Rays of wisdom pervaded Harrogate at the weekend as Lama Jampa visited to give teachings. To begin with on Saturday a number of people took refuge before Lama Jampa gave the initiation of the famed Kagyu yogin Milarepa. As well as his great diligence and determination, Lama Jampa explained how Milarepa, through reliance on his Lama at the beginning, and then by receiving and practising the teachings, was able to achieve Buddhahood in one lifetime. As a result of this, Lama Jampa said there is no one who compares with Milarepa in the whole of Tibet. Following the initiation, Lama Jampa bestowed the transmission of the Guru Yoga of Milarepa along with the commentary by Jamgon Kongtrul.
On Sunday Kagyu Dechen Dzong hosted a Literary Lunch in the beautiful Sun Pavilion overlooking the Valley Gardens in the heart of Harrogate. Lama Jampa explained to an attentive audience how the number of Buddhists in the U.K. has doubled over the last 10 years, and that although half are originally from Asian countries, the other half are native-born. This forms the backdrop to ‘Wisdom in Exile’, which considers how a space has opened up for Buddhism in the West. In addition, the book examines where Buddhism stands now in modern times, how it responds to key features in Western culture, and how we as Westerners should practise it. The book is aimed at both Buddhist Westerners who are trying to make sense of what it is to be a Buddhist, as well as those who are interested in intelligent discussion about religion and modern society.