From: Jamyang Buddhist Centre [[email protected]] on behalf of Jamyang Buddhist Centre [[email protected]]

Sent: 12 May 2009 18:50

To: [email protected]

Subject: GentleVoice April 2009

 

 

 

 

 

 

  April 2009

In This Issue

Teaching by Geshe Jampa Tegchok

Summer programme

This Month at Jamyang

Sally's column

Health and Safety

Visit to Vauxhall City Farm

Jamyang Walk

V & A forum on Buddhism

Scrambled Eggs and Mindfulness

FPMT

Your thoughts for Gentle Voice

 

Quick Links

 

 

Editor's welcome 

GentleVoice - The Newsletter of Jamyang Buddhist CentreWhen the sun is out in London it is such a joy, isn't it? We are very excited about Khensur Rinpoche Jampa Tegchok's visit later this month to teach on the topic of Mind Training. In the extract of his book 'The Kindness of Others' (below), he compares mind training to the sun: as the sun completely illuminates the land, even before it has actually arisen its light dispels much of the darkness of the night. Similarly, even when we understand or practise only a part of mind training it is already very powerful in overcoming selfishness and the other delusions.


In this edition of Gentle Voice we are happy to introduce the summer 2009 programme now available online. You can also find out why the animals at Vauxhall City Farm won't feel the bite of the recession thanks to a generous donation from Ani Chodron's friends, see below.


Robin invites us to a Jamyang walk in 'Happy Valley', Brian reminds us of the importance of Health and Safety at Jamyang and Juliette shares a poem on Scrambled Eggs and Mindfulness.


Finally, for those of you who have missed Geshe Tashi's classes on Wednesdays, they are being regularly uploaded onto the Talking Buddhism website thanks to Ian Thomas, so you can always catch up online.


We hope to see you soon at Jamyang!

Love,

Esther G.

 

Teaching by Khensur Rinpoche Jampa Tegchok-

JTThe subject of this teaching is mind training [Tib: lo-jong] which has the connotation of cleansing, or purifying, our mental, verbal and physical actions. Actually, from that point of view, all the Buddha's teachings are mind training in that they were all given for training the body, speech and mind.
 
This text, the Seven-Point Mind Training, is associated with Atisha, a great scholar and practitioner born in India in the tenth century. He received this teaching from Serlingpa, "The Man (or Teacher) from the Golden Isle," which refers to Sumatra.
 
There are two methods for generating and practising bodhicitta, the sevenfold cause and effect instruction, which, during Atisha's time, was available in India, and the method of exchanging self and others, which was not. Therefore Atisha had to undertake the difficult, thirteen-month journey from India to Indonesia to receive the teachings on exchanging self and others.
 
The text begins:
 
Homage to great compassion

 

The term "great compassion" may be understood on two levels: interpretive and definitive. On the interpretive level, it refers to Avalokiteshvara, the Buddha of Compassion; on the definitive level, it is the mind wanting to free all beings from suffering. This is the compassion that is important at the beginning, like a seed; in the middle, like the moisture and nutrition that make a plant grow; and at the end, like the ripening of the fruit.
 
The essence of this nectar of secret instruction
Is transmitted from the master from Sumatra, Serlingpa.
 
These two lines explain the great qualities of the teacher in order to generate confidence in the source of the mind training teachings. They originated with the Buddha himself and have come down to us today through an unbroken lineage of masters, including Serlingpa and Atisha.
 
Generally speaking, nectar means immortality-here it specifically indicates something that overpowers the various demonic forces that put an end to our life. Thus it actually indicates the Buddha, because the story of the Buddha tells how he overcame those forces. So when the text says "this nectar" it shows that this teaching has come from the Buddha.
 
The root text continues:
 
You should understand the significance of this instruction
As like a diamond, the sun and a medicinal tree.
This time of the five degenerations will then be transformed
Into the path to the fully awakened state.
 
This section, an explanation of the greatness of the text, is designed to excite our interest in it. The second line says "like a diamond, the sun and a medicinal tree," the Tibetan word dorje [Skt: vajra] being translated as "diamond" here. Even a small fragment of diamond is more valuable than gold or other precious substances, so a diamond is said to outshine them all. Similarly, even a small, partial instruction from the Seven-Point Mind Training is exceptionally powerful and very effective for destroying our selfishness, and in that way it surpasses all other kinds of teaching.
 
