December teachings in Manchester

The first weekend in December saw people from as far afield as California and Portugal gather in Manchester to hear Lama Jampa Thaye begin teaching “The Rays of the Immaculate Vajra Moon: A guide to the Great Madhyamaka Zhentong View” composed by Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Thaye in the nineteenth century. Not only does the text provide a theoretical outline of how reality can be understood through intellectual reasoning, but it also provides a guide to how one can, through progressive phases of meditation practice, make the theoretically understood view into an experiential reality for oneself.

The text is organised into three sections. The first covers the sources from which it arose, enabling us to trace the teaching back to the Buddha. As usual, Lama Jampa enhanced the text by explaining the background context in which it was written. The  middle section gives guidance on what must be understood as well as a detailed explanation of how to undertake the meditation. The clarity of this explanation makes it particularly accessible.  Lama Jampa began by reminding us that trying to meditate on ultimate reality without trying to cultivate an ethical life is useless. In keeping with the essence of the text Lama Jampa’s teaching was very practical, with meditation and question and answer sessions interspersed throughout the two days. 

On Sunday afternoon Lama Jampa gave the Initiation of One Thousand Armed Chenrezik. This is an essential preliminary for people who want to participate in Nyungne – a special fasting and meditation ritual which will be held in spring 2017 and then form part of the regular programme at Kagyu Ling.

Lama Jampa will continue teaching “The Rays of the Immaculate Vajra Moon” in Manchester in February 2017.