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Gentle Voice September 2012

Subject: Gentle Voice September 2012 Date: 02/09/12 21:47

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September 2012 In This Issue

Editor's welcome

Lama Zopa on meeting Lama Yeshe His Tashi Lhunpo monks at Jamyang This month at Jamyang Geshe Tashi's column The Director's Column The New Director Lama Zopa at Sera Je The Jamyang Work Camp Jamyang Jumble Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Classes Jake Fisher on the Master's Programme Book Review: Contemplative Science Poetry Corner Dharma Bites Commemoration of Khensur Lama Lhundrup Relic Tour in Liverpool About FPMT Your thoughts for Gentle Voice

Hello everyone, I hope you have all had a good summer so far - and long may it continue! The new term approaches at Jamyang and with it some important changes in the management of the centre. We have a new Director - Roy Sutherwood, stalward, Trustee and founding father of the Monday evening meditation classes has kindly agreed to take on the role of Director. Hopefully you all saw the announcement about this a couple of weeks ago. Mike Murray will be a hard act to follow but fortunately he will remain at the centre as our Spiritual programme Coordinator. I'm sure you will all join me in thanking Mike for his tireless efforts as Director over the last year.. Now he can stop working seven days a week at Jamyang and focus a bit more on his own interests. This month we have a special focus on Lama Zopa with an extract from his life story. You can meet Lama Zopa and receive initiations from him this autumn in India (see below). We also have the reminiscences of our roving Olympic reporter, Geshe Tashi, the last column from Mike, the outgoing director and a profile of Roy, the incoming Director. As well as news from Jamyang, the Poetry Corner and a Book Review we introduce a new section called Dharma Bites. Do take a look and hopefully you will be inspired to

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contribute as well. The autumn programme is shaping up to be a great mix of teachings and weekend retreats. I hope this newsletter inspires you to come along! Peace and Love, John

Lama Zopa's story of meeting Lama Yeshe In this talk reproduced from the FPMT website Lama Zopa Rinpoche speaks about his first meeting with Lama Yeshe. This is from a talk to Western monks and nuns in Dharamsala in May 1982.

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Lama Zopa in July 2012

Maybe I will tell you the story of how I met Lama Yeshe. It's a very funny story. After my two alphabet teachers I was taught by the abbot who granted me getsul ordination. He passed away at the same time as the Chinese invaded Tibet. Following him, I was taught by Geshe Rabten Rinpoche, whose kindness is responsible for whatever interest in meditation practice I now have. At Buxa, Geshe Rabten taught on shunyata and samatha meditation, and even though I was very small I was interested. I tried to do samatha meditation on my bed after the mosquito net was put on it. I used to meditate on the silver cover of my Tibetan tea bowl, even though I didn't know how. When they brought me from Tibet to India I tried to meditate one-pointedly. I fell down! I don't know what happened; my whole body fell completely. It happened several times and eventually I gave up. Anyway, in that house there might have been a small impression from a past life. So that is how I have some interest in lam rim, more than in meditation practice. Originally by the kindness of Geshe Rabten, I recognized my root guru. Anyway, after this Geshe Rabten was very busy and sent me to another teacher from Kham whose name was also Yeshe. From this teacher I received the meditation and visualization on Ganden Lha Gyama, the kindness of mother sentient beings from the part of the Prajnaparamita scriptures dealing with that subject. There was no text so my teacher Yeshe had to say it by heart. I hadn't learned Tibetan writing in Tibet, just studied it myself so that I could read, and so I copied everything down. Then this teacher Yeshe wanted to lead a different life, so he left Buxa to wander around and stay in different places in India.

