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

Sent:                               07 July 2009 16:50

To:                                   [email protected]

Subject:                          GentleVoice July 2009







  July 2009

In This Issue

Service to His Holiness

Geshe Tashi's column

Updates to the programme

This month at Jamyang

Sally's column

The manager's bit

Friends of Jamyang

Aid for the Six Perfections

Summer outing for carers

News from the Library

Essential Education


Quick Links



Editor's welcome 

GentleVoice - The Newsletter of Jamyang Buddhist CentreThis month we will be celebrating His Holiness the Dalai Lama's 74th birthday. I am sure that many of our readers find him a source of inspiration and refuge. We are so fortunate that he untiringly continues to teach and bring his message of peace around the world.

During the Council for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (CPMT) Lama Zopa Rinpoche gave a talk about how we can offer service to HHDL. You can find an extract below. Also, Geshe Tashi in his column invites everyone to join in the celebration of HHDL's birthday next Monday 6th of July, when we will also be doing mantra recitations for Lama Zopa Rinpoche's long life and health, and Jamyang Buddhist Centre's success.

Also in this edition of Gentle Voice we give you updates on the programme and Dave suggests some books to read if you are attending Geshe Tashi's "Six Perfections" class on Wednesdays.You will also find: an invitation to join the Friends Scheme and why your help is so crucial for Jamyang, updates on the library work, Essential Education news, and a snippet of the trip Repaying the Kindness organised for carers to Doddington Place Gardens.

Last, but not least, you can read Sally and Anil's columns and rejoice in all the fantastic maintenance work happening at the Centre, including the gilding of the Parinirvana Statue in the courtyard.


Much love,

Esther G.

Service to His Holiness the Dalai Lama by Lama Zopa Rinpoche-

Extract from a talk Rinpoche gave during the CPMT meeting in France, edited for Gentle Voice. Original document 20 pages.


HHDL and RinpocheService to His Holiness the Dalai Lama is practising Dharma. When you practice Dharma, you transform your mind into Dharma, your life into Dharma. No harm to sentient beings, no harm to yourself, neither harm to other sentient beings nor harm to yourself. And besides that, benefiting other sentient beings. Not only sentient beings in this world ... there are numberless universes,  so benefiting numberless sentient beings and benefiting yourself. When you practice Dharma, this is what happens to your life, and what happens to others - the effect of you on others. It's unbelievable!
Offering service is your practice of Dharma. You give up suffering. You giving up your suffering means that you give service to yourself by giving up the cause of the suffering, karma and delusion. And by so benefiting yourself, that basically means service to His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Why? Because this is His Holiness's wish. His Holiness is like holding a lotus, totally pure, no karma and delusion, no ignorance, the root of samsara, no self-cherishing thought, so no shortcomings of samsara, unstained by shortcomings of samsara, totally pure. Then holding the mala is what His Holiness does for sentient beings, benefiting sentient beings by revealing Dharma, bringing them to happiness, to enlightenment. So his wish is that sentient beings have happiness, be free from suffering. Therefore when you practice Dharma, that's service to His Holiness the Dalai Lama. When you give up your suffering, rather than holding your suffering, looking at it as pleasure. Giving up the cause of suffering, karma, delusion, the wrong concepts, selfish mind, ignorance, giving this up, that's service to His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Liberating yourself is service to His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Because his wish is sentient beings' happiness, you understand. His only wish is sentient beings' happiness.
HHDL and RinpocheEven the very new bodhisattva, having generated bodhicitta ... his only thought is seeking happiness, seeking happiness for other sentient beings. No thought of seeking happiness for himself arises for even one second, it doesn't arise for even one second, not for one second. OK. So get this idea.


Chenrezig, enlightened being, is concerned every second, is paying attention only to the happiness of sentient beings. Therefore, you can see, even without thinking of benefiting others or achieving enlightenment, just liberating yourself from samsara is fulfilling His Holiness's holy wishes.
Of course the most important thing is, on the basis of that renunciation, to then benefit other sentient beings, generate compassion for other sentient beings. That's the best offering to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, generating compassion for other sentient beings. With that mind, with that heart, offering service to other sentient beings. Not with emotion, anger, attachment, that kind of mind, then it doesn't become ...Even if you're physically doing work for others, when it physically looks like you're doing work for others, you're not doing work for others. Really you're doing the work for yourself. Even though the organisation has the name, benefiting others, or something like that. But the reality is it's not working for others, it's working for oneself, one's own happiness. Then, because of that, so many problems arise, so many personality problems arise, and all that. Unbelievable! Then the work can't be completed.


