September Newsletter

Posted on 7 Sep 2013


September Newsletter
 
September 2013
Shrine roomKagyu Samye Dzong London

Monthly newsletter

 

 

Welcome to the September Newsletter. And the theme this month, appropriately enough for a Buddhist Centre, is meditation. Whether you are considering learning meditation, have some experience already, or are a well-established practitioner, there is something for you in September.

 

Contents
 
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

  • Visit by Monks from Tashi Lungpo Monastary - we are delighted to welcome the monks from Tashi Lhunpo Monastery for a number of events from 25th-30th October which will be a wonderful blessing for our shrine rooms and our future practice. Their visit will include the creation of a Sand Mandala, a dance performance, as well as interactive workshops open to all. Full details of their visit can be found on the website
  • Date changes for your diary - due to other commitments, Lama Zangmo has had to delay the start dates of two of her courses by one week: The intermediate meditation course will now start on Wednesday 18th September, and the study course on the Jewel Ornament of Liberation will now start on Thursday 19th September.

  • Meditation Retreat at Samye Ling with Lama Zangmo - 12th-20th October. If you would like to deepen your meditation practice, here is the perfect opportunity - a whole week with Lama Zangmo at the Purelands Retreat Centre at Samye Ling.  Full details can be found here
  • Full-time volunteer opportunities at Samye Dzong - We have two full-time volunteer positions available: a full time vegetarian cook for Spa Road and a well organised, enthusiastic person to join our full time residential volunteer team to help with the on-going daily activities of the centre. These are ideal opportunities for someone who wants to do something very meaningful and fulfilling with their time.  
  • The Bermondsey Street Festival takes place on Saturday 21st September from 11.00-7.00.  Don't hesitate to say hello to those on the Samye Dzong stall, doing their bit to promote the Centre. Find out more about the festival here
  • Open day at Spa Road - Drop-in meditation classes, trial sessions for martial arts and a range of alternative and complementary therapies on offer on Saturday 5th October from 11.00 - 4.00 pm.  
  • Cappuccino in the Tea Room - for those coffee lovers reading this you'll be delighted to hear that we now have a serious, professional cappuccino machine plumbed into the Tibetan Tea Room. Feel free to indulge your caffeine cravings from our latest gadget.  

Gelong Trinley writes:

 

With so much positive dharma activity happening at Spa Rd it's easy to overlook the Jewel of Walworth, Manor Place Centre, where we continue to provide many opportunities to practise meditation in a highly conducive setting. Recently I attended a 10 day meditation retreat led by Drupon Rinpoche at Samye Ling along with 200 people that many described as life changing. Clearly people here in the West are increasingly seeing the benefits of meditation. We can't get 200 into the shrine room at Manor Place but it remains as peaceful and inspiring as ever.

 

The weekly schedule provides plenty of opportunities to practise meditation with drop-in silent meditation/shinay sessions from 7 till 8pm on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, while on Thursdays I introduce beginners to the basic approach and techniques. You can also use the shrine room from 2pm from Wednesday to Saturday and I'm always happy to answer questions or direct you to more experienced meditators where appropriate.

 

One of the most popular of our regular events at Manor Place has been the Saturday afternoon silent meditation retreat which usually happens twice a month from 2 till 6pm. The afternoon is spent in half hour sessions

with short breaks between sessions, a pattern which has proven ideal for keen beginners as well as the more experienced. It's a chance to spend at least part of your weekend doing something that will bring a warm glow of satisfaction each time it floats back into your consciousness the following week!

 

One participant summed up his feeling at 6pm as the equivalent of the feeling produced by a 2 week holiday. Shinay meditation will make your mind less uncontrollable, more focused and at peace, so it's certainly going to improve your general state of mind and make you more happy. So why not come and test out The Buddha's insight that virtue is the cause of happiness.

 

While there is a suggested donation for some courses there is no charge for anything described above, although generosity to Dharma centres can be a key part of the path of virtue! 

 

Gelong Thubten will explain how mindfulness, meditation and the development of compassion can help us make friends with stress and transform it into food for spiritual growth. In this weekend course we will look into the psychology of happiness, compassion and forgiveness, as well as how to relax into difficult situations so that they can actually help us to find deeper happiness and compassion for ourselves and others. 

