A great weekend of teaching and practice with Lama Jampa Thaye in Bristol, Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 October
Hosted by Sakya Buddhist Centre Bristol, Lama Jampa gave the final part of a short teaching by of Sakya Pandita along with the initiation of Vasudhara to over 120 people from across the UK.
Entitled ‘The Reply to Nyimo Gomchen’, Sakya Pandita’s text consists of replies to questions posed by a 13th century meditation practitioner of the time – Nyimo Gomchen. This text dealt with many of the burning questions about Buddhism in Tibet, at a time when there was a lot of confusion and uncertainty about what Buddhism actually is. The topics covered range from the relationship with the lama, what prayer is for, what enlightenment is (and is not) and how this is achieved. This particular set of questions and answers began with a presentation of the correct role and qualifications of the lama, and went on to show how one needs to develop real understanding first through hearing the teachings, then by reflecting and finally meditating on them. It’s through these three, not just one or two, that one turns understanding into a lived experience in order to reach enlightenment.
Lama Jampa ended the teaching with a short explanation of what it means to be a learned Buddhist and how this benefits us by giving us real experience of and confidence in the dharma. Through this it’s possible to help others to connect with the the vastness and profundity of the teachings now and in the future.
During the afternoon, Lama Jampa gave the initiation of Vasudhara from the tradition of the great Tibetan translator, Bari Lotsawa. Meditation on this female buddha is helpful for bringing about prosperity or, in other words, good circumstances to support dharma practice.
Sunday morning continued the weekend’s activities with meditation on Chenrezik, the buddha of compassion, at Sakya Buddhist Centre. This was a great opportunity to practise with friends in the presence of the Lama.