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Then Geshe Rabten had me taught by another geshe who is not here now, and teachings from a Tibetan monk, Geshe Thubten. I was happy to have teachings from the geshe, but somehow I was reluctant to go and receive teachings from Lama Yeshe. There was a monk in my class who most people know as Chomphel - he was Kopan's cook for many years. Along with Lama Pasang and other Tibetan monks, he was taking teachings from Lama Yeshe. At that stage I was only receiving teachings from Geshe Rabten and then only when he wasn't busy, as he had many disciples and had to teach many different texts to different classes. At that time Chomphel used to be the leader of my class and he kept pushing me to go and take teachings from Lama Yeshe. He used to go outside for a walk, for relaxation, and one day we started to walk outside the camp, but I didn't take anything; I had no offering. When we came to the mango tree where there used to be seats, I said "I want to go back," but he pushed, so I went a little bit further. It is clear that all happiness of the past present and future depends on the guru. I stopped again and again, saying, "No, I don't want to go," but he kept pushing me. It was quite far to where Lama Yeshe lived on the mountain, about half an hour or an hour's walk, depending on how fast you walked. Even when we reached the hut I wanted to retreat. I had brought no offerings, which was partly the reason for wanting to go back. When you first make contact with the guru it is very important to perform the offerings correctly. How many teachings you receive depends on that. So much depends on that, as you know from the stories of Milarepa. For this reason I didn't receive many teachings at Buxa. Chomphel had brought a bowl with some rice and a few rupees, together with a very poor, old offering scarf. He went in first to ask if Lama Yeshe would receive me. I think Lama Yeshe asked, "Have you received permission from Geshe Rabten?" and he replied "Yes." I had asked Geshe Rabten which teacher I should go to for teachings, but he didn't say which one. He was a very skillful teacher, knowing exactly what was best for the disciple. I could feel what he had in mind and he said it didn't matter what one learned. On my first day I sat on the same bed as Lama Yeshe because of having the name "incarnate," something like that, and the others sat on the floor. The teaching was about cause and effect. I didn't understand anything at all-I think because I went with a bad motivation. I thought, why couldn't Lama Yeshe teach more slowly? Although the others could understand, I couldn't. Then on the second day I could understand a little better. I think that's because I had been guided by Lama Yeshe in many lifetimes, just as you have. So, even though I had no strong wish, there was a strong force, karma, between Lama Yeshe and myself. So you see, there was definitely contact in past lives. He hasn't only helped and guided me in this life, but he planted seeds in my mind in many past lifetimes. I think you can see in this clearly why all the happiness of the past, present and future depends on the guru. (Ed: Lama Zopa Rinpoche now has a presence on Facebook - why don't you take a look?)

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Tashi Lhunpo Monks at Jamyang- Some Photos How wonderful it was to have Jamyang filled with the sound of Tibetan monks this August. They stayed at Jamyang for a week and here are a few photos of their dance performance and the mandala they constructed whilst they were in residence.

A big thanks to everyone who helped make the visit a success and all those

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who came to see the construction of the Mandala, attended the workshops and the dance performance or participated in any way. May the Tashi Lhunpo monks have great success in their travels, may their monastery thrive and grow, and may they come back soon! Photos by Erika Banszky and Natascha Sturmy You can find most of these on our facebook page

THIS MONTH AND NEXT AT JAMYANG CLASSES AND EVENTS IN SEPTEMBER AT JAMYANG CLASSES and RETREATS with GESHE TASHI Saturday 1 - Sunday 2 September 8am - 5pm Tara Practice Weekend Sunday 16 September 11am -1PM Family Dharma Saturday 22 - Sunday 23 September 10am - 5pm and 13 - 14 October Registered Students Only FBT Module: Four Noble Truths Saturday 20 - Sunday 21 September 8am - 5pm Vajrasattva Practice Weekend Tuesday evenings 7:30 4 September - 9 October Mind Training Wednesday evenings 7:30 5 September onwards, weekly Dharma talks see website for details RETREATS and WEEKEND TEACHINGS and PRACTICE Saturday 29 - Sunday 30 September 10 -5 Discovering Buddhism: All about Karma PRACTICE GROUPS

WEEK DAY EVENINGS Monday 3rd September 7:30 Introduction to Meditation Mondays weekly from 10 September 7:30pm Buddhist Meditation: Shamata (Calm Abiding) Tuesdays weekly from 4th September 6:15 -7pm Medicine Buddha Puja 10, 25 September, 10, 24 October at 6pm Lama Choepa Thursdays weekly from 6th September 6.15 - 7.15pm Silent Meditation WEEK DAY DAYTIME Tuesdays weekly from 4 September 4pm set up for puja at 4.30pm Tara Puja COMMUNITY 27 September AM Mindfulness Based Stress reduction (MBSR) Booking required 27 September PM Mindfulness Based Stress reduction (MBSR) Booking required Monday evenings Chi Kung and Tai Chi Taught by William Walker.

