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March 2023 Newsletter

Subject: A guide to happiness - with Gelong Thubten


Gelong Thubten is visiting us again this month. Emaho! Thubten is the Director of Kagyu Samye Dzong Scarborough, Yorkshire. He is a Trustee of ROKPA International, an international humanitarian aid organisation with medical, education and cultural projects in some of the world's poorest regions. He is also a Director of Samye Foundation Wales, a mindfulness and wellbeing charity. Book a cushion at his course via our website or via the links later in this newsletter.


As a look ahead, we will also be holding Special Pujas for Choje Akong Tulku Rinpoche's return and Lama Yeshe Losal Rinpoche's Long Life from 3.00 - 5.00 pm. We are expecting a big turnout, so if you want to attend, please RSVP using the form on the website. Everybody is welcome!

At the end of the newsletter there's an amazingly insightful article into the world of bread making at the Centre... OK, I wrote it! And in between we have details of some great events coming up, starting with the visit of Gelong Thubten next weekend and the launch of Lama Zangmo's new long-term course on Gampopa's Jewel Ornament of Liberation. And there are job opportunities at Lothlorien! Now, to find out about all this and more, just read on. Best wishes, David Bates Newsletter Editor


News in Brief

Dates for your diary Simply Meditation - in March we have two Simply Meditation days on the 12th and the 26th. They comprise a series of meditation sessions throughout the day and you can attend as many or as few as you want. Getting together with fellow practitioners gives strength and is an ideal environment where those who would like to meditate more can be supported by the group endeavour. Full details of the day's schedule can be found on the website and there is no need to book in advance. Just turn up on the day. Introduction to Buddhism - The Precious Human Life and Impermanence, with Lama Zangmo. This is the third in a series of seven teachings which give an overview and understanding of the framework for the Buddhist path and takes place on Saturday 25th March. The first two teachings have been very popular with approximately 50 people attending each. To join them, just book your place via the website An Introduction to Meditation, with Lama Zangmo runs for four weeks starting on Wednesday 1st March, from 6.30 - 8.00 pm. One of our more popular courses. Even for more experienced practitioners, it's sometimes worth revisiting the basics.


A weekend of teachings by Gelong Thubten

Gelong Thubten will be giving two days of teaching on the weekend of the 4th and 5th March. Please see the website for more details about Thubten. A Guide to Happiness - Meditation in the 21st Century is on Saturday 4th from 10.00 am - 4.30 pm. Thubten will share practical tips on how to practise meditation on a daily basis, so that we can achieve tangible benefits in our lives. He will explain the benefits of compassion and it can be developed and practised. He will lead some guided meditation so that participants are provided with tools they can use on their own later and how to practice mindful moments throughout the day, even in the busiest situations. An Introduction to Vajrayana Deity Practice is on Sunday 5th March, from 10.00 am - 4.30 pm. Thubten will explain how the deity practices help to purify and train our minds. There will be practical tips on how to stabilise our ability to visualise as well as how to access the deeper blessings of the practices. Book your place from the course pages on the website.


Gampopa's Jewel Ornament of Liberation with Lama Zangmo

The Jewel Ornament of Liberation 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 course consists of a full day of teaching each month, with time for Q&A, and short meditations. When booking onto this course please commit to attend all the teachings, with the exception of unforeseen circumstances or emergencies. The text consists of 21 chapters, and this is the first module. The second module will start in September after the August summer closure. Dates for this course are: 11th March; 8th April; 13th May; 10th June; and 8th July 2023. Book your place now.


Lothlorien Therapeutic Community job opportunity

Lothlorien Therapeutic Community are pleased to announce that they are currently recruiting volunteer co-workers to join their community. This is a live in role and they are specifically looking to recruit two female co-workers. Lothlorien is a therapeutic community for people with mental health problems, situated in a quiet rural setting in South West Scotland. Lothlorien was originally started in 1974 by the Haughton family, who built the 13 bedroomed log house, one of the largest in its kind in Britain, from locally hewn larch and pine trees. It has been run since 1989 by the Rokpa Trust, an international charity founded by Dr. Akong Tulku Rinpoche of Samye Ling Tibetan Centre in Dumfriesshire. Buddhist values of compassion and tolerance are the basis of our approach, but we are not a religious community and are open to everyone. The community consists of 8 residents with mental health problems and 5 voluntary co-workers, living in the main house and a further 5 people living in the move-on house, Roan Lodge, which opened in April 2003. The 4 staff, known as the Core Group, come in on weekdays. The community has 17 acres of land, including vegetable gardens, woodland and pasture land. The main house has wheelchair access and a disabled toilet on the ground floor. Spending a period of time as a voluntary co-worker at Lothlorien Community is an exciting opportunity to work in a therapeutic and rewarding environment.  If you are interested in applying for this role then please see the website and complete the application form: or email lucy@lothlorien.tc for more details.The role will include SVQ level 3 training.We look forward to hearing from you!


Every week is Real Bread Week at Samye Dzong London

It took a while before I considered making my own bread. Growing up, it was normal for my mum to make bread each week and I pretty much took it for granted. It wasn’t until I left home that I started to realise quite how poor shop bread was in comparison – so around the age of 22, I decided to learn how to make it myself, and have been doing so ever since. Aside from the obvious benefits of having great, fresh, tasty homemade bread, there were a few other things that emerged. I find the whole process of bread making very grounding – positively therapeutic in fact. So much of my time is spent sitting down in front of screens, working in a virtual world, but making bread brings me very much back into the present, into my body. It’s a process that needs attention – creating the right conditions for the yeast / starter to grow, feeling the dough change through the process of kneading: going from a sticky mess as the water is added, through to becoming an alive, elastic substance as the water is absorbed and the gluten starts to develop... To read the rest of this article, visit the Samye Dzong Blog page.

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