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Gentle Voice November 2012

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November 2012 In This Issue

Editor's welcome

Lama Zopa = Transforming Depression This month at Jamyang Geshe Tashi's column Jamyangers meet His Holiness The Director's Column Jamyang Friends The Wheel of Life Vajrasattva Practice Group Life, love and liberation Happy Birthday Lama Zopa on FPMT vision channel Dharma Bites - The Potthapada Sutra Part 2 Book Review Poetry Corner Compassion in Education Welcome to the new UK FPMT coordinator Talk on the Emperor Ashoka Bosnian Buddhist Group About FPMT Your Thoughts for Gentle Voice

With thanks to wildmind

Hello everyone, Well, a busy month coming up at Jamyang. I hope you will be able to make time to hear Jangtse Choje Rinpoche. There are two sessions open to all, do check out the programme below. Other than that we have another mix of news and teachings in the newsletter. As the sun disappears for a few months for a well earned rest in the Southern hemisphere, we thought you might be feeling a bit depressed, so have a read of Lama Zopa's advice on countering depression. We are

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also pleased to include an extract from a poem published by the Tibet Foundation and to advertise a talk they are organising. All this and much, much more (especially from Dave Benn) is included below. Do enjoy the read. Peace and Love, John

Transforming Depression by Lama Zopa Rinpoche The best solution to purify the karma of having depression is to do the purification practice of Vajrasattva. As long as the karma isn't purified, you'll continue to suffer from depression again in future lives. Maybe you wake up in the morning feeling depressed for no particular reason. If you can't solve this problem through meditation it might help to just go to sleep, or go somewhere to rest, or take a nice drive somewhere. Otherwise you'll get upset, disturbing the people around you as well. When you're angry, all sorts of bad, uncontrolled thoughts can come into your mind. If you're depressed due to a certain situation then you can apply the meditation techniques that relate to that particular set of conditions. But if you just feel sad for no particular reason, it's best to practice bodhicitta. You can recite the verse from the Guru Puja, "Please bless me to realize that the disease of the self cherishing thought is the door to unwanted suffering." Blame the demon, the self-cherishing thought, for your problem of depression. Then recite the next verse, 'Bless me to realize that cherishing others, bodhicitta, the attitude that leads all mother living beings to happiness, is the door to every excellent quality." Another quote from Guru Puja is, "Even if all living beings become my enemy, may I cherish them more than my life." It's very good if you can recite these verses daily, especially when you feel depressed. Then you'll be using your depression to practice the meaning of these two verses; that all problems and suffering come from cherishing the 'I', therefore the I is the object to be renounced, to be given up. All your own and others' happiness, including all the realizations up to enlightenment- all perfections and happiness come from cherishing others- bodhicitta. Because all these good things come from the attitude of cherishing others, they depend on other living beings. Therefore living beings are to be cherished forever. You need to repay the kindness of all these precious beings, to help them however you can. How best to do this? They've been millionaires countless times, they've even been universal kings but none of this power or wealth has freed them from the sufferings of samsara. The best way to repay their kindness is to practice Lamrim, to transform the mind from ignorance, attachment and self-cherishing into wholesome, pure thoughts. By actualizing the path to enlightenment you can easily liberate other beings. Therefore the best way to repay their kindness is to meditate on and develop bodhicitta in your own mind. Taking

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Every living being is the source of all your past, present, future happiness. Generate compassion by thinking, "I'll take all their suffering and its causes (afflictive emotions and negative karmic imprints) including the fires of the hot hells, the ice of the cold hells and the unpleasant, unhealthy, ugly, unpeaceful and polluted environments of human beings into my heart." This eliminates the self-cherishing attitude. Once the self-cherishing attitude has been destroyed do a short meditate on emptiness. Giving After the self-cherishing has been destroyed, generate love by giving your own happiness, your merit, all the good things you have, including your body, wealth and possessions. All their wishes are fulfilled as if they had a wish-granting jewel. By giving them all these things you create unbelievable amounts of merit. You can recite mantra while they're receiving everything they want and need. Actually they don't know they really need. What they need is to meet the dharma. But if they don't understand the benefits of the dharma, they want something other than dharma. Receiving all these good things causes them to actualize the spiritual path, to purify the two obscurations (to liberation and enlightenment). They achieve the rupakaya (the form bodies of a buddha) and become enlightened. Think, "How wonderful it is that I can do all this for others! I've died many times in past lives while working for my own happiness, but it didn't accomplish anything. I'm still in samsara. I've never died while working for others. Even if I have to die for the benefit of others, for them to stop creating negative karma, to not be reborn in the lower realms and for their minds to become the dharmakaya and rupakaya and enlightened, it would be immensely worthwhile. Mediate on the extensive kindness and precious of all beings. "Every living being is the source of all my past, present, future hap. My own future buddha, dharma and sangha come from purifying my negative karma enabling me to attain all the realizations and to achieve enlightenment. All this happens on the basis of other beings. Therefore every sentient being is the most precious thing in my life. Anything other than working for living beings is totally meaningless." This includes experiencing depression for them. There's nothing to work for other than sentient beings. Anything else is totally meaningless. Experience depression on their behalf by thinking this isn't my depression but the depression of numberless beings, this is their depression, their suffering. To give them every happiness; including freedom all the sufferings of cyclic existence and the bliss of full enlightenment is fantastic! Feel the joy of it! This is their depression, so the most wonderful thing would be to experience it for them and allow all those suffering from depression to have every happiness. Then rejoice that you have this opportunity to experience this problem of depression on their behalf. "How fantastic it is that I'm experiencing this depression on behalf of all beings!" Do this practice of tonglen (taking and giving) in the morning, afternoon and evening. Think again and again, 'How lucky I am that I can experience this depression for them. I've made many prayers to take others' suffering onto myself, so now those prayers are being actualized. How fantastic this is! It makes my life so rich, so meaningful! How fortunate I am to experience this depression on behalf of all living beings." Think about the meaning of your life, a psychological method that makes a huge

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difference because much of the problem comes from your exaggerated concept of pain. It's possible to reduce or completely eliminate pain with the mind. "The purpose of my life isn't just to be healthy, wealthy, to have a good reputation, to be popular and have lots of friends. Even if I had all these things, it isn't the actual purpose of my life. Even if I live for 1,000 years or am perfectly healthy for eons, if I don't have love and compassion in my heart my life it's meaningless and useless because my life isn't benefiting others. Leading such a life would be empty. Therefore it doesn't matter what happens; if in my life there's health or no health; depression or no depression; cancer or no cancer, wealth or no wealth. The real purpose of my life is to make my death beneficial for others. Even if I have cancer, I'll make that experience beneficial for all beings by using it to develop compassion and bodhicitta, to achieve realizations and enlightenment." In this way the cancer becomes the cause of happiness. Depression can also be used to achieve enlightenment to benefit all beings in this and future lives, especially all those who suffer from depression- just like using snake venom to produce it's own anti-venom. You're using your depression to achieve enlightenment. In this way it becomes the cause of happiness for all sentient beings experiencing depression. Think, "The main purpose of life is to benefit all living beings, to free them from suffering and bring them happiness in this and future lives. Even if I have cancer, aids, depression or whatever, the purpose of my life is to bring happiness to all sentient beings by experiencing these problems on their behalf. " In this way depression becomes a quick way to achieve enlightenment. The same with cancer. Use it to quickly achieve enlightenment. If it's experienced for the benefit of others it becomes the quick path to enlightenment because experiencing suffering for others is incredible, unbelievable purification. This is excellent! There was one monk in Thailand who was walking around the country. He came across a big river. On the banks of the river was a woman with leprosy, with pus oozing out of her sores. She begged the monk to carry her across the river. He refused, on the basis that his monk's vows prevented him from touching women. After some time one of the monk's disciples came along and when he saw the poor woman, unbelievable compassion arose in his mind. Without hesitation he picked her up and carried her across the river, even though her body was covered with open wounds. When he reached the middle of the river the woman transformed into Vajra Yogini and took him - not just his consciousness, but also his body, to Vajra Yogini's pure land. This means that by now this monk has attained full enlightenment, because anyone who goes to Vajra Yogini's pure land is enlightened there. Being in a pure land is a quick way to achieve enlightenment if it hasn't yet happened in your present life. In this case Vajra Yogini took the aspect of an ordinary, pitiful woman with leprosy in order to stimulate compassion in the disciple's mind. This compassion quickly purified the heavy negative karma blocking him from seeing Vajra Yogini. In the case of the great Tibetan yogi, Milarepa, the karmic blocks preventing him to see Vajrayogini were purified by his pure service to his holy guru, Marpa. It's the same for you. If on the basis of feeling strong compassion you experience depression on behalf of all beings, this meditation of taking and experiencing the suffering for others is a quick path to enlightenment, just like the example of the monk. It's a quick way to achieve enlightenment because experiencing cancer, depression or any suffering for the benefit of living beings