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Insight Meditation Practice Group 8, 15 September, 6, 27 October 10.30-12.30pm open to all

For more information and to book call William (follow the link above)

Kalachakra Group meets 8th September, 6 October 2 -5:30pm for initiates only

Tuesday evenings Yoga Taught by Judy Watchman For more information and to book call Judy (follow the link above)

Guhyasamaja Group meets 9 September, 7 October, 10am for initiates only Vajrayogini group meets 16 September, 7 October 2 - 5:30pm for initiates only

16 September 11 - 1pm Family Day Sunday 9 September Baking Workshop:Sourdough with master artisan baker Alison Waldegrave (booking required)

SPECIAL EVENTS Thursday 4 October at 7:30pm Korean Art Evening with Matthew Jackson Please book for all weekend classes other than practice groups by calling the office on 02078208787 or email admin@jamyang.co.uk

You can drop in to all evening classes unless we state otherwise.

Geshe Tashi's column Hello Everybody, Well this last month I have been attending the Olympic Games as an official pastor. It has been a truly great experience for me. I was very impressed with the whole organisation behind the games. All those things you do not normally see like the restaurants for the athletes and all the helpers. It was all so well organised that everybody was left feeling very good about themselves. Then of course there was the fantastic atmosphere in the Olympic Park with the very enthusiastic spectators and all of the athletes. I loved to see them all trying so hard, trying their very best at whatever sport they were engaged in. It was very inspiring and I thought that if these athletes could do so much with their lives, achieve so much, coming here

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to London to the Olympics, then we could learn so much from them. To keep trying hard, to never give up and to remain strong in ourselves whatever the situations we find ourselves in. For us of course trying hard here means trying to live the teachings of the Buddha. To really practice generosity, especially in our hearts, as well as all the other perfections. To really develop ourselves to be the Olympic athletes of the spiritual world. I really hope that these Olympic Games leave a lasting legacy, not just in the beautiful buildings of the Olympic park but also in the way people think about themselves and each other. Now I am really looking forward to teaching here at Jamyang again. I start again in September with a busy programme of classes. I hope you manage to come to a few of them. This month we also have another of our Sunday morning Family Dharma sessions. It would be great to see lots of you here with all your families. Kind regards, Geshe Tashi ed: The Sunday referred to is the 16th September

Director's Column Hello gentle folks, We have a new director. His name is Roy Sutherwood. Roy is probably best known to the people who come here as the person who has made the Monday night Buddhist meditations happen for I guess around five years now. He is also a member of the Jamyang Buddhist Centre and the Courthouse Community Centre Charity Trustee Boards and has a good grasp of what we are trying to achieve through both charities. Outgoing directors always seem to worry about whether they are leaving the place in good hands. I am no exception. But this time I know that both charities will be in good hands, So this is my final GV article as director, and I guess it is really my last opportunity to say thank you to the people who have supported this Centre and the two charities over the last year either Mike Murray relaxing in the library financially or through volunteering time and skills, or through working here, or all three. So thank you to Geshe Tashi, the visiting teachers and the onsite teaching and course facilitation team for showing the methods to break free from self centred miserable repetitive behaviour patterns (aka samsara). Thank you to those of

