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The first UK Kagyu Monlam! Coming in May

Posted on 26 Jan 2018

The first UK Kagyu Monlam! Coming in May


Kagyu Samye Dzong London

Monthly newsletter

Welcome to the February newsletter. This month we have more details about the first ever UK Kagyu Monlam taking place at Samye Ling in May.  Closer to home there's an article about what you can do to help the environment. This is part of the lead in to our celebration of Earth Day 2018 in April. To find out about these stories and more besides, read on....  

News in Brief

  • Losar,  the Tibetan New Year, is coming soon.  We will be celebrating the Year of the Male Earth Dog on Friday 16th February between 7.00 - 9.00 pm with an evening of auspicious prayers for peace and happiness to bring in the New Year. We will offer a kata (white scarf) to the shrine, followed by food to share. The programme for the evening can be found on the website
  • Some dates for your diary:
  • Towards an Understanding of Spirituality with Philippe Jacquet - in our society the idea of "Spirituality" is very fashionable. The multitude of spiritual programs, workshops and courses can be confusing and misleading. During this workshop we use Art Therapy to explore what " Spirituality" means for you and what does it mean to be spiritual in your daily life. Saturday 5th February, 9.30-4.30 pm.
  • Drawing Green Tara with Ani Semchi course takes place on the weekend of the 5th-6th May. Learning to draw a deity is the best way to learn how to visualise them accurately.  Places on this course are limited so, if you're interested, put this in your diary now and please book sooner rather than later!
  • 20 years of Kagyu Samye Dzong in London - yes, you did read that correctly!  We will be celebrating our 20th anniversary with prayers and ceremonies over three full days, including a refuge ceremony and a children's blessing. This will coincide with the visit of Choje Lama Yeshe Losal Rinpoche, so put 6th-8th July in your diary now!  More information to follow.
  • Losar Mahakala at Samye Ling - Prayers are traditionally offered to the Dharma Protector Mahakala before each Tibetan New Year begins. This intensive 5 day practice is aimed at clearing away any obstacles remaining from the old year so that the New Year will bring peace and harmony and abundance both on a personal level and to the world in general. It is an effective way of letting go of negativity of body, speech and mind for the year ahead.Full details can be found on the Samye Ling website.
  • We will celebrate Earth Day  on 22nd April with speakers on topics such as: Buddhist Ethics for the benefit of our planet;  Veganism and the environmental impact of food ; Mindfully reducing our environmental footprint; Green Energy; Bees ; and much more to come. A special date for your diary. See the article below for The 108 Things you can do to help the Environment.

1 - The qualities of the spiritual teacher and the student, with Lama Zangmo

This 5 week course will cover topics such as: the need for a spiritual teacher and the benefits of finding a good guide; the qualities to look for in the spiritual teacher;  the qualities needed in a student; the three types of Dharma person; the benefits of faith and devotion and the need for intelligent discernment on the spiritual path.
Lama Zangmo will give explanation on these and other related topics, and there will also be time for meditation. 
This course is suitable for anyone wanting to learn more about Buddhism. Participants are asked to commit to attend the full course, 5 Thursday evening classes.
"The qualities of the spiritual teacher and student" with Lama Zangmo takes place on five Thursday evenings from 22nd Feb - 22nd Mar, 7.00-8.30 pm.  You can book your place now by using the Donate button at the bottom of the course page on our website.

2 - The first UK Kagyu Monlam, May 2018

The first UK Kagyu Monlam will be held at Samye Ling on 22nd-29th May 2018. 
The Monlam will begin on the auspicious date of the anniversary of Lord Buddha's Birth on 22nd May and will finish on 29th May 2018, the anniversary of Lord Buddha's Enlightenment and Parinirvana. 
If you are interested in joining a group to travel up by coach from London, please contact the office as soon as possible. If enough people want to join, we will hire a coach and travel up together..
What is a Kagyu Monlam?
The Kagyu Monlam is a major international prayer festival held annually in Bodhgaya, India, where people gather to listen to Buddhist teachings and to pray for peace and harmony  and  the well-being  and happiness of the world. 
The Kagyu Monlam is now also held annually in other countries all over the world on a smaller scale. This will be the first time it is being held in the UK.
History: Though the Kagyu Monlam belongs fully to the contemporary world, its roots lie in 15th-century Tibet, where the 7th Karmapa, Chödrak Gyatso, established the tradition of great prayer gatherings.  People from all over Tibet assembled annually to pray for the benefit of all sentient beings. In India, the Monlam tradition began in 1983, when two great lamas in the Kagyu tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, Kalu Rinpoche and Bokar Rinpoche, began holding annual prayer gatherings at the Mahabodhi Temple in Bodhgaya. 

After the 17th Karmapa assumed responsibility for the festival in 2004, he brought in many innovations, creating the international festival that exists today. 
The first UK Kagyu Monlam, 22nd-29th May, Kagyu Samye Ling.  For more details and to book accommodation, please visit the Samye Ling website.

3 - Transforming Time Terror - with Alistair Appleton

Most of us are terrorised by time. There are the daily stresses of commuting and childcare, of multitasking and meeting deadlines. Then there are the thoughts we torture ourselves with: "Have I done enough?" and "My life is slipping away". And finally those existential terrors presented by the internal body clock, the relentless footsteps of ageing and death and the environmental time-bombs of climate change and the planet's life-cycle.
These and other manifestations of "time stress" can often leaves us paralysed, anxious and dissociated. But by facing the phenomena of personal time face-on and developing a skillful way of transforming our relationship to it, life can be freed up in unimaginable ways.
This weekend at Spa Road is looking at how meditation and the Buddhist teaching of the "Four Reminders" allows us to do just this: re-frame our relationships with time and turn the ticking clock into an inspiration rather than a terror.
It's open to all levels - to beginners or people interested in approaching familiar dharma in a fresh light.
"Transforming Time Terror" with Alistair Appleton takes place on 3rd - 4th March, 10.00 - 5.00. Please note that this course is not being run by Samye Dzong London an there is a charge for it - £95 full price and £65 concessions. 
You can book your place now via the Mind-Springs website.

