Lama Jampa Thaye visits Bristol, 20 and 21 June

LJT-Bristol-June-2015-1 For this midsummer weekend, Lama Jampa visited Bristol to continue teaching Sakya Pandita's pithy and clear 'Reply to Nyimo Gomchen' and give the initiation of Green Tara, (Shakyashribhadra tradition), followed by a relaxed and insightful questions and answers session on Sunday morning.

This was Part 2 in the series of teachings on Sakya Pandita's text, with this section dealing with profound questions about the nature of mind and how authentic experience of the nature of reality can be achieved. Lama Jampa also reminded students about how helpful this text is for Buddhist students today, 800 years after it was composed. Through his responses to the meditator Nyimo Gomchen, Sakya Pandita addresses many of the mistaken ideas about Buddhist practice around in the early years of Buddhism in Tibet, which can also be seen today in the West.

In the afternoon, as well as giving Refuge to new practitioners, Lama Jampa bestowed the initiation of Green Tara from the lineage of Indian master Shakyasrhibhadra, one of Sakya Pandita's main teachers. Meditation on Green Tara is one of the most widely practised in Tibetan Buddhism. Known as 'she who is swift to liberate', this deity is the embodiment of the activity of all the buddhas and her initiation and meditation are especially effective means of awakening one’s capacity for enlightened compassion.

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LJT-Bristol-June-2015-2 Sunday morning saw some more profound questions, this time in the setting of the Sakya Buddhist Centre shrine room. Students asked about topics ranging from the nature of emptiness to how to practise dharma in the context of work and family life. Around 50 people had the opportunity to hear Lama Jampa answer each with skill, clarity and compassion, with some laughter too at times.

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The answers will be made available more widely online in the near future - follow Lama Jampa on Facebook to learn more. To keep up to date with Sakya Buddhist Centre events, you can also find us on Sakya Buddhist Centre Facebook.

Sakya Buddhist Centre will be happy to welcome Lama Jampa Thaye to Bristol again in the autumn. LJT-Bristol-June-2015-3

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Lama Jampa Thaye teaches in Bristol UK

Lama Jampa Thaye's 2015 teaching programme opened this weekend in Bristol with Sakya Pandita's 'Reply to Nyimo Gomchen' and the initiation of White Tara from the lineage of Shakya Shri. Sakya Pandita's text, written as a series of answers to 23 questions by a 12th - 13th century meditator, removes confusion on how to practise the authentic dharma path and achieve realisation. It was given at a time in Tibet when many teachers and disciples held mistaken beliefs about the nature of enlightenment and were focusing on just one element of dharma practice, such as meditation. With dharma so new in the West, this short text is an ideal support for practitioners today. In the afternoon, Lama Jampa gave the initiation of White Tara from the lineage of the great Kashmiri scholar Shakyashri Bhadra, one of Sakya Pandita's main teachers. Renowned for bestowing the blessings of long life and thus increasing the opportunity for spiritual practice, White Tara is one of three such deities along with Namgyalma and Amitayus. This particular tradition of White Tara is contained in Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo's Collection of All Sadhanas (Tib Druptap Kuntu) and was also previously given by Karma Thinley Rinpoche in 1999.

Lama Jampa will continue to teach the 'Reply to Nyimo Gomchen' on his return to Sakya Thinley Rinchen Ling later this year.

