His Holiness the Dalai Lama entering the Main Tibetan Temple for the long life puja offered to him by the FPMT organization, May 24, 2023. Photo by Tenzin Choejor, courtesy of

Yesterday (31 May 2023), marked the 49th day of the passing of Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche. In Kopan, and around the world, an ocean of prayers and practices were done for Rinpoche’s swift return. Jamyang London Buddhist Centre was no exception, with Geshe Namdak leading the community in prayer.

While this marks the close of one chapter for the disciples of this great being, it also signifies the opening of another. Now begins the work of keeping the spirit of Rinpoche’s vast activities and teaching alive for future generations, not simply through reminiscing on the time we spent in his presence, but by striving joyfully to actualise the mind of bodhicitta that he embodied so uncompromisingly.  

Our director, Venerable Drolma, and I had the inestimable fortune of being able to represent Jamyang London Buddhist Centre in attending the long-life puja offered by FPMT to His Holiness the Dalai Lama on Wednesday 24 May. (photo album here). We were told that, in his great kindness, the puja had been organised by Lama Zopa Rinpoche, down to the most minute detail, and I can only imagine how much joy it would have brought to his holy mind to see his students bringing his aspiration to fruition.  

When we arrived in Dharamsala, I was so moved to see so many people who offer service to Rinpoche in a multitude of ways, gathered in the sunlit courtyard of His Holiness’ temple. It felt like a big family reunion: the Dharma siblings coming together to fulfil the wish of their spiritual father. Of course, there is still sadness at being separated from Rinpoche’s physical embodiment. Nevertheless, the atmosphere was one of profound gratitude and optimism.  

FPMT audience group with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Dharamsala, India, May 25, 2023. Photo courtesy

All this has been happening during the period of Saka Dawa, the festival marking the birth, Enlightenment and Parinirvana of Shakyamuni Buddha, and the holiest of Buddhist holidays. It seems very appropriate that we honour our holy guru, who is our direct link to the Buddha through an unbroken lineage of realised beings, at this most potent time of the year. Rinpoche consistently reminded us of the karmic potential of these holy days: “it is a day when karmic results are multiplied by 300 million times as it commemorates Shakyamuni Buddha’s three major life events.” 
With that in mind, let’s do whatever we can to make the most of this opportunity, by studying, contemplating and meditating on the path, by remembering death and impermanence, by cultivating compassion and bodhicitta, by analysing the view of emptiness, by purifying negative karma and accumulating merit through preliminary practices, acts of kindness and generosity, sutra reading and more. As you can see, there is so much that we can do! And to top it all off, don’t forget to join us on Saturday for prayers led by Geshe Namdak.

We look forward to seeing you then, and in the weeks ahead.  
Big Love, 
Ven. Wangyel – Spiritual Programme Coordinator