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June Newsletter

Posted on 14 Jun 2017

June Newsletter

June 2017


Kagyu Samye  Dzong London

Monthly newsletter
Welcome to the June Newsletter. Well, what a May that was!  Following the visit of His Holiness the 17th Karmapa we've had a little time to draw breath, but even as we do so time marches on.  While we start the newsletter with a letter from Lama Zangmo reflecting on the visit of His Holiness, there is plenty to look forward to as well.  To find out what's coming up, read 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
  • Summer closure - please note that the Centre will be closed from the 24th July - 15th August inclusive.

  • Master Hai Tao will be teaching at the Centre on Saturday 22nd July.  Details to follow in the next newsletter.

  • A Green Tara Drawing Course led by Ani Semchi takes place on the weekend of 22nd-23rd July. Numbers are limited, must be booked in advance.

  • Lama Zangmo will be leading an 8 day retreat at Samye Ling from 12th-20th August. The retreat programme will be a balanced schedule of teaching sessions, breaks and plenty of time given to meditation sessions throughout the day. Full details can be found on the Samye Ling website.
  • Daughters of Buddha -is a project through which you can both acquire high quality photos taken by Olivier Adam, including of the London visit of His Holiness the 17th Karmapa. The profits from this go to support the Tibetan Nun's Project. The photo at the top of this month's newsletter is an example of Olivier's work and you can see more of his beautiful images in the online shop.
  • Lothlorien (Rokpa Trust) is a Buddhist influenced therapeutic community for people with mental health problems situated in a quiet rural setting in SW Scotland. They are currently seeking:
  • Full-time live-in volunteers who can commit for a minimum of six months. Daily activities include organic vegetable gardening, relaxation, artwork, etc. Also:
  • A Therapeutic Gardening Co-ordinator (male) who can inspire residents to connect with gardening as a route to recovery and wellbeing.
  • Fundraising evening with Lama Yeshe Rinpoche - 7th July
  • Skills Auction - if you would like to contribute to the skills auction please get in touch. In previous years offerings have included a wide range of things
    All money raised during the evening will be going to the Circle of Nourishment project and the Akong Memorial Foundation.
Lama Zangmo writes:

"Dear Friends,                               
As you know, H.H. 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, made his first historic visit to the UK this May. His Holiness wasn't able to go to Samye Ling, but we were incredibly fortunate to be able to welcome him to Kagyu Samye Dzong London on 22 May. It was a wonderful visit that we will treasure.
This was understood to be a visit by proxy to the organisation of Rokpa Trust as a whole and affiliated Centres worldwide, and many people connected to Samye Ling travelled to London for this special time.
Knowing that there was limited space, we had to make difficult decisions, as we knew we would not be able to include everybody. Inevitably some people would be disappointed. Many friends have attended events here for years and would naturally like to be present at such an important time at their own dharma centre.

We came to the decision to invite several representatives from all the Samye Dzongs as well as representatives of the many activities under Rokpa Trust. I hope that you understand there was simply no space to contain the sheer number of people connected to the centre and to Samye Ling. However, that does not diminish your closeness or the fact that we value you as a practitioner and a part of the community.

Samye Dzong London was a hive of activity and felt more than ever like a proper monastery, with more than 35 Lamas, monks and nuns staying over and visiting from other centres. Ordained and lay representatives from Samye Dzongs in Spain, Belgium, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Germany. Finland, Iceland, Ireland and of course from all the UK centres including Samye Ling as well as Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, Scarborough, Cardiff, Surrey and Holy Isle, in total more than 175 people were present. It was a great family gathering indeed.
From the time we acquired the centre in 2009 untill now, we have been anticipating this visit. Choje Akong Tulku Rinpoche had prepared for it for years before he passed away, and had gathered and labelled all the precious objects needed. Akong Rinpoche's devotion to His Holiness was evident in all the care he had taken in the preparation; this visit was what he had also been anticipating for so long.
One of the things I treasure the most from the visit was seeing H.H. Karmapa and Lama Yeshe together. The joy, humour and affection between them was natural and inspiring. His Holiness was informal and seemed to feel at home.

Seeing His Holiness on the throne in the shrineroom was a joy and at the end of his talk His Holiness gave us the good news, to loud applause, that he has a two year visa and is hoping to return before too long.
May we all receive the blessings of his compassionate and powerful presence again and again. 

