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Cancellation of July visit by Choje Lama Yeshe Losal Rinpoche

Posted on 24 Jun 2019

Cancellation of July visit by Choje Lama Yeshe Losal Rinpoche

Kagyu Samye Dzong London

Monthly newsletter

Welcome to the July newsletter. Just as the sun is coming out and the weather warming up, we have some less good news to impart this month.

The first is that due to ongoing health issues, Lama Yeshe Rinpoche will not be visiting us in July as planned.

The second is that, after months of silence, the developers of the site next door to the Centre have announced their intentions of putting their revised plans to the Council in the next few months. 

To find out more - including the more positive things that we've got coming up, just read on....  


News in Brief


  • Cancellation of July visit by Lama Yeshe Rinpoche - We are sorry to announce that, due to ongoing health issues, Lama Yeshe Rinpoche is not well enough to travel and has had to cancel his planned visit to the Centre. We do hope he will be able to come later in the year.
  • Summer Closure -  the Centre will be closing at 9.00 pm on Sun 28th July and re-opening at 2.00 pm on Weds 28th August.  
  • KSDL weekly opening hours and office hours will be changing from 28th August. Please check our website closer to the time.
  • Special prayers to celebrate H.H. 17th Karmapa's birthday will take place on Wednesday 26th June at 7.00 pmEverybody is welcome to join in the prayers for His Holiness' good health, long life and increasing activity to benefit beings.  
  • Recordings of teachings by His Holiness the Dalai Lama on the Nature of Reality will be played on Sunday 30th June and Sunday 14th July. Full details can be found on the website.
  • Simply Meditation Days at the Centre offer the perfect opportunity to deepen your meditation practice. The last one before the summer closure takes place on Sunday 21st July. You can join for just one or all sessions through the day. To see the full schedule for the day, please visit the website.
  • Photos from the 2019 UK Kagyu Monlam - having spent long enough telling you about the Monlam in the run-up, it only seems right to give you a taste of what went on for those who couldn't attend, and a re-living of the recent past for those who did. Check out the gallery on our website

1 - Impressions of Samye Ling, by Lydia Polzer

Lydia Polzer gives her impressions on Samye Ling while attending the 2nd UK Kagyu Monlam:

For the briefest of visits I'm at Samye Ling for the 2nd UK Kagyu Mönlam on a June weekend. I never knew just how beautiful this place is at the start of summer - the big blue bells of Himalayan poppies, dusky pink fox gloves, dark blue irisis everywhere. The river bubbling merrily and sparkling in the sunshine, trees and shrubs exuberantly green, everything fresh, new and flowering. Last time I went, spring hadn't sprung, the trees were still bare, their buds yet to open. That was quite a long time ago. So long that I admire the new marble-topped sinks in the ladies' bathroom in Johnston House that I had never used before. So long that seeing the bridge over the ponds outside the reception takes me by surprise. So long that last time I stayed, Akong Rinpoche was still alive.

Wandering around the monastery grounds now six years later, I feel amazed at how much has been achieved here over the course of 50 years and even more so since my last visit. Potatoes, chard and broad beans in the gardens prevailing against the cold Scottish climes, the road at the entrance newly tarmaced, the Karmapa flags flying proudly.The place feels abundant, bigger, greater than ever. 

Monks, nuns, lay residents and visitors are crisscrossing the square in front of the temple rushing to the day's first teaching session. With all the buildings around the square now complete it feels more than ever like a place of learning and study - a place where dharma is alive and ready to grow.

The gold of the myriad carvings, statues and ornaments in the shrine room gleams in the early morning light as we sit down to listen to Drupon Rinpoche's teaching. For all his reputation of being a stern teacher, he speaks so softly and ever so wisely.

In the break I pass the office of the Akong Memorial Foundation with none other than our very own Trinley manning the desk. He seems well and happily settled in at Samye Ling.