HHDL offering foodFirst, make them happy, make them happy by making charity, by giving them things that they like, make the mind happy first. Then say very respectful, very sweet words that please them. Then, after that, after making them happy, close to you, then they open their hearts, then you explain Dharma. But you also live your life according to what you teach as much as possible, like that. That's basically how the centre should learn, how the centre should run.  I think in the past years we talked about that quite a bit, so I think that's how the centres should run. That's a good example.
So all this is offering service. When you run the centre like that, it's very successful. Generally everybody is happy to come to the centre, to learn at the centre. People in the centre are harmonious, are happy. By practising Dharma, so that's offering service to His Holiness the Dalai Lama. So then that means when the centre runs like this, it's able to help. It is then able to benefit sentient beings more, able to spread Dharma to more sentient beings. So all these things are according to His Holiness's wishes, and so are service to His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
Therefore all our work, what you've been doing, the members, students, all who have been studying Dharma, working for the centre, helping the centre, all that, that is according to His Holiness's holy wishes, fulfilling His Holiness's holy wishes, offering service to His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Every single bit of work, activity in the centre, yourself learning Dharma, and offering service to the centre, and all that to benefit sentient beings and the teachings of Buddha. All that is service to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, fulfilling His Holiness's holy wishes.
Note: Jamyang will be celebrating His Holiness the Dalai Lama's birthday on Monday 6th of July by getting together to practice Lama Chopa at 7.30pm. Also, at 6.30pm we will be reciting Migtrugpa's mantra which we were advised to dedicate towards Lama Zopa Rinpoche's health and long life.


We will also recite some prayers to remove obstacles for Jamyang's success and wellbeing - Lama Zopa Rinpoche recently advised it is important for staff and students to do this.  It would be great if you can join us on these free events.


Geshe Tashi's column-

GeshelaFirst I want to say hello to everybody and to say a few words about His Holiness the Dalai Lama's birthday celebration on the 6th of July. We will be doing some short practices and celebrations on that day so it will be really good if you can join us to celebrate his birthday (his 74th) and at the same time to do some prayers for his long life. I think this is quite important and everyone is welcome to join us.


The second important point is that as you know every year we invite a great teacher. Actually this year we have already invited Khensur Jampa Tegchog last April and May for 2 weeks teachings. It was really nice to see many people taking advantage of this opportunity. Also, as many of you know, Khensur Lobsang Tenzin, who has been coming for something like six years to this centre to give amazing teachings, has again accepted an invitation to teach this September and we are already in the process of getting visas and so on and so forth. This September he will again give amazing teaching and I would like to see you all take this opportunity to receive teachings from this great teacher.


Of course if you are not ready to take the Vajrayogini initiation and the commentaries, then fine, join the teachings before the initiation, which are open to everyone. People who are ready to take the initiation and commentary then really take this opportunity.
We have decided to hold a Vajrayogini Retreat at the end of the year into the start of January. Whether this retreat is successful or not is very much up to you. From our side we will try all our best to create all the facilities as best possible. So there will be that opportunity after receiving the initiation, or for those who have received a Vajrayogini initiation elsewhere to attend this retreat. This will be a mantra counting retreat and we will complete a minimum of 100,000 mantras. So these are the important things that I want to share with you.


On a personal basis I also want to tell you that I will be moving out of Jamyang, although I will be carrying on for as long as I can as Jamyang's resident teacher, but not living at Jamyang. This autumn I hope to move out of the building. My moving is not to say I am not happy at Jamyang or any other such reason. Rather it is for the long-term benefit of Jamyang and myself. Many of you very generously gave money to a fund set up to help me move out. Now we have about £35,000 donated by people. Based on that and on my own savings, it seems that I will be able to get a mortgage. So if sometime this autumn you hear that I am moving out, then remember that this is not to say I am not happy at Jamyang. It is simply my long term wishes, and as far as myself is concerned, to benefit myself as well as Jamyang.


Updates to the programme-

Summer RetreatWe are very happy to announce that we will be adding a weekend to Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tenzin's visit to London in September. Rinpoche will be teaching on "Developing a good heart" on Saturday 5th and will be giving a White Tara empowerment on Sunday 6th. Both  these events are open to everyone and are free to attend.