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is unbelievably purifying. Suffering from depression can be a good thing because it allows you to easily see the pain of other people. By using your own experience of depression you can clearly feel the unbearable pain of many, many other people. There are so many people who are depressed and many others creating karma for future bouts of depression. Experiencing depression on their behalf might be even more powerful than practising tantra because if tantra isn't done correctly, on the basis of the three principal paths, it's not a quick path to enlightenment. When feeling depressed you can think, "I'm exhausting so much of my negative karma to have depression that I've accumulated throughout countless past lives." Rejoice! You should feel great joy about finishing the karma instead of seeing the depression as something bad. As it's said in Guru Puja, living beings and their environments are filled with unbelievable problems and sufferings, coming one after another like rainfall, sufferings that are the results of negative karma. "Please grant me blessings to see my depression as exhausting the results of my negative karmic imprints, and bless me to be able to always transform bad conditions into the path to enlightenment." You can recite mantra while doing this meditation. For example when you wash a dirty piece of cloth, the water becomes black with dirt. You don't see the black dirt as a negative thing since it means the cloth is getting clean. In the same way, when you practice dharma negative karmas can ripen causing you to get sick because you're purifying so much negative karma by practising dharma. So you should rejoice when you get depressed! Depression happens in the first place due to being under the control of the ego, self-cherishing, attachment, anger, broken vows and pledges and having disturbed the minds of holy beings and your spiritual teachers in past lives. This depression is caused by the ego, the self-cherishing attitude and the self-existent "I". So rather than accepting the depression, give it back to the self-cherishing attitude. Use the depression like a bomb to destroy the wrong conception of the I. Then meditate on the emptiness of the self-existent I. These are some ways to use depression to achieve enlightenment as quickly as possible. By using it to develop compassion and bodhicitta you collect merit as vast as limitless space and purify unbelievable amounts of negative karma. It's being used like a powerful bomb to destroy the wrong conception of the inherently existent I, the thing that caused the depression in the first place. It's the demon that has prevented your enlightenment, your liberation from samsara, all the realizations, and is the door to all your problems. You can also do some preliminary practices such as Vajrasattva to purify the negative karma that causes depression. Edited by T. Wongmo, Buddhist Nun

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THIS MONTH AND NEXT AT JAMYANG CLASSES AND EVENTS IN NOVEMBER and December AT JAMYANG TEACHINGS WITH JANGTSE CHOJE RINPOCHE LOBSANG TENZIN Fri 2, Sat 3, Sun 4, Wed 7, Thu 8, Fri 9 November Vajrayogini Completion Stage Teachings (Restricted to those who already have the full initiation and who have completed the 100,00 mantra retreat or who commit to do that retreat in the near future) Tuesday 6 November 2.30pm Gradual Path to Enlightenment Meditation teachings Open to all Friday 9 November 7pm White Tara Long Life Initiation Open to all CLASSES and RETREATS with GESHE TASHI Saturday 10 - 11 November 10am - 5pm FBT Module: Four Noble Truths Registered Students Only Thursday evenings 1, 15, 22 November 7:30 Buddha Nature RETREATS and WEEKEND TEACHINGS and PRACTICE Weekend 3 - 4 November 10am -5pm with Geshe Graham Woodhouse Debate Workshop 5th - 9th November daily 10am -5pm Guhyasamaja Retreat restricted to initiates only (check website for details)

WEEK DAY EVENINGS Mondays weekly until 17 December 7:30pm Buddhist Meditation: Shamata (Calm Abiding) Tuesdays weekly to 18 December except 6 and 13 November 6:15pm Medicine Buddha Puja Thursdays weekly until 13 December excluding 8th November 6.15 - 7.15pm Silent Meditation Thursday 1 November and 6 December 7:30 with David Ford Meditation for Beginners Tuesday 13, 20, 27 November, 4 December 7:30 Verses from the Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life Wednesday 14, 21, 28 November, 5 December 7:30 The Bodhisattva Attitude Tuesday 11, Wednesday 12, Tuesday 18 and Wednesday 19 December 7.30pm with Mike Murray Four Ways to a Better World Wednesday 19 December 7.30pm with Venerable Amy Miller The Importance of Pilgrimage WEEK DAY DAYTIME Tuesdays weekly from 2oth November to 18 December 4pm set up for puja at 4.30pm Tara Puja COMMUNITY Saturday 1 December 10 am to 4pm with Sue Aldam and

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12th - 16th November daily 10am -5pm Kalachakra Retreat restricted to initiates only (check website for details) Weekend 17 -18 November 10am -5pm with Chitra Ramgoolam Full Embodied Living 24th November 10am - 4pm With Roy Sutherwood Shamata Practice Day Thursday 20 Dec 7pm to Sunday 23 Dec 10am with Steff Hill Nyung Nay Includes one full day of silence and food and drink fasting and two days of taking the Eight Mahayana vows. Introductory talk 15 December 2pm

Robin Bath Dying Well Monday evenings Chi Kung and Tai Chi Taught by William Walker. For more information and to book call William (follow the link above) Tuesday evenings Yoga Taught by Judy Watchman For more information and to book call Judy (follow the link above) COMING UP SOON Community Day Postponed from 16 December to the spring SPECIAL EVENTS

PRACTICE GROUPS Insight Meditation Practice Group 10, 17 November, 1, 8 December 10.30-12.30pm open to all Kalachakra Group meets 17 November, 1 December 2 -5:30pm for initiates only Guhyasamaja Group meets 8 November, 9 December, 10am for initiates only Vajrayogini group meets 25 November 9am and 9 December 2:30pm for initiates only

Please book for all weekend classes other than practice groups by calling the office on 02078208787 or emailadmin@jamyang.co.uk

Sat, 3 November 7pm - 9pm Film Screening: A Hidden Yogi Khensur Rinpoche Lama Lhundrup Rigsel Tuesday 6 November 8am - 5pm Descent from Tushita Day 12 November 7pm Life, Love and Liberation An evening with Jonathan Landaw 7 -9 December Andy Weber Art weekend Illustrated talk Friday evening, art workshop over the weekend Saturday 8 December 7 - 8.30pm Lama Tsongkhapa Celebration Lama Choepa

