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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Three Days in Dhagpo

IMG_20140810_121630Dhagpo Kagyu Ling, the seat of HH Karmapa in Europe, recently hosted three days of teaching by Lama Jampa Thaye. From August 9 to 11 Lama Jampa 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. This was the fourth occasion that Lama Jampa had taught in Dhagpo, which, like Sakya Changlochen Ling, is located in the beautiful Vezere valley, site of the earliest human culture in Europe. 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 tre  asure of the Kagyyu tradition.

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His Holiness Sakya Trizin visits Sakya Changlochen Ling in France

DSC_0076-3On a perfect summer afternoon on the 26th July, His Holiness visited Sakya Changlochen Ling on the occasion of its 25th anniversary. At the request of Lama Jampa Thaye, His Holiness gave the initiation of Manjushri Arapatsana to a gathering of members of the Dechen Community who had all travelled from the UK for the occasion, as well as dignitaries and members of the nearby Nyingma and Karma Kagyu centres. After the initiation, His Holiness blessed the land and was then guest of honour at a reception hosted by Lama Jampa. His Holiness cut the celebratory cake at the garden party which had been organised for this auspicious occasion. He thanked Lama Jampa for inviting Him, recalling that He had been kept informed of the development of the centre over the years. Lama Jampa expressed his wish that His Holiness and the Dungsay Rinpoches would now be frequent visitors to the centre in the future.

Founded in 1989, Sakya Changlochen Ling is the Dechen Community’s retreat centre in south-west France. Over the years the buildings have been developed so that now they incorporate a beautiful gompa, extensive accommodation for visiting Lamas and retreat facilities. The centre is located in several acres of beautiful countryside.   A summer course is held every year at which Lama Jampa gives teachings and initiations. Group and individual retreats are now also part of the activities at the centre. With the completion of the development of Changlochen, Sakya takes its place alongside the great Kagyu and Nyingma traditions already present in the beautiful Dordogne region of France.

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Lama Jampa teaches at the Mikyo Dorje Shedra, Manchester

LJ (4)On 5 to 6 July, at the second session of this year’s Mikyo Dorje Shedra, Lama Jampa taught the third part of Karma Thinley Rinpoche’s commentary, The Lamp that Dispels Darkness, on the Third Karmapa’s text Discriminating between Consciousness and Primordial Wisdom (Tib: Namshe Yeshe) to a large gathering of students from the UK and other countries. Further to the teaching in February of this year, Lama Jampa concluded the section on the all-base consciousness (Skt: alaya; Tib: kunji) and began to teach the sections of the text relating to primordial wisdom, beginning with Karma Thinley Rinpoche's essay in defence of the Shentong view.

On the Sunday, Lama Jampa bestowed the bodhisattva vow from the lineage of Manjushri, giving a detailed overview of the different extent lineages of the bodhisattva vow.

During the teachings Lama Jampa reemphasised the importance of striving to unite our minds with Shamar Rinpoche's during this time. On the Saturday evening, the Amitabha tsok puja was again held at Kagyu Ling.

Lama Jampa will be travelling shortly to Sakya Changlochen Ling in France to prepare for the visit of His Holiness Sakya Trizin and Lama Jampa's summer teaching programme in Sakya Changlochen Ling.

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Lama Jampa teaches in Stuttgart, Germany

DSC02745On 26 June Lama Jampa gave a public talk in Stuttgart, Germany on the "Three Yanas in Buddhism". The public talk was hosted at the Linden-Museum and was followed by questions and answers. Lama Jampa emphasised during the talk that the basis for the practice of Vajrayana is the other two vehicles and their associated vows.

On Saturday, 28 June Lama Jampa taught the seventh and final part of "The Telescope of Wisdom", Karma Thinley Rinpoche's commentary on Nagarjuna's "Letter to a Friend". On Sunday, 29 June Lama Jampa bestowed the initiation of "Parnashabari".

The next visit of Lama Jampa to Stuttgart will be during the last weekend of September 2014, when he will teach the "Heart Sutra" and bestow the initiation of "Green Tara".

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Rituals for Shamar Rinpoche in Germany

Several days of rituals for Kunzig Shamar Rinpoche have now concluded at his centre in Renchen-Ulm, Germany. His Holiness Karmapa traveled from India to conduct the last two days of rituals. Shamar Rinpoche's kudung has now been transported to India. His Holiness meditated in front of Shamar Rinpoche's kudung upon His arrival on Wednesday, 18 June. His Holiness subsequently performed the rituals of blessings and made offerings to the kudung.

