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September Newsletter

Posted on 4 Sep 2016

September Newsletter

September 2016




Monthly newsletter
Dear Lama  
Welcome to the September Newsletter.  The Centre is now open again after the summer break and we have a new programme starting in October. Events running into 2017 are now up on the website.  To find out 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
  • The new programme which runs into 2017 - is now up on the website. Check it out if you want to get those dates in your diary right away. 
  • Dates for your diary -
    Shrines, rituals and pujas with Gelong Thubten takes place from 16th-18th September
    Embracing death and dying - our third annual day of celebrating life through reflecting on death takes place on Saturday 29th October. Our previous two events were very successful and we'd like to welcome you all again this year.
  • Plans for Choje Akong Tulku Rinpoche's third anniversay - 8th October.
    At Samye Dzong London we will have an evening of prayers dedicated to Rinpoche's swift return, with readings from the Mala of Memories.
    At Samye Ling the anniversary will be represented through activities in four areas: Spiritual, Health, Protecting the Environment, and Charity.

    The Spiritual aspect will be a Milarepa Guru Yoga Puja and the beginning of a practice retreat led by Drupon Rinpoche. Details of the programme can be found on the Samye Ling website
    If anyone would like to travel up to Samye Ling together with the Sangha on 7 Oct, please contact the office.
  • The Samye Dzong London shop now has its own email address. Enquiries about items in the shop and the Tibetan Tearoom can be sent to:
  • Kagyu Monlam 2017 - A group from KSD London will be going to the Kagyu Monlam in Bodhgaya in early February next year to receive teachings from HH 17th Gyalwang Karmapa. Those interested in joining should get in touch.
  • Would you like to live at Samye Dzong London? - From time to time rented accommodation becomes available at the Centre. If you are interested in meditation and Buddhism, and would like to live in a Buddhist community, please contact the office.

In Tibetan Buddhism there are richly symbolic rituals which need to be understood on their inner level in order to bring benefit. This course aims to provide an introduction which will help participants connect more deeply to this style of practice. Useful for beginners as well as the more experienced.

This weekend will include an explanation of the meaning and symbolism of shrines and rituals, as well as practical advice on how to make a simple shrine in one's own home.

There will also be teachings on pujas, including the meaning of visualising deities and reciting mantras. There will be an overview of the different practices and how they work.

Gelong Thubten has been a monk since 1993, and for many years served as Akong Tulku Rinpoche's secretary and assistant. Thubten also gives courses at Samye Ling and the Samye Dzong centres. 

Shrines, rituals and pujas with Gelong Thubten starts on Friday 16th September, 7.00-8.30 pm, and continues over the weekend on the 17th-18th September, 10.00 am - 4.00 pm. Book your place now using the PayPal button at the bottom of the course page on the website.  
Volunteer Position: 
Cook and Tearoom assistant
A five day work week (Wednesday - Sunday), two days off.
Prepare and cook vegetarian and vegan lunch for between
10-20 people a few days a week. Work as part of a team on very busy occasions; however, must be comfortable with work as sole cook.
Bake vegan and gluten-free cakes for Tibetan Tearoom.
Duties include: Preparation of lunch; washing pots and pans; cleaning the kitchen; baking cakes.
On days when not working in the kitchen, this Residential Volunteer position involves other duties, such as serving in the tearoom; cleaning the shrine rooms, public areas and work areas of the Centre.
If you are interested please contact the office for an application form.
Other Positions:
We are also looking for volunteers, either residential or non-residential, with skills such as:  plumbing, carpentry, electrics, painting, general repairs.
adjusting fixtures, doors, and windows. All enquiries are welcome.
If you are simply interested in coming in to volunteer regularly one day a week, either to clean, cook, help in the Tibetan Tearoom, or in any other capacity, please email the office and let us know your availability. We welcome regular, weekly volunteers. 
Kitty D'Costa writes about the 3rd annual  Embracing Death and Dying Day which takes place on Saturday 29th October:

"I'm not afraid of Death, I just don't want to be there when it happens"
Woody Allen

When someone close dies, people often do not know what to say. They may think it's too morbid a subject, not sure whether they should be sad for you or whether to make a joke about it. But it will be a different scene on Saturday 29th October when Samye Dzong London will be holding its third annual Embracing Death and Dying Day. Running from 10.00 -  5.00 the day will be packed with talks, stall, and a death café discussing the subject of death.

Last year, in 2015, over 250 people attended; from different faiths and backgrounds, keen to share their views on death and to learn from others.
I was helping facilitate the Death café and got to hear why people attended and what they had learned from their experiences. Many people had been bereaved, others were interested in their mortality, yet others had an artistic or educational interest in death. Over a cup of tea and cake, people shared their experiences in small groups with friendliness and laughter. The youngest participant was 10 years old and the oldest over 70.

This year, we are really pleased that Jon Underwood, one of the founder members of the Death Café, will be coming to give us a talk about the origins of the Death café and its popularity worldwide.

Last year, there were talks about the physical aspects of death, a medical analysis of death. There were talk on arranging a funeral and Will writing. These talks on the practical issues around death were very helpful and we'll offer them again this year.