 

Gelong Thubten has been a monk since 1993, and his time is divided between working as Akong Tulku Rinpoche's assistant and giving courses at Samye Ling and the Samye Dzong centres.

In his early years as a monk he completed 200 pairs of the Nyung Ny
fasting practice in retreat, and more recently he completed a four year retreat and a one year retreat at Samye Ling's long term retreat centre on Arran.

 

His work also involves teaching meditation in organisations such as private companies, hospitals, schools, prisons and the social services.

 

 

The Forever Young classes are taught in a fun relaxed manner but encourage participants to challenge themselves if they are physically capable of a movement. The classes focus on play, exploration and creative movement with the aim to engage with the body and overcome obstacles.
  

The exercises are slow, broken down, gentle and gradual. The artists running the courses increase the level of movement with the confidence and movement repertoire of the participants. Classes are held indoors and outdoors. 

 

We  aim to achieve a parkour mind-set regardless of age which encourages all people to look beyond their limitations, overcome physical and mental barriers and build self-belief.


The Parkour Dance classes at Spa Road run on Wednesday mornings from the 18th September - 20th November, 10.30-12.00.  There is no charge for the classes or the refreshments. 

We are delighted to announce that production of the first documentary film about the life and work of Choje Akong Tulku Rinpoche has commenced.

 

Through his powerful message of loving-kindness and compassion and his humanitarian work around the world, Akong Rinpoche has benefitted the lives of countless people.

 

This film aims to make his inspirational life story available to future generations. Please visit  www.akong-remarkablelife.com to view the trailer and find out how you can get involved in this important project.

To see the full programme of activities at the Centre, please visit the website.

 

 

PLEASE NOTE - for courses run by Samye Dzong London, prices mentioned are suggested course donations only. A lack of funds should not prevent anybody from attending.

 

 

SEPTEMBER 2013

    

Tibetan Language Course - Beginners Class at Manor Place  
Sundays from 8th September - 24th November, 4.00 - 5.30 pm. 

In the Beginners Class students will become familiar with the Tibetan alphabet and learn to read and write simple Tibetan words. By the end of the class attendees should be able to read from a Tibetan text.    Learning to read from Tibetan is invaluable to those who would like to engage in Tibetan Buddhist practices as it gets you a step closer to understanding the meaning of the different sadhana texts.  

 

Medicine Buddha Puja at Spa Road

Sunday 8th September, 7.00 - 8.00 pm
All welcome
Employing the skilful techniques of mantra and visualization, Medicine Buddha Puja is practiced to protect oneself or others from bad physical or mental health. We run occasional introductory courses explaining all aspects of the practice. Texts are available in the shop.

 

Beginners meditation at Manor Place with Gelong Trinley

Thursdays 12th - 26th September, 7.00 - 8.30 pm

Suggested contribution - £25

This course will include posture, relaxation, breathing and other meditation essentials. A regular meditation practice can bring a greater sense of inner peace and calm an overactive mind.

 

Simply Meditation at Manor Place with Gelong Trinley

Saturday 14th September, 2.15 - 6.00 pm

Spending time doing extended meditation practice is a chance to get together with fellow practitioners and gain greater depth in the experience of meditation by applying oneself through a series of short meditation sessions. It is an ideal environment in which those who would like to sit more than they currently do can be supported by the group endeavour, and by being surrounded with like-minded meditators.

The emphasis will be on silent sitting meditation, and it will be assumed that participants have already had some experience of meditation techniques. There will be no instructions during the afternoon. Gelong Trinley will lead the practice, signalling the beginning and end of each session. Participants will nevertheless have the opportunity to ask questions related to the practice and to have discussions.
Please bring offerings for the shrine. Donations are also welcome.
  
Green Tara Instructions at Spa Road with Lama Zangmo
Sunday 15th September, 10.00 - 4.00 pm
Suggested contribution: £30

Green Tara practice is used to help us overcome inner and outer obstacles, and especially the obstacles of our own fears and self-doubt. Chenrezig and Tara are considered the Father and Mother of Tibet, and in the tales associated to them, it is said that Green Tara and White Tara sprung from two tears on Chenrezig's face, to help the boddhisattva of infinite compassion in his task of liberating all sentient beings from suffering. Thus when our practice of compassion can be coupled and sustained with that of swift and fearless activity, it can produce powerful results.

