Kagyu Samye Dzong London
Happy New Year and welcome to the first newsletter of the year. Other welcomes include: Lama Zangmo who has returned from South Africa and Zimbabwe (see sunny photo above), a new website and slightly more extended opening hours!
We also have new events coming up to suit all levels. For those new to meditation or Buddhism we have introductory courses, while for the more experienced / serious practitioners Lama Zangmo is starting a new, long-term monthly course which will dive into the depths of the Jewel Ornament of Liberation. To find out more, read on.
News in Brief
Extended opening hours in 2023 - starting in January the Centre will open at 9.30 am on Saturday and Sunday. On Sunday evenings you are also welcome to join us for Chenrezig Pujas again at 7.00 pm. Full details of our opening hours, and those of the Tea Room, can be found on the Visit Us page of the new website.
Volunteering at the Centre - We would dearly love to open up further but what we are already doing is a stretch with our current willing workforce. If you are able to help out on a regular basis - whether that's a couple of hours at the weekend staffing the reception desk / helping out in the cafe - or would like to be a full-time residential volunteer, we would love to hear from you.
Teaching on Gampopa's text, A Precious Garland of the Supreme Path, resumes again this Thursday 12th January at 6.30 pm. This is a weekly drop-in course and you are welcome to attend any or all of the sessions. You do not need to book in advance.
The Online Death Cafe - Thursday, 19th January, 7.30 - 8.30 pm. Please note the online bit!
The Third UK Kagyu Monlam will be taking place in Kagyu Samye Ling in Scotland from 27 May – 2 June 2023. We are especially fortunate that Drupon Khen Rinpoche will give daily teachings.
Bookings will open in February. Please check the Samye Ling website for details.
New KSDL website and booking system for courses
Sarah Sheehan writes:
The new Kagyu Samye Dzong London website is now live! We are really excited about this. As with all new things tech, there may be some teething issues. If you notice areas that are causing problems
( for example, links that aren't working; unclear formatting) we would be very grateful if you could forward these points to the office at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will try to resolve them as soon as possible.
We hope that this new site will be of benefit, and encourage ease of access, for everyone."
New booking system for courses - for some time now there's been a clear need for a new website, and so it was with the booking system for courses at the Centre. The old system of people emailing in requests was a considerable burden on the office team which at times was almost overwhelming. We've now moved to an online system for those events which require a booking. This should smoothe out the process and reduce the admin time considerably, as well as make the booking system more accurate - however there is also a cost involved in using such as system. This is why there is now an administration fee of £5. for each course that requires a booking. This is not a charge for the teachings but is to cover the costs of running and improving the system. We hope this will take some of the load off the office staff.
Big thanks go to...
Anyone who's ever been involved in sorting out a new website will know quite how much work is involved. And although she'll blush at this, we do want to acknowledge Sarah's enormous efforts in this, including her overnight stint to get the new website launched on time which meant she didn't get to bed until 7.00 am!!!! Without Sarah this new website would not have happened, but there were a number of other people involved as well and here is Sarah's account:
"This was a wonderful group effort that included Preethi for management assistance and developing, Simon for beautiful images, Chris for developing and transferring information, Katrina for proofreading and final edits, David for helping organize the menu and information, Sarah for development and design work, and to everyone who helped check the site before it went live."
Thanks to one and all involved in any capacity, and remember, if you do spot any errors / issues with the website, please let us know by emailing email@example.com
New courses with Lama Zangmo
New to Buddhism or just want a refresher? Lama Zangmo will be giving a series of monthly teachings under the heading "An Introduction to Buddhism". The first one on Saturday 21st January is on The Four Noble Truths.
For the more serious practitioner, Lama will start a series of monthly teachings on Gampopa's Jewel Ornament of Liberation on Saturday 11th March.
This is one of the primary texts of the Kagyu Lineage and is of immense relevance and benefit to all practitioners, regardless of what stage they are at. In addition to providing a step-by-step outline of the path to Buddhahood, the teachings on Buddha nature can provide students with confidence in the path and inspiration to keep moving along the unmistaken path of liberation.
The text consists of 21 chapters, and this is the first module. The second module will start in September after the August summer closure. The course consists of a monthly full day of teaching with time for Q&A and short meditations.
If booking onto this course, please commit to attend all the teachings, with the exception of unforeseen circumstances or emergencies.
No, not the forest in The Lord of the Rings! This one is the Lothlorien Therapeutic Community which is located in rural Scotland.
Lothlorien has been run since 1989 by the Rokpa trust, a charity founded by Dr. Akong Tulku Rinpoche of the Samye Ling Tibetan Centre in Dumfriesshire.
Buddhist values of compassion and tolerance are the basis of their approach, but they are not a religious community and are open to everyone.
Lothlorien is based on the therapeutic community model, which includes the principles of collective responsibility and empowerment. The community consists of 8 residents with mental health needs, voluntary co-workers and staff who live across two houses. The community has 17 acres of land, including vegetable gardens, woodland and pasture land.
Opportunities available at Lothlorien: They currently have residential spaces available in their community. If you, or somebody you know might be interested in becoming a resident at Lothlorien, please check their website or contact Lucy@lothlorien.tc