Also, we can now confirm that Ven. Amy Miller will be one of 5 visiting teachers coming to Jamyang next term. Besides Khensur Rinpoche we will be hosting: Ven. Sangye Khadro (September), Robert Beer (October), Ven. Amy Miller (November), Andy Weber (November/December) and Alan Wallace (December).

Finally, there are still places available at Geshe Tashi's Summer Retreat  "Step by step Guidance on the Path". This popular 10-day retreat offers a combination of teachings, meditation and discussions led by Geshe-la.






Mondays @ 7.30pm

Buddhist Meditation


Tuesdays @ 7.00pm 


Wednesdays @ 7.30pm


Thursdays @ 6.15pm


Monday 06

Prayers for Lama Zopa Rinpoche and Jamyang Buddhist Centre, 6.30pm


His Holiness the Dalai Lama's birthday celebration, 7.30pm.





Saturday 04



Sunday 19
Family Day


01-02 August



Director's column-

Hi everyone,


Working at a centre can sometimes seem like just an endless list of jobs that need to be accomplished.  As quickly as you accomplish one job, the next jumps up in your face, leaving little time or memory to rejoice on what has just been completed.

But the newly guilded Paranirvana Statue in our Courtyard DEMANDS one stops and rejoices every time you see it!  It is absolutely stunning... please do come and see the statue and take a moment to rejoice and mentally thank:
Nick Durnan who sculptured the statue so exquisitely.

The City & Guilds tutors, Sarah & Jonathan, who oversaw the work of their students to remove all the mold and weathering deterioration on the statue, revealing the beautiful stone work.  Then to Christine, the tutor who guided her students to painstakingly gild the statue.  And especially thanks to all the students themselves!


Paranirvana statue

And to Miguel who responded so quickly to the need to have a canopy over the statue as soon as the scaffolding was removed. To Robin for his expertise with the camera, documenting the whole exciting operation.

And big thanks to those who've made money offerings so far.  We still need about £1,200 to cover these expenses.  Don't forget, offering gold leaf is major merit!  Please help us?
Our Peace in the City day on Sunday will be a fitting occasion for the statue to be on display again in Buddha's full glory!

You will have seen Geshe Tashi's column and his wish to move out of the Jamyang building. Having lived in FPMT dharma centres for 25 years of my life, I can really sympathise with why Geshela wants to have his own space!  But on the other hand, I know Geshela's wise, stable physical presence will be sorely missed at Jamyang.  The very good news is that Geshela plans to continue his teaching activities as usual, despite living elsewhere.


With love,


Warm hands, warm face, warm feet and warm bottoms: The new heating system upgrade update.

Dear All,


Work in gompaThank you for your patience and understanding during this summer of disruptions here at Jamyang.  There is a lot of work going on and I would like to update you on the work that has been completed so far on our new heating system.

We now have under floor heating pipes in the main Gompa and Tara Room!  And that means, as my friend Eliza Dolittle would sing, "warm hands, warm face, warm feet, (this winter) oh wouldn't that be lovely!!  All the radiators have thermostats and zoning areas are being created.  All this means greater control and energy efficiency.

In September Jamyang will purchase a new environmentally friendly, 95% efficient condenser boiler to be located in the cell block.  This will complete Phase II of our ambitious Summer building programme.

The old boiler in the main basement will soon be vanquished, allowing the future development of the basement area.  Can I say a special thank you to everyone who has helped so far especially John Hamilton, Alex Davidson, Lobsang, Miguel, Ros Boughtflower, Paul, Brian Richardson and Geshe la, and for all the good wishes and offers of help received.
Best wishes,

Anil Sharma


Friends of Jamyang - Nurturing a Precious Space by Alison Wertheimer

Thank you friendsDuring July, we hope to add to the two hundred and fifty people who already support the Centre as Friends of Jamyang.  So to existing Friends, a huge thank-you and to those of you have not yet got round to joining the scheme - or haven't even heard of it - we thought it would be useful to offer a bit of history and, even more importantly, why Friends matter now.


Jamyang already had a Membership scheme for some years and alongside this in the 1990s, there was the Circle of 108, an inspiring group of Jamyang supporters whose monthly donations were used to secure the purchase of The Old Courthouse. As former Director, Alison Murdoch recalls, "they were happy to continue supporting the Centre without having to remember to do any extra paperwork".

  (And it still is as easy as that.)