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you enrolled in the Friends scheme who enable us to pay the bills and not freak out about cash when ceilings come a tumbling down. Thank you to the Friends Programme volunteer who administers the scheme so ably. Thank you to the people who rent our rooms. Thank you to our sponsors. Thank you to the work programme volunteers for keeping warm welcomes to people visiting, keeping the Centre spic and span, and making the cafe our healthy offering to the local community. Thank you to the garden team and the flower ladies who beautify the Centre. Thank you to the puja people who keep the religious life blood of the Centre going. Thank you to the course participants who bring joy and freshness to the day. Thank you to the meditators and retreatants who ornament our Centre. Thank you to the volunteers who help with the cleaning, help with the admin, help out in the cafe, help out with CCC, help us out generally. Last but not least thank to the staff team here. Jamyang is the the sum product of everyone's contribution given freely, for the future. The one thing that is constantly before the director's mind is that Jamyang is a dependent arising, with no entity of its own: that and how often it seems like we have guardian angels or guru deity Buddhas looking after us. Whatever else they may be the one thing we can say for sure about our inspiring teachers His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche is that they very definitely are not ordinary and quite often seem to 'move in mysterious ways' (to purloin text from the King James Bible) So to all who have contributed, are contributing, and will contribute to the two charities - thank you so much for your kindness to others, for the future Best wishes Mike

The New Director - Roy Sutherwood We would like you all to join us in welcoming Roy as our new Director. In case you do not know him here is a little bit of background about him. Roy is a long standing student and member of the Jamyang London Community, has a strong affinity and familiarity with the FPMT, devotion to Kyabje Zopa Rinpoche for about eighteen years and has had a real sense of commitment to the Dharma since his early teens. Over that time he has studied with the Theravada, Zen and Tibetan traditions.

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He has an academic background in Western philosophy and is a long-standing student of Buddhist philosophy and practice, both ancient and modern, with a particular interest in the Buddhist tantric traditions. He has been practicing and helping others to study and meditate for more than 20 years, has a great love of wilderness, especially the mountains, and much enjoys and values periods of solitary study and retreat. Until recently Roy's work time has been focused upon a freelance business consultancy, where he drew from his experience of senior roles in the civil service and commerce. Ever since renting the top floor of the Jamyang building, soon after we moved in, he has come to know and help the Centre in many ways. He takes up the role of Director as a former member of the Jamyang Board of Trustees, a recognised Foundations of Buddhist Thought and Discovering Buddhism facilitator, one of the principal facilitators of the Jamyang Monday Buddhist Meditation course and a qualified senior instructor for The FPMT Potential Project, aimed at training mindfulness skills in the workplace. He is also part of the trained team delivering Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction skills in the community for Jamyang. We are sure Roy will make a great contribution to the evolution of Jamyang over the coming years and we would like to thank him for taking on this challenge .

Lama Zopa gives initiation at Sera Je Monastery Most Secret Hayagriva Oral Transmissions at Sera Je Monastery with Lama Zopa Rinpoche 27 October - 2 November, 2012 Drati Khangtsen, Sera Je Monastery, India Lama Zopa Rinpoche begins a series of oral transmissions this year at Sera Je Monastery of five volumes of texts and practices related to Most Secret Hayagriva. This is an incredibly precious opportunity, as Lama Zopa Rinpoche is one of only three living lamas outside of Tibet who holds these complete transmissions intact. These volumes, three of which are compositions by Mongolian lama Kalka Damtsig Dorje and the other two compilations from various great Indian and Tibetan masters such as Vairochana Lotsawa and the Great Fifth Dalai Lama, include commentaries on the root tantra, retreat manuals, sadhanas, puja manuals, self-initiation, details of the origins of the practices and more. Most of these transmissions of Most Secret Hayagriva were brought from India to Tibet by the great master Vairochana Lotsawa, who is also responsible for bringing many Dzogchen lineages to Tibet. These were preserved in Tibet within the Nyingma tradition, and the founder of Sera Je, Kunkhyen Lodro Rinchen Senge, who was born in a Nyingma family, had an especially strong connection

