In this section

January 2015 Newsletter

Posted on 4 Jan 2015

January 2015 Newsletter

Samye Dzong London

January newsletter




Happy New Year! Welcome to the January Newsletter, and to the Centre after we re-open at 9.00 am on Saturday 10th January.   



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


  • A new programme is now up on the website taking us through from January to September, giving you the chance to plan your Dharma year. Printed copies will soon be available.
  • Course donations - you will notice that Dharma courses run by the Centre no longer give a fixed suggested donation. Instead there is simply a "Donate" button at the bottom of the page. Please read Lama Zangmo's letter for full information about why we are adopting this approach.
  • Choje Lama Yeshe Losal Rinpoche will be teaching on the topic of Developing Your Inner Potential on the weekend of 20th-21st June. A definite date for your diary.
  • Currently in retreat - two of our residents who many of you are familiar with, Damcho and Alan, have joined the 10 week winter retreat on Holy Isle and will be away until the end of March. 
  • Volunteering at the Centre - Samye Dzong London is run by volunteers; some giving a few hours each week; some full-time. We would particularly welcome volunteers with DIY / building / maintenance skills. If you are interested in helping out on a regular basis, see the Volunteering page on the website.  
With the arrival of a new year many people set their intentions for the next 12 months with various resolutions.  If one of your resolutions includes meditation - whether you are a beginner, or somebody looking to return to, or extend their practice -  then we have something for you.


Learn to meditate on one of our introductory courses.    


Modern life can be stressful and busy. Most of the time we are carried along by the force of emotions, habits and conditioning and end up feeling tired and stressed by everyday life. Practicing meditation can change this. Meditation can help bring about a natural sense of peace and well-being that can extend to every aspect of our lives.  


An 8 week Introduction to Meditation course with Bernard Mordan starts at Spa Road on Wednesday 14th January, 7.00 - 8.30 pm. 


Calming the Mind through Mindfulness and Meditation is a 4 week course led by Gelong Trinley in our centre at Manor Place on Thursday evenings from 29th January - 19th February, 7.00 - 8.30 pm.  


Meditating with others can be an important way of reinforcing and extending your practice - it's much easier to meditate as part of a group or community rather than on your own all the time.    


In addition to the regular meditations that can be found on the Weekly Programme on our website there are also monthly retreat days held at Spa Road.  In January we will be holding a Dorje Sempa retreat day on Sunday 18th January. At our Manor Place centre there are also the Simply Meditation afternoons and days which take place each month.  


Whatever your level of interest or practice we hope to see you at some point in 2015.  

"Purification is simply a matter of letting go."   


This course will be about exploring new horizons within the mind to help accept and transform habits. Along the way we will realise that habits are largely the product of social conditioning. But with forgiveness and responsibility it is possible to move forward into a new year rather than being stuck in the past.

The Buddha emphasised again and again the value of "taming the mind." The doorway to serenity cannot be forced open. However, will-power, right effort and strong commitment will help tame the mind and bring more enjoyment to life. The "present tense" becomes the "present relaxed" by learning from the past to change the future.   


This course will investigate the underlying causes of harmful habits and teach simple exercises on how to let them go.   


Clive Holmes has been teaching meditation for the last 20 years all over the UK, as well as in Samye Dzong centres overseas. He has completed over a year in intensive retreat and has studied in Europe and India with teachers from Burma, South East Asia, Japan and Tibet.   


New Year, New Beginnings takes place at Spa Road on Saturday 24th & Sunday 25th January, 10.00 - 4.00 pm.  Book your place now by clicking on the button at the bottom of the course description.  


The Seven Points of Mind Training is a very famous and well known practical text that has been used by many Tibetan Buddhist for the last eight centuries. The texts contains slogans that are designed to awaken the heart with the aim of cultivating loving kindness and compassion towards others. These slogans are extremely valuable as they help us to reduce our self-centeredness and turn towards caring for others, as well as helping us to understand the world as it is. These slogans emphasise meeting daily life situations with wisdom and compassion in any circumstance.

Evaluating your practice

On Saturday 17th January we will look at how to determine whether our Dharma practice has been effective or not; how to measure the progress of our meditation practice and spiritual training. This point explores some of the slogans dealing with the qualities of faith, renunciation, compassion and joy.