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

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Geshe Tashi's column Hello everyone, You probably were not aware that His Holiness the Dalai Lama was in London last week. He was the principal speaker at a conference on "ethics for a more prosperous world" and I was very fortunate to be there. It was a very small gathering, principally of the big leaders of multinational corporations and banks, an interesting assembly of people! There were a few journalists there as well so maybe something will appear in the press about it. The message that His Holiness gave applies to all of us whatever professional or personal level we happen to be. He said that we all need an ethical framework for our lives. It does not need to be drawn from religious sources though it can be inspired by religion. It should be an ethics that speaks to the common humanity that we all share. In this sense it is a secular ethics and it should be practiced by everyone. This ethics is the expression of the values we all admire - respecting each other, practicing kindness, looking after the weak, not harming each other. He also spoke about the fact that this aspect of human development is not addressed adequately in our education systems. We are very good at training people to obtain qualifications to gain the skills required for specific jobs but this focus on qualifications and material development tends to side-line the development of a strong ethics for the individual. It is only when there is this strong ethical basis that a society and all of its members can be truly happy and fulfilled. It was a real privilege to be there and I hope that you can all take something from my poor rendition of what was said. Now I am really looking forward to the visit of Jangtse Choje Rinpoche Lobsang Tenzin. He is a very special person, one of the last great masters of the old generation who grew up in Tibet before the period of exile. His knowledge and experience is very rare now and I would encourage you all to come to his teachings. It is becoming very difficult for these great masters to travel to the West so do make use of this opportunity. There are two sessions that are open to all, so if you do not have the pre-requisites required for the Vajrayogini teachings then come along to these. After these teachings I will soon be going to South India to attend the teachings of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. This is a great opportunity to receive the transmissions and teachings of many lamrim texts. So apologies that I will not be here in December. This also means that the Dolma Education Fund dinner that was scheduled for December will now have to take place early next year. I would like to thank all of you who contribute towards this fund. I really appreciate it and it is giving an opportunity for a good education to many Tibetan children in India.

Jamyang Staff meet His Holiness in London

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Jane, Ericka and Millie with His Holiness the Dalai Lama in the lobby of a Hotel in London on Wednesday morning. This is the visit to London that Geshe-La speaks about in his column. Geshe-la was there with Hios Holiness who was in the UK for a very brief private visit to speak to an invited audience at a Legatum Institute symposium on "Ethics for a More Prosperous World". Jane, Ericka and Millie got up early and arrived there around 6.45am in the hope of catching a glimpse of HHDL and at 7.30am they were invited in to meet him informally with a Tibetan family and one or two others, around 15 people in all. Wow!

Director's Column With the beautiful colours of the fast falling autumn leaves in soft sunlight reminding us of the annual change of the seasons and the stark natural simplicity of it directly teaching us the wisdom of the joyous acceptance of transience and apparent imperfection, we now warmly look forward to the imminent arrival of Jangste Choje Rinpoche Lobsang Tenzin here on Tuesday and his programme of Sutra and Tantra teachings from 2 to 9 November - view and explore the full programme here:Visit of Jangtse Choje Rinpoche Lobsang Tenzin He arrives from visits to Nalanda monastery and the Kalachakra Centre in Paris. Many thanks indeed for all your patience, prayers, wishes and generosity that have made it possible. It has been 29/10/12 16:23


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a very long process, largely owing to the increasing difficulty of getting visas for visiting Buddhist teachers to Europe. We are very fortunate to have the Jangtse Choje here. Visa problems have recently resulted in the very sad loss of His Holiness, the 102nd Ganden Tripa, Khensur Rizong Rinpoche's November programme of teachings and initiations at Instituto Lama Tsongkhapa in Tuscany at very short notice. Mike and Geshe-la recently attended a meeting at the Buddhapadipa temple in Wimbledon to discuss increasing problems with visas for visiting Buddhist teachers across all traditions. We have had more than our fair share of visa problems as you know, including a lost opportunity to host Jhado Rinpoche here. The situation begins to make one wonder whether it is it worth considering sensible, co-ordinated representation on the issue by Buddhist organisations at national and European government levels. The problems for us appear by and large to be the unintended consequences of intended actions. I am sure visiting Buddhist teachers were not among the prime targets in the recent tightening of the regulations! But, whatever the obstacles, we still continue to invite our teachers to come and are sending further invitations to please visit us to Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Dagri Rinpoche, Jhado Rinpoche and Rangjung Naljorma Khadrola out with one of our students, Michelle Klepper, to the important Lam Rim transmissions of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Ganden and Mundgod this December. Despite all the difficulties with visas at the moment, there is also some potentially positive news on this front by way of a little bit of a silver lining to the darker clouds as well. We have secured a visa for Jangste Choje Rinpoche that could slightly ease the possibility of further visits by him to Jamyang. It is far too early at this stage to know whether this might actually be possible. The teachings and initiations Rinpoche brings to us mean so much to Jamyang's closer students of Sutra and Tantra as well as providing many, many others with the opportunity to make a connection with the Dharma through him that we should all strive hard to keep our own counsel on this for the moment and focus on doing our best to create the merit to remove any obstacles to this possibility. Following the visit of the Jangste Choje, as passing autumn turns to darker winter, work will be beginning on the re-wiring of the reception and north wing areas of the building that should, among other things, improve the quality of our lighting. It is not possible to do this work without some disruption but we will do our best to keep it to a minimum and the investment for the future is now essential. We also have outline planning permissions for work we both want and need to do on the front of the building, including restoration of the brickwork, installation of cycle racks and a better looking notice board. Now we are about to submit final detailed plans to the Council, hopefully begin the work as soon as we can and look forward to another step in the preservation of the fabric and improvement of the facilities of the Centre. Roy

Friends? Who needs them? Answer. Jamyang does In this era of social networking, the meaning of "Friend" has expanded way beyond the people you socialise with, or your mates going back to college or

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school days, or the people you work alongside. In this digital age, however, without ever having clapped eyes on them, you can sign up to be someone's friend on Facebook or follow them on Twitter and you can even be a Facebook friend of Jamyang or follow Jamyang's tweets. About two hundred people are currently Friends of Jamyang - a rather modest total compared to the The editor with his friends circa 1955 thousands of "friends" a celebrity may have on Facebook,. But Jamyang's Friends are incredibly important to the ongoing life of the Centre and without them we'd be poorer in every sense of the word. Friends make a very concrete and tangible difference to Jamyang. Through their regular financial support, in exchange for very few tangible "benefits" such as Mandala, they contribute 15percent of Jamyang's annual income. Many Friends of Jamyang are only able to visit the Centre now and again, but their support continues from afar. Others regularly visit and want other people to benefit from what Jamyang offers. As they commented when we surveyed them last year: it's a very practical way to enable Jamyang to continue offering Tibetan Buddhism through teachings, retreats, the carers' programme and other activities. But we're looking for more Friends! If you come to classes regularly (and even if you don't) have a look at the Friends' information on the Jamyang website www.jamyang.co.uk/about/friends-scheme or ask for a leaflet. We really appreciate donations for attending classes but we need to top these up to pay for things like our heating bills (and winter is coming along soon) and to maintain our beautiful historic building (which like all things "elderly" needs more maintenance the older it gets). And for existing Friends, a couple of gentle reminders. If you move house, don't forget to let us have your new address, otherwise your copy of Mandala and other post, comes winging back here so we lose touch with you. And if you need to cancel your standing order, please let us know, because we'd like to write and thank you for being a supporter. If there's anything you'd like to contact us about regarding the Friends scheme, the email address is jamyang.fr@gmail.com Or leave a phone message on 0207 820 8787. And (if you can afford the stamp, these days), please write to us.

