Shining Rays of Wisdom Across the World
‘You spread the dharma, the medicine that pacifies sin and suffering, taught by Shakyamuni, protector of beings as limitless as space, by explanation, debate and composition.’
(from Lama Jampa's long life prayer composed by Karma Thinley Rinpoche)
Rain of Clarity in Bristol
Lama Jampa’s first public teaching event of 2017 was in Bristol for the Sakya Buddhist Centre where he continued teaching his book, Rain of Clarity, covering Chapter Four: Viewing Emptiness. He also gave refuge to a number of people and afterwards bestowed the initiation of White Mahakala.
The Triple Vision in Stuttgart
Later in January, Lama Jampa gave a public talk in Stuttgart on death and dying. This event was recorded and is available on Lama Jampa’s Soundcloud page. Over the weekend Lama Jampa taught at Sakya Dechen Ling Buddhist Centre. On Saturday he continued with his teachings on the Triple Vision, the first part of the Lamdre cycle of teachings of the Sakya Tradition and on the Sunday bestowed the permission initiation of the female deity, Namgyalma, and performed the consecration ritual to bless the new Buddha rupa at the centre.
Mindfulness in Valencia
At the beginning of February, Lama Jampa gave a public talk entitled Mindfulnesss and Altruism in our Contemporary Society at the University of Valencia. This was followed by two days of teachings on Buddha Nature at the Valencia Bodhi Path Centre.
Rays of the Stainless Vajra Moon in Manchester
In Manchester at the end of February, Lama Jampa gave a further two days of teachings on Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Thaye’s text The Rays of the Stainless Vajra Moon. Organised by Kagyu Ling Buddhist Centre the weekend was a part of the Mikyo Dorje Shedra (college of studies) established by Karma Thinley Rinpoche and Lama Jampa in 1994. As usual, after the teachings Lama Jampa bestowed an initiation, this time of Amitayus from the lineage of Thangtong Gyalpo.
Enthronement of His Holiness the 42nd Sakya Trizin in India
At the beginning of March Lama Jampa and Dechen Dolma were in Himachal Pradesh, India to attend the ceremony of celebration for the enthronement of His Eminence Ratna Vajra Rinpoche as His Holiness the 42nd Kyabgon Gongma Trizin.
Rain of Clarity in London
In March, Lama Jampa gave his first public teachings of the year in London. Organised by Dechen London, the event took place at the London Wetland Centre and comprised further teachings on Rain of Clarity, covering Chapter Four: Viewing Emptiness, followed by the initiation of Simhanada, from the Thirteen Golden Dharmas and The Hundred Sadhanas of Bari Lotsawa.
Lama Jampa in Los Angeles
From 30th March to 8th April, Lama Jampa visited Dechen LA to give an extended week of teachings, initiations and interviews to students. The teachings were the continuation of the text Rain of Clarity: The Stages of the Path in the Sakya Tradition. Lama Jampa also gave the initiations of White Mahakala or Gonkar, originally from the Shangpa Kagyu lineage and now preserved in the Sakya tradition, and of Namgyalma, the goddess of wisdom and longevity, from the lineage of Bari Lotsawa.
Lama Jampa in Mexico City
Following his visit to Los Angeles, Lama Jampa flew to Mexico City where he gave a general talk on Buddhism followed by a session of Q&A at Sakya Dolma Ling, the Dechen Buddhist centre there. For the next four mornings, Lama Jampa taught Thokme Zangpo’s 37 Practices of a Buddha's Child, including many detailed explanations. In the afternoons, he conferred four initiations: Sakya Pandita combined with Manjusri, Chenrezik Mahamudra, Buddha Shakyamuni and the 16 Sthaviras, and Red Tara.
Songs of Milarepa in Harrogate
At the end of April, Lama Jampa travelled to Harrogate in Yorkshire where gave teachings on some of the Songs of Milarepa, the renowned 11th century poet and meditator who was one of the founders of the Kagyu tradition. He also gave the initiation of Green Tara and met with members of the Yorkshire sangha at Kagyu Dechen Dzong.
Sufferings of Samsara in Switzerland and Short Prayer to Vajradhara in France
In May, Lama Jampa travelled to Geneva, Switzerland on the invitation of the Karma Kagyu group and gave teachings on the sufferings of samsara. Following this, he travelled to Karma Migyur Ling at Montchardon in France to give two days of teachings on the Short Prayer to Vajradhara, composed by Pengkar Jampal Zangpo and using the commentary by Karma Chagme Rinpoche.