Best wishes
Lama Zangmo."
You can see news items and photos about the entire UK visit on the  Karmapa's official website, including the Karmapa's Heart Advice to Kagyu Samye Ling and Samye Dzong which includes a large number of photos from the day.

We are now rapidly approaching the much anticipated annual visit of our precious Abbot, Choje Lama Yeshe Losal Rinpoche.

On the evening of Friday 7th July from 6.30 pm we'll be holding our annual Courtyard Fundraising evening for the Akong Memorial Foundation and The Circle of Nourishment. As usual our auction will include not just physical items but skills as well. In previous years we've had offerings of personal health treatments, guitar tuition, a bread-making workshop, cleaning, gardening and many other things. We would love to hear from you if you are able to offer any skills for this year's auction. Please get in touch.

Over the weekend Lama Yeshe Rinpoche will be speaking on topics including: Developing confidence and courage in the face of difficulties; Appreciation and other essential ingredients on the path of meditation, as well as giving a Refuge Ceremony for those wishing to officially become Buddhists, and a Children's Blessing.

In addition there will be a Milarepa Tsok Puja to celebrate the anniversary of Samye Dzong, as well as teachings from Ani Lhamo on the meaning and benefits of refuge and the importance of a good foundation. 
We look forward to seeing you soon.

Choje Lama Yeshe Losal Rinpoche will be visiting Kagyu Samye Dzong London from Friday 7th to Sunday 9th July. Full details of the programme for the weekend can be found on the website. 
3 - The Science of Mind with Gelong Thubten
A weekend course on mindfulness and meditation, and how they can help reduce stress and increase mental focus and compassion. There will be a combination of theory and guided practice throughout the weekend.

There will be some basic explanations of the neuroscience of meditation, and how practice improves the chemistry of our brain and body. Research shows that through meditation we can reduce the body's overload of cortisol, the stress hormone, and increase the production of oxytocin which is connected to feelings of happiness and unconditional love.

There will be teachings on how to integrate mindfulness into our work life, through training in micro-moments of awareness throughout even a busy day, as well as how to increase compassion and a sense of connection to others. We will look at how meditation improves our sense of inner joy, where happiness becomes a choice, and is therefore the cause rather than the result of our experiences.

The Science of Mind with Gelong Thubten takes place on the 24th and 25th June, 10.00 - 4.00 pm.  To book your place now use the Donate button at the bottom of the course page on our website.
Thubten will also be leading a course on the Three Vehicles of Buddhism on the 22nd-23rd July. 
You are invited to join us on Saturday 24th June at 4.30 pm for a talk by author Vicki Mackenzie, about the remarkable life of Freda Bedi.

She was the first Western woman to become a Tibetan Buddhist nun--but that pioneering ordination was really just one in a life full of revolutionary acts.

Freda Bedi (1911-1977) broke the rules of gender, race, and religion--in many cases before it was thought that the rules were ready to be challenged. She was at various times a force in the struggle for Indian independence, spiritual seeker, scholar, professor, journalist, author, social worker, wife, and mother of four children. She counted among her friends, colleagues, and teachers Mohandas Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, the Dalai Lama, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, and many others. She was a woman of spiritual focus and compassion who was also not without contradictions. Vicki Mackenzie gives a nuanced view of Bedi and of the forces that shaped and motivated this complex and compelling figure.

Beautiful, tall and utterly fearless, she was compelled since childhood to seek a path of compassion for the betterment of all humanity. Within certain Tibetan circles Freda is regarded as an emanation of Tara, the female Buddha of enlightened activity.

Proceeds from this event will go to the AKONG MEMORIAL FOUNDATION

This is a 5 week course, led by Gelong Trinley, during which you will have the opportunity to explore the methods employed to bring a sense of ease to the mind through the practice of meditation.

Calm abiding meditation (Shinay in Tibetan; Shamtha in sanskrit) is accomplished through the development of mindfulness, which can be described as an ongoing awareness of what we perceive. By training in focusing this awareness stably in meditation we can give rise to a more peaceful mind.

Meditation and mindfulness, practised regularly over time, have strong potential to make one's general state of mind more positive: increasingly we can become free of habitual reactivity, unhelpful emotional patterns, and limited ways of seeing ourselves and others. With a more open and relaxed mind we will have less stress resulting from our living situation, and less tendency to be thrown by the ups-and-downs that life presents.