During this day of instructions, Lama Zangmo will explain the visualisations and mudras that accompany the practice. To receive the instructions, you should have taken refuge and you should also have had the Green Tara Empowerment.

Please bring the Green Tara sadhana text (available from the KSDL shop).

We will be doing a a weekend of Green Tara Practice the following weekend.

 

Intermediate meditation with Lama Zangmo at Spa Road

Wednesdays from 18th September - 30th October, 7.00 - 8.30 pm
Suggested contribution: £50
This is a course for those who have already received meditation instructions and would like to deepen their practice. It is ideal for those who have done the Beginners Meditation courses.

 

Forever Young - ParkourDance classes for the over 60s! at Spa Road

Wednesdays from 18th September - 20th November, 10.30-12.30

There is no charge for the class or the refreshments

The Forever Young classes are taught in a fun relaxed manner but encourage participants to challenge themselves if they are physically capable of a movement. The classes focus on play, exploration and creative movement with the aim to engage with the body and overcome obstacles.

The exercises are slow, broken down, gentle and gradual. The artists running the courses increase the level of movement with the confidence and movement repertoire of the participants. Classes are held indoors and outdoors. 

We  aim to achieve a parkour mind-set, regardless of age, which encourages all people to look beyond their limitations, overcome physical and mental barriers and build self belief.

 

The Jewel Ornament of Liberation at Spa Road with Lama Zangmo
Thursdays from 19th September - 7th November (except 17th October), 7.00 - 8.30 pm
Suggested contribution: £50 for all the classes or £7 per evening
Gampopa is one of the early masters of the Kagyu lineage, and the founder of its monastic order. As the foremost disciple of Milarepa, he brought together the oral instructions of the great Tibetan yogi and poet, and the Kadampa tradition stemming from the teachings of the Indian scholar Atisha. He wrote the renowned text on the ground, path and fruition of the Buddhadharma, called The Jewel Ornament of Liberation.
Lama Zangmo will teach a weekly class on this important text, said to capture the essence of the teachings of the Kagyu lineage. 

 

Green Tara Practice Weekend at Spa Road

Saturday 21st - Sunday 22nd September, 9.00 - 5.00 pm
This day of practice will be dedicated to the long life and activity of His Holiness 17th Karmapa, Choje Akong Tulku Rinpoche, Lama Yeshe Losal Rinpoche and all the Kagyu Lamas.
Please bring offerings for the shrine. Donations are also welcome.

 

Introduction to Buddhism at Manor Place with Gelong Trinley
Saturday 21st September, 2.15 - 5.30 pm
Suggested contribution: £15
An afternoon to learn more about the teachings and traditions of Buddhism.

 

Transforming Stress Through Mindfulness and Meditation at Spa Road with Gelong Thubten
Saturday 28th - Sunday 29th September, 10.00 - 4.00 pm
Suggested contribution: £55
Gelong Thubten will explain how mindfulness, meditation and the development of compassion can help us make friends with stress and transform it into food for spiritual growth. In this weekend course we will look into the psychology of happiness, compassion and forgiveness, as well as how to relax into difficult situations so that they can actually help us to find deeper happiness and compassion for ourselves and others.

Gelong Thubten has considerable experience teaching these methods in companies, universities, schools, hospitals, prisons and social service organisations.

 

Guru Rinpoche Tsok Puja at Spa Road
Sunday 29th September, 7.00 - 8.30 pm
All are welcome
Guru Rinpoche is the guiding power which emanates from pure mind, anywhere in time and space: the universal teacher. The dialogue between disciple and guru is really the age-old interplay of illusion and truth, darkness and light, the relative and the ultimate. Guru Rinpoche is the archetypal perfect teacher: a role model.

Join the KSDL Sangha for the mothly Guru Rinpoche Tsok Puja which is said to help overcome external & environmental obstacles and inner mental obstacles. Please bring food as an offering for the Tsok.