Our new Thangka - The Wheel of Life - An interview with Estelle Rose

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If you have been into Jamyang over the last few weeks you must have been impressed by the new Thangka that is hanging up in the hall. It is the work of a long time Jamyang student, Estelle Rose. You may remember Estelle from her time here when she ran the Repaying the Kindness Project. Our reporter Q asked Estelle a few questions about the Thangka. Q. Estelle, we are all so pleased to have such a magnificent new Thangka hanging in the entrance hall to Jamyang. Many, many thanks to you for such a generous gift. Can you tell us why you chose this subject? Estelle. Well I've been a studying Tibetan art for a few years now with Andy Weber. During one of his weekend teaching sessions at Jamyang about four years ago he suggested that I should tackle a bigger painting. He suggested the Wheel of Life and this very much appealed to me. We checked with Geshe Tashi that he would be happy with this as it would be a gift for him and Jamyang. Geshe Tashi said that he had been a bit worried that the subject of this painting would be too frightening for the general public. You see part of the purpose of this painting is a strong warning to the practitioner to get on with their practice. However it is a traditional painting that you will find in every Buddhist temple in the Tibetan Buddhist world, usually painted straight onto the wall somewhere near the entrance. I'm very happy it has been hung near the door at Jamyang but I think Geshe Tashi will not leave it up all the time. Q. How did your understanding of the subject matter mature over the time you were working on it? Estelle. I had studied the Wheel of Life with Geshe Tashi as part of the Foundation of Buddhist Thought course, but it's quite hard to remember all the details. It's actually an incredibly detailed exposition of the teaching of the Buddha. Working with it for so many months, years even, has meant that I have become very familiar with the subject matter. In that sense it was much more than a painting for me. Q. How long did it take you to complete the work? Estelle. I've worked on it for four years. Twice a year I attended Andy Weber's art classes at Jamyang. Each time Andy would give me instructions on what to do next and I worked on that until the next class. So I suppose I worked on it about six months in every year for the last four years. You see it's a complex process and you have to follow the steps very carefully as each one builds up on the previous step. First you draw out the picture following a strict geometrical arrangement. Then you do the flat painting, then the shading, then you add

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more depth, then you do more outlining. Eventually you are working with a very small brush. In this case I was working with a four zero. Q. It's such a big painting, where did you work on it? Estelle. I've actually travelled around with it quite a lot. In the early days it was on a stretcher and when I attended Andy's classes I used to hire a van to bring it in. Eventually we took it off the stretcher and I just unrolled the part I was working on. It's been travelling with me all over. It spent quite a lot of time in Plymouth and in London and in Shropshire. Once it was out of the stretcher it could be rolled up and transported in a tube. That was much easier! Q. What sort of paint did you use? Estelle. It's painted with a special sort of acrylic which I mixed myself with co-polymers. So it's a sort of emulsion and I've tried to make it very hard wearing as the building it will be hanging in is quite old and so it could get a bit damp and cold. Unfortunately the company that was making the ingredients for the paint is no longer making them - lack of demand. So I would now use something like gouache but used and mixed in the way that I have learnt. Q. What was the process of painting like, was it very intense? Estelle. It was more like a meditation. I would really become very familiar with the particular subject I was working on and that would be the subject for my meditation. In that senseit was intense but not in a stressful way. I also had a strong motivation to paint the Thangka for Jamyang and for Geshe Tashi as a big thanks for all the teachings over the years. Of course Andy Weber is a great teacher because he never loses sight of the deeper meaning of the subject. If you ever go to the Friday night talks he gives before his weekend classes you will know he is totally familiar with the iconography and the deeper meaning of the subjects he teaches. Q. What advice would you give someone who wants to take up Tibetan painting? Estelle. Do come to Andy Weber's weekend classes. I have seen him with lots of beginners and he is an excellent teacher. You start by learning to map out the painting you are going to do in a very carefully worked out geometrical pattern. This is very important and in itself this carries a lot of meaning. Then you learn to draw the figures over this pattern and finally you start to paint. The classes are really great and very friendly. One of the best things is the support you get from all the other students, that is very useful. Q. How strictly do you have to follow the predetermined patterns? Estelle. You do have to follow the geometric ratios, and depict the correct symbols. In this way it is very traditional but then the details is where you have more freedom. The Tibetans would be very familiar with figures such as the drunken man on the outer circle, you need to include him but you get a lot of choice in how you do that.

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Q. I notice Jamyang and its students are depicted in the Thangka as well. Estelle. Yes, the students are sort of generalised versions. They are not based on anyone in particular, so if you think you recognise anybody then that is your projection! Then the rainbow rising from the Jamyang building was Andy's idea. Q. It's really a fantastic painting and so full of meaning. What are you working on next? Estelle. I was on the 2008 pilgrimage with Geshe Tashi to Bodh Gaya and a dog kept coming up to me there. So I'm doing my own series of paintings inspired by Bodh Gaya and the dog. Of course I'm still doing Thangka painting as well. You know I've only been able to paint full time since 2009 and it's great! Q. Estelle, thank you so much for sharing your love of Tibetan art with us. ed. If you are inspired and want to try your hand at Tibetan art then the next art workshop at Jamyang with Andy Weber is over the weekend of 8th and 9th December. More details here Or if you just want to hear the great master talk on the iconography of Offerings and Offering Goddresses then come on Friday 7th December in the evening.

Proposed Vajrasattva Tantra Practice Group at Jamyang We are occasionally asked whether we will enable tantra practice groups in addition to the three that already meet at the Centre. Practically there is only one slot available and that is in the am of the Saturday in the Small Temple where the Kalachakra Practice Group meet in the pm. The times could be be from 10am - 1pm. The tantra practice groups look after themselves, in other words after the initial support of helping bring together and set up the group, Jamyang steps back and provides just the space for practice (the small temple). The members of the group undertake to run the group and to set up and clear up, not fill up the shrine cupboards with their stuff, not store food in the shrine cupboards, and agree dates etc with the SPC here. So we have been asked whether we will enable a Vajrasattva (Solitary male deity form) practice group. If you are interested and willing to take on the responsibility of running the group, with the help of your fellow practitioners, please contact Mike Murray on spc@jamyang.co.uk and we will see what we can do. If you are someone who might drop in occasionally if others took on the work of organising the group or just passing through London, rather than someone who would commit to making it happen regularly long term here, then please make that clear in your email. The group could run either once every month, or once every two months. Anything less will be a bit random given

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programming pressures on our Calendar. Many thanks.

Life, Love and Liberation An evening with Jonathan Landaw Monday 12th November 7 - 8.30pm Come along for a very informal evening with author (Buddhism for Dummies, Prince Siddhartha, Images of Enlightenment ) and dharma practitioner Jonathan Landaw, a senior student of the lamas and within the FPMT. Tonight he will share his thoughts on the highs and lows of trying to turn our lives to dharma. He is an utterly charming man, a great story teller, and knows his Buddhism extremely well.