On Thursday evening a solemn procession led by His Holiness accompanied Rinpoche's kudung from the funeral hall and set it off on its journey to Delhi where it will remain for several days of rituals at KIBI.

Lama Jampa Thaye and Dechen Dolma were hosted at the Bodhi Path  centre in Renchen Ulm together with Jigme Rinpoche, Thinley Tulku, Sang Sang Rinpoche, Lodro Rabsel Rinpoche, Trehor Lama and monks and nuns from Rinpoche's monasteries and Dhakpo Kagyu Ling.

Pujas were performed each day by all these assembled lamas. Over 3,000 people came to pay respect to Rinpoche at Renchen-Ulm in an atmosphere of devotion and seriousness.

A video of the arrival of His Holiness at Renchen-Ulm is available here.

Passing of Shamar Rinpoche

10177358_448610988607635_201534691300906959_nPlease click here to view the letter of His Holiness Karmapa on the passing of Shamar Rinpoche.

Lama Jampa Thaye's messsage is as follows:

"Dear Dharma Friends,

It is with a heavy heart that I share the news of Kunzig Shamar Rinpoche's passing. Our great master passed away suddenly this morning at the Bodhi Path center in Renchen-Ulm, Germany.

It is a tragic loss for the Karma Kagyu tradition and we feel it with a particular sharpness since it is only nine days since Rinpoche was with us. However, since the Guru's dharmakaya is beyond coming and going‎, we should all strive to unite our mind with his during this time and follow the advice of His Holiness Karmapa.

With best wishes and blessings,

Lama Jampa Thaye"

Shamar Rinpoche visits Kagyu Ling, Manchester

HE SR teaching - day one (11)-1On Friday 30 May Shamar Rinpoche arrived in Manchester to commence his first visit to Kagyu Ling. This auspicious visit of one of the greatest contemporary Buddhist masters came after the visits of His Holiness Karmapa in 2009 and 2012. Rinpoche was accompanied by his nephew, Tenzing Wangpo, and Trehor Lama, who is in charge of the Karmapa Buddhist Institute in Nice, France. Rinpoche was welcomed to Kagyu Ling by Lama Jampa Thaye and the assembled sangha. Lama Jampa made the traditional offering of the Mandal Tensum. In this important ceremony the supports of body, speech and mind are offered in order to ensure the longevity of the guru.

Shamar Rinpoche began the first day of his teaching programme on Saturday 31 May, teaching Geshe Chekawa's Seven Points of Mind Training and the commentary by Rinpoche's illustrious predecessor, fifth Shamarpa, Konchog Yenlak. Rinpoche showed incomparable kindness in giving an extensive explanation of the text and the meditation practices set out therein, illuminating the heart of the lojong (mind training) practice.

The next day saw Rinpoche complete his explanation of the Seven Points, following which the assembled sangha made extensive offerings to Rinpoche. At the conclusion of the teachings Lama Jampa gave a speech of gratitude and prayed for Rinpoche's return to the UK to open the door of dharma once again.

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H.E. Ratna Vajra Rinpoche visits Sakya Dechen Ling, Stuttgart

KGralla Ratna Vajra 7Sakya Dechen Ling, Stuttgart has been honored by the visit of H.E. Ratna Vajra Rinpoche at the invitation of Lama Jampa Thaye. His Eminence arrived in the afternoon on Wednesday 28th May from Frankfurt and was welcomed by Lama Jampa Thaye. This was the second visit of His Eminence to Stuttgart after the first one in 2011. In the evening of the first day His Eminence gave a teaching about Mahayana practice, explaining the seven great aspects of the Mahayana. On the second day His Eminence bestowed the initiation of Chenrezik according to the King's Tradition, which was revealed as a terma connected with the Tibetan king, Songtsen Gampo. This was a rare opportunity to receive this precious initiation which is not often given. Also in attendance were Khenpo Pema from New York, Lama Gendün from Switzerland, Tsedor from the Phodrang in Deradun, India and His Eminence's attendant, Ngawang Tangay.

At the conclusion of the visit, the party left for Switzerland to continue His Eminence's teaching tour of Europe.  Sakya Dechen Ling looks forward to His Eminence’s next visit in the not too distant future.

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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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H.E. Ratna Vajra Rinpoche visits Sakya Centre, Bristol

RVR-STRL-May-2014-1 Sakya Centre Bristol has recently been honoured by the visit of HE Ratna Vajra Rinpoche at the invitation of Lama Jampa Thaye. His Eminence arrived on the afternoon of Friday 16th May and was welcomed by Lama Jampa and the local sangha. Lama Jampa recalled Rinpoche’s first visit to the centre 36 years ago and reiterated the Centre’s close connection with the Dolma Phodrang, the head of which is His Holiness the 41st Sakya Trizin, the father of His Eminence. Lama Jampa then offered the Mandal Tensum, and this was followed by a reception in honour of His Eminence.

