Dear friends and students,
It is my privilege to be able to share with you the programme of Buddhist teaching and practice events we have organised for you in 2024. This is not necessarily an exhaustive list, but it will give you a good overview of what’s to come.
In recent times, each passing year seems to demarcate a pivotal moment in world history, and 2023 was no exception. We are seemingly living through a period of constant inflection points, and this external instability is all the more reason for us to fortify our inner Bodhisattva attitude. Our hope is that the array of teachings we have planned will act as lights, dotted along the path to the enduring freedom of enlightenment, guiding you along the way.
Geshe Tenzin Namdak’s Teachings
In addition to continuing various long-term FPMT study programmes and launching new ones including a new cycle of Exploring Buddhism, our Resident Teacher, Geshe Namdak, will be offering incredibly inspiring topical or text-based teachings. Key moments to look out for include an explanation of the King of Prayers and the launch of a two year course on Chandrakirti’s classic text, Entering the Middle Way, as part of our regular Wednesday evening philosophy series, which has – over the years – become a dynamic space for exploring and discussing the subtler points of emptiness.
Invited Teachers and Practice Opportunities
We are unbelievably blessed that our requests for talks and teachings have been accepted by a range of exceptional teachers.
We begin the year with the exciting visit of Yangten Rinpoche, who has been teaching online for the Jamyang community for several years. We’re so happy that students will now have the opportunity to connect with Rinpoche in-person. But don’t worry: it will still also be possible to join two out of three of Rinpoche’s teachings on Zoom if you cannot travel to the centre. We’re fortunate that Geshe Kelsang Wangmo will translate for Rinpoche, as she did during his online teachings, and she will also give her own teachings during her visit.
On the practice and embodiment side, Francesca Sanchez will lead a Nyung Nay at the centre, and William Walker will teach a Chi Kung course, available to join in-person and online, which he has developed to help students use embodied practice in support of their sitting meditation practice. We also plan to host periodic preliminary practice sessions, a chance for us to engage in water bowl and mandala offerings, prostrations, and Vajrasattva mantra recitations as a community of practitioners. We also anticipate a Nyung Nay (date to be confirmed) led by Venerable Charles, who is perhaps the disciple of Lama Zopa Rinpoche most deeply associated with the practice.
We’re happy to announce a new online series, Double-Up Dharma! which includes contributions from such luminaries as Professor Guy Newland, Kabir Saxena, Venerable Thubten Wangdu, Venerable Robina Courtin, Professor Jan Willis, Dr Alex Berzin and Venerable Thubten Chodron. We will be screening these talks from the centre, so please do come down and listen with us!
Also visiting the centre in-person are Venerable Sean Price, teaching on the pith instruction of Parting from the Four Attachments; Venerable Amy Miller, sharing practical meditation instructions; Professor Jan Willis, delving into Asanga’s philosophy (as well as much more besides!); and Paula Chichester, who will be leading a non-residential healing retreat.
- Yangten Rinpoche in London 2024
- The Two Bodhicittas | Geshe Kelsang Wangmo
- Nyung Nay Retreat | Francesca Sanchez
- Chi Kung for Meditators | William Walker
- Ngöndro | Preliminary Practice Sessions
- Double-Up Dharma!
- Asanga’s Philosophy and The Buddha and Social Justice | Professor Jan Willis
- Parting from the Four Attachments | Venerable Sean Price
- Meditation, Mindfulness, and Making Life Meaningful | Venerable Amy Miller
- Healing Body, Speech and Mind | Paula Chichester
As I enumerate all of the precious occasions we can anticipate in the coming months, I think about the reminder we often get from our teachers not to underestimate the rarity of meeting the Buddha’s teachings in this way. The flourishing we see now, being in the nature of impermanence, must inevitably dwindle – so while we are able, let’s take advantage of this nectar-rain of Dharma!
We look forward to spending this year with you in contemplation and community, and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your commitment to your spiritual practice, and to increasing wisdom and compassion in the world.
Spiritual Program Coordinator