    It makes me feel close to the Jamyang; it's a way of supporting the
     Centre and it's a disciplined way to give because I'd otherwise forget!
     And you get Mandala too!  (Ros Boughtflower)
     We're Friends because we love Jamyang, Geshe-la and His Holiness
     The Dalai Lama. (Daphne and Bill Alexander)



FriendsA significant shift several years ago was the decision to drop the term "member" because there were people supporting Jamyang who didn't consider themselves Buddhist and would have been uncomfortable with being described as "members"  As Lynne Knight, a former Trustee says: "We made the change to breathe new life into the scheme but also to reshape the focus. Friends had an inclusive ring to it, warm, and with ideas of a relationship slowly growing and moving to greater commitment - as relationships hopefully do. Alison Murdoch echoes this: "It's also a word which expresses the essence of relationship between Jamyang and its heart supporters".


Many Friends are current students of Jamyang, but others continue to support the Centre when they have moved away from London - or are even living abroad - and find this a way of maintaining their connection with the Centre.

     The reason I joined was because I was coming to Jamyang as a student.
     Now I'm 10,000 miles away in Canada, but I'm still living with all the
     benefits of my time there  - and there's only one Jamyang and only
     one Geshe Tashi!  (Michelle Mallet)


JumblesalePeople (may) become Friends not only because they find the Centre personally helpful and of value but because they hope it will be so for others.  As Lynne says, "It's about appreciating the Centre and ensuring it's ongoing life not only for ourselves and for now but for future generations.  By becoming Friends, we stand by Jamyang and we want to see it grow and flourish. Its survival is critical."  And according to the teachings of Lama Zopa Rinpoche,  if we find the existence of the Centre helpful to us, then enabling Jamyang to offer a similar service to others will bring us both benefit and satisfaction.


     It's a nice way of helping and reaching out to the wider community.
     (Mike Fry)
     We're Friends to support a worthwhile cause - it's as simple as
     that! (Brian and Margaret Wilson)

Jamyang has always tried to cover its running expenses, not only through donations for teachings and other income-generating activities such as letting out the Tara Room and the cells, or selling food and drink in the café.  Of course all this helps, but Friends make an incredible difference as a source of steady and ongoing support. 

Here is some idea of how the Friends support Jamyang, either with ongoing expenditure or to fund one-off projects:
- We need £750 a month to cover our gas and electricity bills.
- To complete the work on the heating system, including installing a new boiler, will cost approximately £20,000
- The renovation and gilding of the statue in garden, and installing a canpoy will cost £2,000
If you're not already a Friend (or if you're a "lapsed" Friend!) please consider signing up.  Information can be found on the Jamyang website ( or we will be happy to send you a form to complete. 

Alison Wertheimer, who co-ordinates the Friends scheme is usually in the Office on Fridays, otherwise you can email her at [email protected]


An aid to help understand the summer teachings of Geshe Tashi by Dave Benn

TsongkhapaPrajnaparamita is interpreted to mean Perfection of Wisdom. Prajna is wisdom and Paramita means perfection. Geshe Tashi will deliver this unique introduction to the teachings of "The Six Perfections" as summer is a coming in. This inspirational teaching was given by His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Copenhagen 5 - 9 June 2003.

If you look at the big statue of the Buddha in Jamyang Gompa there are surrounding him six fantastic beings. These symbolically represent the six perfections - generosity, ethical discipline, patience, enthusiastic effort, concentration and wisdom. All are attitudes we hope to develop from our Buddhist meditation aided by our Bodhisattva vows.

Geshe Sonam Rinchen who has introduced Tibetan Buddhism to many travellers moving through Dharamsala with his teachings in the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives has published a good introduction into this core Buddhist teaching with "Six Perfections" published by Snowlion - 186 pages of attitudes to develop in your life towards the ultimate ethical standpoint of Bodhicitta and Emptiness.

There is for the dedicated scholars an abridged version of the exposition of the Six Perfections from Lamotte`s French translation of Nagarjuna`s Mahaprajnaparamitastra published by Institute Of Buddhist Studies. This is an original text by the great Indian Pandit Nagarjuna on the Six Perfections.


Repaying the Kindness (RTK) summer outing by Bella El-Hassan

On the 23rd of June, a bright and sunny day, an outing for RTK's carers took place in the breathtakingly beautiful and peaceful "Doddington Place Gardens" in Kent.
We left Jamyang at 10:30am in a coach packed with 38 Carers and the RTK team. It took us a while to get out of London, (SAT-NAV's aren't that reliable after all!), but slowly the grey city landscape started changing into "nourishing refreshing green" and we were finally on our way.


