Winter Time in New York Town

Lama Jampa Thaye has spent the past ten days in New York. During this time he met with Khenpo Kalsang Gyaltsen who is supervising the construction of Tsechen Kunchab Ling, the American seat of His Holiness Sakya Trizin.
Lama Jampa and Khenpo Kalsang in Tsechen Kunchab Ling
Lama Jampa was shown the status of the new temple building construction and the wonderful statues that will fill the new shrine room. The work began in 2005 and the temple will be ready to receive His Holiness when He visits America this summer. Lama Jampa and Khenpo Kalsang discussed the plans for His Holiness' visit as well as the progress of American dharma in general.

Lama Jampa also met up with Pamela White, a long term disciple of Shamar Rinpoche and columnist for the major contemporary Buddhist journal, Tricycle. A couple of days later Lama Jampa was invited to the office of Tricycle in Greenwich Village. There he had a very friendly discussion about dharma in modern times with the editor James Shaheen, website editor Phillip Ryan and staffer Monty Mckeever.
Lama Jampa, Dechen Dolma and Katie in Greenwich Village
Lama Jampa would like to take this opportunity to extend his best wishes to everyone for a happy Christmas in the heart from New York City.

Recent News

Lama Jampa is currently in Manchester giving personal interviews for a week. This follows the teaching event in London last Saturday, 4 December, where Lama Jampa bestowed Nubkyi Rigdzin's commentary on the Zhenpa Zhidral (Parting From the Four Attachments), together with the initiation of Black Manjushri.

This was the first time Lama Jampa bestowed the initiation of Black Manjushri, which is drawn from the esoteric Sakya collection: the 13 Golden Dharmas. Lama Jampa received the complete transmission of the 13 Golden Dharmas in 1986 from His Holiness Sakya Trizin in His Holiness's personal shrine room in Deradun, India. Lama Jampa will bestow the initiation of Simhamukha (Lion-Faced dakini), another deity from this collection, in Los Angeles in April next year.

Lama Jampa's itinerary for the remainder of this year will see him travel to New York for a private visit, followed by his return to Manchester where he will bestow the concluding part of "The Instructions of the Supreme Siddhas" by Situ Tenpe Nyinjay, which is a commentary on the third Karmapa Ranjung Dorje’s famed text, "The Prayer of Mahamudra" at the Kagyu Shedra.

For more information on this year's Kagyu shedra, please visit this link.

Sakya Monlam

His Holiness Sakya Trizin is currently in Lumbini, Nepal attending the annual Sakya Monlam, which started on 13 November and concludes today, 22 November. The centrepiece of the Monlam is the recitation of the King of Aspiration Prayers (Zangchod Monlam). Lama Jampa Thaye recently spoke to His Holiness, who is in good health. Lama Jampa will be visiting His Holiness in India next year before His Holiness commences His teaching tour of the Americas.

The Kagyu Monlam is also taking place this year and will be held be held in Bodhgaya in India from 27 December to 3 January. This year's Kagyu Monlam is particularly auspicious as it marks the 900th anniversary of the birth of the first Karmapa, Düsum Khyenpa.

News of the Lamas

Karma Thinley Rinpoche recently passed through London on his annual trip back to Canada from Lekshey Ling in Nepal. Rinpoche is in good health and found time to discuss various dharma issues with Lama Jampa Thaye.

Last weekend various Dechen centres held events to mark the birthday of Lama Jampa Thaye and the nuns at Lekshey Ling performed rituals for Lama Jampa's long life. Lama Jampa is currently in Mexico bestowing an extensive programme of teachings upon the Sakya Dolma Ling sangha.

Visit of His Eminence Ratnavajra Rinpoche to Dechen

The dates of His Eminence Ratnavajra Rinpoche's visit to Dechen next year have been confirmed. His Eminence will visit Sakya Dechen Ling in Stuttgart from 18 to 19 May. Later in the summer His Eminence will visit Sakya Thinley Rinchen Ling in Bristol from 5 to 7 August, followed by Sakya Dechen Ling in London from 16 to 17 August. His Eminence will bestow the Khon Vajrakila initiation at Sakya Thinley Rinchen Ling, which His Holiness Sakya Trizin bestowed in 1998.

Lama Jampa Thaye on BBC Radio Manchester, October 2010

Lama Jampa Thaye appeared on his regular radio slot in Manchester, England last weekend where he discussed his "thought for the week" and a number of stories featured in the newspapers that day.

A recording of the interview has been uploaded to Lama Jampa Thaye's YouTube channel. Please click here to listen to the interview.

One of Lama Jampa Thaye's students, Emily Maguire, was recently interviewed on the same radio programme. Emily played a concert in Manchester last week and kindly donated the proceeds to Kagyu Ling Buddhist Centre.