Click here for further information about Shakyashri Bhadra

A Dharma Weekend in Lisbon

Invited by José Rodrigues, and at the request of Lama Jampa, Carl Rogers from our Bristol centre spent the weekend of 17th to 19th October in the beautiful old city of Lisbon, accompanied by Ed Curtis. On the Friday night Carl gave an introductory talk outlining the Buddhist path. He took as his theme the “three trainings” (morality, meditation and wisdom). The talk was well attended in a lovely new hall belonging to a local Buddhist teacher, and was the first Dharma event to be held there. On the Saturday and Sunday, Carl outlined the renowned Sakya teachings of the “Parting from the Four Attachments” to a good number of attendees at the Portuguese Buddhist Union. Carl relied on the structure of Jetsun Drakpa Gyaltsen’s commentary as well as Lama Jampa’s “Melody of the Gentle Lord”. The morning and afternoon sessions consisted of periods of listening, contemplating and meditating. People attending were very impressed by the clear and systematic presentation of the path. The entire weekend had been organised by José with the help of John Cox, another of Lama Jampa’s students who lives near Lisbon. José and John now intend to start a Dechen Community meditation group on the strength of the very positive feedback they received from those attending the weekend. Lisbon-3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Lama Jampa teaches in Harrogate

png;base6431df8a450dd18025On Saturday, 13th September, Lama Jampa Thaye visited Harrogate in Yorkshire to teach the final verses of the text ‘A Hundred Pieces of Advice to the People of Thingri’ by Dampa Sanjay and to bestow the initiation of Sanjay Menla (Medicine Buddha). In the morning session Lama Jampa highlighted Dampa Sanjay’s focus on the fundamental teachings of the dharma. Lama Jampa emphasised the importance of understanding what the Lama is, and how he or she can help us, and the necessity to grasp precious human birth in both hands, while practising in a fully adult way. Lama Jampa carefully delineated the relationships between morality, the use of antidotes from the Mahayana tradition and the ultimate teachings on the true nature of mind. In conclusion, Lama Jampa remarked that he had first received Dampa Sanjay's text from Karma Thinley Rinpoche twenty-five years ago and that it was in fact one of Rinpoche’s favourite texts.

In the afternoon Lama Jampa bestowed the Medicine Buddha initiation and gave refuge to several new members of the sangha.

The organisers would like to thank everyone who helped both before and during the event and look forward to Lama Jampa's next visit to Yorkshire in the Spring.

Lama Jampa Thaye at Sakya Changlochen Ling

CLC-Blog-1The final part of Sakya Pandita's brilliantly clear presentation of the Buddhist path, Elucidating the Thought of the Sage, and group practice retreat on White Mahakala (Tib: Gonkar - the wealth and protection bestowing emanation of Chenrezik) have closed a momentous summer in the 25-year history of Sakya Changlochen Ling. Whilst many participants came from England, this was an international event with around 80 people travelling from Bulgaria, France, Germany, Mexico, Portugal, Singapore and the USA as well as the UK.

Since 1989, Sakya Changlochen Ling has been transformed from the rustic charm of the original buildings to an extensive gompa (temple) and retreat centre, replacing a solitary tap for washing with comfortable accommodation, catering facilities, with a beautiful shrine room as the crowning jewel.  Over the past 25 years, Lama Jampa has given many important teachings and initiations there, including Lopon Sonam Tsemo's General Presentation of the Tantra Sets, Shantideva's Entering the Bodhisattva Conduct and Sakya Pandita's Discriminating the Three Vows as well as the initiations of White Tara of the Wish- Fulfilling Wheel, White and Orange Manjushri, Vajrapani Bhutadamara and many more.

The latest phase in the development of Changlochen has been perfected with this year's auspicious visit of His Holiness Sakya Trizin.  On a perfect summer afternoon on 26th July, His Holiness gave the initiation of Manjushri Arapatsana to a gathering of members of the Dechen Community along with honoured guests and friends from the the nearby Nyingma and Karma Kagyu centres. After the initiation, His Holiness blessed the land and then attended as guest of honour a reception hosted by Lama Jampa.  He offered warm thanks for Lama Jampa's invitation, remarking that he had been kept well informed of developments over the years.  Lama Jampa reassured everyone that further visits from His Holiness - and HE Ratna Vajra and HE Gyana Vajra Rinpoches - would be soon requested.