 

OCTOBER 2013

 

Beginners meditation at Manor Place with Gelong Trinley 
Thursdays from 3rd - 24th October, 7.00 - 8.30 pm
Suggested contribution - £30

In essence, meditation is simply the practice of paying attention to what we are doing while we are doing it, whatever this may be. In the Buddhist tradition, this type of attention is called mindfulness.

Meditation is the art of finding peace and happiness within by using simple methods of calming and stabilising our minds. Modern life can be stressful and busy. Most of the time we are carried along by the force of emotions, habits and conditioning and end up feeling tired and stressed by everyday life. Practicing meditation can change this. Meditation can help bring about a natural sense of peace and well-being that can extend to every aspect of our lives. People who meditate regularly tend to sleep better, handle the ups and downs of daily life with more clarity and ease and relate to others with more compassion and warmth.

This course is perfect for beginners. It will include posture, relaxation, breathing and other meditation essentials. A regular meditation practice can bring a greater sense of inner peace and calm an overactive mind.

 

The Jewel Ornament of Liberation at Spa Road with Lama Zangmo
All Thursdays EXCEPT 17th October, 7.00 - 8.30 pm
Suggested contribution: £55 for all the classes or £7 per evening

Gampopa is one of the early masters of the Kagyu lineage, and the founder of its monastic order. As the foremost disciple of Milarepa, he brought together the oral instructions of the great Tibetan yogi and poet, and the Kadampa tradition stemming from the teachings of the Indian scholar Atisha. He wrote the renowned text on the ground, path and fruition of the Buddhadharma, called The Jewel Ornament of Liberation.
Lama Zangmo will teach a weekly class on this important text, said to capture the essence of the teachings of the Kagyu lineage.

 

Open Day at Spa Road
Saturday 5th October, 11.00 - 5.00 pm
Come and unwind at one of our Spa Road centre during our Open Day. Experience short complementary therapy taster sessions available for just £8. Therapies might include Alexander Technique, Craniosacral Therapy, Seated Massage, Indian Head Massage, Reflexology, Shiatsu and many more. Or you could learn how to meditate.

 

Intermediate meditation at Manor Place with Gelong Trinley

Saturdays 5th - 19th October, 7.00 - 8.30 pm
Suggested contribution: £25

This is a course for those who have already received meditation instructions and would like to deepen their practice. It is ideal for those who have done the Beginners Meditation courses.

 

Simply Meditation at Manor Place with Gelong Trinley

Saturday 12th October, 2.15 - 6.00 pm

The emphasis will be on silent sitting meditation, and it will be assumed that participants have already had some experience of meditation techniques. There will be no instructions during the afternoon. Gelong Trinley will lead the practice, signalling the beginning and end of each session. Participants will nevertheless have the opportunity to ask questions related to the practice and to have discussions.
Please bring offerings for the shrine. Donations are also welcome.

 

Mindfulness one year training - Module one: Becoming Present
Saturday 12th - Sunday 13th October, 10.00 - 5.00 pm at Spa Road
Run by the Mindfulness Association, the one year mindfulness programme is a comprehensive training in mindfulness that is suitable for beginners and for those who already have a mindfulness practice. Participants will be taught progressive skills in mindfulness through presentations, guided practice and smaller group sessions. A strong emphasis is placed on experiential learning, and for this reason there are home assignments between weekends that include regular mindfulness practice, daily life exercises and journal writing. Each module will take place over a weekend and the four modules will be spread out over approximately eight months.
Module One: Becoming Present
Mindfulness is defined as paying attention to our moment by moment experience in a way that is non-judgmental and kind. In the beginning we notice how our attention is like a butterfly flitting from one thought to the next. So we start by slowing down and settling our mind through regulating breathing and counting. We then introduce practices that ground us allowing our attention to drop out of the battlefield of thoughts in our heads into the sensory awareness of the body. We then learn to rest in the present moment getting used to disengaging from our habits of compulsive doing. And then, when we notice our attention drifting away into thinking, we learn to work with the mindfulness supports of sound and breath.
We are initiated into this graduated process through the core practices of settling, grounding, resting and mindfulness support. We also practice bodyscan and walking meditation and simple practices for integrating mindfulness into daily life. Throughout each of the modules we work on developing kindness as a basis for self-compassion.
To book for this course please visit the Mindfulness Association website here.