Happy Birthday Jamyang It's hard to believe some times when you look around Jamyang's current home in the imposing Old Courthouse, that our first coming together as an infant FPMT group in London was on an all together more modest scale. November the 15th marks our 34th anniversary of that first meeting held in an Artist's studio in St Johns Wood. The easels were pushed to one side and a small gathering sat before two Lamas who inaugurated the event and set us on this remarkable journey, started by a simple request to Lama Yeshe to give his blessings to a London Centre. Lama would have loved to see how things turned out. His vision was always for us to have a big place where people could just drop in and find a place of peace and enjoyment in the city. As it was he only got to visit us in the second of our venues which was even smaller than the first...the tiny living room in Shane Tate's flat in Kentish Town that we somehow crammed into for regular teachings. For the bigger talks we rented venues where ever we could. The third home for a while was another small space, a front room of a private house in Swiss Cottage that we rented when our first resident teacher Geshe Wangchen came to be with us in 1982. There was another interim spell back at Shan's flat before we raised the mortgage for the move to our very own Jamyang semi detached property in Finsbury Park. The first thing we did was knock two small rooms into one on the ground floor and the space seemed huge (barely the size of the cafe here! ) Lama Yeshe would have been pleased that we got our first real Centre, but sadly passed away before he could visit. However Lama Osel came as an infant, and Lama Zopa Rinpoche and many other high Lamas and inspiring teachers visited till in time it became clear that we needed a bigger place! So there's another auspicious date to remember. On the 28th November it will be 17 years since we moved in to the dilapidated and sadly neglected Old

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Courthouse and began the slow but immensely rewarding task of transforming the much grander space into the harmonious and impressive current Jamyang Buddhist Centre.

Listen to Lama Zopa on FPMT TV OK it's youtube really. If you would like to hear Lama Zopa Rinpoche teachings on Lam-rim on the 17th October then you can do so on the FPMT youtube channel. click here

Advice from Lama Zopa Rinpoche on a special day coming up We received this advice from the FPMT office: Dear Friends, Another Buddha Day, the date of Lord Buddha's acceptance to descend from God Realm of Thirtythree, is coming up on October 29th. I thought you might like a reminder of Lama Zopa Rinpoche's recommended practices for this special day. You can find Rinpoche's advice on this topic collected on Rinpoche's Advice page, under Buddha Multiplying Days. If you decide to recite the Sutra of Golden Light on this special day, you might like to report your recitations using the facility on the FPMT website which you can find that on the Sutra of Golden Light reporting page. Thanks so much, -Tom Tom Truty Director, FPMT Education Services

Dharma Bites: A further extract from the Potthapada Sutra Last month we included an extract from this sutra. Now by popular demand we include another extract. This is the second half of the sutra, prior to this there has been a wonderful discourse explaining all the levels of meditative attainment and a discussion in which the Buddha refuses to answer a series of questions. Last month we published the start of that first section. We are moving directly to the second 29/10/12 16:23


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section so you will need to fill in the gap yourselves. The sutra continues: ---------------------The Potthapada Sutta Part 2

Buddha statue in Sukhothai, Thailand

Then two or three days later, Citta the elephant trainer's son and Potthapada the wanderer went to the Blessed One. On their arrival, Citta bowed down to the Blessed One and sat to one side, while Potthapada the wanderer greeted the Blessed One courteously. After an exchange of friendly greetings & courtesies, he sat to one side. As he was sitting there, he said to the Blessed One: "The other day, not long after the Blessed One had left, the wanderers, with sneering words, jeered at me from all sides: 'So, whatever Gotama the contemplative says, Sir Potthapada rejoices in his every word: "So it is, Blessed One. So it is, O One Well-gone." But we don't understand Gotama the contemplative as having taught any categorical teaching as to whether the cosmos is infinite or the cosmos is finite or... whether after death a Tathagata neither exists nor does not exist.' "When this was said, I replied to the wanderers, 'I, too, don't understand Gotama the contemplative as having taught any categorical teaching as to whether the cosmos is infinite or the cosmos is finite or... whether after death a Tathagata neither exists nor does not exist. But Gotama the contemplative describes a genuine, authentic, and accurate practice, grounded in the Dhamma and consonant with the Dhamma. And when a genuine, authentic, and accurate practice, grounded in the Dhamma and consonant with the Dhamma is being explained, why shouldn't a knowledgeable person such as myself rejoice in the well-spokenness of Gotama the contemplative's well-spoken words?'" [The Buddha:] "Potthapada, all those wanderers are blind and have no eyes. You alone among them have eyes. I have taught and declared some teachings to be categorical, and some teachings to be non-categorical. And what are the teachings that I have taught and declared to be non-categorical? [The statement that] 'The cosmos is eternal' I have taught and declared to be an non-categorical teaching. [The statement that] 'The cosmos is not eternal'... 'The cosmos is finite'... 'The cosmos is infinite'... 'The soul & the body are the same'... 'The soul is one thing and the body another'... 'After death a Tathagata exists'... 'After death a Tathagata does not exist'... 'After death a Tathagata both exists & does not exist'... 'After death a Tathagata neither exists nor does not exist' I have taught and declared to be an non-categorical teaching. And why have I taught and declared these teachings to be non-categorical? Because they are not conducive to the goal, are not conducive to the Dhamma, are not basic to the holy life. They don't lead to disenchantment, to dispassion, to cessation, to calm, to direct knowledge, to self-awakening, to Unbinding. That's why I have taught and declared them to be non-categorical. "And what have I taught and declared to be categorical teachings? [The statement that] 'This is stress [suffering]' I have taught and declared to be a categorical teaching. [The statement that] 'This is the origination of stress [suffering]'... 'This is the cessation of stress [suffering]'... 'This is the path of practice leading to the cessation of stress [suffering]' I have taught and declared

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to be a categorical teaching. And why have I taught and declared these teachings to be categorical? Because they are conducive to the goal, conducive to the Dhamma, and basic to the holy life. They lead to disenchantment, to dispassion, to cessation, to calm, to direct knowledge, to self-awakening, to Unbinding. That's why I have taught and declared them to be categorical. "There are some brahmans & contemplatives with a doctrine & view like this: 'After death, the self is exclusively happy and free from disease.' I approached them and asked them, 'Is it true that you have a doctrine & view like this: "After death, the self is exclusively happy and free from disease"?' When asked this, they replied, 'Yes.' So I asked them, 'But do you dwell having known or seen an exclusively happy world?' When asked this, they said, 'No.' So I asked them, 'But have you ever been aware of a self exclusively happy for a day or a night, or for half a day or half a night?' When asked this, they said, 'No.' So I asked them, 'But do you know that "This is the path, this is the practice for the realization of an exclusively happy world"?' When asked this, they said, 'No.' So I asked them, 'But have you heard the voices of devas reborn in an exclusively happy world, saying, "Practice well, my dears. Practice straightforwardly, my dears, for the realization of an exclusively happy world, because it was through such a practice that we ourselves have been reborn in an exclusively happy world"?' When asked this, they said, 'No.' "So what do you think, Potthapada - when this is the case, don't the words of those brahmans & contemplatives turn out to be unconvincing?" "Yes, lord. When this is the case, the words of those brahmans & contemplatives turn out to be unconvincing." "Potthapada, it's as if a man were to say, 'I'm in love with the most beautiful woman in this country,' and other people were to say to him, 'Well, my good man, this most beautiful woman in this country with whom you are in love: do you know if she's of the warrior caste, the priestly caste, the merchant caste, or the laborer caste?' and, when asked this, he would say, 'No.' Then they would say to him, 'Well then, do you know her name or clan name? Whether she's tall, short, or of medium height? Whether she's dark, fair, or ruddy-skinned? Do you know what village or town or city she's from?' When asked this, he would say, 'No.' Then they would say to him, 'So you've never known or seen the woman you're in love with?' When asked this, he would say, 'Yes.' "So what do you think, Potthapada - when this is the case, don't the words of that man turn out to be unconvincing?" "Yes, lord..." "In the same way, there are some brahmans & contemplatives with a doctrine & view like this: 'After death, the self is exclusively happy and free from disease.'... Don't the words of those brahmans & contemplatives turn out to be unconvincing?" "Yes, lord..."