One of my favourite parts of the day is the chanting and meditation held at 4.30pm, at the end of the day, to commemorate the dead. Everyone is invited to bring photos of the dead that are laid out on the altar in the Shrine room. It's a peaceful and joyful way to end the day with chanting in beautiful surroundings.

We hope you will save the date in your diary and join us this year!

Embracing Death and Dying - a celebration of life through reflection on death takes place on Saturday 29th October, 10.00-5.00.  You can turn up at any point during the day and take part in a much or as little as you want. A list of confirmed speakers is on the website and a full programme will be published nearer the time.
The following is from the Samye Ling July newsletter:

After the passing of Choje Akong Tulku Rinpoche in October 2013, Chamgon Khentin Tai Situ Rinpoche requested his students to complete 100 Million recitations each of the Chenrezig, Guru Rinpoche, Dorje Sempa and Amitabha mantras.
Thanks to the effort and devotion of so many people around the world, the goal of accumulating 100 million of each mantras has actually been surpassed.
Choje Lama Yeshe Losal Rinpoche has suggested that we continue to recite mantras for Akong Rinpoche:
  • The short Dorje Sempa Mantra (Om benza satto hung)
  • The Tara Mantra (Om tare tutare ture soha)
  • The short prayer to Ayra Tara (Jetsun pama drolma chay chenno, Jiktang dook ngal koon lay chap tu sol)
There are many reasons and benefits from continuing; in particular it helps us focus our minds positively on Rinpoche as well as helping to repair any broken samayas.  So it is considered to be extremely beneficial to recite these mantras and it is Lama Yeshe Rinpoche's wish that we continue until the 3rd Akong Tulku Rinpoche has been recognised.
As with the previous mantras, we will keep a record of the numbers and your totals can be sent to 
4 - 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.


Mantra Recitation Day for Akong Tulku Rinpoche with the Kagyu Samye Dzong London Sangha
Sat, Sep. 3, 9:30am - 5:00pm
Join the Kagyu Samye Dzong London Sangha for a day of accumulation of mantras for Choje Akong Tulku Rinpoche.

Green Tara Puja
Sundays throughout September, 8:00am - 9:00am
Join us every Sunday morning at 8am for Green Tara practice. As the Centre's main doors are not open until 9.00 am, please arrive in time to be let in before the puja starts.

Introduction to Meditation - a 4 week course with Bernard Mordan from
Wednesdays, 7th - 28th September, 7:00pm - 8:30pm  

A Precious Garland of the Sublime Path
Sat, Sep. 10, 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. Lama... Read more...

Simply Meditation Day
Sun, Sep. 11, 9:30am - 5:00pm
Come and join the Sangha for a day of silent meditation practice.

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

Shrines, rituals and pujas - with Gelong Thubten
Fri, Sep. 16, 2016 7:00pm - 8:30pm
Sat & Sun. 17 - 18, 2016 10:00am - 4:00pm

Mindfulness Practitioner Certificate Course 2016
Sep. 17 - 18, 10:00am - 5:00pm
This provides a solid foundation in Mindfulness Practice and you are welcome to join this course after completing the Mindfulness Practitioners Foundation course or the Mindfulness in Education module.

Amitabha Practice Day with the Kagyu Samye Dzong Sangha
Sat, Sep. 24, 9:30am - 5:00pm
A day of Amitabha practice and mantra accumulation dedicated to the swift return of our precious Founder and Teacher, Chöje Akong Tulku Rinpoche.

Mindfulness Association Introductory Teaching Skills course
Sep. 24 - 25, 10:00am - 5:00pm
This Introductory Teaching Skills course is for anyone who has completed the Mindfulness Practitioner Certificate course or Mindfulness One Year training and who would like to develop their teaching skills as a facilitator of secular Mindfulness training courses.

Guru Rinpoche Tsok Puja
Sun, Sep. 25, 7:00pm - 8:30pm


A Precious Garland of the Sublime Path with Lama Zangmo
Sat, Oct. 1, 10:00am - 4:00pm
Simply Meditation Day
Sun, Oct. 2, 9:30am - 5:00pm

Introduction to Meditation - a 4 week course with Bernard Mordan
Wednesdays from, 5th - 26th October, 7:00pm - 8:30pm
Insight Practitioner Certificate Course
Oct. 8 - 9, 10:00am - 5:00pm

Anniversary of Choje Akong Tulku Rinpoche
Sat, Oct. 8, 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Join us for an evening of prayers dedicated to the swift return of our precious Founder Choje Akong Tulku Rinpoche.

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

The Six Paramitas with Clive Holmes
Oct. 22 - 23, 10:00am - 4:00pm
The six Paramitas are a way to live based on wisdom and compassion -these are mainstream Buddhist practices. The paramitas lead into one another.

Rain of Wisdom with Lama Zangmo
Thu, Oct. 27, 7:00pm - 8:30pm

Embracing Death and Dying
Sat, Oct. 29, 10:00am - 5:00pm
Embracing death and dying - a day of celebrating life through reflection on death Join us for our third annual Death & Dying Day:

Guru Rinpoche Tsok Puja
Sun, Oct. 30, 7:00pm - 8:30pm