 

 

Medicine Buddha Puja at Spa Road

Sunday 13th October, 7.00 - 8.00 pm
All are welcome
Employing the skilful techniques of mantra and visualization, Medicine Buddha Puja is practiced to protect oneself or others from bad physical or mental health.

We run occasional introductory courses explaining all aspects of the practice. Texts are available in the shop.

 

Dorje Sempa Retreat Weekend at Spa Road
Saturday 19th - Sunday 20th October, 10.00 - 5.00 pm
Anyone is welcome to attend
Dorje Sempa or Vajrasattva is the bodhisattva associated with purification practice. The Dorje Sempa practice is especially relevant in the context of Ngöndro practice.
Ngöndro practice comprises the Four Ordinary Foundations which are meditations on the four thoughts that turn the mind to dharma, namely the preciousness of human life, impermanence and death, karma and its effects, and the sufferings of samsara; and the Four Special Foundations which are purification practices: prostrations, recitations of the Dorje Sempa mantra, mandala offerings and guru yoga practice.
This weekend is devoted to doing the Dorje Sempa practice together in a retreat style setting.
It is necessary for participants to have taken refuge and to have received the Dorje Sempa empowerment. Please bring a copy of the Ngöndro text (available from the KSDL shop).
Please bring offerings for the shrine. Donations are also welcome.

 

Experiential art therapy and spirituality at Spa Road with Philippe Jacquet
Saturday 19th October, 4.00 - 7.00 pm
Suggested contribution: £30
Let the journey begin ....

imagine yourself going to a land that you have never been to before, a place where what others think of you doesn't matter. You are free to think, free to be in your body, free to explore how to be yourself. Where you can take off all those masks, and you can meet your oldest friend who at times you ignored, hurt, bullied, abused, betrayed. Where slowly, in a gentle manner you can, through a combination of Art therapy and mindfulness, engage with this old friend who is a deeper more real part of yourself. It is a journey of coming back home within yourself !!!
We suggest that every potential traveller who wants to enrol on this journey should bring his or her luggage, an open mind, a desire for discovery and being discovered, a strong willingness to try new experiences and a big box full of imagination.
 For this journey we allow ourselves to be creative in the choice of our tools. At times we will use body movements, drama therapy, painting, meditation, music therapy, poetry, inspiring reading, fairy tales, myths.
 Are you ready to discover "the unknown known"?

 

The Power of Compassion - Tibetan Monks from Tashi Lhunpo Monastary 25th - 30th October
Kagyu Samye Dzong London is delighted to welcome the monks from Tashi Lhunpo Monastery for a number of events during October 2013 which will be a wonderful blessing for our shrine rooms and our future practice. Their visit will include the creation of a Sand Mandala, a dance performance, as well as interactive workshops open to all.  See the website for full details.

 

Emotional Intelligence at Spa Road with Clive Holmes
Saturday 26th - Sunday 27th October, 10.00 - 4.00 pm
Suggested contribution: £55
We can be very clever but still feel let down or uncomfortable with our moods and emotions. This weekend will offer simple exercises to help us use awareness of our bodies, mindfulness and kindness to "come home" into the present moment.
Often we live in a virtual reality that is coloured by raw, unprocessed emotions. What this means is that anger, jealousy and the like are not true to our interdependent and interconnected nature. We will learn how to develop a healthy relationship with our emotions and through that a healthy relationship with others.
A brief overview will be given of the whole subject: self-awareness, self-mastery, motivation, compassion and social skills. This will include meditation and kindness instructions and guidance.  

 

Guru Rinpoche Tsok Puja at Spa Road
Sunday 27th October, 7.00 - 8.30 pm
All are welcome
Guru Rinpoche is the guiding power which emanates from pure mind, anywhere in time and space: the universal teacher. The dialogue between disciple and guru is really the age-old interplay of illusion and truth, darkness and light, the relative and the ultimate. Guru Rinpoche is the archetypal perfect teacher: a role model.

Join the KSDL Sangha for the mothly Guru Rinpoche Tsok Puja which is said to help overcome external & environmental obstacles and inner mental obstacles. Please bring food as an offering for the Tsok.