Then it says that mind training is like the sun. Of course, when the sun is up and fully visible in the sky it completely illuminates the land, but even before it has actually arisen its light dispels much of the darkness of the night. Similarly, even when we understand or practice only a part of mind training it is already very powerful in overcoming selfishness and the other delusions.
 
Finally, mind training is likened to a medicinal tree, whose roots, trunk, branches, flowers and leaves are all therapeutic, making the whole tree medicinal. Therefore, while of course the whole tree can cure disease, even one of its leaves or petals is similarly effective, and in the same way, even a partial explanation of this mind training is very powerful in overcoming the negative mind.
 
GentleVoice - The Newsletter of Jamyang Buddhist CentreTherefore, just as diamonds, the sun and medicinal trees are regarded as important and precious, so, too, is this mind training teaching.

 

Extract from:  "The Kindness of Others: A Commentary on the Seven-Point Mind Training" by Geshe Jampa Tegchok, published by theLama Yeshe Wisdom Archive. To read the full text, please visit the archive's website. 

Khensur Rinpoche Jampa Tegchok will be visiting Jamyang at the end of April and beginning of May to teach on the Seven-Point Mind Training. Please book now to attend his teachings.

 

Summer programme available online-

Welcome to the 2009 summer term at Jamyang!


ProgrammeWe are very happy to announce that this summer, besides the Wednesday classes on Finding inner peace and The Six Perfections, Geshe Tashi will be leading two retreats. One during the second Bank Holiday in May on the topic of Meditation & Emptiness and the Summer retreat on the topic of "Step by step guidance on the path to enlightenment".

We are also very fortunate to welcome back Khensur Rinpoche Jampa Tegchok who will be teaching "Mind Training" towards the end of April, Yangsi Rinpoche who will be teaching on "What is enlightenment?" during Saka Dawa in June and Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tenzin who will be giving a Heruka and Vajrayogini initiation with commentary in September.


We will also be hosting very qualified western teachers: Andy Weber leading art workshops on Wrathful Emanations: Vajrapani to Mahakala in May and Vajrayogini in November; Gareth Sparham teaching on How Bodhisattvas practise basic Buddhism in June; Robert Beer will continue a series of teachings and slide shows on the Vajrayana imagery in June and October; Sangye Khadro will be teaching on Applying the wisdom of dependent arising in our daily life in September and Alan Wallace will be leading a retreat on the topic ofThe Way of Shamatha: Soothing the Body, Settling the Mind, and Illuminating Awareness in December
(please note dates have changed  and the retreat will be from the 10th to the 16th).


The Family Days will continue this term to provide an opportunity for kids and parents to enjoy various activities that include story-telling, singing, dancing, arts and crafts, and much more.


We will continue Thursday evening's Discussion Group, set up on the advice of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, which will meet to discuss Shantideva's text "A Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life". Also, weekend course in the Discovering Buddhism series with the topic of Introduction to Tantra.


For those of you newer to Jamyang and Buddhism, this term we have an Open Afternoon & Introduction to Meditation in June and an Introduction to Buddhism in July. Besides this, we will be hosting Peace in the City in July and the Work camp & Jumble sale in August.

Our popular Buddhist Meditation class continues until August with the topics of: Bodhicitta and Deity Practice. And you will have an opportunity to review the whole year at the Buddhist Meditation weekend in August.


Finally, don't miss the Saka Dawa celebration with Geshe Tashi in June, a weekend of group practice and meditation with the opportunity to take refuge on the Sunday followed by Yangsi Rinpoche's teachings.

 

THIS MONTH AT JAMYANG

    

THIS MONTH AT JAMYANG

REGULAR CLASSES

Mondays @ 7.30pm

Buddhist Meditation

 

Tuesdays @ 7.00pm 

  


 

 WEEKENDS

04/ 05 

Dying Well (Saturday)

 

10 - 13

 

VISITING TEACHERS
28, 29, 30  

 

GROUP PRACTICE

 4/ 19 

 

Director's column-

Hello everyone,

 

I am back in London after some annual leave time in New Zealand.  I am happy to say, the three FPMT Centres in NZ are all flourishing and it was nice to meet up with old dharma friends again.  I even marched up the main street of Auckland on March 10th, along with other Tibetan supporters, and felt good to join them.


