching of Lord Buddha, as well as some instructions on meditation.   

  
Mindful Compassion: A Personal Practice Workshop at Spa Road

with Paul Gilbert and Choden

Wednesday 20th - Saturday 23rd August, all day.

Suggested contribution: £395 

This workshop will be focused around personal practice. It will enable people to gain personal experience of various mindfulness and compassion practices drawn from a combination of Western therapeutic and Buddhist approaches as outlined in the book 'Mindful Compassion' (2013) by Paul and Choden. 

 

Introduction to Back to Beginnings at Spa Road

with Susan Atkin 

Saturday 30th - Sunday 31st August, 10.00 - 4.30 pm
Suggested contribution: £60 

This is the second open weekend and continues to give an opportunity to find out more about "Back to Beginnings" which forms part of the Tara Rokpa Therapy process.