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What Samye Dzong has in store for you in 2019

Posted on 9 Dec 2018


What Samye Dzong has in store for you in 2019
 Kagyu Samye Dzong London

December Newsletter

Welcome to the final newsletter of 2018. Every year we get to this point and I wonder how the last 12 months passed by so quickly! We have been looking ahead and planning our programme for 2019 and have a huge number of courses coming up in the new year. To find out more, read on....  

News in Brief

  • Winter Closure - It's that time when our residents and volunteers have a respite from running the Centre for a little while. This year we'll be closing at 9.00 pm on Sunday 16th December and reopening at 2.00 pm on Wednesday 9th January. 

  • What to do when the Centre is closed? Let us recommend to you HH 17th Karmapa's latest podcast "How to understand the Heart Sutra". It comprises the whole of the teachings given by His Holiness in New Delhi over nearly 7 hours. You may want to take it in bite-sized chunks with time for reflection! 

  • The DVD "Akong - a remarkable life"about the Centre's founder Choje Akong Tulku Rinpoche, is available in the shop.

  • Workshop room for hire - Wednesday evenings. If you are a teacher looking for a venue for a Tai Chi or Qi Gong class (for example), pleascontact the office for more details.  

  • Advice from a Yogi, Retreat with Lama Zangmo - a little advance warning for those who would like to join Lama Zangmo for the annual 8 day retreat that she leads at Purelands Retreat Centre at Samye Ling. This year the retreat runs from Saturday 27th July to Sunday 4th August.  You are advised to book well in advance if you want to attend. Full details of the retreat can be found on the Samye Ling website.

1 - Coming in 2019....

In recent weeks a lot of work has been done on our 2019 programme, the results of which are now on the website. Here are just a few of the forthcoming highlights between January and March:

January:

Beginners' meditation class with Bernard Mordan starts on Thursday 17th January - a great way to start the new year if you've not taken a meditation class before.

Chenrezig Instructions with Lama Zangmo will be given on Saturday 19th January. The Chenrezig Puja is practised at the Centre every week and if you've wondered what's going on, now's your chance to find out how to practice it properly. .

February

 An Introduction to Calm Abiding is one of a series of Wednesday evening courses for those who are new to meditation. We will explore methods employed to bring a sense of ease to the mind through the practice of meditation.

 Measuring Ones Progress in Mind Training with Lama Zangmo looks at some of the slogans from the 5th and 6th point of Geshe Chekawa's Mind Training teachings focusing on how to evaluate one's practice.

Turning the mind to the Dharma with Lama Zangmo is a day of introduction to Buddhism through focusing on impermanence and the preciousness of our life, with time for questions and answers. This course is part of a longer monthly Introduction to Buddhism series running over four months.

March

The Root Verses on the Six Bardos - Lama Zangmo will go through this text by Karma Lingpa with teachings on impermanence, death and dying and on the intermediate states called Bardos, with a focus on putting the teachings into effective practice during this life. The course is monthly over 4 Saturdays.

Timely Methods for Taming the Mind is one of a series of Wednesday courses for those who are new to meditation. It will cover various simple methods easy to apply in this 21st century busy lifestyle, taught as a way to tame the mind and develop calm abiding. If time and space allows, there will also be an introduction to walking meditation.

Advice From the Mind Training Teachings with Lama Zangmo cover the guidelines and advice on self mastery in the Mind Training teachings. They relate to the overall lojong spirit we need in order to progress.

The Thirty Seven Practices of a Bodhisattva will be the new monthly course after the Bodhicharyavatara course which ends Dec this year. Starting on Saturday 16th March the course will run until the end of 2019. Full details and course dates can be found on the course page on the website.

This is not a comprehensive list! 

For full details of  our 2019 programme, please visit the programme pages on the website.

 2 - An Award Winning Centre

2018 Faith and Belief Awards web

Lydia Polzer, Charlie Morley and Lama Zangmo with the award certificate

On Tuesday the 27th of November Lama Zangmo and friends received an award for Kagyu Samye Dzong London during The London Faith & Belief Community Awards ceremony at The Royal Society of Medicine.

Samye Dzong received an award in the category of Peace and Reconciliation as the centre is involved in promoting peaceful relations in the local and broader community through its activities.

The Faith and Belief Forum organises this community awards ceremony annually to celebrate the unsung heroes of London's faith and belief communities and is supported by Her Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant of Greater London's Council on Faith.

 3 - The Benefits of Meditation by Choje Lama Yeshe Losal Rinpoche

Lama Yeshe writes: 

"We should always remember that our true nature is perfect and that whatever we are going through is just a temporary habit. We need to remember that there is this light at the end of the tunnel, so that no matter how difficult what we're going through is, we know there is an end to it. We need to remember our Buddha nature, the perfect essence of our life. If we can do that, then remembering not to misuse our body and our speech becomes easy. However, trying to change this mind will take some time. It's inside work and can only happen through regular practice of meditation. Those of you who can meditate for at least thirty minutes should definitely do so.

However if you find it difficult as beginners, then you should meditate at least fifteen minutes in the morning and fifteen minutes more after your job, or whenever is suitable for you. You should then examine whether you have been successful and whether you have been able to transform all your activities into practice. In this way, you will make progress. You need to keep on making this effort again and again. It is not going to be easy but the benefit will outweigh all the time and effort you put into it. You will gradually find that you are becoming a better human being and that you can deal better with situations.

Meditation is a most necessary part of our lives. If you have more or less done and achieved everything, and yet feel you're not really wholesome or fulfilled, then I think it may be the time for you to meditate and find real fulfilment through this inner understanding. I have personally seen with my own eyes the difference between practitioners and non-practitioners. When practitioners are getting old, they never feel lonely. They're prepared for death. They know this is what's going to happen. When death comes, it is an opportunity. Why should they be afraid to die? Their physical form is not functioning any longer, but their mind is sharper than ever."

This is an extract from the chapter "Benefits of Meditation" in Lama Yeshe's book "Living Dharma".  You can read the full chapter on the Samye Ling website, which also has many other teachings by Lama Yeshe Rinpoche.

 And a date for your diary - Lama Yeshe's 2019 visit to the Centre will take place from 5th-7th July.