Now I'm back at Jamyang again, and two events stand out in my mind to mention.


One is the CPMT Meeting being held at Institute Vajrayogini in southern France from 26 April - 2nd May, which I and our Spiritual Programme Coordinator Esther Garibay, will be attending.  This is a meeting held every few years, of all the Directors, SPC's and key staff of FPMT Centres from around the world - there are 155 Centres in 34 different countries now - so we at Jamyang are part of a very large international family too.  Lama Zopa Rinpoche will be attending this meeting.  I have always found these meetings incredibly inspiring and motivating and you really see the depth and extensiveness of the benefit our FPMT Centres bring to the world.


Secondly, I'm so happy that Khensur Rinpoche Jampa Tegchok is visiting Jamyang again from 28th April - 10th May.  Rinpoche was resident teacher at Land of Medicine Buddha for some of the time I was working there.  Rinpoche is quite a character!  He has a very direct manner, and a constant mischievous twinkle in his eye.  He is an excellent teacher with enormous experience in both Buddhist practices and teaching about them.  The "icing on the cake" for Rinpoche's visit, is that Geshe Tashi himself, will be translating Rinpoche's teachings - it can't get much better!  Please do take advantage of this wonderful team of dharma experts.


Enjoy the spring - the blossom trees in full flower now, brighten up one's day, don't they?
Love Sally 

 

Health and Safety-

Our H&S Policy says 'We will provide and maintain safe and healthy working conditions and equipment for all our staff, and provide the information, training and supervision needed for this purpose. We accept our responsibilities for teachers, volunteers, students and residents, and for all visitors to the Centre. All staff have a duty to help with Health & Safety'.


But it goes further than this - H&S is something everyone should be mindful of. After all, as Buddhists, what more could we want than the health, safety and happiness of everyone coming to the Centre?


You can help us with health and safety - if you ever see anything in the Centre that could cause anyone a problem, please tell a member of staff about it, and please keep asking about it until it is fixed.


Besides everyone keeping their eyes open for risks small or large, we need volunteers to help us with the annual Risk Assessment exercise. This involves visiting all the rooms in the Centre and looking for anything which could cause harm - loose carpets, trailing wires, cupboards overloaded or not attached to the wall, slippery floors, etc. After recording these risks, they are assessed as to how likely they are and how serious they would be. Then an action list is drawn up for dealing with them. No special training is needed to do this, common sense is enough!


If you have some spare time during the day and would like to help us, please contact Anil at
[email protected]
  

 

A visit to the Vauxhall City Farm-

Ven. Barbabra and Ingrid at Vauxhall City FarmAnimals at Vauxhall City Farm won't feel the bite of the recession thanks to a staggering 5,130 raised by friends of Ani Chodron, collected by Jamyang Buddhist Centre.


On 23rd March, staff from Jamyang presented Vauxhall City farm with donations made in memory of Ani Chodron, a Buddhist nun and member of Jamyang's community, who passed away on January 19th 2009.


The money will contribute towards the cost of feed, bedding and veterinary bills for the animals, which are some of the toughest things to find funding for. Vauxhall City Farm runs a variety of amazing projects - including Riding for the Disabled and Youth Activities - and relies on donations for feed and bedding. 


Ani ChodronSharon Clouston, Farm director, said of the gift: "We have been surprised and heartened by the generosity and support of Chodron's friends, and we will ensure that we use the donation as it is intended. We are touched by this and the story of Ani Chodron's life and will remember the legacy within the Farm".


Her friends at Jamyang decided that as she had a deep love and understanding of animals, they would ask for donations towards the farm rather than flowers.  Ingrid, a lifelong friend of Ani Chodron explains:  'Her love of animals was legendary. In her native Finland she had three dogs and a jackdaw she rescued. Chodron liked to visit the different City Farms, including Vauxhall. We are sure that she will be happy with this donation safeguarding the well-being of the animals at the farm, and ensuring that the farm stays open for people to visit in the future'.