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to this practice. When Kunkhyen Lodro Rinchen Senge founded Sera Je, Je Tsongkhapa gave his blessing for this lineage of Hayagriva to be adopted as the principal protector of the monastery, and Sera Je has maintained a strong relationship with Hayagriva ever since. This will be the first time, however, that these transmissions have been given at Sera Je in exile, so this is an important and historic opportunity. We do not anticipate these transmissions will be completed in one year, but rather expect Rinpoche to return to Sera Je annually to complete this important cycle of teachings. How quickly the transmissions are completed, as well as how many additional teachings, initiations or je-nangs Rinpoche offers, will be at his discretion as he sees to be of most benefit for the monastery and attendees. It is important to note that we anticipate these events to be primarily oral transmissions which will not be translated. However, Rinpoche will likely give short teachings or advice at the beginning and end of sessions, which will be translated into English, so attendees are encouraged to bring a personal FM radio, with headphones, if they would like to have translation. It is appropriate and acceptable to bring books or other study materials with you for use during the oral transmissions, as the preservation, blessings and imprints of the transmissions do not require the perfect attention of the recipient, only being present to hear the sound of the transmission is enough. It is not uncommon to see monks, who are still studying and attending classes during the evening when transmissions are being given in the morning or afternoon, to have their study materials with them so their time can be doubly productive. Notice: All foreigners are required to have a PAP to visit Tibetan settlements in India, and need to apply approx. 3 months in advance. Please see www.serajemonastery.org/services for more details. The Committee for the Organization of Lama Zopa Rinpoche's Teachings at Sera Je Monastery LZRSeraJe@gmail.com

Jamyang Work Camp We are very pleased to report that the summer work camp was a great success. Not only was there a great sprucing up of the centre but the atmosphere in the centre was proof, if any was still needed, that happiness comes from helping others. The Tara room, cafĂŠ canteen area, the little office in the library and the small Gompa all received tender coats of paint. The flower room wall was repaired and restored

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and the Main Gompa was treated to a much appreciated deep cleaning. So a very big thanks to everyone who took part. The list is long and I may have forgotten some of you but here goes. A BIG THANKS TO: Alex Davidson: Supervisor, organiser, buyer, Painting queens and kings: Milly Sanders New Zealand, Helena Kejvalova from the Czech Republic, Irena Stupar Slovenia, Anne-Laure Trehorel France, Varun Sachdeva, Roger Munro and Robin Bath team GB. Cleaning and Hospitality: Natasha Taylor, Dolma Kunchok Gardening: Gertrude Mulder from Holland, Handy man: Chris Peacock And of course our regular crew of Bodhisattvas, Erika Banszky, Jane, Ali, Ilaria and Bruce in the kitchen and Ros Williams Where would we be without all these helping hands!

Jamyang Jumble Sale - Monday, 27th August JAMYANG JUMBLE August Bank Holiday Monday and where else to be but at Jamyang's Giant Jumble Sale?! A massive thank you to all those who helped make the day such a success in every way - we raised a massive nearly ÂŁ1,000 (which did not include the cafe's takings) which will all go towards much needed Jamyang's funds. We also opened Jamyang's doors to crowds of visitors from far and near, many coming for The tickle stick comes in handy the very first time, who all enjoyed Jamyang hospitality along with lots of bargains and delicious cakes. So many, many thanks to all who helped prepare for the event, who volunteered on the day and to all those who kindly delivered all those plastic carrier bags full of book, books and yet more books ... and other goodies. Until this time next year ... Jane

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The Bookstall

Well earned refreshments!

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction - Autumn courses A few places are left on the Autumn MBSR courses which are due to start on Thursday, 27th September. The morning course will be facilitated by Cynthia and Patrick and the evening course by Roy Sutherwood and Natasha. There has been very positive feedback by those attending the programme, so do sign up now to make sure of your place! Contact jane@jamyang.co.uk or vinod@jamyang.co.uk for details.

