In this section

"I see you Mara" - using meditation to cut through toxic thinking

Posted on 1 Sep 2017

"I see you Mara" - using meditation to cut through toxic thinking

September 2017


Kagyu Samye  Dzong London

Monthly newsletter

Welcome to the September Newsletter. Our concerns about the proposed development next door have been confirmed. The planning application that has been submitted to Southwark Council is for a 7 storey block that would dwarf the Centre (more below).

In the meantime however, we have a host of courses coming up after our summer break including: introductions to meditation (with some new courses added), and a four-week introduction to Buddhism with Lama Zangmo. To find out what else we have in store for you, read 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

    • Seven-storey development proposal - We would like to let friends of Samye Dzong London know that developers have submitted plans to the Council to build a seven storey tower block right next to the Centre. We believe that the height and scale of the current plans will impact the Centre adversely, and Samye Dzong London and the area's resident associations are therefore working together to try to reduce this development in size.
      If you live in London and if you are a user of the Centre, we'd appreciate your support. Please get in touch if you are happy to contact the planners and voice your concern, or come to a planning meeting, and we will send you more details when the plans have gone through the councils planning portal. At this stage it is still too early to send objections.
    •  Chenrezig Instructions with Lama Zangmo has been moved from 23rd  September to Saturday 11th November. 
    • Yet more introductory meditation courses! - The demand for introductory meditation courses has certainly not eased up, so Gelong Trinley will be leading 2 more courses starting on Thursday 5th October and then Thursday 9th November.  These are in addition to Bernard Mordan's Introduction to Meditation courses which take place on Wednesday evenings, the next one starting Weds 6 Sept.
    • Embracing Death and Dying - we have our 4th annual event coming up on Saturday 28th October. As soon as we have the schedule confirmed it will go up on the website.

          First1 - An introduction to Buddhism, with Lama Zangmo


Over four Thursday evenings Lama Zangmo  will give beginners an understanding of the fundamentals and framework for the Buddhist path.

The very first teaching that the Buddha gave after he attained enlightenment was the Four Noble Truths. It is also referred to as the 'First Turning of the Wheel of Dharma' because it represents the first phase of the Buddha's teaching. It is called a 'wheel' because it is a means for travelling the path to enlightenment in much the same way that a wheel enables a vehicle to move along a road.

An introduction to Buddhism with Lama Zangmo takes place on four Thursday evenings from the 7th - 28th September, 7.00 - 8.30 pm. You can book your place on the course using the Donate button at the bottom of the course page on our website.

   a12 - "I see you Mara" with Alistair Appleton

At the moment of his enlightenment the Buddha defeated the force of ignorance and suffering, known as Mara, by uttering the words: "I see you, Mara".

Taking that as the starting point, Alistair will use this weekend to unmask the 'psychological Mara' that confounds our natural happiness and warm-heartedness with layer upon layer of deadening beliefs about our selves and the world.

Meditation and therapy give us tools to cut through those heavy stories about ourselves - in particular, the Buddha's insight into 'dependent origination', which explains how they arise so compulsively. Once we see 'Mara' in action then we can cut through the distortions and start living in a freer, more spontaneous and more light-hearted way.

This is a course suitable for beginners and practitioners wanting to refresh their practice. Some of the practises will be done lying down.

"I see you Mara" - using meditation to cut through toxic thinking takes place on the weekend of the 9th - 10th September, 10.00 - 5.00 pm. Please book your place on this course via the Mindsprings website.


3 - Renunciation, Devotion and Meditation - with Lama Zangmo

In a 4 week course starting on Thursday 5th October, Lama Zangmo will be explaining the famous prayer called the Dorje Chang Tungma which is chanted regularly before the Shinay meditation sessions here at Kagyu Samye Dzong London.  

This prayer is a teaching that deals with the power of supplicating the Lineage Masters and how one relies upon the Lineage that comes from Vajradhara down to one's own Root Lama.

The text presents the entire path of practice. It shows how someone at the beginning should practice, how they practice next, and what benefit will be achieved. In this way, the entire path of Mahamudra and its practices are explained in this short text.

Lama Zangmo will pay particular attention to the verses that deal with Renunciation, Devotion and Meditation.

