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.
Service 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
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.
Even 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.
First, 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
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-
First 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
Updates to the programme-
We 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.
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
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!
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
Warm hands, warm face, warm feet and warm bottoms: The new
heating system upgrade update.
Thank 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.
Friends of Jamyang - Nurturing a Precious Space by Alison
During 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)
A 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)
People (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.
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 (www.jamyang.co.uk/friendsscheme.html) or we will be
happy to send you a form to complete.
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
Prajnaparamita 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
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
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
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.
News from the Jamyang Library by Jan Oidium-
As 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
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.
PAM CAYTON AT
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.
'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
16 GUIDELINES: THE
BASICS - NOW IN THE JAMYANG BOOKSTORE
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
Jamyang 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.
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]