4 - 108 things you can do to help the environment

Buddhism has always included a strong awareness of our interconnectedness, not just with each other, but with all living things. With increasing environmental damage and climate change it is evident that we are in a long-term crisis which His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, Orgyen Trinley Dorje describes as "the greatest challenge facing 21st-century society". 
His Holiness continued "It gives hope for the future when special efforts are made to turn our attention to the state of our world's natural environment."
This is why, for the first time, we will be celebrating Earth Day this year on Sunday 22nd April at Kagyu Samye Dzong London.  We will have a range of speakers covering topics including urban beekeeping, soil regeneration, the dispersal of plastic in our environment, and the benefits of a plant-based diet. 
It's easy to be intimidated by the scale of what we see on the news, however it's also important to know what each one of us can do. Previously on  Earth Day, His Holiness  wrote:
"I am happy to release the 108 Things You Can Do today on Earth Day and hope that this auspicious act has far-reaching benefits for the Earth.

Our world is facing an environmental crisis which is complex, overwhelming and affects us all, but it is difficult to know where to begin and what we can do.

It is very important for all of us to change our behavior and we need to start taking practical steps. These 108 Things You Can Do are a path that everyone can follow in order to make a difference. "
Although originally intended for monastaries, the message is intended for everyone. We would like to share this with you in the run up to Earth Day 2018 and we hope that as many of you as possible will join us both on the day and, over the longer term, in becoming more mindful and careful of how what we do impacts on the environment we share with all other living beings.
"Earth Day 2018" will be celebrated at Samye Dzong London on Sunday 22nd April with a series of talks on related topics. As we get nearer the time more details will appear on the website. Please put this date in your diary and watch this space for more news in the weeks ahead.

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.

Toward an Understanding of Spirituality - with Philippe Jacquet
Sat, 3rd Feb , 9:30 - 4:30 pm  £50-

Tara and Chenrezig Practice Day - with the Samye Dzong Sangha
Sun. 4th Feb, 9:30 - 5:00 pm

Introduction to Meditation - a 4 week course with Bernard Mordan from 7th - 28th  February
Wednesdays, from 7th - 28th Feb, 7:00PM - 8:30PM

Meditation and Mindfulness for Beginners - a 4 week course with Gelong Trinley from 8th February
Thursdays from 8th Feb - 1 Mar, 7:00 - 8:30 pm

Tara Practice - with the Kagyu Samye Dzong Sangha
Thurs. 8th Feb, 7:00 - 8:00 pm

Level One Mindfulness Training: Being Present (Apr-July-Sep-Feb)
Sat - Sun. 10th - 11th Feb, 10:00 - 5:00 pm

Medicine Buddha Puja
Sun, 11th Feb, 7:00 - 8:00 pm

Tara Practice - with the Kagyu Samye Dzong Sangha
Thurs, 15th Feb, 7:00 - 8:00 pm

Losar Celebration - Losar Tashi Deleg - Year of the Earth Dog
Fri, 16th Feb, 7:00 - 9:00 pm

Bodhicharyavatara with Lama Zangmo
Sat,  17th Feb, 10:00 - 4:00 pm

Simply Meditation Day
Sun,  18th Feb, 9:30 - 5:00 pm
The Qualities of the Spiritual Teacher and Student, with Lama Zangmo
Thursdays from 22nd Feb - 22nd March, 7:00 - 8:30 pm

The Four Dharmas of Gampopa, with Gelong Thubten
Sat - Sun, 24th - 25th Feb, 10:00 - 4:00 pm

Guru Rinpoche Tsok Puja
Sun, 25th Feb, 7:00 - 8:30 pm
MARCH 2018  
The Qualities of the Spiritual Teacher and Student, with Lama Zangmo
Thursdays from 22nd Feb - 22nd March, 7:00 - 8:30 pm

Transforming Time Terror with Alistair Appleton
MAR. 3 - 4, 2018 10:00AM - 5:00PM

Simply Meditation Day
SUN, MAR. 4, 2018 9:30AM - 5:00PM

Introduction to Meditation - a 4 week course with Bernard Mordan from 7th - 28th  March
WED, MAR. 7, 2018 7:00PM - 8:30PM

Meditation and Mindfulness for Beginners - a 4 week course with Gelong Trinley from 8th - 29th March
THU, MAR. 8, 2018 7:00PM - 8:30PM

Lucid Dreaming with Charlie Morley
MAR. 10 - 11, 2018 10:00AM - 5:00PM

Medicine Buddha Puja
SUN, MAR. 11, 2018 7:00PM - 8:00PM

Bodhicharyavatara with Lama Zangmo
SAT, MAR. 17, 2018 9:30AM - 5:00PM

Level One Mindfulness Training: Being Present (Nov-Jan-Mar-May)
MAR. 17 - 18, 2018 10:00AM - 5:00PM

Simply Meditation Day
SUN, MAR. 18, 2018 9:00AM - 5:00PM

Emotional Intelligence with Clive Holmes
MAR. 24 - 25, 2018 10:00AM - 4:00PM

Guru Rinpoche Tsok Puja
SUN, MAR. 25, 2018 7:00PM - 8:30PM

Tara Practice - with the Kagyu Samye Dzong Sangha
THU, MAR. 29, 2018 7:00PM - 8:00PM

The Five Strengths, with Lama Zangmo
SAT, MAR. 31, 2018 10:00AM - 4:00PM