Embracing death and dying at Samye Dzong London - Saturday 30th September
Welcome to the October newsletter.
It's lovely to be able to start off with something really positive which is a very big thank you to all those who responded to our request for equipment for the Centre in last month's newsletter. Your generosity is very much appreciated and is a great demonstration of how the sense of community that extends well beyond the physical walls of the Centre itself.
Unfortunately, life doesn't just include the nice things and the 8th October marks the 10th anniversary of the death of Choje Akong Tulku Rinpoche and his two attendants. On a personal note, it comes as something of a shock to me that ten years have passed. I still remember very clearly receiving the news in a phone call from Trinley in Manor Place, and then the rush to get out a message from Lama Zangmo to the wider Samye Dzong community and opening up Spa Road that same evening. For those of you who didn't know Akong Rinpoche it's difficult to describe the impact the news had on the community - although reading the first chapter of Gelong Thubten's latest book, A Handbook for Hard Times, might give you an idea. And you might get a sense of why there was such an impact if you watch the amazing film "Akong: a remarkable life".
There will of course be commemorative events taking place at Samye Ling - full details are on their website. To mark the anniversary, at Samye Dzong London we will be dedicating a light offering to the memory of Akong Rinpoche followed by a Chenrezig Puja. This will start at 6.30 pm.
The Abbot Choje Lama Yeshe Losal Rinpoche will conduct a Refuge Ceremony in Samye Ling on 17 Oct. Anyone who wishes to formally take refuge in the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha is welcome to take part. An explanatory talk will be given by a member of the Sangha before the ceremony.
One more thing that I will add is that although there is sadness at the loss of Rinpoche, I find it impossible to feel anything other than immense gratitude for what he did. Each time you visit Samye Dzong London, or Samye Ling, or any of the other Centres or projects he initiated in his remarkable life, it was all to help others - and it's a legacy that has kept going since that day 10 years ago and from which all of us associated with the Centres continue to benefit.
And now for the rest of the newsletter.
Faith & Intelligence in Buddhism with Drupon Khen Rinpoche
We are delighted that Drupon Khen Rinpoche, Karma Lhabu, will be giving a teaching in Kagyu Samye Dzong London at the end of his one week Meditation Practice Retreat at Kagyu Samye Ling Monastery.
His teaching will take place on Monday 16th October when we will be opening the building from 6.30 pm with the talk scheduled to start at 7.00 pm.
To help us prepare for the event, we would appreciate it if you could RSVP so we have an idea of numbers. We will post more information about opening times nearer the time.You can find full details of this event on the website.
Tibetan Language class - For Beginners Starting Weds 18th October,
at 7:15pm - 8:15pm
Tibetan is one of the four major languages for students of Buddhism, along with Sanskrit, Pali, and Chinese. Learning the Tibetan language is therefore an important gateway which opens the door to the treasure-house of the Dharma, eventually providing a deeper understanding of the Buddhist texts and teachings.
In this Beginners' Course students will become familiar with the Tibetan alphabet and learn to read and write, thus enabling them to use the language in their own recitations and practice sessions.
Become familiar with the Tibetan alphabet, and learn to read and write. This is a 9 week course with weekly lessons from 7.15pm to 8.15pm on the following dates: Oct 18; Oct 25; Nov 1; Nov 8; Nov 15; Nov 22; Nov 29; Dec 6; Dec 13.
The emphasis of this course is to enable the student to read and write through learning the basics of the alphabet, spelling, and grammar, so that they can start to use the Tibetan language for their own Dharma practice. If you have any questions please contact the office for enquiries.
Full details of this course as well as a Lower Intermediate course can be found on the website.
Embracing Death and Dying
We would like to invite you to join us on Saturday 30th September for our annual event Embracing Death and Dying: A Celebration of Life Through Reflection on Death', organised by the Samye Dzong London Bardo Group.
This is an opportunity to explore and reflect on death and dying through a number of talks and workshops hosted by excellent speakers.You are welcome to come along for all or part of the day, which is open to all the family and is free.
The day begins from 10am with practical advice on how and when to prepare your will by David Waterston from Greengate Wills. David will also have a table set up to give individual advice after his talk until lunchtime.
At 10.50am Dr Gayatri Beaumont will share perspectives on Death & Dying as a hospice doctor.
At 12 noon Victoria Mellor from Poppy’s Funerals will follow, talking about a modern funeral director’s approach to death and funeral services. There will be coffins and urns on display.
From 1.45pm Lama Zangmo, Resident Lama at KSDL, will talk about the Buddhist perspective on death.
At 2.35pm Charlie Morley will share his personal experience on guiding his mother at the time of death.
At 3.45pm the Bardo Group will talk about what they do, support at Buddhist funerals and the monthly Death Cafe as a community outreach. This will be a panel discussion.
From 4pm to 5pm there will be the lighting of Tibetan Butter lamps in the courtyrd for decesaed and loved one followed by prayre in the Shrine Room. This will end the day.
Our previous events were very popular and we would like to welcome you again this year after the long hiatus of the years of lockdown. The day is rounded off with a light offering and prayers to remember loved ones. Our Tibetan Tearoom will be open throughout the day.
Full details of the schedule and details of speakers for the day is on our website.
An Introduction to Meditation with Joelle Peeters
Saturday 21 Oct, 10am – 4pm
This is a day of meditation instruction especially suited for complete beginners and those who would like to refresh their knowledge and get more meditation experience. The course is led by Joelle Peeters, who is a long-time Buddhist practitioner, and has been approved by our organisation to lead and guide meditation practice at the Centre.
Joelle will introduce participants to the techniques and understanding to establish an ongoing and fruitful practice of calm abiding meditation. It will include posture, relaxation, breathing, and walking meditation and other relevant aspects of practice. There will be meditation sessions interspersed throughout the day and plenty of time for Q&A.
A regular meditation practice can bring a greater sense of inner peace and can help to calm an overactive mind, as well as bring more understanding in a deeper sense of who we are. Please note - this is an in-person only event and will not be streamed online.
For full details and to book your place on this course, please visit the course page on the website.