The Visit of His Holiness the 42nd Sakya Trizin to Dechen UK Sakya Centres
Returning to the UK, Lama Jampa was honoured to host the visit of the newly enthroned His Holiness the 42nd Kyabgon Gongma Trizin to the Sakya Buddhist Centres in Bristol and London. In Bristol, His Holiness gave a public talk entitled The Power of Buddhism, followed by the bestowal of the two-day Medicine Buddha initiation. In London he blessed the new Dechen premises and gave the initiation of The Three Longevity Deities.
Triple Vision in Stuttgart
In June, Lama Jampa returned to Sakya Dechen Ling in Stuttgart to continue teachings on the Triple Vision and also to give the three longevity initiations of Amitayus, Namgyalma and White Tara.
London Launch of Wisdom in Exile
Later that month, Lama Jampa was guest of honour for the launch of his new book Wisdom in Exile: Buddhism and Modern Times at Dechen London. He spoke at the event about the origin and purpose of the book, his first non-traditional work that focuses on the opportunities and difficulties facing the establishment of Buddhism in the West.
Visit of His Holiness the 42nd Sakya Trizin to the Dechen European Retreat Centre
At the end of June, Lama Jampa hosted the historic visit of the newly enthroned His Holiness the 42nd Kyabgon Gongma Trizin, Ratna Vajra Rinpoche to the Dechen European retreat centre in France, Sakya Changlochen Ling. During the visit, His Holiness blessed the Centre and the land, and approved the site for an enlightenment stupa to be constructed in the future. He also bestowed the Vajrakilaya Torma initiation of the Khon family lineage.
Completion of the Cycle of Teachings in Manchester
The first weekend in July saw Lama Jampa back in Manchester to complete the current cycle of the Mikyo Dorje Shedra teachings with the final section of Jamgon Kongtrul’s Rays of the Stainless Vajra Moon, and to bestow the initiation of Medicine Buddha from the Sky Dharma lineage of Mingyur Dorje.
Lama Jampa in California
From 5th to 17th July, Lama Jampa Thaye returned to California. First he gave two days of teachings on shamatha and vipassana, based on the instructions in the Triple Vision at Ewam Choden Tibetan Buddhist Center in Berkeley. Following this he attended the US launch of Wisdom in Exile: Buddhism and Modern Times at Sakya Buddhist Centre, the Dechen Center in Santa Monica, LA. Whilst there, he also blessed the new premises. The final teachings of the visit were on Rain of Clarity and the initiation of Medicine Buddha.
Interdependence and the Root Downfalls of Vajrayana at Dhagpo Kagyu Ling
For August, Lama Jampa was in France, first at Dhagpo Kagyu Ling, where he gave two days of teachings on interdependence (a recording of all six hours of these is available on Lama Jampa’s Soundcloud channel, in English with French translation). Next, continuing on from last year’s teachings at Dhagpo, he gave five further days of teachings on The Root Downfalls of Vajrayana.
Sakya Teachings and Retreat at Sakya Changlochen Ling
The last two weeks of August were the Dechen Summer School at Sakya Changlochen Ling. Here, Lama Jampa taught the third and final part of Sonam Temo’s General Presentation of the Tantra Sets, followed by two days of teachings on Ngawang Legpa’s text, The Nectar of the Fortunate. The second week was a retreat. At the start, Lama Jampa bestowed the initiation of White Tara Chintamanichakra (Wishfulfilling Wheel), followed by the reading transmission (lung) and several days of detailed explanation of the how to do the practice (tri).
Teachings from Milarepa and a Book Launch in Yorkshire
In September, Lama Jampa returned to Yorkshire where he gave refuge to a number of people before bestowing the initiation of Milarepa and the transmission of the Guru Yoga of Milarepa, along with its commentary by Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Thaye. The following day he was the guest of honour at a literary lunch, organised to launch and celebrate Wisdom in Exile: Buddhism and Modern Times in Yorkshire.
Lama Jampa’s Teachings in Germany
Lama Jampa next made a short teaching tour of Germany, beginning in Renchen Ulm at the Bodhi Path European Retreat Centre where he taught the first part of Jamgon Kongtrul’s Rays of the Stainless Vajra Moon. Following this, Lama Jampa travelled to Sakya Dechen Ling in Stuttgart to bestow the initiation of Green Tara from the tradition of Atisha and the Gom-Lung for practice called The Benefit of Beings That Fills All of Space[JR2] . This is the method for conferring the reading transmission of the meditation of the Six Syllables of Chenrezik from the direct lineage of the Lord of Siddhas, the Great Iron Bridge Builder, Thangtong Gyalpo. This text was composed by the great Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Thaye. The next event of the tour was organised by Bodhi Path Karlsruhe where he gave a public talk on Wisdom in Exile: Buddhism and Modern Times, giving an overview of where Buddhism is located in the spiritual landscape and emphasising its timeless value for all sentient beings. Finally, Lama Jampa gave teachings on Parting from the Four Attachments (Zhenpa Zhidral) and the initiation of Manjushri at the Buddhist Society of Berlin.
