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February Newsletter

Posted on 11 Feb 2017

February Newsletter

February 2017


Kagyu Samye  Dzong London

Monthly newsletter
Dear Lama  
February looks like being a relatively quiet month at the Centre, bar for Clive Holmes' course this coming weekend - Meditation as a Way of Life. However there is no shortage of important things happening in March, some of which you may want to put in your diary and one of which you'll want to get a ticket for now!

Akong - the London film premiere is taking place on Saturday 18th March at 7.00 pm. As well as the first showing of this film in London, it will also be the first time that we've run a ticketed event. If you want a seat, you must book in advance and turn up with either the paper ticket printed out, or able to display the ticket on your mobile device.

To find out what other exciting things are coming 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
  •  Losar celebrations - you are invited to join us for an evening of prayer and meditation to bring in the Tibetan New Year on Monday 27th February. The doors to the Centre will open at 6.30 pm with prayers starting at 7.00 pm .
    Feel free to bring some vegetarian food and drink to share following the prayers and meditation.
  • Kagyu Monlam 2017 - during February Lama Zangmo, along with other friends of Samye Dzong London, will be attending the Kagyu Monlam in India. For pictures and details of the event go to the Kagyu Monlam website.
  • Live-in Volunteers Wanted: Lothlorien (Rokpa Trust) is a Buddhist influenced therapeutic community for people with mental health problems. Quiet rural setting in S. W. Scotland. Daily programme includes organic vegetable gardening, relaxation, cooking, crafts etc.  We need full time live-in volunteers for minimum of 6 months. For further details see  or phone Blanche on 01644 440602.
  • Kagyu Samye Dzong London consists of a community of about 20 residents. From time to time a room might become available for rent long-term. If you are interested in renting a room at the Centre, please contact the office.
  • The Akong Memorial Foundation website and facebook is now live. For information about the Kagyu Samye Ling screening of Akong - a Remarkable Life go to: 
The Guru Rinpoche Drubcho will take place over five days at Samye Dzong London from 15th - 19th March.
We are delighted that our Abbot, Lama Yeshe Losal Rinpoche, is joining us for the last part of the Drubcho. Everyone is welcome to join for all or part of it. Tsok offerings of fruit and other food items are welcome for each afternoon session and especially for the last session( the morning session) on Sunday the 19th. 

In the run up to this important annual event Lama Zangmo will lead a weekend of teachings on the 4th and 5th March.

Guru Rinpoche Instructions will be given on Saturday 4th March, 10.00 - 4.30. This day will consist of brief instructions in the peaceful practice of the Guru Rinpoche puja, as well as instructions and preparation for the upcoming Guru Rinpoche Drubcho.
It is necessary to have had the Guru Rinpoche empowerment to attend the practice instructions.
Please bring along a text which is available in our Shop.

Ritual, Mantra and Mudra: Guru Rinpoche Drubcho preparation will take place on Sunday 5th March. This day will be focused on learning the ritual, mudras and music in the Guru Rinpoche practice. In particular it will be more practical hands-on instructions as preparation for the upcoming Guru Rinpoche Drubcho.  Bring along the text and a bell and dorje if you have one. 
We are extremely pleased to announce this very special event. After several years in the making, the London premiere of the feature length documentary film about the life of Chöje Akong Tulku Rinpoche, Akong - A Remarkable Life, will take place at Kagyu Samye Dzong London at 7pm on Saturday 18th March in the presence of the Abbot of Kagyu Samye Ling, Choje Lama Yeshe Losal Rinpoche. 
The film has been a labour of love for the
film's director, 
Chico Dall'Inha
, who will introduce the film in person, as well as its producer, Jorg Wagner, cinematographer, Gerry McCulloch and Executive Producer, Vin Harris. It is, above all else, a film about compassion. Almost three and a half years since Akong Rinpoche's senseless murder in Chengdu, China, his message of compassion-in-action needs to be heard more than ever.
Against a backdrop of stunning Himalayan photography, the film charts Akong Rinpoche's perilous escape from Chinese-invaded Tibet in 1959 
to becoming a refugee, first in India, then in the United Kingdom; and his incredible life's work, centred on the establishment and development of Samye Ling Tibetan Buddhist Monastery in Scotland and of the many Buddhist Meditation Centres in Europe and Africa that have emanated from it..... Read more on the website.

The text The Way of the Bodhisattva, known in sanskrit as the Bodhicharyavatara, is treasured by Buddhists from many different traditions. It is a Mahayana text composed by the great Indian scholar Shantideva. It is an excellent guide to cultivating the mind of enlightenment (Bodhicitta) and to generating the qualities of limitless love, compassion and wisdom.

This text which has been studied, practised, and expounded upon in an unbroken tradition for centuries, is presented in the form of a personal meditation in verse.  Its main function is to outline the path that Bodhisattvas need to take, principally the Six Paramitas. These are generosity, discipline, patience, diligence, meditation and wisdom. Bodhisattvas are those who renounce the peace of individual enlightenment (Nirvana) and vow to attain Buddhahood for the sake of liberating all beings from Samsara.

The course will be held one Saturday every month (typically the third Saturday of the month with a few exceptions), starting on 25th March and going through to 16th December, with a break during August. The course will consist of teachings on the text as well as meditation instructions and a framework for ongoing daily practice.

Copies of the text can be bought as a book sold in the shop with the title "The Way of the Bodhisattva" (Shambala translation). This is the recommended text for the course.

It is recommended that participants commit to come to all the teachings.

The Bodhicharyavatara with Lama Zangmo starts on Saturday 25th March, 10.00 - 4.00 pm. Full details of this course, including the dates of teaching for the whole year, can be found on the website.
f you intend doing this course, please make sure that all the dates are firmly in your diary. 
Please BOOK IN ADVANCE on our website.

