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November Newsletter

Posted on 30 Oct 2016


November Newsletter
 

November 2016

 
Kagyu
Samye  
Dzong
London
Monthly newsletter
Dear Lama  
 
Welcome to the November Newsletter in which you'll be able to find all the usual opportunities for learning about Buddhism and practicing meditation.  And while it's wonderful to be able to take these chances, we'd also like to provide those who can with the opportunity to give through volunteering. To find out more about both the chances to learn and to help others...read on. 
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
   
  • Medicine Buddha instructions and practice - on Saturday 12th November Lama Zangmo will be giving instructions for the Medicine Buddha puja which takes place at the Centre on the second Sunday of each month. This will be followed by a practice day with the Samye Dzong Sangha on Sunday 13th. Full details can be found on the website
  • Winter closure -
    yes, it is getting towards that time of year again!  The Centre will close its doors at 9.00 pm on Sunday 18th December and will not reopen until 2.00 pm on Wednesday 11th January 2017.
  • Would you like to live at Samye Dzong London? - From time to time rented accommodation becomes available at the Centre and, for those so inclined, there are also full-time residential volunteer positions (see article below). If you are interested in meditation and Buddhism, and would like to live in a Buddhist community, please contact the office.
David Bates writes:

"When I first came across Samye Dzong London in 1998 I was completely unfamiliar with Tibetan Buddhism and, in all honesty, looked on it with a little suspicion. However what kept me coming back was the feel of the community - wholesome and right.

Later that year, when I left my job, I decided to volunteer at the Centre for a couple of days a week - cooking in the mornings and clearing up the garden in the afternoons.  Some 18 years later I'm still here volunteering - preparing the email newsletter and helping with the website in particular.

So what's kept me here all this time?  I suppose that first and foremost there is the satisfaction of making a difference to something that I think is profoundly worthwhile. In the days when I did less meditation than I do now, I referred to the Chenrezig Puja at the weekend as my "one guaranteed hour of sanity each week". If anywhere provides some respite from the sometimes overwhelming busy-ness of modern life, it's the Centre. I know what difference it's made to me and I like supporting it so that others can benefit too.

Friendship, community and mutual support - you can't volunteer in a place like this and not make friends fairly quickly. The people who volunteer here are generally friendly and helpful: we've all got a common purpose in working for the Centre and over the years, when trouble has come my way, the community has always been there for me. 

The path and the lineage - when I first came across Buddhism, it just made sense to me but putting the teachings into practice isn't as easy as reading about them.  At the Centre we have the wisdom of Lama Zangmo, and regular visits from some pretty amazing teachers.  This is a real privilege, and one which is only possible because there are volunteers to run the Centre and keep it open.

Volunteering at Samye Dzong London:
 
Samye Dzong runs on a mixture of volunteers:

There are those who regularly come to the Centre to help out in whatever capacity they can. The key word here is "regularly" as we need to know what jobs are being covered and when.

Then there are the full-time residential volunteers. In exchange for their labour they receive not just bed and board, but all the benefits listed above and a really cool place to live.

What jobs need doing?

In a building this size there is always something that needs doing and our volunteers do a pretty diverse range of work from managing the office, helping run the tea room, cooking, cleaning, and for those with more specialist skills and/or knowledge, there may be other avenues to explore.

At the moment we are particularly looking for somebody to cook for three days a week (Mondays, Tuesdays and either Thursday or Friday) - but if you want to volunteer in any other capacity, please don't hold back.

If you are interested in volunteering at the Centre, please contact the office either by phone on 020 3327 1650, or by email
This day of teachings is for anyone who would like to learn about or gain greater familiarity with the Buddha's teachings.

During the day Lama Zangmo will cover the fundamentals and framework for the Buddhist path, including the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path.

The Four Noble Truths is the very first teaching that the Buddha gave after he attained enlightenment. It is also referred to as the 'First Turning of the Wheel of Dharma' because it represents the first phase of the Buddha's teaching. It is called a 'wheel' because it is a means for travelling the path to enlightenment in much the same way that a wheel enables a vehicle to move along a road.

The Noble Eightfold Path is the essence of the Middle Way, the path between the extremes of self indulgence and denial. It contains eight interrelated aspects that make up the 'skillful living' that the Buddha taught is necessary to uproot suffering and its causes, and thus to sever the cycle of conditioned existence.

If you would like to get to grips with these essential teachings, we hope to see you on this one-day workshop.

An introduction to Buddhism with Lama Zangmo takes place on Sunday 6th November, 10.00-4.00. Book your place now by visiting the course page and clicking on the Donate button at the bottom of the page.

Alistair is running a Winter weekend exploring the "four immeasurables" or Brahma Viharas.

Central to almost all Buddhist schools, these four mind states are said to be the perfect 'atmosphere' of the mind for humans negotiating the ups and downs of life.

Drawing on his experience as a meditator and as a therapist, Alistair encourages to us to make these mind states come alive in a very vivid, somatic way.

The course will first look at the habitual frames that we put onto life and which typically make us suffer and then look at the somatic practices of 'heart training' that can help us free up our mind to receive the world with love, joy, compassion and equanimity.

This course is suitable for people with no experience of meditation or Buddhism and for those wanting to revisit these core teachings in a fresh way.
 
Tender is the Heart with Alistair Appleton takes place on the weekend of 26th-27th November, 10.00-5.00 on both days. You can book your place now by visiting the Mind-Springs website.
In modern life we are often left feeling like there is never enough time. Busy and over-worked, as we embark on one activity our minds tend to be already planning and worrying about the next.