Recent years have also seen a growing connection with the Kagyu and Nyingma centres in the area, particularly Dhagpo Kagyu Ling.  Lama Jampa has been teaching there over the last four years and, this summer, gave teachings on the Three Vows culminating in an explanation of Sakya Pandita’s The Root Downfalls of Vajrayana. Among those attending the teaching were many lamas and drub-las from Kundreul Ling, the retreat centre originally established by Gendun Rinpoche.  At the end of his teaching Lama Jampa spoke of his strong sense of the preciousness of Dhagpo and its sangha and urged them, in the light of the recent passing of Shamar Rinpoche, to do their best to safeguard this treasure of the Kagyyu tradition.  As a further sign of this connection, a number of students from Dhagpo Kagyu Ling came to Changlochen at the end of the Sakya summer school to receive Karma Chakme's commentary on the Prayer to Vajradhara, a teaching which they had requested from Lama Jampa.

With the summer at a close, there is now time to think about what the future 25 years could look like for Sakya Changlochen Ling, sustained by the renewed blessings of our kind lamas.

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Birthday of Karma Thinley Rinpoche

1Today the 25th of May is Karma Thinley Rinpoche’s birthday, and Rinpoche’s birthday was celebrated by the ordained and lay sanghas of Tegchen Legshey Ling, Boudhanath Nepal. In the early morning the monks and nuns gathered in the main shrine hall and performed the extended ritual of Amitayus, the particular form of the Buddha of long life. Karma Thinley Rinpoche himself was then invited into the shrine hall, where he took up his seat on the main throne, to receive the mandala offerings and the ‘tensum’ made by Zopa Tulku on behalf of the monastery. Zopa tulku is a Sakyapa tulku now residing at Tegchen Legshey Ling after completing his studies at Sakya College in Dehra Dun; he is Karma Thinley Rinpoche’s nephew

After that all the invited guests and well wishers joined with the rest of the sangha to participate in the Tsok offering as the concluding section of the Amitayus ritual.

Seven new nuns have joined Tegchen Legshey Ling this year, five of them come from the remote valley of Dolpo in northwest Nepal. They have been at the gompa for several months already and have begun their studies, which include Tibetan, English, Nepali and some basic mathematics. They performed a short Sanskrit prayers or refuge as an offering to Rinpoche on his birthday. They are all very happy to be in the gompa and are quickly getting used to their new lives.

Karma Thinley Rinpoche himself is in good health for his age, and is enjoying being back in his monastery after a long winter in Toronto.

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Lama Jampa teaches in Los Angeles

pic 2Earlier this month Lama Jampa visited Los Angeles to bestow a series of teachings. On 11 April, Lama Jampa gave a public talk in Santa Monica on the topic of Overcoming Obstacles. The well attended talk saw Lama Jampa answer questions from the audience on a varied range of dharma topics.

The weekend of 12 to 13 April saw Lama Jampa give a series of teachings hosted by Sakya Samten Ling. On the Saturday Lama Jampa taught Parting from the Four Attachments, one of the most famous and prized teachings of the Sakya tradition of Tibetan Buddhism.

On the Sunday, Lama Jampa bestowed the initiation of Green Tara from the lineage of Atisha. Meditation on Green Tara is one of the most widely practised in Tibetan Buddhism. The goddess herself is the embodiment of the liberating activity of all the buddhas. As such her initiation and meditation are especially effective means of awakening one’s innate capacity for enlightened compassion.

Lama Jampa subsequently left for Mexico on 14 April where, hosted by the Sakya Dolma Ling sangha, he is bestowing a number of teachings.

Lama Jampa will return to Los Angeles later this year.

