In this section

February Newsletter

Posted on 1 Feb 2016

February Newsletter
February 2016


Samye Dzong London

Monthly newsletter
Dear Lama  
Happy Losar - for 9th February!  Although the 9th is a Tuesday we will be celebrating Losar at Samye Dzong London in the evening (details below), and we hope you'll be able to join us.

On another happy note, we are delighted to announce that on the weekend of the 5th - 6th March, the Venerable Fifth Minyak Rinpoche, Tulku Ogyen Nyima, will be giving teachings and empowerments at Samye Dzong. For once, I can't think of anything more to add other than, to find out on! 
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
  • The Chenrezig Practice Day  scheduled for Sunday 6th March has been cancelled due to the visit of the Venerable Fifth Minyak Rinpoche over that weekend. However, we do have a Simply Meditation Day on 13th Feb and a Green Tara Practice Day on the 14th, as well as an Amitabha weekend on 20th - 21st Feb. Everyone is welcome to attend and accumulate mantras dedicated to Akong Rinpoche's swift rebirth.
  • Losar (Tibetan New Year) celebrations will be taking place at the Centre on Tuesday 9th February. Please join us for an evening of aspiration prayers to bring in the New Year, followed by food to share from 7.00-9.00 pm.  Offerings of food to share are welcome. The doors of the Centre will be open from 6.00 pm.
  • Volunteer opportunities -We welcome people who are interested in helping out regularly on a weekly basis in the Tibetan Tearoom, or with other work around the centre. If you would like to join our wonderful team of volunteers at the Centre, please contact the office. 
  • Kagyu Monlam - Lama Zangmo will be going with a small group of pilgrims to the Kagyu Monlam, leaving on Tuesday 9th February - Losar - and returning on 1st March. Keep an eye on our Facebook page for updates and regular pictures from the trip.
  • Courage, Confidence and Compassion Through Meditation
    is the new course that Lama Zangmo will be leading on Thursday evenings from 17th March to the 7th April. Full details can be found on the website 
  • While she is in India we will have Thursday Film Nights, so for those of you who usually come to Thursday evening classes, you can continue by listening to HH 17th Gyalwang Karmapa's teachings on the Mahamudra Aspiration Prayer. 
  • A fortunate group will start learning Tibetan language on Friday 5th Feb 7pm from Tenzin Samten-la, an experienced Tibetan language teacher, who is used to teaching non Tibetan speakers. Emaho!
We are very happy to announce that the Fifth Minyak Rinpoche, Tulku Ogyen, is returning to London to confer several precious teachings and empowerments on the weekend of the 5th-6th March.

As part of the mantra accumulation to create the auspicious conditions for Choje Akong Tulku Rinpoche's rebirth we have invited Tulku Ogyen-la to bestow the Amitabha and Chenrezig Empowerments in Kagyu samye Dzong London. His Eminence Tai Situ Rinpoche recommended that all of Akong Rinpoche's students accumulate 100 Million of the following Mantras: Chenrezig, Amitabha, Dorje Sempa, and Guru Rinpoche. So far there have been less Amitabha Mantras accumulated. To increase the accumulations we are holding some Amitabha practice days this year. Everyone is welcome to attend those and simply sit and recite the mantras.

To help us prepare for what is sure to be a very busy weekend at the Centre, PLEASE RESERVE YOUR PLACE. This will make life much easier for everyone on the day.
You can make a donation to help cover the costs using the Paypal button at the bottom of the page on our website. 
Full details of the weekend, including the schedule, can be found on the website. We look forward to seeing you there.
Mindfulness is all the rage but a close reading of the Buddha's teaching on this practice points to a lot of 'body' as well as 'mind'.

Our tired contemporary minds are exhausted by excessive worrying, stress and over-thinking. What we need is a much greater trust and connection with our bodies. Learning to 'earth' our bodies and rest our busy minds in the 'inner space' that meditation opens up is the greatest gift we can give to ourselves.

Working in a supportive group environment, long-term meditator and psychotherapist, Alistair Appleton, guides you through this core practice of meditation. Over the weekend we'll learn to relax the body deeply, understand how stress and anxiety arise, and likewise grasp how we can connect to a more spacious and joyful sense of being alive.