Our Dharma Hero Jake Fisher on the Master's programme Jake is an old student of Jamyang (OK a young old student) who is studying the Master's Programme in Italy. We (Jamyang) give him an embarrassingly small donation towards his living expenses under the title of the "Ian Brown Memorial Grant". Here is his account of his last year of study. -----------So I've been asked to write something about my experience over the last year on the Masters Program in Lama Tsong Khapa Institute, so here goes. We started the year in September in full swing with the new text Abidharmakoshakarika, 'The Treasury of Manifest knowledge', by Vashubandhu, and it's commentary 'Clarifying the path to Liberation' by Gendun Drub. The plan was to spend only 6 months studying this as Khensur Rinpoche (Geshe Jampa Techchock) had recommended we spend an extra six months studying Madhyamika. Unfortunately, due to his health degenerating over that summer he was unable to continue to teach the MP, so wonderful Geshe Tenphel stepped in and off we went with Abidharma. Honestly speaking to try and study that text with that commentary in 6 months is

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extremely ambitious. In the geshe program they spend, I think, at least 2 or 3 years on it, and then a latter 6th year if they carry on to be Lharampas. However, surprisingly everyone was very enthusiastic about studying it. I say surprisingly as it's such a difficult text with an unimaginable amount of detail and complexity. For me it was a bit like if you were to unravel the entire neurological system of the brain and then write a commentary on how to re-build it again in exactly the same order as you had found it. It's said that studying this text brings up a lot of the karmic seeds for abandoning the Dharma and if you don't end up abandoning it, they can be purified. This is because one of the intentions that are attributed to Vashbandhu for writing the text, was to purify his negative karma for criticising the Mahayana. Sounds very mystical, but I don't think so really. If you make anyone try and understand such a complex system, memorise and fit it together, some aversion to that system will most likely arise, but If you stick it out, at the end one can see the beauty in the system as a whole, how it all really fits together perfectly, how inexpressibly intelligent Vashudhandu was to extract all of that from the various Pitikas, and thus one's faith, etc, in the skill of Buddha and the Dharma is strengthened. So we got through, with the invaluable help and skill of Geshe Tenphel keeping us cool when the brain said BASTA, and our tutor Ven Birgit who kept reminding us that one of the principle functions of studying such complexity is to train the subject, in it's intelligence and skills of dissection. Then when we finished,a few days off, and our new Geshe, Geshe Gelek from Sera Jey arrived and we started the final module on Tantra. Geshe Gelek is quite a young Geshe Lharampa, and a student of Choden Rinpoche. He decided that we should start studying a more general tantric text on the grounds and paths of mantra, to help prepare us for Lama Tsong Khapa's Great stages of Secret Mantra, which we'll begin in September. Now, it really had become extremely, if that's possible, even more interesting. Geshe Gelek has the ability to make very subtle points clear in very few words, and the depth that he taught Ngawang Peldens' 'Grounds and Paths of Secret Mantra', was incredible. He is now the new resident Geshe here, and everyone is very happy and feel really lucky. I feel a good connection with him, and notice some real kindness and patience from him to us in a very natural way. He doesn't speak any English yet, so this has really helped me keep going with the Tibetan language study so I can talk with him directly, and thus far have received a lot of benefit in trying. So that's a small, hopefully not too boring, account of what comes to mind now, a lot left out but, it was truly amazing and I have a lot of karmic debts to repay the kindness of all the people who are making this possible, especially Jamyang. So from my heart than you for all the support and kindness. I am in India now working on my colloquial Tibetan, and start the final stretch in September. Hope to see you all around Christmas as I plan to be in London then. Much love to you all, Jake