Lama Jampa Thaye invited to give blessing at ceremony to mark school opening

Lama Jampa was invited as one of several religious leaders to give a blessing at a ceremony to mark the opening of the St James School for Boys in its new location in Ashford, Surrey. Lama Jampa recited a blessing prayer especially composed for the occasion.

In other news, on his recent trip to Tibet Kunga passed to the relevant authorities the funds raised in our centres, inspired by Rinpoche's wish to help the people affected by the recent earthquake in Jyekundo, Tibet.

News of His Holiness Karmapa

Lama Jampa Thaye spoke to His Holiness Karmapa last week. His Holiness is well and currently in Delhi having recently undergone a minor operation on His knee. Preparations are currently under way to finalise the details of His Holiness's next teaching tour. His Holiness also recently received the Chokling Tersar, the collection of termas revealed by the great terton Chokgyur Dechen Lingpa. His Holiness received this collection from H.E. Tsikey Chokling Rinpoche, an incarnation of Chokgyur Lingpa.

One of the principal cycles in the Chokling Tersar is the Tukdrub Barchey Kunsel. Lama Jampa will bestow the famed bardo teaching from this cycle in Harrogate on 16 October. On the same day, Lama Jampa will also bestow the initation of Vajrasattva from another famous cycle in the Chokling Tersar, the Sangtik Korsum.

News of His Holiness Sakya Trizin

His Holiness Sakya Trizin is currently visiting Nepal where he has spent some time with Khenpo Appey Rinpoche, who has been seriously ill. Khenpo Appey Rinpoche tutored His Holiness in the textual teachings of sutra and tantra in the early 1960s and was later the first principal of the Sakya College in Rajpur.

While in Nepal His Holiness has met with Karma Thinley Rinpoche. They discussed His Holiness's recent visit to Sakya Dechen Ling in London and His visit next year to Sakya Dolma Ling, our Centre in Mexico City.

It is planned that His Holiness will give a few initiations in Nepal such as those of Amitayus and Padmasambhava.

Summer retreat at Sakya Changlochen Ling

The last two weeks of August saw the annual teaching programme at Sakya Changlochen Ling in France take place.  The first week of the programme saw Lama Jampa Thaye bestow the initiation of Green Tara and lead sangha members in daily practice sessions of the deity.  The second week saw Lama Jampa Thaye bestow the initiation of Vajrapani Bhutadamara, together with the tri composed by the famed Sakya master Zhuchen Tsultrim Rinchen. Lama Jampa Thaye subsequently led several practice sessions of the sadhana.

During the course of the two weeks, an appeal was launched to raise funds for the next stage of the development of Sakya Changlochen Ling.  Please visit this link for further information.

News of His Holiness Sakya Trizin

Lama Jampa Thaye recently spoke to His Holiness Sakya Trizin following His Holiness's safe return to India at the conclusion of His European tour. From 20 to 30 August, His Holiness presided over the annual grand Vajrakilaya puja at Sakya Centre in Rajpur. On the final day of the ceremony, over 6000 people came to Sakya Centre.

His Holiness and Lama Jampa also discussed plans for the visit of His Holiness to Sakya Dolma Ling in Mexico. The dates for the visit have now been confirmed as 15 to 17 July 2011.

Lama Jampa Thaye teaches at Dhagpo Kagyu Ling

At the kind invitation of Jigme Rinpoche, brother of Shamar Rinpoche and representative of His Holiness Karmapa in Europe, Lama Jampa Thaye gave a teaching on the Madhyamaka philosphical system on the morning of 19 August at Dhagpo Kagyu Ling.

Under the gaze of a life-size statue of the 16th Karmapa, Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, Lama Jampa began with a clear and concise presentation of the four philosphical schools of Buddhist tenets and subsequently focused on the Rangtong and Shentong approaches to the Madhyamaka, skilfully delineating the key characteristics of, and the differences between, the two approaches. Lama Jampa concluded the teaching by discoursing on some of the notable responses to the Shentong approach, particularly those of Jetsun Rendawa and the Lord of scholars, Gorampa Sonam Senge. The event was attended by a great number of people, including members of both the Dhagpo and Dechen sanghas.

Following the teaching, Lama Jampa had lunch with Jigme Rinpoche and the president of Dhagpo Kagyu Ling, Jean Guy. During the lunch, discussions covered recent developments in the Karma Kagyu world, as well as plans for the future, including further visits by Lama Jampa to Dhagpo Kagyu Ling to teach again.

The auspicious event is a vivid illustration of Lama Jampa's inheritance as a master of both the Karma Kagyu and Sakya traditions, and his ability to convey the profound meaning of the highest philosophical teachings of Buddhism to all audiences.