This creates a vicious cycle of compulsive doing and distraction which causes us great stress and offers little peace. Most of the time the only way we can find peace is to 'switch off'. We collapse in front of the television or deaden our feelings by getting drunk or using drugs. These things, of course, are not real peace at all. They are simply forms of avoidance and distraction, and if we live this way long enough, we start to feel unhappy, stressed and out of touch with ourselves. It can even negatively impact our health. 

On Saturday 5th November, Lama Zangmo will lead a one-day workshop on Taming the Mind during which she will be teaching different aspects of shinay ("calm abiding") meditation, including using sight, breathing and inner focus as a method to tame the mind and find inner peace.

The day will be a combination of meditation instructions and actual practice sessions, including some walking meditation.

Taming the Mind with Lama Zangmo is suitable as a follow-up for beginners and for those who want to refresh their understanding. It takes place on Saturday 5th November, 10.00-4.00.  You can book your place now by visiting the course page and clicking on the Donate button at the bottom. 
 
    a5
5 - Forthcoming Events
To see the full programme of activities at the Centre, please visit the website.

There is a separate page listing all the meditation sessions each week.


NOVEMBER 2016

Rain of Wisdom with Lama Zangmo
Thursdays throughout November, 7:00pm - 8:30pm
Many people are familiar with the Hundred Thousand Songs of Milarepa. Lama Zangmo will go through some of the Dohas of Milarepa as well as other Lineage Masters.

Taming the Mind - with Lama Zangmo
Sat, Nov. 5, 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 sessions.

Mindfulness Practitioner Foundation Course
Nov. 5 - 6, 2016 10:00am - 5:00pm
This course is an Introduction to the foundations of Mindfulness, which is suitable for beginners and for those who already have a Mindfulness practice.

Introduction to Buddhism with Lama Zangmo
Sun, Nov. 6, 2016 10:00am - 4:00pm
This day of teachings will give beginners an understanding of the fundamentals and framework for the Buddhist path, covering themes including the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path.

Introduction to Meditation - a 4 week course with Bernard Mordan
Wednesdays from Nov. 9th - 30th, 7:00pm - 8:30pm.
 
Medicine Buddha instructions and practice with Lama Zangmo
Nov. 12 - 13, 2016 10:00am - 4:00pm
Employing the skilful techniques of mantra and visualisation the Medicine Buddha practice is an effective way to balance the physical, mental and spiritual health of ourselves and others.

Compassion Practitioner Certificate Course
Nov. 12 - 13, 2016 10:00am - 5:00pm

Medicine Buddha Puja
Sun, Nov. 13, 2016 7:00pm - 8:00pm
Employing the skilful techniques of mantra and visualisation the Medicine Buddha practice is an effective way to balance the physical, mental and spiritual health of ourselves and others.

A Precious Garland of the Sublime Path
Sat, Nov. 19, 2016 10:00am - 4:00pm
In "A Precious Garland" Gampopa gives precise instructions on the correct view, meditation and conductand succinctly outlines in 28 categories what we need to know at every stage of the path in order to perfect our spiritual practice.

Simply Meditation Day
Sun, Nov. 20, 2016 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. It is an ideal environment where those.

Mindfulness Practitioner Certificate Course 2016
Nov. 26 - 27, 2016 10:00am - 5:00pm

Tender is the Heart
Nov. 26 - 27, 2016 10:00am - 5:00pm
Alistair Appleton is running a Winter weekend exploring the "four immeasurables" or Brahma Viharas.

Guru Rinpoche Tsok Puja
Sun, Nov. 27, 2016 7:00pm - 8:30pm

DECEMBER 2016

Rain of Wisdom with Lama Zangmo
Thu, Dec. 1st and 8th,  7:00pm - 8:30pm
Many people are familiar with the Hundred Thousand Songs of Milarepa. Lama Zangmo will go through some of the Dohas of Milarepa as well as other Lineage Masters.

Simply Meditation Day
Sat, Dec. 3,  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.

Green Tara Practice Day with Kagyu Samye Dzong London Sangha
Sun, Dec. 4,  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. This day of practice will be dedicated to the long life and activity of His Holiness 17th Karmapa.

Prostrations Retreat Day with the Kagyu Samye Dzong Sangha
Sat, Dec. 10,  9:30am - 5:00pm
Join the Sangha for a day dedicated to the first part of the Ngondro practice - prostrations. This day is suitable for anyone who has already started the Ngondro practice.

Vajrasattva Retreat Day with Kagyu Samye Dzong London Sangha
Sun, Dec. 11,  9:30am - 5:00pm
Join the Sangha for a day dedicated to the recitation and accumulation of the hundred syllable mantra dedicated to the swift rebirth of our precious Founder, Choje Akong Tulku Rinpoche.

Medicine Buddha Puja
Sun, Dec. 11,  7:00pm - 8:00pm

Insight Practitioner Certificate Course
Dec. 17 - 18,  10:00am - 5:00pm
The Mindfulness Association's Insight Practitioner Certificate course is a training in deepening our recognition of psychological process. It is suitable for those who have completed the Mindfulness Association's Mindfulness Practitioner Certificate course (or Mindfulness One Year Training) and Compassion Practitioner Certificate.

A Precious Garland of the Sublime Path
Sat, Dec. 17,  10:00am - 4:00pm
In "A Precious Garland" Gampopa gives precise instructions on the correct view, meditation and conductand succinctly outlines in 28 categories what we need to know at every stage of the path in order to perfect our spiritual practice.

Simply Meditation Day
Sun, Dec. 18,  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.

Winter Closure
Dec. 19,  - Jan. 10, 2017
The Centre will close after the Chenrezig Puja on Sunday 18th December and will reopen on Wednesday 11th January 2017. We wish everybody a very happy holiday season.