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Book Review: Contemplative Science: Where Buddhism and Neuroscience Converge by Alan Wallace (Columbia Series in Science and Religion) Those who are fortunate enough to get to the Monday evening course at Jamyang on Shamata (Calm Abiding Meditation) and wish to see this core teaching applied will find much of value in any book by Alan Wallace. You also may have been fortunate to attend his teaching here at Jamyang where he has visited in the past. These days you can connect with him on the internet and download his talks in the form of podcasts at http://www.alanwallace.org/. The Jamyang meditation classes will be hinting at the way to get beyond words and concepts that arise in silent meditation just like it is in the kids song: row, row, row the boat gently voiced down the stream; merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream. This is a bit like the end of the Diamond Sutra where the Buddha said "Stars, Darkness, Light; A Phantom, a Dewdrop, a Bubble; A Cloud, a Lightning flash, a Dream; All compound things should be seen like this." Alan Wallace has had a prominent place since the early days of the movement that has tried to bring a Western scientific perspective to the meditation traditions of Buddhism and he has worked closely with the Dalai Lama on bringing these two worlds together. He is a founder member of the Santa Barbara Institute of Consciousness Studies and over the last few years he has also established the Phuket International Academy where students can engage in retreats lasting several months. Both these institutes are closely involved in the scientific investigation of the effects of meditation. Of course whilst this is mostly seen as changes in the brain, in actuality meditation is an inner change. The French monk Mathieu Ricard, who has also worked in this area, translated the wonderful biography of the Tibetan Yogi Shabkar. This is very different from the modern scientific world and if you want to learn about the way things were in Je Tsong Khapa's Amdo Tibet in the time frame of Mozart and Napoleon then this is one of the best books on a hermit in Tibet and how to cope with an empty cold landscape and thieving locals. .....Returning to Alan Wallace (oh how the mind wanders!) Alan has been there with his early work with Gen Lam Rimpa on calm abiding meditation which is a theme he worked into his university degree. Since those dim and distant days we now have many translations from Tibetan language into European and English languages though this movement sees the predominance of English language publications when there is little published in English from the vast reserve of French, German and Italian titles in print. It was for work in this area that His Holiness the Dalai Lama was recently awarded the Templeton Prize - a huge donation by an English charity for working to bring a greater understanding between science and religion. His Holiness immediately gave away the prize to an Indian charity, which is an example for us all in these days of stoic austerities and financial chaos. Good financial results arise from acts of generosity performed

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in some past time. So Back to my Shamata practice - I need it! Dave Benn

Poetry Corner KARMA I call the Laws of Karma, The Laws of Boomerang! Catching my thoughts, Can save me Lots. The negatives create dark clouds, Like a thick midst, A veil which covers the perceptions, And then I do not see The wonders of Creation. From Birth to Death, The patterns get stuck, And I cannot feel anymore Life. The Fast track, Is tapping into the Light. The Ultimate state, Which warms me and protects. It is not an illusion, But a deep state, The right we always forget, Being our True Self. It feels wide and expands To touch Everyone´s Heart. The flame of Care and Real Concern, A helping hand, And a thought which will carry all far. Don't forget we are all Stars, We need to shine, In the Temple And outside. Never put anyone down, Change Jealous for Admiration, Angry for Loving, Helpless for Hopeful. Let the sounds tremble inside, Becoming One. You lose track of material ties. 02/09/12 21:48


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Fly, fly, my dear Child!! Freedom is here All the Time, And it starts with a Smile. The Laws of Karma start to incline on your side, And you bathe on the arms of your mother: Dharma. Lily Schlaen 2012

Dharma Bites: An occasional series of reflections Today - Coursing: what does it mean? I recently read the following passage from the translation by Edward Conze of "The Perfection of Wisdom in 8000 lines & its Verse Summary": "To course in the skandhas, in form, in feeling, in perception, Will and so on, and fail to consider them wisely; Or to imagine these skandhas as being empty; Means to course in the sign, the track of non-production ignored. But when he does not course in form, feeling, or perception, In will or consciousness, but wanders without home, Remaining unaware of coursing, firm in wisdom, His thoughts on non-production - then the best of calming trances cleaves to him." What does it mean the word course used as a verb and not a noun? I am used to hearing about race courses, river courses or even academic courses but this usage of the word is very uncommon. You can get a sense of what is meant if you consider a river coursing down a valley. The water of the river has no option but to follow a pre-determined course that it will continue to follow until there is some catastrophic change of circumstances; a flood or a drought or maybe a landslide. The river exercises no choice it simply follows the dictats of gravity and geography. So what kind of course are the skandhas, or the five aggregates as commonly translated? Well if we freeze a moment of time then these five are what we commonly believe ourselves to be. Form is the body and senses, Feeling is the initial reaction to sense impressions and mental objects, Perception is the labelling of these into our personal mental classifications, Will (or compositional factors) is the desires and aversions solidified into pre-dispositions that drive us, and Consciousness is the prevalent sense of me and mine at the centre of all experience.

