Posts tagged jamyang centre

Living fully: Where to go and what to do in London (September)

Summer is ending and action is returning to London. There are a number of very exciting (and also free) events taking place this September and October and with this post I want to give a quick overview of what’s happening and where. Follow for more events as we go further into Autumn season.

For those who need a good stretch and re-fresh of the whole system:

Deep tissue holistic bodywork by Maori Healers, 30th of August – 5th of September

Personally, I wouldn’t miss an occasion to have my body re-booted by Maoris. It is not for everyone and it is extremely intense, but it does change you. And your life. Feel adventurous? Give it a try.
Contact: Session: £80.

For the intellectually inclined:

Mind, the Buddha and the Brain
School of African and Oriental Studies (SOAS)
Tuesday 14 September, 7pm

“Exciting developments are taking place at the intersection between Western sciences and Buddhism. The quest for understanding the human mind and its functions is at the centre of the meeting of psychology, cognitive neuroscience and Buddhist thought. Based on different perspectives and paradigms these three disciplines contribute answers to some of the most intriguing questions: What is the relation between brain and mind? What happens when we meditate and why does it matter? Can the brain be happy? This talk will introduce scientific and Buddhist views on the topic. Guided by the question how this knowledge can benefit our lives, it will cover the commonalities and differences of these different views.”
Details: Teacher: Dr. Peter Malinowski. Free of charge. Pre-booking is not necessary

Buddhism and Philosophy
School of African and Oriental Studies (SOAS)
Wednesday 15 September, 7pm

“Sometimes Buddhism is described as a religion, sometimes as a philosophy, and sometimes a science of mind. While it is difficult to limit it to any of these individually, it is true that Buddhism contains elements of all three. In particular, Buddhism contains very precise philosophical views about the nature of reality, the universe and beings’ place in it. These views increase in their sophistication depending on the capacities of individual practitioners and, while employing conceptual thought, always aim at the ultimate freedom from all limiting concepts. In this lecture, Karol will discuss the commonalities and differences between classical western and Buddhist philosophical views.”
Details: Teacher: Karol Sleczek. Free of charge. Pre-booking is not necessary

For the culturally inclined and thirsty of different aspects on Tantra:

Revival of Tantric Buddhist Practice in Today’s Tibet
School of African and Oriental Studies (SOAS)
Thursday 16 September, 7pm

“Following the changes in Beijing’s policies of 1978, Tibetan areas of the People’s Republic of China are experiencing a great ethnic and religious revival. This talk will look into instances of the revitalization of Tantric practice in Eastern Tibet. These demonstrations of the survival of Buddhist culture are statements of its unbroken link with the past vis-à-vis the destruction of the Cultural Revolution, the Chinese colonization and the dramatic modernization process that this foreign presence entailed. Special attention will be drawn to the agency of the leaders of the revival, who not only restore indigenous access to local sources of authority, but most of all, embody the highest Tantric ideals, which empower them to render their tradition as valid for identity construction today.”
Details: Teacher: Maria Przyjemska. Free of charge. Pre-booking is not necessary

For those that want to combine modernity and buddhism:

Lama Ole Nydahl in London
Tuesday 21 September, 8pm
Senate House, University of London

Limitless Freedom and Joy – an introduction to Diamond Way Buddhism

“In this introductory lecture, contemporary Buddhist master Lama Ole Nydahl will outline the basis, way and goal of Diamond Way Buddhism. In particular he will explain how the ancient wisdom of Buddhism, while retaining its essence, has adapted to meet the needs of people in modern Western societies. Lama Ole embodies the limitless freedom, joy and compassion that come from recognising the nature of mind, and in this talk he will teach practical methods leading to this experience. The lecture and Q&A session will be followed by a guided meditation and the chance to take Buddhist Refuge and receive a blessing.”