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"Potthapada, it's as if a man at a crossroads were to build a staircase for ascending to a palace, and other people were to say to him, 'Well, my good man, this palace for which you are building a staircase: do you know whether it's east, west, north, or south of here? Whether it's high, low, or in between?' and, when asked this, he would say, 'No.' Then they would say to him, 'So you don't know or see the palace for which you are building a staircase?' When asked this, he would say, 'Yes.' "So what do you think, Potthapada - when this is the case, don't the words of that man turn out to be unconvincing?" "Yes, lord..." "In the same way, there are some brahmans & contemplatives with a doctrine & view like this: 'After death, the self is exclusively happy and free from disease.'... Don't the words of those brahmans & contemplatives turn out to be unconvincing?" "Yes, lord. When this is the case, the words of those brahmans & contemplatives turn out to be unconvincing." "Potthapada, there are these three acquisitions of a self: the gross acquisition of a self, the mind-made acquisition of a self, and the formless acquisition of a self. [9] And what is the gross acquisition of a self? Possessed of form, made up of the four great existents, feeding on physical food: this is the gross acquisition of a self. And what is the mind-made acquisition of a self? Possessed of form, mind-made, complete in all its parts, not inferior in its faculties: this is the mind-made acquisition of a self. And what is the formless acquisition of a self? Formless and made of perception: this is the formless acquisition of a self. "I teach the Dhamma for the abandoning of the gross acquisition of a self, such that, when you practice it, defiling mental qualities will be abandoned, bright mental qualities will grow, and you will enter & remain in the culmination & abundance of discernment, having known & realized it for yourself in the here & now. If the thought should occur to you that, when defiling mental qualities are abandoned and bright mental qualities have grown, and one enters & remains in the culmination & abundance of discernment, having known & realized it for oneself in the here & now, one's abiding is stressful/painful, you should not see it in that way. When defiling mental qualities are abandoned and bright mental qualities have grown, and one enters & remains in the culmination & abundance of discernment, having known & realized it for oneself in the here & now, there is joy, rapture, serenity, mindfulness, alertness, and a pleasant/happy abiding. "I also teach the Dhamma for the abandoning of the mind-made acquisition of a self... for the abandoning of the formless acquisition of a self, such that, when you practice it, defiling mental qualities will be abandoned, bright mental qualities will grow, and you will enter & remain in the culmination & abundance of discernment, having known & realized it for yourself in the here & now... When defiling mental qualities are abandoned and bright mental qualities have

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grown, and one enters & remains in the culmination & abundance of discernment, having known & realized it for oneself in the here & now, there is joy, rapture, serenity, mindfulness, alertness, and a pleasant/happy abiding. "In the past, I have been asked, 'What, friend, is the gross acquisition of a self for whose abandoning you teach the Dhamma such that, when you practice it, defiling mental qualities will be abandoned, bright mental qualities will grow, and you will enter & remain in the culmination & abundance of discernment, having known & realized it for yourself in the here & now?' When asked this, I would answer, 'This, friend, is that gross acquisition of a self for whose abandoning I teach the Dhamma...' "In the past, I have been asked, 'What, friend, is the mind-made acquisition of a self... the formless acquisition of a self for whose abandoning you teach the Dhamma...?' When asked this, I would answer, 'This, friend, is that gross acquisition of a self for whose abandoning I teach the Dhamma...' "What do you think, Potthapada. When this is the case, don't those words turn out to be convincing?" "Yes, lord. When this is the case, those words turn out to be convincing." "Potthapada, it's as if a man at a crossroads were to build a staircase for ascending to a palace, and other people were to say to him, 'Well, my good man, this palace for which you are building a staircase: do you know whether it's east, west, north, or south of here? Whether it's high, low, or in between?' He would say, 'This, friends, is the palace to which I am building a staircase. The staircase is right under the palace.' "So what do you think, Potthapada - when this is the case, don't the words of that man turn out to be convincing?" "Yes, lord..." "In the same way, in the past I have been asked, 'What, friend, is the gross acquisition of a self... the mind-made acquisition of a self... the formless acquisition of a self for whose abandoning you teach the Dhamma...?' When asked this, I would answer, 'This, friend, is that gross acquisition of a self for whose abandoning I teach the Dhamma...' "What do you think, Potthapada. When this is the case, don't those words turn out to be convincing?" "Yes, lord. When this is the case, those words turn out to be convincing." When this was said, Citta the elephant trainer's son said to the Blessed One: "When there is a gross acquisition of a self, is it the case then that one's mind-made acquisition of a self and formless acquisition of a self are null & void, and only one's gross acquisition of a self is true? And when there is a mind-made acquisition of a self, is it the case then that one's gross acquisition of

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a self and formless acquisition of a self are null & void, and only one's mind-made acquisition of a self is true? And when there is a formless acquisition of a self, is it the case then that one's gross acquisition of a self and mind-made acquisition of a self are null & void, and only one's formless acquisition of a self is true?" "Citta, when there is a gross acquisition of a self, it's not classified either as a mind-made acquisition of a self or as a formless acquisition of a self. It's classified just as a gross acquisition of a self. When there is a mind-made acquisition of a self, it's not classified either as a gross acquisition of a self or as a formless acquisition of a self. It's classified just as a mind-made acquisition of a self. When there is a formless acquisition of a self, it's not classified either as a gross acquisition of a self or as a mind-made acquisition of a self. It is classified just as a formless acquisition of a self. "Suppose they were to ask you: 'Did you exist in the past? Did you not not exist? Will you exist in the future? Will you not not exist? Do you exist now? Do you not not exist?' Thus asked, how would you answer?" "... Thus asked, lord, I would answer: 'I existed in the past. I did not not exist. I will exist in the future. I will not not exist. I exist now. I do not not exist.'... That's how I would answer." "Suppose, Citta, they were to ask you: 'Whatever your past acquisition of a self: Is that alone your true acquisition of self, while the future & present ones are null & void? Whatever your future acquisition of a self: Is that alone your true acquisition of a self, while the past & present ones are null & void? Whatever your present acquisition of a self: Is that alone your true acquisition of a self, while the past & future ones are null & void?' Thus asked, how would you answer?" "...Thus asked, lord, I would answer: 'Whatever my past acquisition of a self: on that occasion, that alone was my true acquisition of a self, while future & present ones were null & void. Whatever my future acquisition of a self: on that occasion, that alone will be my true acquisition of a self, while the past & present ones will be null & void. Whatever my present acquisition of a self: on that occasion, that alone is my true acquisition of a self, while the past & future ones are null & void. "In the same way, Citta, when there is a gross acquisition of a self... it's classified just as a gross acquisition of a self. When there is a mind-made acquisition of a self... When there is a formless acquisition of a self, it's not classified either as a gross acquisition of a self or as a mind-made acquisition of a self. It's classified just as a formless acquisition of a self. "Just as when milk comes from a cow, curds from milk, butter from curds, ghee from butter, and the skimmings of ghee from ghee. When there is milk, it's not classified as curds, butter, ghee, or skimmings of ghee. It's classified just as milk. When there are curds... When there is butter... When there is ghee... When there are the skimmings of ghee, they're not classified as milk, curds, butter, or