The Visit of Kunga Thartse Rinpoche to Dechen London
Back in the UK, Lama Jampa hosted a visit of Lama Kunga Thartse Rinpoche to Dechen London. Lama Kunga kindly bestowed the initiation of Medicine Buddha on sangha gathered there.
Rain of Clarity in Bristol
Lama Jampa ended the month in Bristol with teachings on the final chapter of his book, Rain of Clarity. The chapter covers the Vajrayana, the highest levels of practice. Following the teaching, Lama Jampa bestowed the initiation of Hayagriva from the Collection of One Hundred Sadhanas of Bari Lotsawa. The event was organised and run by Sakya Centre Bristol.
Book Launch and Teachings in France
The following week, Lama Jampa was invited to Paris to attend the launch of the French edition of Wisdom in Exile: Buddhism and Modern Times -Sagesse en Exil. The launch was organised by Rabsel Editions, a major French publisher of Buddhist books. The following evening, Lama Jampa was interviewed for a second book launch at the headquarters of Rabsel Editions in Normandy. Over the weekend, Lama Jampa gave two days of teachings on The Three Trainings to members of Karma Euzer Ling in Normandy.
UK Representative at World Buddhist Summit in Sri Lanka
From 2nd to 7th November, Lama Jampa Thaye was once again the representative for Buddhism in the UK at the 7th World Buddhist Summit, this year held in Sri Lanka. Lama Jampa made a speech outlining both the positive signs of Buddhism’s flourishing in the UK and the potential obstacles it faces.
Dreamlike Experiences in London
On 11th November Lama Jampa was in London where he gave teachings on Jetsun Drakpa Gyaltsen’s text, The Eight Dreamlike Experiences, followed by the initiation of The Lords of the Three Families: Manjusri, Chenrezik and Vajrapani.
Wisdom in Exile in Bath
The following week, Lama Jampa was guest speaker at Topping and Company Booksellers in Bath where he was invited to speak about Wisdom in Exile: Buddhism and Modern Times. The event was organised by Bath Sakya Buddhist Group.
Teachings in Prague
Later that month, Lama Jampa made his first trip to the Czech Republic at the invitation of Prague Bodhi Path Buddhist Centre. In continuing the fulfilment of Shamar Rinpoche’s request, Lama Jampa again gave teachings on the Buddha Nature or Shentong view, using the first part of Jamgon Kongtrul’s text The Rays of the Stainless Vajra Moon. Whilst in Prague, Lama Jampa was also invited to speak about Buddhism at the New PORG Grammar School.
Teachings on Mahamudra in Manchester
For the first weekend in December, Lama Jampa was back in Manchester at the request of Kagyu Ling Buddhist Centre to begin teaching the instruction text for Mahamudra practice by Karmapa Wangchuk Dorje, entitled Pointing the Finger at the Dharmakaya. The weekend concluded with the bestowal of the initiation of Manjushri Lion’s Roar from the lineage of Karma Chagme.
Meetings and Monlam in Bodhgaya
Lama Jampa Thaye and Dechen Dolma attended the two-day International Karma Kagyu Meeting in Bodhgaya held in the presence of His Holiness Karmapa in Bodhgaya on 11th and 12th December with major Karma Kagyu teachers and representatives from Kagyu monasteries, centres and organisations worldwide. Fifteen speakers addressed the Conference during which Lama Jampa spoke on the situation of dharma in the West (this speech is available on his website). His Holiness stressed the need for communication, particularly between the older generation of Kagyu practitioners and the future leaders of the tradition.
In private meetings, Lama Jampa was also able to discuss various issues with His Holiness. At the end of their stay in Bodhgaya, Lama Jampa and Dechen Dolma participated in the first two days of the annual Karma Kagyu Monlam. Happily enough, nine students from Dechen in the UK, as well as many friends from Dhagpo and Bodhi Path were also present at this auspicious occasion.
Christmas in California
Finally, this year Lama Jampa flew to LA to continue teaching Rain of Clarity at the Sakya Buddhist Center in Santa Monica, to give an introductory talk on Parting from the Four Attachments and to bestow the initiation of White Dzambhala. Having spent Christmas with family, Lama Jampa returned to London for the New Year.