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In one sense these five are a course laid out for us to follow. We just implicitly believe all these to be real, the me and mine are unquestionably the most important. We just follow these five skandhas moment by moment as they unfold the story of our lives, leading us by the nose along a track where real, separate existence seems the absolute norm. This is a description of the human condition, the unenlightened state, the state dominated by ignorance of the true nature of ourselves and the world around us. But this text points to an alternative available for us. It is possible not to course in this way but to wander without a home. This home is surely the five skandhas, out physical and mental world. The text continues: "Through that the Bodhisattva now dwells tranquil in himself, His future Buddhahood assured by antecedent Buddhas, Whether absorbed in trance, or whether outside it, he minds not. For of things as they are he knows the essential original nature. Coursing thus he courses in the wisdom of the Sugatas, And yet he does not apprehend the dharmas* in which he courses. This coursing he wisely knows as a no-coursing, That is his practice of wisdom, the highest perfection." To course not following the five aggregates but rather course in the wisdom of the Sugatas. Now that's inspiring! *dharmas in the sense of phenomena ** If you would like to contribute to this series please write to John care of Erika at admin@jamyang.co.uk

Puja to Commemorate Khensur Lama Lhundrup Received from Kopan Monastery where Lama Lhundrup was the beloved Abbott, the following message. Commemorating Khensur Lama Lhundrup Our most beloved Guru and guide, Khensur Lama Lhundrup, showed the aspect of passing away on the 7 September 2011. The puja to commemorate the first anniversary of his passing will be held at Kopan on the 26 August. The date has been chosen according to the Tibetan calendar, based on the Tibetan date of the passing. We invite all centers to join us in prayers on that day, to make strong request for the incarnation to return soon.

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At Kopan, in the morning, the monks and nuns will perform extensive Medicine Buddha puja, with many additional prayers such as the eight Monlam prayers. it is auspicious to recite the Prayers requesting the quick return of the incarnation many times on this occasion. During the day the tantric monks will do Yamantak Self Initiation and a senior nuns will do Vajrayogini Self Initiation. Due to Rains retreat rerepresentatives of many monasteries in the Kathmandu valley cannot join the pujas at Kopan. They were requested to do puja at their respective monasteries.. In the late afternoon an extensive Heruka Lama Choepa Tsog will be held, with extensive offerings. Lama Zopa Rinpoche advised that several stupas should be built in commemoration of Lama Lhundrup. One of them should be built quickly to make it auspicious for the incarnation to return soon. This stupa is in the process of being completed. The stupa will be finished hat by Losar 2013 and Lama Zopa Rinpoche has been invited for the consecration after the Tibetan New Year. Lama Zopa additionally advised for a large stupa to be built in the nunnery in front of the new gompa. The plans for this stupa have now been finalized (see line drawing). As you might know the nunnery is expanding its facilities. The new gompa, which looks fabulous, will be flanked by a 100 room accommodation block, and a dining room/kitchen block on the other side. Khensur Lama Lhundrups' stupa which will be the center piece of a circumambulation path in from the new new gompa, with landscaped gardens surrounding it. You are welcome to to contribute to the building of this very large stupa, You are welcome to make an offering for the anniversary puja, or for the stupa being built at the nunnery. Please click here for the link and mention in the comment box what the offering is for. We will acknowledge all offerings personally. http://www.kopanmonastery.com/donations_payments.html

Relic Tour visits Liverpool Your chance to visit Liverpool, gain merit, be inspired, and even take in the Biennial art festival that will be running at that time!

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FPMT 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.

Your Thoughts What do you want to see in Gentle Voice? We would love to hear your ideas and comments about Gentle Voice, please contact John at: admin@jamyang.co.uk

02/09/12 21:48


Gentle Voice September 2012