Continual practice of meditation and attention to everyday conduct go together, they are two aspects of practice rather than two unrelated activities. When we work with both aspects, true intelligence and compassion can arise.

Lama Zangmo will give teachings on the Mind Training text, meditation instructions as well as instructions and guidance on how to continue the practice at home between the classes. Each day will also include time for meditation and questions.

This course is suitable for those who would like to learn and engage more with spiritual practice,  Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike. It is also suitable as a follow-on for those who have attended the Introduction to Meditation courses.

The Seven Points of Mind Training: evaluating your practice - with Lama Zangmo takes place on Saturday 17th January, 10.00 - 4.00 pm at Spa Road .  You can make a donation for this course using the PayPal button at the bottom of the page.

Samye Dzong London is pleased to be hosting an Introduction to Mindfulness practice session led by Vin Harris on behalf of the Mindfulness Association.  


A few years ago hardly anyone had heard of Mindfulness but now it seems as if it being applied everywhere; schools, hospitals, social workers, businesses, athletes and even politicians are all becoming interested in the benefits of this simple practice of learning to simply pay attention to what is happening.  There is no need to subscribe to a particular doctrine or belief system  All that is required is the willingness to be present and the wish to enhance happiness and reduce suffering.  


An ever growing body of research shows that Mindfulness meditation can really help people learn to survive and thrive in the midst of the stresses and pressures of the modern world we find ourselves in.  Knowing the theory may be interesting but without direct personal experience nothing actually changes.  For this reason the introduction to Mindfulness training will give an insight into what Mindfulness is (and what it is not) with the focus on providing participants with simple practices that they can learn and apply for themselves with a particular emphasis on the benefits of Compassion for oneself and others.


An Introduction to Mindfulness and Compassion takes place at Spa Road on Friday 6th February, 7.00 - 9.00 pm. 
This is followed by the Mindfulness Practitioner Foundation Course on Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th February. 

Lama Zangmo writes:
You may already be aware that Choje Lama Yeshe Losal Rinpoche, the Abbot of Kagyu Samye Ling, made a decision this year in honour of Choje Akong Tulku Rinpoche to offer the Dharma courses in Samye Ling without any course fees.

Here in Kagyu Samye Dzong London we would like to follow this example, and so from January 2015 all our Dharma and meditation courses will be offered without a suggested course fee. We do this with the motivation to make the precious teachings of the Dharma accessible to everyone, and no-one will be excluded due to lack of funds.

Traditionally the Buddhist teachings are given freely because they are considered priceless. In the Buddhist tradition one practices generosity, or Dana, by making monetary offerings for the teachings. This generosity is not payment for goods or services rendered; it is an offering given freely from the heart in appreciation of the Dharma.

There are considerable expenses involved in running a centre, providing all the conditions for study and practice, bringing teachers and maintaining a spiritual community. Your generosity is an offering that supports the centre, the teachers and also helps to sustain the development of the teachings of Lord Buddha for many centuries to come.

Like Samye Ling, we will try this for one year and we hope you will support this step within your means, however great or small, so that it may continue, and so that we can make the offering of Dharma the tradition in the West as it has been in the East.

Please note that courses by external organisations who hire our venue, as well as non-Dharma courses, will continue to have a course fee.
With all good wishes for the coming year.

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



Simply Meditation Afternoon at Manor Place
Sat, Jan. 10, 2:00pm - 6:00pm
Spending time doing extended meditation practice is a chance to get together with fellow practitioners and gain greater depth in the experience of meditation by applying oneself through a series of short meditation sessions.

Medicine Buddha Puja at Spa Road
Sun, Jan. 11, 7:00pm - 8:00pm

Introduction to Meditation - an 8 week course with Bernard Mordan at Spa Road
Wednesdays from Jan. 14 - Mar. 4, 7:00pm - 8:30pm

The Seven Points of Mind Training - evaluating your practice, with Lama Zangmo at Spa Road
Sat, Jan. 17, 10:00am - 4:00am
The Seven Points of Mind Training is a very famous and well known practical text that has been used by many Tibetan Buddhist for the last eight centuries.