After our bus driver managed to manoeuvre the coach backwards through a small entrance, he received his well-deserved applause. We had safely arrived in Doddington Place Gardens.


In the cute little café we ate our packed lunch and we were all set to start our tour through the gardens. Matt the gardener did a great job in guiding us and talking about the different flowers, plants, trees. The lovely landscaped gardens, recognised as being of historical importance by English Heritage, are set in the grounds of an impressive Victorian mansion and cover ten acres. The variety of plants and landscapes is amazing. We walked through the different types of garden ranging from a Mediterranean-like rock garden to a pine wood forest.


After our tour, which took about 2 hours, we arrived back at the café for tea and delicious homemade cake. There was some time left to buy a souvenir and play with the dogs (who had accompanied us during the day), a quick loo visit, and we had to be on our way again. It seemed short, most of us wanted to stay forever, but it was very satisfying. On the way home everyone looked very well.  With a cheerful atmosphere in the bus and our slightly tanned faces the Summer Outing was a great success! 



Repaying the Kindness is Jamyang's sister charity, compassion in action! It aims to provide respite days for local carers, hosting regular events and outings where carers are taken care of.


If you would like to volunteer at these events please contact RTK at: [email protected] . To read more about their work and programme you can visit:


News from the Jamyang Library by Jan Oidium-

Work in LibraryAs part of the process to renew the library, a small team of volunteers organized by Jan Oidium has been working every Friday for almost 2 months. There is still a lot of work ahead and this is a request from Jan for volunteers to come forward!

We will clean up the library and sort a lot of books out during the next weeks. Most of the old books go to the Jamyang Bookshop, where you will find some special Dharma book offers these days. When the work in the library is completed, we will be able to offer you a better service and a nicer library environment where you can enjoy reading even more.

*  A new classification system will allow you to browse easily through your favourite interests on the shelves. 
*  An up-to-date computer catalogue with search function will enable you to do individual book research
*  A new book numbering system, will help you to find the books very quickly on the shelves 
*  A new study room for scholars and serious research will be available. There will be also a backup catalogue with ancient, more specialised and rare texts.
Would you like to support us?
We would be very glad indeed to receive some more help next Friday and the Fridays following. Three volunteers with a good knowledge of Dharma books are required to help sort the remaining books (mostly teachings).


Furthermore we would like the help of two volunteers to type the new book numbers in the catalogue system on the computer. We work every Friday from 10.00 a.m to 6.00 p.m in the Jamyang Library. -- Please contact:  Jan Oidium [email protected]



Essential Education news-

Essential Education is the FPMT- affiliated project, based at The Old Courthouse, which aims to create a more peaceful world by helping children, youth and adults to develop compassion and wisdom. It is rooted in Buddhist psychology and philosophy but suitable for people of any culture and tradition.

Educator Pam Cayton will present an introduction to her Lama's Vision for Kids courses, at Jamyang Centre on Thursday, July 9th from 7:30 to 9pm. Everyone is invited to attend.  Voluntary donations welcome.

Lama Yeshe'The Seven Steps to Knowledge Strength & Compassion' is the core curriculum for the Essential Education programme at Tara Redwood School. After 20 years of practice, this curriculum emerged as an integrated approach to help ignite the wish in the hearts of children to be kind and wise. Emphasizing mindfulness, interconnection, change, perception, empathy and compassion, this course provides a guide to empowering you and children in your life to make a positive difference in the world. The Seven Steps are: What do you want? everything is connected, everything comes from something, everything changes, your mind creates your reality, your emotions can be transformed, extend your understanding to others, and put your compassion into action.

We're looking for a couple of people who can help us with some computer-based tasks, either one day per week or on an occasional basis. Our most urgent needs are for (a) a book-keeper with experience of Sage and (b) someone with the necessary experience to help raise money for some exciting youth initiatives.  Contact Patrick Madden on
[email protected] or on 020 7820 9010

The 16 Guidelines for Life offer a practical framework for finding peace and happiness in daily life. This essential 'users manual' is now available in the Jamyang Bookshop for just £10. It also makes a great gift set for family and friends, when purchased with the 16 Guidelines playing cards (£14).


International Sangha prayers for world peace-


We have received an invitation to recite the Sutra of Golden Light as part of  2009 International Sangha Prayers for World Peace.





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.



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