Details: Price: £15 (£12 concs) per lecture. Pre-booking is not necessary

For those unsatisfied with the Western denial of death and afterlife:

Wednesday 22 September, 8pm
Senate House, University of London

Death and Rebirth
“What happens after death is one of the biggest question we have as humans. While some religions speculate and rely on faith, Buddhism is uniquely explicit. In particular, Tibetan Buddhism contains very precise descriptions of the process of dying, death and the intermediate state between death and rebirth known in Tibetan as the “Bardo”. These teachings are based on the experiences described by the Buddha and generations of realised practitioners who were able to integrate them and directly confirm their validity. The Buddha’s teachings on death and rebirth are practical keys to understanding the true nature of death and a way to live, die and be reborn better. They support anyone who wants to come to terms with impermanence and dissolve all fears.
Lama Ole Nydahl is a master of the profound meditation practice of Phowa, or “transference of consciousness at the moment of death”, a method to consciously use the process of death to liberate one’s consciousness into a state of highest bliss, which he has taught to thousands of people worldwide. He is an authority on the Tibetan teachings on death, the intermediate state and rebirth. Born in Denmark in 1941, as a child he had dreams and memories of his former life as a soldier in Eastern Tibet, where he protected the civilian population during clashes with Chinese troops. In this lecture, Lama Ole will outline how modern scientific research and the Tibetan Buddhist teachings on death closely converge. He will explain the mind’s experiences during the process of death and the intermediary state, and how we can work with our immediate situation to be able to better relate to impermanence, die fearlessly and create positive circumstances for future lives.”

Details: Price: £15 (£12 concs) per lecture. Pre-booking is not necessary

For those hungry of fresh Indian mystery:

Swami Atmachaithanya visiting London 23rd of September

Swami from Kerala, South India, is virtually unknown in UK so here is a little bit of information: “Swami Atmachaithanya was born on 10th April 1964 in the small village of Uppaychal, a poor rural community in southwest India. Throughout his early childhood Swami showed remarkable kindness towards others and a great reverence for the Divine. He kept the image of Lord Shiva constantly in his mind and attained Self-realisation at the age of seven. As he got older many people came to seek his advice and to benefit from his miraculous healing powers. Then, as now, Swami asks for no payment for the help that he gives.”

For those in need of deep transformation:

Short Vipassana retreat in London
Saturday/Sunday 25th/26h of September

Ever wanted to try Vipassana out but didn’t feel ready to take a leap into a full 10 day adventure? This is your chance to get a mild Vipassana taster. “Vipassana, sometimes translated as Insight or Higher Vision, is one of the key meditative styles in Buddhism.  It is designed through developing sustained attentiveness to help meditators become wiser and thus to become more capable of helping themselves and others.  In its more highly developed forms it is designed to give meditators the understanding that brings freedom and full enlightenment.
Details: Facilitator: Ven Antonio Satta. Location: Jamyang Buddhist Centre, Kennington. Suggested donation: £60.

Satsang Intensive with Mooji, 25th/26th of September

It is the last chance to spend time with Mooji in London this year. After spending many years travelling and holding satsangs everywhere around the world Mooji is ‘taking easy’ this year, so if you live in London, use this opportunity to suck-in the wisdom of non-duality. Groups of people travel great distances from around the world to spend couple of days in this man’s presence.

And for everyone:

Festival of Life, 25th of September

It is the most vibrant, action filled community – or, heck, the whole London – festival celebrating health, life, vitality, awareness, sustainability and.. love! Highly recommended for delicious food, community atmosphere, very interesting workshops and an excellent dance party.


Leave a comment »

Last night experience – Jamyang Buddhist centre


It is cold and rainy and I feel an urgent need to empty my brain and calm my mind. I throw myself on my bike and off we head to a Buddhist centre in Kennington.
Yes, a Buddhist centre again for no apparent reason! I have a feeling that Buddhist culture in London is blooming and is really good for providing very simple methods of living a more meaningful and grounded life without rolling you into a ball of beliefs and dogma. It definitely fits western minds – at least that’s the impression I get after entering a spacious shrine room fool of people! I am surprised – I really didn’t expect more than 6 people to attend a course on a heart sutra!

