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May Newsletter

Posted on 3 May 2021

May Newsletter
Kagyu Samye Dzong London
May 2021

Dear Lama,

Welcome to the May Newsletter. It's good to see that spring has now well and truly sprung! As you can see from the picture above, some of our residents have been extremely busy planting seeds. This photo was taken after they'd germinated (the seeds that is, not the residents) and been moved out of the Library which, for a brief time, was more of a greenhouse!

Early booking for newsletter readers

In this month's newsletter we're giving you a one week head start in the course booking stakes. Both Lama Zangmo's course on Impermanence, Death and Dying, as well as the Death Cafe will not be listed on the website for another week or so. In the meantime, you are welcome to book your place.

When will Samye Dzong London open again?

All of us in KSDL look forward to the time when we can once again open our doors to the public. We are keeping a close eye on how things progress as lockdown is gradually easing around the country. At the moment there are still many limitations on what we can do while at the same time keeping everyone safe. Once all our residents have had their second jabs, and the Covid situation seems stable without new spikes, we will gradually open our doors again. We will keep you updated on our website, and meanwhile we continue with our online meditations and courses - including a new one starting in June. Read on to find out more.

An update about the shooting ranges near Samye Ling

Lama Yeshe Rinpoche and the trustees of Rokpa Trust are very grateful to all our friends and supporters who joined us in opposing the applications for planning permission for rifle ranges close to Samye Ling.  The planners have ruled that the applications are invalid and must be withdrawn. If they wish, the applicants can try again, and then we would have to start all over again with fresh objections. We will keep you informed of developments and will let you all know if fresh objections are needed.

Thank you for your support.

And now - on to the rest of the newsletter.

Best wishes,

David Bates

Newsletter Editor

Saga Dawa Duchen Chenrezig Practice Day

You are invited to join us online for a day of Chenrezig practice on Wednesday 26th May from 10.30 am - 3.30 pm.

Saka Dawa Duchen is one of the four wheel days when we celebrate the birth, enlightenment and death (parinirvana) of the Buddha Shakyamuni. The Saka Dawa observations take place in the fourth Tibetan month and is a day where the result of our actions is more powerful.

As part of our 10 million Manis commitment (see below) we will have a Chenrezig Practice Day dedicated to all those who have died and are dying, those who are ill and suffering and to all sentient beings that they may find peace and happiness. We will accumulate Mani mantras throughout the day and include an evening Medicine Buddha puja at 7pm.

Anyone is welcome to join us on our YouTube Channel for all or some of the sessions during the day. The full programme will go up on the website nearer the time.


Impermanence, Death and Dying, with Lama Zangmo - new online course

This 8 week course, running on Sundays from 6th June - 25th July, 4.00 - 5.00 pm, will cover teachings on impermanence, death and dying and the intermediate states called Bardos, with emphasis on putting the teachings into effective practice during this life. The teachings will focus on how to live a meaningful life and how to have a good death. 

The course will be based on the text by Karma Lingpa called The Root Verses on the Six Bardos. A copy of the text will be provided at the beginning of the course.

Requirements for attendance

In order for the course to be of the most benefit, those attending are required to have taken refuge, or at the very least to have the intention to take refuge when the next opportunity arises. 

It is also a requirement to be committed to attend all the classes from the start till the end of the course. 

To book or enquire about this course please contact the office.

PLEASE NOTE - Bookings must be made by 1st June.


You are invited to attend an online Death Cafe on Sunday 23rd May from 5.00 - 6.00 pm

What is a Death Cafe?

At a Death Cafe people, often strangers, gather to eat cake, drink tea and discuss death. On this occasion we sit at virtual tables, in breakout rooms, with 5 people on each table facilitated by a member of the KSDL Bardo Group. The Death cafe is an opportunity to explore your unheard views on death and to listen and delight in the views of others on the same subject. The objective is 'to increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their (finite) lives'.

A Death Cafe is a group directed discussion of death with no agenda, objectives or themes. It is a discussion group and is not a grief support or counselling session.

Our Death Cafes are always offered:

  • On a not for profit basis
  • In an accessible, respectful and confidential space
  • With no intention of leading people to any conclusion, product or course of action
  • Alongside refreshing drinks and nourishing food – and cake!

Please note, there are only 15 places available. If you would like to join us, please register your interest by emailing Kitty D'Costa who will get in touch with you.  

Important: As places are limited, please make sure to cancel your booking if you are unable to attend, so that we can allocate your place to someone on the waiting list.

One Million Manis Milestone

After 8 months of accumulating Mani mantras during lockdown in the KSDLondon weekly Chenrezig puja, our first one million Manis has finally been achieved. 

This will be the 1st million towards the accumulation of a great 10 million mantras in the future. Thank you to all of you who have participated.

We make a special dedication: 


“May all beings everywhere
Plagued with sufferings of body and mind
Obtain an ocean of happiness and joy
By virtue of my merits.”
“For as long as they remain in cyclic existence
May their (mundane) happiness never decline,
And may all of them uninterruptedly receive
Waves of joy from Bodhisattvas.”
“May all embodied creatures,
Who throughout the universe
Experience hellish realms,
Come to enjoy the bliss of Sukhavati.”
“May celestials bring timely rains
So that harvests may be bountiful.
May rulers act in accordance with Dharma
And the people of the world always prosper.”
“May all medicines be effective
And the repeating of mantras successful;
May dakinis, cannibals and the like
Be endowed with compassionate minds.”
“May no living creature ever suffer,
Commit evil or ever fall ill.
May no one be afraid or belittled,
Or their minds ever be depressed.”
“May the teachings, which are the sole medicine for Suffering
And the origin of every joy,
Be materially supported and honoured
And abide for a very long time.”
“For as long as space endures
And for as long as living beings remain,
Until then may I too abide
To dispel the misery of the world.”