Between Saturday March 31 and Sunday April 15 Lama Jampa visited both Sakya and Kagyu sanghas at locations ranging from the sunshine of Santa Barbara to the snow melt of Calgary in order to give dharma teachings as appropriate to the time and place.
The first weekend was spent with Bodhi Path in Santa Barbara where Lama Jampa gave further detailed teachings on zhentong, the view of the ultimate reality of Buddha nature as upheld by the Kagyu tradition.
At the end of the weekend Lama Jampa said:
These may be sentimental words, but I believe in them: I know dharma grows from the blessings of the great masters to us, but it also grows horizontally through our kindness and affection, brotherhood and sisterhood with each other. That way we get the power from two ways, from above and from each other, so surely it will work this way. So it’s really wonderful to be here and that people have come from several places, uniting so many countries and different sanghas – its always a joy when that happens.
The following Tuesday Lama Jampa was back in Los Angeles at Dechen’s Sakya Buddhist Center. Here he taught The Eight Verses of Mind Training to a large group of people. Lama Jampa explained in detail how mindfulness and clear comprehension act as important tools to help in the process of training the mind, by catching the arising of negative emotions and dissolving their force before they gather momentum.
Bringing attentiveness with clarity, to what arises in one’s mind, that is the way to take disturbing emotions away. The solution, in the end, has to be in the mind itself. No external person can come in and operate on our mind and remove the disturbing emotion every time it arises. We have to be able to do it in the mind itself. The more and more we develop the capacity to return to the present moment, the less force the disturbing emotions and concepts have to sweep us away and we can prevent the dialogue, the monologue building up.
Still at Sakya Buddhist Center in Santa Monica, on Thursday evening Lama Jampa gave the initiation of Green Tara from the lineage of Shakya Shribhadra. As the female embodiment of the liberating activity of all the Buddhas, her initiation and meditation are especially effective means of awakening one’s innate capacity for enlightened compassion. For two weeks during August 2018 Lama Jampa will be giving the transmission of the full series of 21 Tara’s at the Dechen European retreat centre in France – click here for more details.
On Friday members of the Dechen sangha drove Lama Jampa up to San Luis Obispo through the beautiful green hills of California central coast, enjoying lunch on the way in the wine town of Los Olivos .
That evening in San Luis Obispo Lama Jampa gave a public talk to members of the White Heron Sangha on the power of Buddhism and the essence of the Buddhist path. At the end of the talk Lama Jampa was able to help people by answering their many questions about Buddhism and the Buddhist Path. The talk is available to listen to on Soundcloud.
Over the weekend Lama Jampa was with the San Luis Obispo Bodhi Path sangha where he gave extensive teachings on The Four Dharmas of Gampopa, an important guide to the whole of the Buddhist path by one of the great patriarchs of the Kagyu tradition. On the Sunday morning many new people came to the teaching as part of the regular Sunday morning open meditation and Lama Jampa led a meditation practice and talked about how there are many ways of practising the Buddhist path. He used details and stories from the lives of the three patriarchs of the Kagyu tradition, showing the unique ways they engaged on the path, each very different from their predecessors.
After the teaching on Sunday the Bodhi Path sangha took Lama Jampa out of town for lunch where everyone enjoyed BBQ food and live music together.
Back at the Sakya Buddhist Center in LA Lama Jampa concluded the chapter Entering the Vajrayana from Rain of Clarity, his work on the stages of the Buddhist path according to the Sakya tradition. On Tuesday many newcomers came to hear the overview and to ask Lama Jampa questions on various points.
Finally Lama Jampa travelled to the Bodhi Path in Calgary where his arrival coincided with a two day thaw in the heavy snow. Here he gave further teachings on the Buddha nature teachings of zhentong, the view of ultimate reality transmitted within the Kagyu tradition.
The teachings on the Four Dharmas of Gampopa and Entering the Vajrayana were recorded and will be available on Lama Jampa’s YouTube channel shortly. If you subscribe you will receive notifications of all new material.
Lama Jampa will be returning to California in May for the visit of His Holiness 42nd Sakya Trizin to Sakya Buddhist Centre LA – click here for further details of this very special event.