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Happiness and challenges in the 21st century - with Gelong Thubten


Teacher: Gelong Thubten
Anyone is welcome to attend this event!


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Happiness in the 21st Century - Saturday

Gelong Thubten will share insights from his new book 'A Monk’s Guide to Happiness: Meditation in the 21st Century'.
The day will consist of a combination of talks, meditation instructions and practice sessions. At the end of the 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.

Gelong Thubten’s new book was published in June 2019 and quickly became a bestseller. The book helps to demystify the practices of meditation and mindfulness with easy to follow exercises, illustrating how such techniques can bring sustainable happiness to our busy lives. The book also emphasises the practice of ‘micro-moments’ of mindfulness throughout the day.

In ‘A Monk’s Guide to Happiness’ Thubten presents a clear understanding of what brings lasting happiness rather than the short-term, unsatisfying type of ‘buzz’ - which ultimately leaves us hungry for more. He explains how meditation can help us to master our thoughts so we can achieve true inner fulfilment, something especially challenging in our frantic modern world.

Challenges in the 21st Century - Sunday

A day of talks and meditation instruction aimed at addressing the struggles of modern life. The pace of life today can leave us feeling pressurised and stressed. Thubten will explain stress from the Buddhist understanding as well as the point of view of neuroscience, and he will offer methods for creating greater resilience.

As life becomes increasingly busy, people can find it hard to maintain a daily practice, and perhaps feel that their minds are ‘too busy’ for meditation. Thubten will offer tips for creating sustainable diligence in a stressful world.

There will be a discourse on the effects of technology, social media and the explosion of fast-moving news and advertising, and how these elements have increased our levels of anxiety and insecurity. We will then look at how daily meditation can provide protection, helping to keep our minds more independent and less busy.

We will look at how to transform difficult relationships through training in forgiveness. We will also explore how to deepen our ability to face challenging situations in a creative manner. If we know how to approach life’s difficulties skilfully, then those very problems can help us to grow and gain more wisdom and compassion.


Gelong Thubten became a monk 26 years ago at Samye Ling, and his training has included spending over six years in intensive meditation retreats, the longest of which was four years long. He spent many years as the late Akong Tulku Rinpoche’s secretary and assistant, and he teaches at many of our centres. He is based at Samye Dzong Scarborough but he also helps to run Samye Dzongs in Cardiff and near Loch Ness.

Thubten provides meditation courses to Silicon Valley technology companies and many other global organisations. He also works with schools, major universities, hospitals, prisons and charities. He trains medical students in meditation at the National University of Ireland. Thubten is considered a world pioneer, as he introduced techniques to these sectors over 20 years ago, before the mindfulness trend had emerged. The approach he uses, as instructed by Akong Rinpoche, contains a strong focus on the development of compassion, which greatly enhances the benefits of the training.

Thubten previously collaborated on the book ‘How to be Human’ with Ruby Wax and neuroscientist Ash Ranpura, and his own book ‘A Monk’s Guide to Happiness’ is a Sunday Times bestseller.


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