 

Thanks from the Farm

 

 

Jamyang Walk- Saturday 18th of April

Please join us for a wonderfully varied 6-mile walk to "Happy Valley". With a name like that, how can you resist! This is part of the London Loop (section 5).


Rather than all meeting at Jamyang since we come from different parts of the city... please make you way to East Croydon mainline station where we will assemble in the ticket hall at 11am.


Happy ValleyWe need to take a short bus ride to the start of the walk at Hamsey Green where we head off into spring countryside across fields and woodlands encountering a couple of quite steep climbs. There will be a chance of pub grub on the way, or bring a packed lunch. Good shoes recommended - boots not necessary. This is a surprisingly rural walk so close to South London. Fr more information if needed: call Robin on 020 7736 2771.

Look forward to seeing you!

P.S. If for any reason the weather forecast is terrible, please check in case we need to cancel.

 

Ven. Antonio Satta in Austria-

Venerable Antonio Satta will lead a Vipassana & Basic Mahamudra Retreat at Kalachakra Kalapa Center in Austria from June 29th to July 10th 2009.   For further information please visit their website: http://www.shedrupling.at/kalapa/english/VenAntonio.html

 

International artists take part in forum on Buddhism and the Arts at the V&A-

As part of The Many Faces of Buddhism, a season of arts and cultural events presented in London by The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation, artists from around the world will take part in an international forum at the V&A on Saturday 25 April 2009.


The platform will provide a space for artists who have thought deeply about Buddhism

and the arts' experience to express and share their views.  It will also help stimulate

new debate on the influences of Asian and Buddhist worldviews within the arts of the

modern era.

For more information visit:
http://www.rhfamilyfoundation.org/manyfaces

 

Poem by Juliette 'Scrambled Eggs and Mindfulness'-

 

Hi there, I wrote a poem entitled 'mindfulness' after a weekend teaching with Andy Wistreich in Leeds.  Juliette Newsham  

Scrambled Eggs and Mindfulness
As I applied mindfulness
To three eggs scrambled
This is what appeared;
The yellow of the eggs
Against the blue bowl,
The speckled flecks of pepper
The heat of the soft solids and the salt
on the front of my tongue.
I noted the crunch of the escaped piece of eggshell.
The sound of the fork on the bowl.
The wanting to read the post.
My refusal.
The idea to write this.
At the last mouthful,
the desire for more.
The comfort in my belly.
The realisation that there is a whole world
in those scrambled eggs:
the past, present and future.
If we notice.
Those eggs were in the death
of unwanted chicks.
In the corn grown by a farmer
and the deaths of many more,
nameless and uncounted.
They were in the sun and the rain
and other timeless phenomena.
The eggs are now me.
From their energy
I will tend my garden soil,
where the shells will return to nourish
green plants for my hens.
Food for thought.

Love Juliette.

 

FPMT-

FPMTJamyang is affiliated with FPMT (Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition) and is one of more than 150 centers and projects worldwide. FPMT is based on the Gelugpa tradition of Lama Tsongkhapa of Tibet as taught by our founder, Lama Thubten Yeshe and spiritual director, Lama Zopa Rinpoche. If you would like to receive FPMT's monthly newsletters please subscribe here.

  

Rinpoche will also be leading a new yearly course in North Carolina, USA - Light of the Path; the final dates for 2009 are Sept 8-22. Light of the Path will be an annual teaching/retreat event with Rinpoche for the coming years (hopefully five at least!). The event will be webcast for those who cannot attend in person and an online program based on the teachings will be available starting in 2010. We strongly encourage as many students as possible to attend this event, particularly teachers and sangha. As an experiential lamrim retreat we envision both the event and the online program that follows becoming the fundamental basis for all other study and practice. 

 

Your thoughts

What do you want to see in Gentle Voice?  We would love to hear your ideas and comments about Gentle Voice, please contact Esther at: [email protected]

 

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Jamyang Buddhist Centre | The Old Courthouse | 43 Renfrew Road | London | SE11 4NA | United Kingdom