Compassion Practitioner Certificate Course at Spa Road
Jan. 17 - 18, 10:00am - 5:00pm
£420 payable in 3 monthly installments of £140.
The Mindfulness Association is re-running this successful and comprehensive training in compassion which is a follow on programme for those who have completed the one year Mindfulness training.

Dorje Sempa Retreat Day - with the Kagyu Samye Dzong Sangha at Spa Road
Sun, Jan. 18, 10:00am - 5:00pm
This day is devoted to the Dorje Sempa practice and dedicated to the swift return of our precious Founder and teacher, Choje Akong Tulku Rinpoche

Simply Meditation Day at Manor Place
Sat, Jan. 24, 10:00am - 5:30pm
Spending time doing extended meditation practice is a chance to get together with fellow practitioners and gain greater depth in the experience of meditation by applying oneself through a series of short meditation sessions.

New Year, New Beginnings with Clive Holmes at Spa Road
Jan. 24 - 25, 10:00am - 4:00pm

Guru Rinpoche Tsok Puja at Spa Road
Sun, Jan. 25, 7:00pm - 8:30pm

Calming the Mind through Mindfulness and Meditation - with Gelong Trinley at Manor Place

Thursdays from Jan. 29 - Feb. 19, 7:00pm - 8:30pm
Meditation is the art of finding peace and happiness within by using simple methods of calming and stabilising our minds, through the practice of mindfulness.

2015 Contemplative Group Dynamics Training for Mindfulness Teachers at Spa Road
Jan. 31 - Feb. 1, 2015 10:00am - 5:00pm.





Inner Potential - Inner Peace with Lama Zangmo at Spa Road at Spa RoadThursdays Feb. 5 - 19, 7:00pm - 8:30pm
Universal basic goodness, or Buddha nature, refers to how we are all in essence innately pure. The challenge is to face ourselves, and then embark on a journey of personal growth and discovery to develop our latent potential.

An Introduction to Mindfulness and Compassion - Ancient Wisdom for our Modern World - with Vin Harris at Spa Road
Fri, Feb. 6, 2015 7:00pm - 9:00pm

Mindfulness Practitioner Foundation Course at Spa Road
Feb. 7 - 8, 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.

Simply Meditation Afternoon at Manor Place
Sat, Feb. 7, 2:00pm - 6:00pm

Medicine Buddha Puja at Spa Road
Sun, Feb. 8, 7:00pm - 8:00pm

Simply Meditation Day at Manor Place
Sat, Feb. 14, 10:00am - 5:30pm

The Seven Points of Mind Training - Serving Others, with Lama Zangmo at Spa Road
Sat, Feb. 14, 10:00am - 4:00pm

Mantra Recitation Day for Akong Tulku Rinpoche with Kagyu Samye Dzong London at Spa Road
Sun, Feb. 15, 9:30am - 5:00pm
Join the Kagyu Samye Dzong London Sangha for a day of accumulation of mantras for Choje Akong Tulku Rinpoche. The morning will be dedicated to accumulating Guru Rinpoche mantras and the afternoon dedicated to accumulating the Chenrezig mantras.

Losar Celebration - Losar Tashi Deleg - with the Kagyu Samye Dzong Sangha at Spa Road at Spa Road
Fri, Feb. 20, 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Everyone at Kagyu Samye Dzong London wishes you a Happy Tibetan New Year, the Year of the Female Wood Sheep.  May the coming year be full of abundance, peace and happiness for all.

Guru Rinpoche Tsok Puja at Spa Road
Sun, Feb. 22, 7:00pm - 8:30pm

The Mantra of Compassion and Working with the Emotions - with Gelong Thubten at Spa Road
Fri, Feb. 27, 2015 7:00pm - 8:30pm
This talk explains the six syllable mantra of Chenrezig,  Om Mani Peme Hung. In this teaching we will look at how the mantra transforms our negative emotions, using visualisation and mantra recitation.

How the Dharma came to Tibet, with Gelong Thubten at Spa Road
Feb. 28 - Mar. 1, 2015 10:00am - 4:00pm
A summary of the history of Tibetan Buddhism, with the stories of Guru Rinpoche, the establishment of Samye - the first monastery of Tibet, and the introduction to Tibet of the various lineages of Lord Buddha's teachings.