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ghee. They're classified just as the skimmings of ghee. "In the same way, when there is a gross acquisition of a self... it's classified just as a gross acquisition of a self. When there is a mind-made acquisition of a self... When there is a formless acquisition of a self, it's not classified either as a gross acquisition of a self or as a mind-made acquisition of a self. It's classified just as a formless acquisition of a self. "Citta, these are the world's designations, the world's expressions, the world's ways of speaking, the world's descriptions, with which the Tathagata expresses himself but without grasping to them." [10] When this was said, Potthapada the wanderer said to the Blessed One: "Magnificent, Master Gotama! Magnificent! Just as if he were to place upright what was overturned, to reveal what was hidden, to show the way to one who was lost, or to carry a lamp into the dark so that those with eyes could see forms, in the same way has Master Gotama - through many lines of reasoning made the Dhamma clear. I go to Master Gotama for refuge, to the Dhamma, and to the Sangha of monks. May Master Gotama remember me as a lay follower who has gone to him for refuge, from this day forward, for life." But Citta the elephant trainer's son said to the Blessed One: "Magnificent, Master Gotama! Magnificent! Just as if he were to place upright what was overturned... in the same way has Master Gotama - through many lines of reasoning - made the Dhamma clear. I go to Master Gotama for refuge, to the Dhamma, and to the Sangha of monks. Let me obtain the Going Forth in the Blessed One's presence! Let me obtain Acceptance!" So Citta the elephant trainer's son obtained the Going Forth in the Blessed One's presence; he obtained Acceptance. And not long after his Acceptance dwelling alone, secluded, heedful, ardent, & resolute - he in no long time reached & remained in the supreme goal of the holy life, for which clansmen rightly go forth from home into homelessness, knowing & realizing it for himself in the here & now. He knew: "Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for the sake of this world." And thus Ven. Elephanttrainer's Son [11] became another one of the arahants. --------------------------The full text of the sutra is available here: Potthapada Sutta: translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu ** If you would like to contribute to this series please write to John care of Erika at admin@jamyang.co.uk

Book , CD, Book Review In 2002 after the Dalai Lama had become sick at the Bodhgaya Kalachakra initiation the event had to be postponed until 2003. Later that year Richard Pope the old librarian in Jamyang along with Roy Sutherwood and Steve Sinclair went on an extra curriculum event outside the confines of the walls of the Old Court

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House, the official postal location of Jamyang Buddhist Centre. It was centred around the effects of an ageing population and how it will e affect global civilisation. We attended an event chaired by Baroness Sally Greengross on areas of concern for the older people who become confused with the unending suffering of the aged. Incidentally a few months ago I shouted encouragement when the FBT course books now found themselves in large print thus helping the partially sighted. The community that I have found myself in is one of concerns centred around aches and pains and the isolation and uncertainty in a so-called caring society. Failing vision along with loss of mobility comes with every tired breath Dave Benn in his prime taken which isolates the individual and points towards a hermit's containment, but there is no need not to use any form of technology as aids to further an understanding as the senses diminish. This is how conversation flows around me here in Eagle Lodge. Geshe-la once spoke to me about a great poem or folk tale by Lama Gun-tang Kon-choc Dron-me, an important contemporary of the Eighth Dalai Lama. It's about a young hoodie who laughs at an old guy because he's shaking from age related muscle response problems. Here amongst my peer group of the older members of the human species ask how can we relate our feelings when there are off days engulfed in a cocoon of lethargic somnambulist sense response when all you can do is say mantras and hope that your motivation has enough altruistic intention as you feel so rough that you think that you may croak it like a crow? Well I'm trying to use any pain felt as a form of Tong Len practice and transfer it for any pain felt by those stuck in a war zone. War and those who live in Tamas (ignorance) or as it says in the bible "Lord Forgive Them for they Know Not What They Do". Lama Gun-tang Kon-choc Dron-me, who Geshe-la mentioned as influential in his thought is published by Arcana as {Death and Dying; The Tibetan Tradition}. And is about a conversation of a Tibetan elder speaking to a younger guy who laughs at his attitude; and explains that feebleness and the sensation of pain is a normal condition of life; remember Sakyamuni ended with food poisoning which resulting in his Parnirvana. Lama Zopa starts his day by thinking that death is certain and any day now I shall be released. But Rinpoche prays let me be ready for the next bardo (after death state) we may encounter. Poet John Milton went blind from excessive reading by dim candle light, so many of you older members of the community who float on the waves of uncertainty, if you are fed up of the last action replay of Celebrity Come Dancing, switch off your TV and turn to the sounds man. It's a bit like going back to steam radio listening to Uncle Mac on Children's hour as a child. Not just radio but make a positive choice of what to hear. There is a great version of Shantideva on CD; it's done by the Padmakara translation group and distributed by Shambhala Audio by Random House.

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When I recall the words of the old wartime song, "My eyes are dim; I cannot see; I have not brought my specs with me;" Then I just switch on the sounds and submerge into a poetic bath clearing my brain with one the supreme image banks from the poetic words of Shantideva. In actuality you don't need much else if you could listen to at least one CD from this four CD set to alter your course away from the depressive black dog of samsara. For those who have an excess of higher technology the search is one click away then you can find inspiration from Shantideva as a sound track. It was all that Patrul Rinpoche needed for his introduction to Tibetan Buddhist thought (written in the 19th century). Patrul Rinpoche generally carried Shantideva's text with him; when he at times lived rough and "on the road again" Patrul Rinpoche's introduction to Tibetan Buddhist thought {Words of my Perfect Teacher} written in the 19th century: Patrul Rinpoche was known amongst Tibetans for his earthy style, his clarity and light humour, qualities which have transferred well into this excellent translation. With this example of Patrul Rinpoche teachings as well as Shantideva's words which are generally quoted by His Holiness the Dalai Lama in his teachings what can go wrong? So I make the request to Shantideva, "Please don't fly away again; Shantideva I didn't understand what you said about Emptiness and need to hear the end of the teachings again to improve the mental clarity." Another excellent CD done by Naxos and coming from a totally different angle: I recently acquired a version of the old Japanese Buddhist writings of Basho's in audio CD "Narrow Road to the interior" and the great hermit writings from Hojoki "Kamo no Chomei" 1155 - 1216 and is of the life of suffering of a Zen Monk in a period similar to the screen play of a film by Akira Kurosawa. Here we hear the writings of a monk living in solitude away from the action as the swordsmen is always made to downsize his accommodation until it is open to the elements and eventually only having a small shack of "Ten feet square". It's wonderful stuff about renunciation but beware Hojoki does end in almost a tragedy with him ending this writing with an acceptance of his fate and wondering about the effect of living amongst those living in samsara and the sorrow involved. This is a bit like a translation by Thomas Cleary of {Sleepless Nights Verses for the Wakeful} poems done by a lone Mongolian Buddhist poet as the Chinese and the Mongolians fought it out but also caused much suffering and death and physical loss of human kindness and its benefits. Almost Shakespearian the recording of living in a shack ten feet square ends tragically echoing the words by Hojoki when he closed with "Not in silence of acceptance and Wisdom, but in an anguished despairing speechlessness." Or as another Japanese contemporary Fujiwara-no-Teiki {1162-1241} said "My ears are filled with news of uprisings and killings: but I care nothing for such matters." There is only one problem with any eternal equipment that aids in your ageing process; besides settling down with a good book and listening on a CD player or reading via a high tech notebook device and that is what happens if due to a meltdown there is no electricity for on line communication or light. It's better that you learn some words of wisdom from the Buddha Dharma and, while muttering mantras, you drift towards emptiness letting in the Clear Light Mind. Dave Benn

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ed. So how many reviews did you count in this article? Dave Benn, what a star. Jack Kerouac eat your heart out!