News of the Dungseys and Sakya dharma in New York

His Holiness Sakya Trizin's two sons, H.E. Ratna Vajra Rinpche and H.E. Gyana Vajra Rinpoche, arrived back in Rajpur, India on 25 July following their 63 day tour of China and Tibet. They were accompanied on the tour by Lama Jamyang Zopa. They visited many of the holy places in Tibet, including Ngor, Samye, Shigatse and Lhasa, and gave brief teachings in Sakya itself. Many people came to receive the blessings of the Dungseys.

In other news, a number of Lama Jampa's students, recently arrived in New York, visited His Holiness Sakya Trizin's seat on the East coast in Walden, upstate New York last weekend. They were kindly received by Lama Kalsang Gyaltsen who oversees a number of Sakya dharma groups in the USA and also the Centre in Walden, Tsechen Kunchab Ling.

His Holiness established the seat in 2001 and a temple is currently being constructed on the land. Please visit this link for further details of the construction of the temple. His Holiness will bestow the Lamdre in Walden in Summer 2011.

Lama Jampa Thaye will be visiting New York this Christmas at the invitation of his students and will also meet with Lama Kalsang Gyaltsen to discuss the development of Sakya dharma in the USA.

Video interviews with His Holiness Sakya Trizin

The Dechen blog is delighted to announce the release of a series of video interviews with His Holiness Sakya Trizin on a dedicated YouTube channel.

This series of videos was filmed in a studio in Notting Hill during His Holiness Sakya Trizin’s recent visit to Sakya Dechen Ling, London and features His Holiness discoursing on various topics, such as the role of the Sakya Trizin, the connections between the Sakya and Nyingma traditions and Buddhism in the West. Further videos will be released over the next few weeks.

Click here to view the videos.

Update on activity of the Lamas

His Holiness Sakya Trizin has just commenced giving the Lamdre Tsokshey in France. After his recent visit to Sakya Dechen Ling in June, he visited a number of different countries in Europe, including Holland, France and Germany. His Holiness will spend the next four weeks in France giving the Lamdre. A picture gallery of His Holiness's visit to Sakya Dechen Ling is now available for viewing at this link.

In other news, His Holiness's sons, Ratna Vajra Rinpoche and Gyana Vajra Rinpoche, are currently travelling in China and Tibet. They recently arrived in Chengdu where they were greeted by many people.

Lama Jampa Thaye taught the first part of the 50 Verses at Sakya Thinley Rinchen Ling, Bristol on Saturday, 10 July and also gave the initiation of Red Tara. He travelled to Bulgaria on Monday, 12 July. He will teach Sakya Pandita's presentation of the 14 Root Downfalls and bestow the inititation of Amitayus from the Taklung Kagyu tradition at Sakya Choling in Sofia on 24 July.

Visit of His Holiness Sakya Trizin to London, June 2010

This past week saw the ninth visit of His Holiness Sakya Trizin to our dharma community. His Holiness was hosted by Lama Jampa Thaye, Dechen Dolma and Sakya Dechen Ling for a total of five days in London. At the request of Lama Jampa Thaye, His Holiness bestowed the initiation of Shri Kalachakra and gave a public teaching on the Zhenpa Zhidral.

The visit began at the Sakya Dechen Ling centre in Notting Hill on Sunday, 13 June where His Holiness and entourage were received by Lama Jampa Thaye, Dechen Dolma and a number of sangha members. Lama Jampa offered His Holiness a mandal tensum for His long life. Due to an auspicious coincidence, the new 43 volume collection of Lamdre texts had arrived at the centre the previous day and His Holiness kindly acceeded to Lama Jampa's request that He bless the texts.

Later that same day the first public event of the visit took place in the spectacular surroundings of the Great Hall at Lincoln's Inn in Central London. His Holiness gave a peerless exposition of the Zhenpa Zhidral via Jetsun Drakpa Gyaltsen's commentary on the fundamental Sakya text, originally received by the Great Lama Sakyapa from the bodhisattva Manjushri.

Monday, 14 and Tuesday, 15 June saw His Holiness bestow the initiation of Shri Kalachakra at the Kensington Town Hall. Lama Jampa Thaye, Lama Ole Nydahl and a vast assembly of monks and nuns, laymen and women came together on this joyous occasion to receive the initiation. Sangha members came from a number of different dharma communities, including Sakya Thubten Ling, Sakya Ling, the Diamond Way, the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition and Rigpa. The conclusion of the initiation saw Lampa Jampa give a short speech rejoicing in the visit of His Holiness and praying for His Holiness' long life.

The fourth day of the visit saw filming of a question and answer session with His Holiness at a recording studio in Notting Hill. His Holiness kindly answered a number of questions on dharma topics, including the bardo, His root lamas and the connections between the Nyingma and Sakya traditions. Footage of the question and answer session will be released shortly on a dedicated YouTube channel.

