FPMT-JBC London:

Shaping the Buddhist Programme 2018 to 2020

Initial consultation process

In the evening of Wednesday 6 June 2018 Mike Murray, the volunteer currently temporarily covering some of the SPC role at Jamyang London, launched a process to find out what people who come to the Centre would like to learn about and practice over the next year and a half.

About twelve people came to the initial consultation and shared their ideas.  

In terms of bringing things into the programme in response to these suggestions Mike explained that he would take these suggestions to the Jamyang class facilitators and meditation leaders here and see what could be provided by them in response to these requests.  

Participants were asked to be patient as it takes time to find class facilitators willing to volunteer their time, to develop new courses or events and to introduce new things into the Buddhist programme. It is already clear that the items under Daily life/ Action will need a further meeting of people interested in taking these forward to develop practical programmes as many are not for Buddhist class facilitators or Buddhist meditation leaders but require other community facilitation and leadership

He explained that for now the SPC role and functions were being delivered by a team of volunteers, and asked people to contact him if they can help deliver the onsite aspects of the SPC role either regularly on weekday evenings or on certain weekends. Please contact Mike Murray on [email protected]

To give a little structure to the ideas Mike Murray asked if participants would group their ideas under three headings

Study/ View


Daily Life/ Action

We share the initial suggestions below.

Study/ View

Group studying ‘Shantideva’s Bodhisattva’s Way of life

Group reading through the Padmakara translation of Shantideva’s Bodhisattva’s Way of Life

Group looking at Shantideva’s Compendium of Trainings

Teachings on basic texts that are good for beginners

Group studying Nagarjuna’s Letter to a Friend

Heart teachings on emptiness by the fully qualified and HYT by same i.e. Rinpoches

Tsongkhapa’s Praise to Dependent origination

Cittamani Tara and Cittamani Tara Body Mandala offered by qualified Rinpoche

Discovering Buddhism - introduction to the FPMT style of teachings for beginners

The Two Truths

Onsite Foundation of Buddhist Thought

Practice events dedicated for Tibet

Tara practice, especially White Tara Practice

Buddhism and science, neuroscience, psychology

Basic Buddhist Philosophy + view of Life + purpose of life

Basics of Buddhist Sutras (as per Geshe Tashi’s Dharmapada classes)

Emptiness and theory of Mind

Studying the Sutras

Informal Study Group based on ‘LamRim Year’ (to be published by LYWA at end of 2018

Introduction to Dzogchen/ Mahamudra from the Geluk perspective

Tibetan language - maybe put students in touch with language teacher Samten for skype classes

More Rinpoches and good teachers, especially now Geshe Tashi has gone

Run second Basic Programme at Jamyang London starting in 2020

An introduction to the whole of the Buddhist Path. Beginning with Theravadin, with talks and meditation led, say by ordained sangha from Amaravati monastery. An intro the Mahayana led, say by ordained sangha from the Chinese or Japanes traditions. And finally an intro to Tibetan Buddhism and Vajrayana with an overview of the different schools within the Tibetan tradition. Perhaps with teachers from the different schools.

Teachings on exchanging self with others given by high lamas


Weekends retreat on Tara, Medicine Buddha, Lam Rim as introductions to the practices

Weekend Nyung Nay retreats

Shamata weekend

Retreats with learned teachers, perhaps with Geshe Graham, Glen Svensson and others

Weekend Practice days based on Kathleen McDonald's book How to Meditate - Green Tara, Chenrezig, Medicine Buddha practice meditation days

One day retreats for beginners and everyone

Shamata weekends

Meditation in moment to moment living

Gelug/ FPMT meditation taster course e.g. based on Kathleen MacDonald “How to Meditate”

Lojong meditation and texts

Structured course in developing bodhicitta using the combined method - weekly step by step

How to meditate with children in families

Yoga for meditators - improving posture etc

All day meditation/ puja practice during weekends - encourage those who live out of London

Puja phonetics pronunciation practice

Those experienced in setting up for pujas sharing their experience

Daily Life/ Action

Kailash Slide Show by Robin Bath

Some ideas of one day volunteering activities for those of us who can't commit

Jane Sill to organise a visit to the British Library to see original Buddhist texts

Jane Sill to organise a visit to the V&A to see selected works from the closed Thangka collection

Fun and relaxing meetings for Dharma Friends

Periodic evenings to celebrate Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche (talks and readings from their biographies)

More on Lama Zopa Rinpoche

Something about Lama Yeshe, are there any of his students around?

Children and family half day Community Dharma

Mind Training and practical application

Lojong training

Working in the Community for disadvantaged people

Daily Life- interactive informal discussions on 1) how to develop meditation practice, 2) how to implement , for example equanimity, in daily life

Buddhism and living in the inner city - how can it help ?

Regular community events, like picnics

Buddhism and females in the modern world

Jamyang agony aunt - identifyan everyday life dharma question, discussion (led by someone wise), publish the Q&A online in GV

Would anyone go on a rota to visit housebound people - especially to offer complemtary therapies ?  Please see Venerable Barbara Shannon

Would anyone like to help with the Liberation Prison Project ? Please see Venerable Barbara Shannon

Would anyone go on a rota to help clean the temples (large and small), cupboards etc ?

Would anyone go on a rota for sponsored offerings of 108 Lights etc when someone passes away ?

Asanas/ yoga for people who are learning to meditate

Practical daily application of the first four of the six perfections

Who to ask ‘checking it out ‘ questions to ?

Clarify the relationship between Dying Well, Death Cafe and (new) death related initiatives and bereavement support.

Sunday mornings at Jamyang - shared practices (i.e. King of Prayers. Tara etc) - prayers for the world and the Jamyang community - guest speaker - creche for kids - followed by brunch

I would like Robin and Mike to arrange a fun evening coming from the perspective of how beneficial it would be for people to learn how FPMT started, the hardships, the lack of money, hippies willing to try anything. And a personal perspective of mine that it would encourage people if they had stories of how Jamyang started. So to compile a map of how the main characters came together taking on the characteristics of animals and their background life events traced in the form of a map. Mapology Guides had a stall at the Mindful Living Exhibition. Ros Boughtflower was also interested. I cannot easily convey the idea on paper.

Next steps

Please if you have ideas for things you would come to the Centre to learn about in relation to the Buddhist Programme or as importantly that you would help make happen (but please not ‘ it would be good if ’ ideas that you then do not show up for or help with) send them to Mike Murray on [email protected] by 30 June 2018 at the latest.  Thank you.

The Monday evening Buddhist Meditation Team are already considering how some yoga might be introduced from September to help with stretching and with posture without taking away from the main purpose of the evenings which training the mind in Buddhist meditation techniques.  Their ideas will also be run past two qualified yoga teachers here, Jane Sill and Judy Watchman before being implemented.

Once all the ideas are in we will have at least one or two more consultation meetings to help flesh out possible events and programmes. Thank you

Mike Murray

Pro Tem SPC

FPMT - JBC London

Friday 8 June 2018