The wonder and colour of everyday experience can be opened up to us by increasing our awareness through meditation. We will also be able to be more resilient in the face of all of life's challenges.

You can explore this on the weekend of 4th-5th February with Clive Holmes on his workshop "Meditation as a way of life". Clive writes:

"How we go about learning meditation will be through breathing exercises and visualisations. Simplicity will be the essence. Through these exercises we can renew our perception of the world we live in, finding happiness and restoring our sense of balance that is too easily lost in this busy changing world.  We will investigate experientially the core attitudes of a good meditation practitioner.

Above all, we will try to experience meditation in the colourful environment of London Samye Dzong and then go on to take that experience home with us for our own benefit and those of all around us.

This course is suitable for anyone with an interest in meditation and mindfulness, whether beginner or more experienced, whether Buddhist or Non-Buddhist."

Meditation as a way of life, with Clive Holmes. Saturday 4th - Sunday 5th February, 10.00 - 4.00 pm.  For more information about Clive, visit the course page, where you can also book your place using the Donate button at the bottom of the screen. 
    a5a5 - Stress less! A mindful approach with Alistair Appleton

Living in large cities like London is an inherently stressful business. Human beings - like all animals - have bodily systems designed to respond to and process stress. But we're designed for short sharp bursts not the blanket stress of living in a crowded city. The effects of a prolonged and unconscious exposure to these levels of stress are very damaging - not just to our bodies but also to our sense of self. We end up 'greying-out' more and more of our experience in order to stay sane.

But this is only the external stress of commuting, blitzkrieg advertising, media-harassment and over crowding. More damaging still are the internal stressors that we create with our thoughts. This sort of double stress (from external and internal sources) can leave us very anxious and depleted.

Mindfulness is a meditation practice with a 2,500 year pedigree and this weekend course introduces us to this incredible stress buster. Combining his experience as a long-term meditator and practising psychotherapist, Alistair works with the group to explore the causes of stress, how we perpetuate it and how we can release it and allow the body to down-regulate us back to a more vital state.

Stress Less with Alistair Appleton takes place on the weekend of the 4th and 5th March, 10.00 - 5.00  pm. You can book your place on the Mind-Springs website.

6- 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.


Introduction to Meditation - a 4 week course with Bernard Mordan from 1st - 22nd February
Wed, Feb. 1, 7:00pm - 8:30pm

Meditation as a Way of Life with Clive Holmes
Feb. 4 - 5, 10:00am - 4:00pm

Lucid Dreaming with Charlie Morley
Feb. 11 - 12,  10:00am - 4:00pm

Medicine Buddha Puja
Sun, Feb. 12, 7:00pm - 8:00pm

Green Tara Practice Day with Kagyu Samye Dzong London Sangha
Sat, Feb. 18, 8:00am - 5:00pm

Insight Practitioner Certificate Course
Feb. 18 - 19, 10:00am - 5:00pm

Simply Meditation Day
Sun, Feb. 19, 9:30am - 5:00pm

Vajrasattva Retreat Day - with the Kagyu Samye Dzong Sangha
Sat, Feb. 25, 9:30am - 5:00pm

Volunteer Day
Sun, Feb. 26, 9:30am - 4:00pm
Help us give Kagyu Samye Dzong London a good clean before Losar, Tibetan New Year. The day will start and finish with a short meditation session.  Please contact the office in advance and preferably come for the full day.

Guru Rinpoche Tsok Puja
Sun, Feb. 26, 7:00pm - 8:30pm

Losar Celebration - Losar Tashi Deleg - Year of the Fire Bird
Mon, Feb. 27.
Everyone at Kagyu Samye Dzong London wishes you a Happy Tibetan New Year, the Year of the Fire Brid.  May the coming year be full of abundance, peace and happiness for all.

MARCH 2017

Guru Rinpoche Instructions with Lama Zangmo
Sat, Mar. 4,  10:00am - 4:30pm
This day will consist of brief instructions in the peaceful practice of the Guru Rinpoche puja, as well as instructions and preparation for the upcoming Guru Rinpoche Drubcho.

Ritual, Mantra and Mudra Guru Rinpoche Drubcho Preparation
Sun, Mar. 5,  10:00am - 4:00pm       
A day focused on learning the ritual, mudras and music in the Guru Rinpoche practice.

Introduction to Meditation - a 4 week course with Bernard Mordan
Wednesday evenings from 8th - 29th March,  7:00pm - 8:30pm

Stress less! A mindful approach with Alistair Appleton
Sat -Sun Mar. 11 - 12,  10:00am - 5:00pm

Mindfulness Practitioner Certificate Course
Mar. 11 - 12,  10:00am - 5:00pm

Medicine Buddha Puja
Sun, Mar. 12,  7:00pm - 8:00pm

Guru Rinpoche Drubcho
Mar. 15 - 19,  9:30am - 5:00pm

Akong - a remarkable life - London Pemiere
Sat, Mar. 18,  7:00pm - 9:00pm

Compassion Practitioner Certificate Course
Mar. 25 - 26,  10:00am - 5:00pm

Bodhicharyavatara with Lama Zangmo
Sat, Mar. 25,  10:00am - 4:00pm

Simply Meditation Day
Sun, Mar. 26,  9:30am - 5:00pm
Come and join the Sangha for a day of silent meditation practice. This is a chance to get together with fellow practitioners and gain greater depth in the experience of meditation.

Guru Rinpoche Tsok Puja
Sun, Mar. 26,  7:00pm - 8:30pm

Transforming the Emotions with Lama Zangmo
Thu, Mar. 30,  7:00pm - 8:30pm