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Lama Jampa in India

7A remarkable week long immersion in Kagyu dharma took place at KIBI in New Delhi last week. From March 17th through March 23rd over three hundred and fifty people from many different countries, including students from Dechen, attended teachings given by His Holiness the Seventeenth Karmapa, Lama Jampa Thaye, Professor Sempa Dorje and Khenpo Tsering. 2His Holiness' programme opened with the initiation of Manjushri Vadisimha and closed with that of Namgyalma, while in between he taught from Shantideva's Entering the Path of a Bodhisattva. Lama Jampa bestowed teachings each day on The Short Prayer to Vajradhara and clarified many details of the Karma Kagyu transmission of Mahamudra. He also participated in meetings concering Karmapa International Buddhist Society's plans for a new degree course to be run out of KIBI. Under the able stewardship of Prof. Sempa Dorje and Khenpo Mriti, things are progressing very well. The entire week concluded with a Gala Dinner attended by His Holiness to celebrate the second anniversary of the Society.

1Following the week at KIBI, Lama Jampa and Dechen Dolma traveled upto Rajpur, some one hundred and ninety miles north of Delhi to stay for two days with HIs Holiness Sakya Trizin and family. Many developments were discussed and many plans were made during this brief visit, made just before His Holiness departs for the United States. There was much happiness at birth of a new member of the Khon family. A son, Siddhartha, was born a few days ago to HE Gyana Rinpoche and Dagmo Sonam. His Holiness and Gyal Yum Chenmo now have five grandchildren.

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Lama Jampa Thaye teaches in Sakya Dechen Ling, Stuttgart

Last weekend at Sakya Dechen Ling, Stuttgart,the beautiful shrine room in Alexanderstrasse was completely full of an international mix of students from Germany, Bulgaria, Austria and the UK to hear, contemplate and meditate on the the holy Dharma of Lord Buddha. Lama Jampa Thaye began his elucidation of the third and final section of the famous text written by the Indian Master Nagajuna called 'Letter to a Friend', using Lama Karma Thinley Rinpoche's recently published extensive commentary called The Telescope of Wisdom (Ganesha Press 2012).

The twelve links of dependent origination is a profound explanation, unique to the teachings of the Buddha, of the way all apparent phenomena, even though in reality empty of any self-nature, appear to manifest to the mind that is still afflicted by the disturbing emotions and ignorance. This important topic is the central part of the third and final section, on wisdom, of Nagarjuna's text. The extensive exposition of the twelve links of the root text is then eruditely elaborated by Lama Karma Thinley Rinpoche in his extensive commentary. When this is 'unpacked' by Lama Jampa Thaye in his clear and comprehensive style, it is impossible for the minds of the fortunate present not to be ripened, and an otherwise apparently complex teaching to reveal itself to be naturally clear.

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It is now Lama Jampa Thaye's wish that the sangha in Sakya Dechen Ling introduce this Tara ritual into their practice regime, and now that the initiation and reading transmission has been given, Kunga Gyaltsen will lead a Tara practice weekend on the 8th March, folowed in June by a longer Tara retreat, lead by Wolfgang Staufner, in Sakya Changlochen Ling, which is the Dechen retreat centre in Southern France.

On Sunday Lama Jampa Thaye bestowed the initiation-blessing of the special form of the female Buddha-deity Tara, green in colour, that is particularly efficacious in dispelling fears and sicknesses. This particular lineage of Green Tara surrounded by an assembly of 21 Taras was brought to Tibet by the great Indian master Atisha more than one thousand years ago, and is now found in all lineages of Tibetan Buddhism. Lama Jampa Thaye also bestowed the reading transmission for the practice text of Tara written by the Sakya master Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, founder of the non-sectarian movement.

Tsedrup Tsok at Tegchen Legshey Ling.



On October 24, at the request of a group from Dechen in the UK, a "Tsedrup" prayer cycle and offering ritual of the long-life deity Amitayus was performed, for the long life and continuing good health of Lama Jampa Thaye, in the main temple of Tegchen Legshey Ling, Nepal. 

At the same time offerings were made to Karma Thinley Rinpoche, requesting him to make long-life prayers. Offerings were also made to all the sangha of Tegchen Legshey Ling.

30th Anniversary of Sakya Namgyal Ling


Lama Jampa Thaye visited Exeter on  October 10 to mark 30 years of Sakya Thinley Namgyal Ling.