Poetry Corner Memories of Lhasa By Shelkar Lingpa Translation T D Gonkatsang Oriental Institute, University of Oxford Reproduced from the Tibet Foundation Newsletter Summer 2012 This poem of nostalgia for Lhasa was composed by Shelkar Lingpa in 1911-12 in Darjeeling, whilst in the service of HH the Thirteenth Dalai Lama during the short period of forced exile in India. Although that period of exile was relatively brief, the feelings of loss and separation are no different to those the current generation of exiled Tibetans must feel. -----------------------Memories of Lhasa Although all phenomena are manifest due to casual factors, Each and every instance is devoid of inherent existence, O precious Lama, teacher of the infallible law of karma, Pray bless me, your humble disciple, with compassion. Like a dazed nomad without much learning and knowledge, In essence, with excruciating longing for my beloved Lhasa, The following muse gushes forth from my heart, Pray my good friends, share with me these memories! I miss Lhasa where Flocks of cranes frolic in their teeming multitude Spraying heavenwards shimmering arrays of crystal, Where the great Kyichu river gently burbles past, Majestically meandering its way down from the right. I miss Lhasa where The undulating valleys and wide open plains Are bedecked with a garland of green meadows and trees, Where the bright sun and the moon orbit unhindered, Where the land is luxuriant, shimmering in glorious hues. I miss Lhasa where A period of dark foggy gloom that never seems to clear, Such as that enveloping us here in depressive stupor, is unknown. I miss the pristine Lhasa of cool summers and warm winters

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Where merry people rejoice resplendent in their festive best. I miss Lhasa where Fertile plains spread out like a lotus in full blossom, Where craggy mountains bear the eight auspicious symbols, Where the azure sky spreads out as round as a wheel, Where the land abounds in auspicious signs and symbols. I miss Lhasa where Market places throng with happy, boisterous crowds And charming damsels glide nimbly with perfect poise, Where all the paragons of beauty come together With beaming faces adorned with winsome smiles. I miss Lhasa where Occasionally, riches comparable to that of the God of Wealth Abound - infinite in range and choice of goods imaginable, Revelling in the variegated merchandise in the stores, And circumambulating the Barkor circuit time and again. I miss Lhasa where Unlike the frenzied haste of the good folk here, People enjoy unhurried leisure with infinite patience, Where people eat quietly and engage in honest labour, Always fair and upright in all dealings and agreements. I miss Lhasa where In the spring season flowers blossom in riotous abundance, People in droves frequent the parks for picnics and pleasure, Where sounds from violins, harmonicas, flutes and horns Compete to fill the air with a cacophony of myriad tunes.

ed. This is just an extract from the poem that runs to many more verses. Why not visit the website of the Tibet Foundation to ďŹ nd out more about all the great work they do? They are currently fundraising for a programme to train Tibetan doctors and health workers. You can donate to that appeal here Help us train 30 young girls from Yushu in Tibetan Medicine See also the article about the talk on the Emperor Ashoka that they are organising further down this newsletter.

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'Compassion in Education' workshop Calling all teachers and parents to participate in the up coming 'Compassion in Education' workshop - November 17-18th at Jamyang For the first time this autumn, Lama Yeshe student and founder of Tara Redwood School, Pam Cayton will be sharing the Creating Compassionate Cultures (CCC)methodology and tools at Jamyang. This programme, developed and tested for over 20 years, provides a step-by-step guide to empower adults and children to make a positive difference in the world. It emphasizes mindfulness, interconnection, change, perception, empathy and compassion. In a recent article for a parenting magazine Pam wrote: "We live in a busy world of sensory bombardment and over stimulation. It seems increasingly important to allow time for healthy activities that nourish the body and mind. As parents or teachers it is very easy to fill children's lives with a multitude of activities, rushing from one activity to another with very little time. The stress that this brings can creep in, souring potentially positive experiences. It can also create disconnect due to not having the time to really focus on each other in a meaningful way. Interpersonal neurobiologist, Daniel Siegel's research supports the importance of attunement and connecting with another person. This forms the function of secure attachment whereby the child feels a sense of deep connection and security with another person. Perhaps this need for connection and inner peace is why there is a growing trend of interest in the art of reflection and mindfulness. People are craving time to 'just be'. There is a growing body of research on the benefits of simple breath awareness and mindfulness practices in facilitating healing, stress reduction, focus and enhanced learning. Mindfulness and self-reflection allow us the space to become familiar with our inner world, calm disturbing emotions and tap into the reservoir of peace that lies within our own mind. This potential is within everyone and is available to us at all times! What a wonderful enrichment opportunity that is." If this resonates with you please do come along, this fun and interactive workshop will give you a range of ready-to-use strategies and practical tools for both yourself and the children in your life. For more information please visit: www.compassionineducation.org Pam will also be speaking at the 'Empathy and Compassion in society' conference taking place in London on the 24thof November, you can read more about it here:http://compassioninsociety.org/

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New UK FPMT Co-ordinator Kay Cooper has taken on the role of national coordinator for the FPMT in the UK. This is great news and evidence that we are slowly growing throughout the country. Kay has a long relationship with the FPMT and with Jamyang. Before she and her partner Gordon moved to Bath, they were two substantial pillars of the Jamyang establishment. So many thanks to Kay for agreeing to take on this role.

The Emperor Ashoka - a talk at SOAS by Charles Allen This is an inaugural Tibet Foundation lecture at 7pm on 1. November 2012. Author and historian Charles Allen will be giving an illustrated lecture on the Buddhist emperor Ashoka, the transformation of Buddhism under him into a world religion, the process by which Ashoka was 'discovered' by nineteenth century Orientalists and the role of Tibet in this discovery. What they say: " This promises to be a fascinating insight into a pivotal yet frequently overlooked figure." Charles Allen is the author of a number of bestselling books on South Asian history. He has written widely, publishing over 20 books on Tibet, India and South Asia including Plain Tales from the Raj, The Search for Shangri-La and Duel in the Snows. The lecture will take place at SOAS's Khalili Lecture Theatre, SOAS, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London, WC1H 0XG, and is presented in association with the Circle of Tibetan and Himalayan Studies at SOAS. There is more information on their website at www.tibet-foundation.org/event/20121101-the-tibet-foundation

Request from Bosnian Buddhist Group We received the following request from a Buddhist Group in Bosnia. We know nothing about them but if if you wish to contact them we are are sure they would be very grateful. Please contact them directly either at the address below or via their email: Sven Basic ishvara@hotmail.com "We are Buddhist by free will searching for enlightening and because we like to live a spiritual life.most of us are vegeterian and nobody drinks. Do you have any malas we could use? Rudraksha malas are best for chanting but any other mala of 108 beads are good. We are not a cultish buddhist group at all but rather open minded and universal.Yes of course we need books and CDs as well. Our address is:

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sven basic avde smajlovica 2a 72 000 zenica bosnia and herzegovina europe sven (leader of Dharma centre in Bosnia) om mani padme hum

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.

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Gentle Voice November 2012  

Monthly Magazine of the Jamyang Buddhist Centre London

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