Beingfulness weekend with Alistair Appleton takes place on the weekend of the 6th-7th February. This course is run by Mindsprings and to book your place on the course please visit the Mind-Springs website. 
In this course we will study the Sutra of the Four Foundations of Mindfulness. This teaching of Lord Buddha provides profound and practical adviceon the development of mindfulness, using four aspects:
  • Body
  • Feelings
  • Mind
  • Dharmas
We will look at the various aspects of mindfulness, and there will be explanation of practical methods.

There are many secular forms of mindfulness yet they all have their roots in the Buddhist path. When it comes down to actual practice there isn't such a division between secular or non secular, as the training of the mind is beyond such definitions. Buddhism is often referred to as the Science of Mind, and this sutra provides us with excellent material for investigating our mind and developing deeper stability and clarity.

The Buddha's teaching on mindfulness with Gelong Thubten starts on Friday 11th March, 7.00-8.30 pm and continues over the weekend of the 12th-13th from 10.00-4.00 pm.  You can book your place via the course page  on the website.  Donations can be made by clicking on the PayPal button at the bottom of the page.

This is a departure from what we usually have in the ksdl newsletter - but from time to time it happens that a  well written and insightful piece comes our way,  and it  just begs to be shared. At a  dark time of year, this Letter to Depression is one which can lead towards the light.  Thank you to the author, a regular attendee at the Centre, for sharing this with us. 

"666 Misery Drive
Ghost Town
JA31 11

An open letter to Depression, 

Hello, its me again, I've come to say thank you and goodbye. At first I thought I'd have to live with you for the rest of my life...god knows your depths of lies run deep and feel insurmountable. Your insidious illusion felt very real, could even taste it.  I almost believed you were me but then I realised it was you. Lurking beneath the surface, whispering worries and pulling the strings.  Your limited voice pretending to be me, informing decisions and questioning dreams. How dare you trick me into this coma and like a parasite try to steal my life. I nearly became your host - an unkempt wandering ghost. 

I know you have teamed up with ego and I think you should know, he holds a desperate tongue for he fears for his life. You see, i'm opening an eye of truth to transform his soul and a perception to tear down his mask. Thats how I saw you silently creeping. 

Yet despite the despair I thank you, you have shown me the importance of darkness for without it there is no light. Searching the shadows birthed awareness and insight. I recognise now you are a sign of unmet change, a self-anaesthetic administered when fears are un-faced and transition avoided.  Like the snake who needs to shed its skin but mourns the loss of its former are the terror of being reborn.  A perpetual chrysalis suspended in time whose suppression cannot 

How painful it is to be kept in-between, maintained in a dance of limbo. I will no longer wander this mist of no-mans land for the air is suffocating and full of dis-ease. Ive out-grown this home of melancholy that houses our black dog. It does not serve me, the space is stale and I will not sacrifice my sight. 

I can tell you did not think I'd turn towards you, there are few who rarely do. But in facing you I can truly see me, my unwanted ways, imperfections and past. A paradox of light in a handheld mirror risen by an arm of courage. Can you hear me roar? For I accept what I see and surrender myself, I bow to this blessing of knowing. 

You cannot beat me, for I am you and I have stepped into the power you have hidden. Like a phoenix in the night I rise. For there is an army of ancestors behind me and a swarm of might within. Your distraction of darkness is over old friend, your ways are dusted and done. Now gently take hold of my hand and lets fly into the sun. 
Love, peace, strength"
5- Forthcoming Events
To see the full programme of activities at the Centre, please visit the website.

The Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path
Thu, Feb. 4,  7:00pm - 8:30pm
Lama Zangmo will present an introduction to Buddhism based on the foremost teachings of the Buddha, the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path. The course runs over four Thursday evenings.

Tibetan Language for Beginners with Tenzin Samten
Fridays throughout February,  7:00pm - 8:30pm
An opportunity to learn Tibetan from a mother tongue native Tibetan speaker. Tenzin Samten is an experienced Tibetan language teacher, who is used to teaching non Tibetan speakers. He is currently already running courses at Jamyang Buddhist Centre.

Beingfulness weekend - embodied mindfulness with Alistair Appleton
Sat - Sun Feb. 6 - 7,  10:00am - 5:00pm
Mindfulness is all the rage but a close reading of the Buddha's teaching on this practice points to a lot more 'body' than 'mind'.

Mindfulness Practitioner Certificate Course 2015/16
Sat - Sun Feb. 6 - 7,  10:00am - 5:00pm
This provides a solid foundation in Mindfulness Practice and you are welcome to join this course after completing the Mindfulness Practitioners Foundation course or the Mindfulness in Education module.

