Tuesday 26th April saw the launch of the long awaited new edition of Lama Jampa Thaye’s book Diamond Sky, the first edition of which was printed back in 1989.
Hosted by the London Sakya Buddhist Centre – Sakya Dechen Ling – in the elegant surrounds of Asia House – the event was attended by an invited audience of people from across the UK.
The evening was brilliantly introduced by Benjamin Lister, one of Lama Jampa’s students responsible for the new edition, which includes a series of beautiful line drawings by his late mother Rana Lister in whose memory it is published.
There followed the first public showing of ‘The Making of a Master – Dharma in the West’, an interview with Lama Jampa by the respected journalist and writer Peter Popham. Peter gave a brief introduction to the movie with reference both to the importanceand particular process of transmission of Buddhism as it has spread from its birth place of India/ Nepal to other parts of Asia. He described how Lama Jampa’s particular qualities and accomplishments rendered him uniquely qualified to continue this eponymous tradition in current transmission of Buddhism in the West.
He also made reference to his own journey from the Zen Buddhism of Japan to becoming a student of Lama Jampa and practitioner of the Sakya tradition of Buddhism.
The film itself consisted of Lama Jampa’s answers to a series of questions which draw out the story of his journey from teenage beatnik to fully authorised vajrayana lama of Sakya Buddhism, via University lecturer, doctor of Tibetan religious history and founder of Dechen community. This latter – the London branch of which hosted the event – is an internationally respected association of Buddhist centres and groups, stretching from London to L.A.
After the screening Lama Jampa talked briefly about the writing of Diamond Sky and commended the work of those responsible for the updated edition. He then took questions from the audience, ranging from the presence of wisdom in Western culture to the role and importance of monasticism for the survival of Buddhism in the West.