So much positive activity, so many people benefitting - I keep thinking how happy Akong Rinpoche would be to see Samye Ling thriving.

To see photos from the 2nd UK Kagyu Monlam, visit our gallery. 


2 - Development update - 11-13 Spa Road


CKC Properties, the developers who have submitted a planning application for a 7-storey building next to Samye Dzong, have been silent for many months. Last week, however, our lawyers have informed us that they had been in contact with them. They were told that CKC Properties is hoping to get their plans for 11-13 Spa Road in front of the Southwark Council planning committee "in the next couple of months". 

The planning department of the Council had requested that they submit an amended design of the building. We were told that everyone who commented on the original planning application would be notified and given the opportunity to comment again. 

Please keep an eye out for further news on this matter, comment on the amended application as and when it becomes available and also look out for the date of the committee meeting. It would be great to have as many friends of Samye Dzong there to show just how many people will be impacted by this proposed scheme.

The planning application can be found on the Southwark Council website.


3 - Taming the Wild Mind, with Lama Zangmo

Calm abiding meditation is accomplished through training the mind in mindfulness and awareness. By focusing this awareness stably in meditation and non-distraction we can give rise to a more peaceful mind.

Meditation and mindfulness, practised regularly over time, have strong potential to make one's general state of mind more positive: increasingly we can become free of habitual reactivity, unhelpful emotional patterns, and limited ways of seeing ourselves and others. With a more open and relaxed mind we will have less stress resulting from our living situation, and less tendency to be thrown by the ups-and-downs that life presents. A regular meditation practice can bring a greater sense of inner peace and calm an overactive mind.

This course is especially suited for those who would like to be introduced to the basics of meditation, and those who wish to learn how to continue and take their meditation practice further in order to attain long term stability.

Taming the Wild Mind takes place on three consecutive Wednesday evenings from 10th - 24th July, between 19.00 and 20.30.  It is a requirement to commit to attend all three classes. To book your place, please visit the website.


4 - The Four Immeasurables, with Clive Holmes

The Buddha taught that better than living in a palace is to live within the four immeasurables: loving-kindness, compassion, joy and equanimity. They do not have to be artificially created but can be discovered in our meditation practice, in our daily lives.

This course will be experience based with a meditation exercise given for each. There will also be some teachings on self-compassion since in the West we often suffer unnecessarily from a lack of self-acceptance and a lack of self-respect!

The four limitless meditation prayer is used widely and an explanation will be given into how it works. The course is suitable for beginners and those advanced alike.

Please bring an open mind and a willingness to think, "outside the box!"

"The mind is like a parachute-it works best when it is open."

The Four Immeasurables, with Clive Holmes, takes place on the weekend of 27th - 28th July, 10.00 -4.00 pm. For more information about Clive, and for booking details, please visit the website.


5 - Worried minds, peaceful bodies: working with anxiety and panic - with Alistair Appleton

Alistair Appleton writes:

So many modern people live in an almost constant state of anxiety. We might be conscious of it: in panic attacks, anxious moods, obsessive worry or phobias. Or we might be unconscious of it: compulsive busyness, addictions, self-criticism or grandiosity. Anxiety and the avoidance of anxiety is at the root of a whole host of mental disturbances. But shockingly, few of us know sensible ways of working with anxiety and panic. 

For millennia, Buddhist practitioners have known that the source of all this anxiety is the thinking mind. Our bodies are naturally programmed to feel fear and panic - and these are healthy things. But our thinking minds can imagine endless triggers for these bodily states and so we get trapped in cycles of chronic anxiety. 

For more than 6 years, Alistair Appleton has been teaching and researching this topic and looking at the best ways of working with anxiety and panic. This weekend is an introduction to his 'somatic' approach to anxiety.

Alistair's workshop "Worried minds, peaceful bodies" will take place on the weekend of the 31st August - 1st September, 10.00 am - 5.00 pm. Full details and a booking form can be found on the Mindsprings website.