"Renunciation, devotion and meditation" with Lama Zangmo runs from Thursday 5th - 26th October, 7.00-8.30 pm. You can book your place using the Donate button at the bottom of the course page on our website, where you can also read more about the course. 

          a44 - A thank you letter from the Circle of Nourishment

"Dear friends,

The Cape Town Circle of Nourishment would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Lama Yeshe, Lama Zangmo and the London Kagyu community for their wonderful generosity and support for the past three years. A big thank-you to all the people involved who dedicated their time and care to raising funds for our project at Mowbray Maternity Hospital.

With your incredible fundraising support last year, which we carried over into 2017, we pledged:

  • 240 upgraded stork bundles, valued at R420, (£5897.00),

  • 240 meal vouchers each valued at R150 (£2107.00)

  • and a contribution of R14000 (£819.00) towards the transport fund to help destitute mothers with new-born babies able to travel back home.

The total contribution of R150 000 (£8776.00)  has been the largest contribution made by the Circle of Nourishment to the Hospital, since it's inception 6 years ago. This could not have been made possible without your incredible generosity.

We acknowledge and honour the formation of the Akong Memorial Foundation, and are very appreciative to be sharing this year's funds (totalling £6,500 to be shared between both) to the value of R53 963.55 (£3,268.35 ). These funds will go to maintaining the stork-bundles, via the social workers at the Hospital.

We are committed to keep raising funds for this very worthy project and together with Rokpa International's support, we will endeavour to continue to make a significant contribution to the mother's and new-born babies at Mowbray Hospital.

We thank you for your incredible support and generosity over the years and wish you all the best with your future fundraising efforts for the Akong Memorial Foundation.

May you continue to help where help is needed and may all beings everywhere have happiness and be free from suffering.

With deep gratitude,

The Rokpa Circle of Nourishment"


5 - 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.


Mindfulness Association Level 2 Mindfulness Training: Responding with Compassion
Sep. 2 - 3, 10:00am - 5:00pm

Taming the Mind - with Lama Zangmo
Sat, Sep. 2, 10:00am - 4:00pm

Introduction to Meditation - a 4 week course with Bernard Mordan from 6th September
Wed, Sep. 6, 7:00pm - 8:30pm

An introduction to Buddhism over four evenings - with Lama Zangmo
Thu, Sep. 7, 7:00pm - 8:30pm

"I see you Mara" - using meditation to cut through toxic thinking - with Alistair Appleton
Sep. 9 - 10, 10:00am - 5:00pm          
Medicine Buddha Puja
Sun, Sep. 10, 7:00pm - 8:00pm

Bodhicharyavatara with Lama Zangmo
Sat, Sep. 16, 10:00am - 4:00pm

Simply Meditation Day
Sun, Sep. 17, 9:30am - 5:00pm

Empathic resonance in relationship: interpersonal mindfulness training for mindfulness teachers
Sep. 23 - 24, 10:00am - 5:00pm
Guru Rinpoche - Shower of Blessings
Sun, Oct. 29, 7:00pm - 8:00pm
Level One Mindfulness Training: Being Present (Apr-July-Sep-Feb)
Sep. 30 - Oct. 1, 10:00am - 5:00pm
Introduction to Meditation - a 4 week course with Bernard Mordan from 4th October
Wednesdays from 4th - 25th Oct, 7:00pm - 8:30pm

Renunciation, Devotion and Meditation - with Lama Zangmo
Thursdays from 5th - 26th Oct, 7:00pm - 8:30pm

Meditation and Mindfulness for Beginners - a 4 week course with Gelong Trinley from 5th October
Thursdays from 5th - 26th Oct, 7:00pm - 8:30pm

Lucid Dreaming with Charlie Morley
Oct. 7 - 8, 10:00am - 5:00pm

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

Bodhicharyavatara with Lama Zangmo
Sat, Oct. 14, 10:00am - 4:00pm

Mindfulness Association Level 2 Mindfulness Training: Responding with Compassion
Oct. 14 - 15, 10:00am - 5:00pm

Simply Meditation Day
Sun, Oct. 15, 9:30am - 5:00pm

Embracing Death and Dying
Sat, Oct. 28, 10:00am - 5:00pm

Guru Rinpoche Tsok Puja
Sun, Oct. 29, 7:00pm - 8:30pm