The Exeter group was established in 1983 by Martin Samuel and Paul Rogers and has been fortunate to receive visits from Lama Jampa and other eminent Sakya Lamas such as HH Sakya Trizin and Phende Rinpoche.

Lama Jampa gave a well attended teaching to Dechen sangha from across the UK as well as people from other local Buddhist groups including Diamond Way, White Lotus and Theravadan sanghas. Entitled ‘Mind training for everyday life’ the talk was based on a teaching from the lineage of Atisha, who revitalised Buddhism in Tibet in the 11th century.

Lama Jampa began by stressing that the existence of different traditions of Buddhism was a cause for rejoicing and that we should hold, “in our hearts a sense of the uniqueness and preciousness of the different types of Buddhism because they have all stemmed from the extraordinary genius of the Buddha’s mind.”  He then continued with a precise summary of Atisha’s Seven Point Mind Training with great clarity and humour, presenting the essence of Bodhicitta, the central aspect of Mahayana Buddhism.  

Lama Jampa explained how mind training teachings (lojong) such as the Seven Points, are particularly effective for the practitioner because they distill the essence of  the whole of Lord Buddha’s teaching - morality, meditation and wisdom (the three trainings) - into short, pithy, practical instructions. 





Dechen Summer Course at Sakya Changlochen Ling

In August Lama Jampa Thaye completed this year’s programme in France with a series of teachings and initiations at Dechen’s European Retreat Centre, Sakya Changlochen Ling.
 
On Sunday 18 August Lama Jampa Thaye opened a week of teaching on Sakya Pandita’s text ‘Elucidating the Thought of the Sage’ by bestowing the initiation of Chenrezik. This year the text covered Sakya Pandita’s extensive presentation of the Buddha’s teachings on the perfections of meditation and wisdom in the sutra traditions. The week also included daily practice of Chenrezik, and was brought to a close on Friday the 23rd with the initiation of Manjusri Arapacana.
 
On Sunday 25 August Lama Jampa bestowed the initiation of Vajrapani Bhutadamara to mark the beginning of a short retreat on this practice. Over the course of the following five days he gave the ‘lung’ (reading transmission) and detailed ‘tri’ (instructions) for the practice as well as leading daily meditation sessions.
 
As with all Dechen summer retreats, these few weeks were an invaluable opportunity for members of the international sangha to study and practice together. The centre goes from strength to strength, both in terms of its physical size, the range of facilities it offers, and most importantly the dharma activities taking place there. The beautiful, peaceful setting and the concentration of dharma activity has the power to refocus our lives, so that we leave the retreat with new energy and determination to put the teachings into practice.
 
Lama Jampa’s next public teaching is in Harrogate on 21 September where he will teach the second part of Dampa Sanjay’s Advice to the People of Tingri and bestow the initiation of Sangdu Vajrassatva. Click here for further details.
 
In other news, His Holiness Sakya Trizin entered a six month closed retreat on 4 September. Tomorrow, Saturday 7 September is His Holiness’ sixty ninth birthday. Dechen Sakya centres worldwide will be reciting long life prayers throughout the day to mark this happy occasion.









His Holiness Sakya Trizin teaches in Los Angeles

His Holiness Sakya Trizin concluded his summer tour of North America with two days of teaching in Los Angeles. The events were hosted by Tsechen Chokhor Ling in Arcadia, East Los Angeles and many members of the Sakya Samten Ling sangha from West Los Angeles were able to attend.



On the evening of Friday August 2 His Holiness gave a public talk entitled, 'The Nature of Mind' and on the Saturday he bestowed the initiation and sadhana instruction of White Tara of the Six Light Rays.   This was a wonderful opportunity to hear teachings from one of the greatest Buddhist masters alive today and both events were very well attended.

His Holiness, Gyalyum Kushog-la and entourage departed for Singapore on Sunday afternoon where they will stay for one week before returning to Rajpur where the annual Vajrakilaya puja will begin on August 17.