Meet William, Chi Kung and Mindfulness Teacher.
When & how did your Journey with Jamyang begin?
My journey with Jamyang began 26 years ago in around 1995 when I came to live in London. Before then, while living for a few years in South-East Asia, I ‘discovered’ Buddhism, frequenting the FPMT centre in Singapore, Amitabha Buddhist Centre, and meeting Lama Zopa Rinpoche. Coming to live in London I immediately looked up Jamyang in Finsbury Park, just before the time of Geshe Tashi’s arrival. It was when the centre moved to the Old Courthouse that I started to teach; first Chi Kung and, subsequently, Tai Chi and some sword, on Monday evenings. Something that has continued year by year, week by week, without a break, (except holidays) right up to the start of the Pandemic in March ’20 (but continuing online).
What does it mean to have a centre like Jamyang in London?
Having a centre like Jamyang in London means the Buddha’s Mahayana teachings are available for all who make the connection and that people can find an oasis of peace and inspiration in the midst of the city. It means that people can find authentic teachers of the Buddhist path and a supportive lay and ordained sangha. I hope it can also be seen as an important resource: personal, social, academic, energetic and physical as well as spiritual, for a wide range of people and needs; with a delightful, well-tended, garden, tasty vegetarian food, a well-stocked library and a beautiful gompa.
What does the Jamyang community mean to you?
Jamyang Community has always felt something of a second home to me. A spiritual and, in some ways, energetic oasis. It’s been a place to relax and meet friends, attend teachings and the occasional retreat; as well as teach Chi Kung and Tai Chi and lead, or co-lead, some mindfulness courses or participate in outreach days with ‘Peace in the City’.
What are your visions for the future Jamyang community?
As far as the community of Jamyang goes, its ‘broad church’ nature has always appealed to me. Being open and welcoming to all while, at the same time, presenting the core Mahayana teachings and traditions. I hope Jamyang can continue to attract major Tibetan and Western teachers, as well as be valued as a place for study, retreat and reflection.
I would like to see Jamyang fostering excellent practice, as well as being a model for dialogue, both secular and religious. I hope it can continue to support such projects as Universal Education, Mindfulness, Care in the Community, as well as up and coming projects like Science & Wisdom LIVE, and provide for classes that relate to people’s physical, as well as mental, development.