His Holiness' visit concluded on Thursday, 17 June. His Holiness and entourage flew on to the Netherlands, where He will visit Sakya Thegchen Ling and bestow the initiation and tri of White Tara.

The visit of His Holiness Sakya Trizin was an awesome reminder of the great blessings of our Gentle Lord, the greatest Vajrayana master alive today, and of the vitality of the glorious Sakya tradition.

Click here to register with the Dechen blog and receive updates on the soon to be released DVD of His Holiness' teaching at Lincoln's Inn and further pictures from the visit.

Buddhism for Modern Times

The Dechen blog is delighted to announce the release on DVD of Lama Jampa Thaye's recent public teaching, Buddhism for Modern Times, in Manchester at the Bridgewater Hall. The DVD features Lama Jampa giving a masterful exposition of the path of dharma practice as he highlights the timeless nature of the Buddha's teachings.

Please visit here to view a short clip taken from the DVD. To purchase a copy of the DVD please email

His Holiness Sakya Trizin's previous visits to the Dechen Community: 2007

His Holiness's most recent visit to our dharma community came in 2007. His Holiness visited Sakya Thinley Rinchen Ling to bestow a series of teachings. His Holiness gave a public teaching on the first day, followed by the mandala initiation of Rigsum Gonpo and the initiation of 21 Taras from the lineage of Atisa.

At the conclusion of the teachings, His Holiness gave an inspiring discourse on the transmission of dharma to the West which we have extracted in full below.

'Buddhism came from India where all the past Buddhas, the present Buddha, and also the future Buddhas attained enlightenment; also all the great masters such as the 84 mahasiddhas came from India. From the great Indian masters the Tibetan translators learnt and then brought Buddhism to Tibet. Actually - although Buddhism spread to many countries - through the great blessings of the Indian masters as well as through the great hardships of all the Tibetan translators, only to Tibet was it possible to bring all the traditions such as the Hinayana, Mahayana, Vajrayana and also all the other sciences.

When new teachings come there are always problems. In the beginning there were a lot of disturbances by the local Tibetan spirits. Then Guru Padmasambhava came and subdued all the evil ones and the good ones were converted into the Buddhist protectors and so Buddhism was established. Then again there came a degeneration and there were many mistakes. So great masters such as Palden Atisha came and made all the corrections and thus was established the pure Buddhist teachings. Not only through study but also through meditation many great masters accomplished realisation in all the Tibetan traditions. Even as late as the last century there are stories about some masters accomplishing the rainbow body. Now it is coming to the West and of course it's in the beginning stage; but nonetheless it is encouraging to see that so many people are seriously interested. At the same time, of course, there are some people who - mainly, I think, because of the lack of knowledge - are not practising so purely. But eventually I'm sure this will all be cleared and that Westerners will be able to carry on the teaching and establish it firmly and spread the Buddhist teachings.

I've known Lama Jampa Thaye for over 30 years and he has been for many years carrying on the teaching programme and translations as well as practising. I find that he's very traditional and the way that he presents the teachings is very authentic. He is very good and so we are all very happy about the way that the centres are functioning under him.

Whether one practises dharma or not is the individual's choice. The Buddha himself said that I have shown you the path of liberation but liberation actually depends on one's own efforts. So if one chooses to follow the Dharma path it is very important to do it in a pure way; not mixing it with different kinds of things, but practising traditionally and in an authentic way.

Dharma is very important, the most important thing not only for this life but for many lifetimes. So therefore I wish to appeal to all the students to follow the Dharma in a pure way.

Pure way means first of all, as the great master Vasabandhu said: based on sound moral conduct there is study, contemplation and meditation. This structure is I think common to all the Buddhist traditions. The first thing is to have good discipline. So you have all received the vows - the Pratimoksha, Mahayana and Mantrayana vows - keeping these is the good moral conduct. Then based on that, study. You have to study very carefully; without study one can't practise. So first you have to study, especially the important pith instructions. And then contemplate and analyse them. Then eventually, of course, the main purpose is to meditate. Through meditation one gains the result. And if we make the effort, there's no reason why we can't succeed because the earlier masters also in the beginning were ordinary persons like us, with obscurations and so on, but they practised dilligently and so they succeeded. So we also have the same teachings, the same methods and the same practices, so if we make the effort, there's no reason why we can't succeed.

Due to our own merits and prayers we have been able to obtain this precious human life, and not only a human life but all the prerequisites, all the facilities and all the opportunities to practise the precious Dharma. So while we have all this opportunity and while we are still young and healthy, it is very important not to waste it and to at least reach certain steps towards enlightenment. So if we could do this then of course our precious human life has been meaningful and important.

It has been very enjoyable here in Bristol and I'm very happy to meet so many of our Dharma brothers and sisters, so now as I conclude by programme here for the time being, I wish all of you complete success in your practice.'