But let’s start with the centre itself. It is spacious, beautiful and atmospheric. A renovated old courthouse, it is an old Police Court, which is the oldest surviving, intact, Victorian Police Court in London. You can definitely sense the atmosphere and the shrine room is shining in its glory. Everything from wall hangings, a massive Buddha statue, flowers, floors, ceiling and ritual tools is perfected to the tiniest detail. The essence of Buddhist simplicity – I think to myself.

The centre has a library with over 2000 books on Buddhism, meditation and general spirituality and – as you can imagine – it is probably one of the most serene places to study such materials. It is also a place where you can find those rare materials in Tibetan language and detailed information on Tibetan Buddhism that is hard to find elsewhere. I strongly suggest you pay a visit and immerse yourself in written wisdom (an extra urge for students studying religions and Tibetan language or culture!).

Apparently Dalai Lama visited and concecrated the centre in 1999 and indeed – the love for Tenzin Gyatso is felt strongly. Who can blame them?

The roots of all goodness lie in the soil of appreciation for goodness. ~ Dalai Lama

What else… There is a bookshop, a café! and a library. The centre organises regular Tara rituals, meditations, and numerous workshops on everything from Tibetan art and symbolism (this is a must at least for me!) to traditional Buddhist sutra readings and non-residential intensive (sometimes 2 week long!) retreats which seem to be a good option in case you feel battered by daily life in London… or nursing a wounded heart!

But lets get back to the reason for my visit. This time I was invited to attend a sutra reading course which lasts for 9 weeks, every Tuesday evening. I made an effort to attend the first introductory evening – a sneaky preview so to say.
We are late and are greeted by a rather peculiar resident of the centre – a black cat. Right away I start creating stories about the black cat being a Buddhist and imagination starts carrying me until we enter a packed room of people reciting sutras in English (thank God!) and are tucked to the very end of the room with a sutras booklet in our hands.

Page 6… we quickly join others in reading some verses and soon enough we join the wave of low voices. After a short meditation warm and radiating Geshe Tashi Tsering starts talking about the heart sutra, context, meaning, wisdom, compassion, Buddhism, Tibetan tradition…. you name it. Then he starts reciting this short sutra in Tibetan and I lose myself in an acoustic rhythm of this special language!

Here is an excerpt from the famous sutra

Form is empty; emptiness is form. Emptiness is not other than form; form also is not other than emptiness. Likewise, feeling, discrimination, compositional factors and consciousness are empty.”

“Shariputra, like this all phenomena are merely empty, having no characteristics. They are not produced and do not cease. They have no defilement and no separation from defilement. They have no decrease and no increase.”

“Therefore, Shariputra, in emptiness there is no form, no feeling, no discrimination, no compositional factors, no consciousness. There is no eye, no ear, no nose, no tongue, no body, no mind; no form, no sound, no smell, no taste, no tactile object, no phenomenon. There is no eye element and so forth up to no mind element and also up to no element of mental consciousness. There is no ignorance and no exhaustion of ignorance, and so forth up to no ageing and death and no exhaustion of ageing and death. Likewise, there is no suffering, origin, cessation or path; no exalted wisdom, no attainment and also no non-attainment.”

“Therefore Shariputra, because there is no attainment, bodhisattvas rely on and abide in the perfection of wisdom; their minds have no obstructions and no fear. Passing utterly beyond perversity, they attain the final state beyond sorrow. Also, all the Buddhas who perfectly reside in the three times, relying upon the perfection of wisdom, become manifest and complete Buddhas in the state of unsurpassed, perfect and complete enlightenment.”

“Therefore, the mantra of the perfection of wisdom, the mantra of great knowledge, the unsurpassed mantra, the equal-to-the-unequalled mantra, the mantra that thoroughly pacifies all suffering, since it is not false, should be known as the truth. The mantra of the perfection of wisdom is proclaimed:

tayata gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi soha
(Gone, gone, gone beyond, gone completely beyond, awakened, so be it!)

Amen! We listen to the words of wisdom as Geshe Tashi Tsering reminds us that the actions of wisdom and compassion starts with the closest people around us. Indeed! I bow inside myself to the wise teachings of Buddhism, my mind is calmer and I embrace all the people in the room with a loving smile.

So be it!


Leave a comment »