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Over the weekend of 17th and 18th May, His Eminence bestowed the major initiation of Chakrasamvara from the Vajra Mala tradition, the same tradition from which His Holiness Sakya Trizin gave the Kalachakra initiation in London in 2010. This empowerment is one of the most important of the Anuttara Tantra initiations, and the venue was filled to capacity with sangha from all over the UK, while others had travelled from Bulgaria and even Mexico in order to receive this precious teaching.

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We were all extremely grateful for His Eminence’s great kindness in bestowing this powerful teaching and very sad when He and his attendant monk Ngawang Tengay took their leave on Monday morning.  Sakya Centre Bristol looks forward to His Eminence’s next visit in the not too distant future.

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H.E. Ratna Vajra Rinpoche visits Sakya Dechen Ling, London

RVR-SDL-May-2014-1On Saturday, 10 May His Eminence Ratna Vajra Rinpoche and his attendant, Lama Ngawang Tengay, arrived in London. In the evening of 10 May His Eminence gave the initiation of Vajrapani, Hayagriva and Garuda. This combined initiation of these three deities of power is very effective in dispelling obstacles to dharma practice. It originates with the great 14th century Nyingma master Drubchen Laykyi Dorje and has subsequently been preserved in a number of lines of transmission. This well attended event saw people from the UK and Europe in attendance. Lama Jampa Thaye made the traditional offering of the Mandal Tensum to His Eminence during the initiation. RVR-SDL-May-2014-3The morning of 12 May saw His Eminence visit and bless the Tibetan Peace Garden in Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park in London at the invitation of the Tibet Foundation. The Peace Garden was opened on behalf of Tibet Foundation by His Holiness the Dalai Lama in May 1999 and subsequently blessed by His Holiness Sakya Trizin. Lama Jampa Thaye and Dechen Dolma were also in attendance at the blessing.

In the evening of 12 May His Eminence taught Jetsun Drakpa Gyaltsen's 'Short Melody of the Eight Dream-Like Experiences'. His Eminence gave an extensive explanation of this brief text covering the causal links from the development of a calm and stable mind through to the achievement of happiness for ourselves and others. The teaching began with emphasising the need to first develop a calm and stable mind through daily meditation practice, and went on to show how such practice would be strengthened and brought to fruition by further contemplation and analysis of the nature of one's experience. His Eminence concluded the teaching by leading the audience in a short session of calm-abiding (shamatha) meditation.

His Eminence departed for Bournemouth in the morning of 13 May to visit the Sakya Centre in Bournemouth, Sakya Thubten Ling. His Eminence will travel to Bristol on Friday, 16 May and will bestow the initiation of Chakramsamvara from the tradition of Lohipa on 17 and 18 May.

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Karma Thinley Rinpoche in London

10269466_428650980603636_6334943420075862055_n On 26 to 27 April, Karma Thinley Rinpoche passed through London during his annual trip to Tegchen Legshay Ling in Nepal. Rinpoche is in good health and spent the two days with Lama Jampa Thaye and Dechen Dolma. Rinpoche was accompanied by his attendant, Kunga, and Tsodi, the daughter of Karma Thinley Rinpoche’s uncle, Namkai Dorje. Whilst in London Rinpoche gave Lama Jampa the reading transmission for a commentary on The 7 Points of Mind Training, which Rinpoche had recently composed. Rinpoche will spend the next several months in Nepal, with a brief trip to Nangchen, Tibet during this time.

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Lama Jampa in Mexico

IMG_0646 (1)After his visit to Los Angeles, Lama Jampa, together with Dechen Dolma, flew down to Mexico City, three hours away by air. It was his eighth visit to Saka Dolma Ling, Mexico's only Sakya Centre. Sakya Dolma Ling is located in the beautiful suburb of Coyoacan, where nearly five centuries ago the Spanish conquest of Mexico and its ancient culture was directed by Cortes.

Then Lama Jampa gave eight days of teaching. At the heart of the program was the teaching on Thokme Zangpo's Seven Points of Mind Training and the transmission of the Sakya system of Amitabha phowa.

Lama-la'a visit ended with a public lecture on "Buddhism in Modern Times"  at UNAM, the principal University of Mexico, and he left behind a sangha focused on new classes and preparing for next year's 10th anniversary celebration.

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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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