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Akong Tulku Rinpoche in Tibet, 2011

Posted on 26 Jan 2020

Akong Tulku Rinpoche in Tibet, 2011

Kagyu Samye

Dzong London

February Newsletter

News in Brief

  • Lama Zangmo will be speaking at the Buddhist Society about Transforming Fear and Negative Emotions on Wednesday 12th February at 6.30 pm.
  • Happy Losar for Monday 24th February, however you choose to celebrate the Tibetan New Year. This will be the Year of the Male Metal Rodent.
  • There will be a Refuge Ceremony at Samye Ling over Easter with Lama Yeshe Rinpoche for those who would like to formally become Buddhist. Full details can be found on the Samye Ling website
  • Lama Katen, the Deputy Abbott of Samye Ling, will be leading a weekend course at Samye Ling from 14th-16th February. Visit the Samye Ling website to book your place.

1 - Akong Tulku Rinpoche in Tibet, 2011 - a slideshow with Barbara Pfeiffer


On Sunday 9th February, 5.00 - 6.30 pm, Barbara Pfeiffer will give a slideshow and talk about Akong Rinpoche's visit to Tibet in 2011. 

For decades Akong Tulku Rinpoche used to travel annually within Kham and the Tibetan areas of Western China, teaching and meeting people of  the many projects he founded to help the Tibetan people.  

Akong Rinpoche's monastery, Tsawa Dolma Lhakang, is situated in Chamdo province of the autonomous region of Tibet, an area where Westerners are not able to travel very easily these days.  

In 2011 Rinpoche gave a teaching to the community in a town called Bathang. He especially talked about the change in daily habits and the effects of those changes on the environment. 

Barbara Pfeiffer travelled with Akong Rinpoche in Tibet over many years and  is nowadays organizing group trips to the Tibetan areas, travelling in the footsteps of Akong Rinpoche. She will tell stories and show pictures of Akong Rinpoche's teaching on the environment in Bathang and of his monastery Dolma Lhakang.

Everybody is welcome to this inspirational event at  Kagyu Samye Dzong London on Sunday, February 9th at 5.00 pm.  


2 - Introduction to Buddhism with Lama Zangmo


On Saturday 8th February, from 10.00 am - 4.00 pm Lama Zangmo will be giving the first part of a series of talks on Buddhism which will give an overview and understanding of the framework for the Buddhist path. This day will  cover an explanation of the three Jewels - the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha; the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path. There will also be time for Q&A.

The Four Noble Truths

This was the very first teaching that the Buddha gave after he attained enlightenment. It is 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

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 'skilful living' that the Buddha taught is necessary to uproot suffering and its causes, and thus to sever the cycle of conditioned existence.

The Noble Eightfold Path comprises the three essentials of Buddhist training, ethical conduct, mental development and wisdom. (Please note that 'right' in this instance means 'skillful and wise'.)

This course is suitable for anyone wishing to deepen their understanding of the Buddhist teachings. For full details and a list of the other scheduled talks, please visit the event page on the website.   


3 - Happiness and challenges in the 21st Century, with Gelong Thubten


Over the weekend of the 22nd - 23rd February, Gelong Thubten will share insights from his new book 'A Monk's Guide to Happiness: Meditation in the 21st Century'.

The weekend will include talks, meditation instructions and practice sessions. At the end of Saturday afternoon there will be a book signing - copies of the book will be available in the centre's shop.

Thubten's talks will explore how we can learn to be truly happy. What is the nature of happiness, and what are our personal and cultural attitudes concerning happiness and suffering? How can meditation and mindfulness practices help us train our minds, so that we can tap into our innate happiness and inner freedom? There will also be an explanation of how to develop compassion as a core value in our practice and our lives.

For full details of the weekend  please visit the event page on the website. 


    4 - Chenrezig Instructions, with Lama Zangmo


Lama Zangmo will give instructions on the practice of Chenrezig, the Bodhisattva of Compassion.

Lama will go through the text and the course will include instructions in the meaningvisualisationmantra and mudras.Texts are available from the shop.

In order to receive these instructions participants should have formally taken Refuge or be intending to do so.Taking Refuge means formally becoming a Buddhist by taking Refuge in the three jewels (Buddha, Dharma, Sangha.)  

If you are unsure whether you wish to take Refuge, it would be better that you don't join this course just now. You are welcome to attend the more general courses on Buddhism and meditation.  

The Chenrezig practice takes place every Saturday and most Sunday every month. Please refer to the weekly programme for more details.


Join Lama Zangmo to learn about the Ngondro, a practice text by the 9th Karmapa, Wangchuk Dorje, consisting of the four ordinary foundations and the four special foundations.

The four Ordinary Foundations are contemplations on the four thoughts that turn the mind to the Dharma, namely the preciousness of human life, impermanence, karma and its effects, and the sufferings of samsara.

The four Special Foundations are purification and accumulation practices and are: prostrations, recitations of the Dorje Sempa hundred syllable mantra, mandala offerings and guru yoga practice.

The function of the Ngondro is to help us appreciate the importance of Dharma practice, and is a method to practice purification and accumulation of merit.

On Saturday 25th January, Lama Zangmo will give instructions on how to start the first of the special foundations, the refuge and prostrations.

This will be followed on Sunday 1st March by instructions in the Dorje Sempa (Vajrasattva) practice.   It is necessary to have received the Dorje Sempa Empowerment to attend these instructions

PLEASE  NOTE - These courses are only suitable for those who have taken REFUGE and are already familiar with the four ordinary foundations. For the first course you should already wish to start the practice of performing one hundred thousand prostrations.