This course is designed to provide those with rather little or no meditation experience what they need, in terms of techniques and understanding, to establish an ongoing and fruitful practice of calm abiding meditation.

PLEASE NOTE - our introductory meditation classes tend to fill up quickly, so booking a place in advance is absolutely necessary. We can only guarantee admission to those with a confirmed booking.

We do ask that people booking for this course commit to attend all the scheduled classes. If you are unable to commit to full attendance, please do not reserve a place which could be given to someone else.

Meditation and mindfulness for beginners with Gelong Trinley takes place on Thursday evenings from 22nd June - 20th July, 7.00-8.30 pm. To book your place, use the Donate button at the bottom of the course page on the website.
6 - 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.
JUNE 2017  

Tara Practice - with the Kagyu Samye Dzong Sangha
Thursday evenings throughout June, 7:00pm - 8:00pm
An evening of Tara prayers with the Kagyu Samye Dzong sangha, dedicated to the long life and good health of our precious Abbot, Choje Lama Yeshe Rinpoche and the ongoing flourishing of Kagyu Samye Ling's activity.

The Buddha's Birthday - with the Kagyu Samye Dzong Sangha
Fri, Jun. 2, 7:00pm - 8:00pm

Tara Practice Day - with the Kagyu Samye Dzong Sangha
Sun, Jun. 4, 9:30am - 4:00pm
A day of Tara practice with the Kagyu Samye Dzong Sangha, dedicated to the long life and good health of our precious Abbot, Choje Lama Yeshe Rinpoche. Offerings for the shrine are welcome.

Introduction to Meditation - a 4 week course with Bernard Mordan
Wednesdays from Jun. 7th-28th,  7:00pm - 8:30pm
Saga Dawa Buddha's Enlightenment and Parinirvana - with the Kagyu Samye Dzong Sangha
Fri, Jun. 9, 7:00pm - 8:30pm

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

Bodhicharyavatara with Lama Zangmo
Sat, Jun. 17, 10:00am - 4:00pm

Simply Meditation Day
Sun, Jun. 18, 9:30am - 5:00pm

Meditation and Mindfulness for Beginners - a 5 week course with Gelong Trinley
Thursday evenings from Jun 22 until Jul. 20,  7:00pm - 8:30pm

The Science of Mind with Gelong Thubten
Jun. 24 - 25, 10:00am - 4:00pm
The Revolutionary Life Of Fredi Bedi: book signing and talk with author Vicki Mackenzie
Sat, Jun. 24, 4:30pm - 6:00pm

Birthday Celebrations for His Holiness the 17th Karmapa and Guru Rinpoche Tsok Puja
Sun, Jun. 25, 7:00pm - 8:30pm  

JULY 2017

Level One Mindfulness Training: Being Present (Apr-July-Sep-Feb)
Jul. 1 - 2, 10:00am - 5:00pm

Tara Practice Day - with the Kagyu Samye Dzong Sangha
Sun, Jul. 2, 9:30am - 4:00pm

Tara Practice - with the Kagyu Samye Dzong Sangha
Thursday evenings until Jul. 20, 7:00pm - 8:00pm

Meditation and Mindfulness for Beginners - a 5 week course with Gelong Trinley
Thursday evenings until Jul. 20,  7:00pm - 8:30pm

Fundraising Evening with Choje Lama Yeshe Losal Rinpoche
Fri, Jul. 7, 6:30pm - 9:00pm

Choje Lama Yeshe Losal Rinpoche Visit 2017
Jul. 8 - 9, 10:00am - 4:00pm

Medicine Buddha Puja
Sun, Jul. 9, 7:00pm - 8:00pm

Bodhicharyavatara with Lama Zangmo
Sat, Jul. 15, 10:00am - 4:00pm

Level One Mindfulness Training: Being Present (Nov-Feb-May-July)
Jul. 15 - 16, 10:00am - 5:00pm

Simply Meditation Day
Sun, Jul. 16, 9:30am - 5:00pm

The Three Vehicles of Buddhism with Gelong Thubten
Jul. 22 - 23, 10:00am - 4:00pm

Green Tara Drawing Course - with Ani Semchi
Jul. 22 - 23, 10:00am - 5:00pm

Summer Closure
Jul. 24 - Aug. 15, All Day
The centre will close after the Chenrezig puja on Sunday July 23rd and will reopen at 14.00 on Wednesday August 16th.