Green Tara Puja
Sundays during February,  8:00am - 9:00am
Join us every *Sunday* morning at 8*am* for Green Tara which is a practice that helps to remove fear and obstacles. *As the Centre's main doors are not open until 9.00 am, please let us know if are planning to attend.

Losar Celebration - Losar Tashi Deleg - with the Kagyu Samye Dzong Sangha at Spa Road
Tues, Feb. 9,  7:00pm - 9:00pm
Everyone at Kagyu Samye Dzong London wishes you a Happy Tibetan New Year, the Year of the Male Fire Monkey.

Film night
Thursday evenings from Feb. 11 - 10 Mar,  7:00pm - 8:30pm
Weekly video teachings with His Holiness Gyalwang Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, covering topics relevant for both beginners and more experienced practitioners. Suitable for all.

Simply Meditation Day
Sat, Feb. 13,  9:30am - 5:00pm
A day of extended meditation practice is a chance to get together with fellow practitioners and gain greater depth in the experience of meditation. 

Green Tara Practice Day with Kagyu Samye Dzong London Sangha
Sun, Feb. 14,  8:00am - 5:00pm
Green Tara practice helps us overcome inner and outer obstacles, and especially the obstacles of our own fears and self-doubt.

Medicine Buddha Puja
Sun, Feb. 14,  7:00pm - 8:00pm

Amitabha Practice Weekend
Sat - Sun Feb. 20 - 21,  9:30am - 5:00pm
A weekend of Amitabha practice dedicated to the swift return of our precious Founder and Teacher, Chöje Akong Tulku Rinpoche. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Guru Rinpoche Mantra Day
Sun, Feb. 28,  9:30am - 5:00pm
This will be a day of  accumulation of Guru Rinpoche mantras for Chöje Akong Tulku Rinpoche. This evening we also have our monthly Guru Rinpoche Tsok Puja. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Guru Rinpoche Tsok Puja
Sun, Feb. 28,  7:00pm - 8:30pm

MARCH 2016

Film night
Thursdays, Mar. 3 & 10, 7:00pm - 8:30pm
Weekly video teachings with His Holiness Gyalwang Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, covering topics relevant for both beginners and more experienced practitioners. Suitable for all.

Teachings and empowerments with the Venerable Fifth Minyak Rinpoche, Tulku Ogyen Nyima
Sat Sun, Mar. 5 - 6, 10:00am - 5:00pm

Green Tara Puja
Sundays throughout March, 8:00am - 9:00am
Join us every Sunday morning at 8.00 am for Green Tara which is a practice that helps to remove fear and obstacles. As the Centre's main doors are not open until 9.00 am, please let us know if you are planning to attend.

Chenrezig Practice Day
Sun, Mar. 6, 9:30am - 5:00pm

Introduction to Meditation - a 4 week course with Bernard Mordan from 9th March
Wednesdays from 9th - 30th March, 7:00pm - 8:30pm
To guarantee admission to this course it is essential to book in advance.

The Buddha's teaching on mindfulness - with Gelong Thubten
Fri, Mar. 11, 7:00pm - 8:30pm
Mar. 12 - 13, 10:00am - 4:00pm
An explanation of the traditional Buddhist approach to mindfulness training.

Medicine Buddha Puja
Sun, Mar. 13, 7:00pm - 8:00pm

Courage, Confidence and Compassion through Meditation
Thursdays, Mar. 17 - Apr 7, 7:00pm - 8:30pm
Achieving greater stability of mind through meditation creates an inner space in which negative emotions can be subdued and positive qualities such as courage, confidence and compassion can develop.

A Precious Garland of the Sublime Path
Sat, Mar. 19, 10:00am - 4:00pm
Mindfulness Practitioner Foundation Course
Mar. 19 - 20, 10:00am - 5:00pm

Simply Meditation Day
Sun, Mar. 20, 9:30am - 5:00pm
Come and join the Sangha for a day of silent meditation practice. This is a chance to get together with fellow practitioners and gain greater depth in the experience of meditation.

Taming the Mind Through Meditation - with Lama Zangmo
Mar. 26 - 27, 10:00am - 4:00pm
Different aspects of shinay ("calm abiding") meditation will be taught, including using sight, breathing and inner focus as a method to tame the mind and find inner peace. The weekend will be a combination of meditation instructions and actual practice.

Guru Rinpoche Tsok Puja
Sun, Mar. 27, 7:00pm - 8:30pm