This April the new London Diamond Way Buddhist Centre at the Beaufoy Institute was fortunate to receive a visit from Lama Ole Nydahl. London was a surprise addition to Lama Ole Nydahl’s crowded schedule of worldwide travel. Lama Ole’s schedule for April included several “project days”, which are often used to focus on specific projects such as writing a book (for example the soon to be published “Fearless Death“). Because of Lama Ole Nydahl’s great enthusiasm for the new London Buddhist centre, which has gained international project status, he spontaneously decided to spend two of his project days working directly with the friends involved in the project and inspiring them with his personal example and teachings. Having heard about Lama Ole’s decision to come over, the friends in London quickly set to work preparing for the visit.
Modern practitioners of meditation face the same age-old question that meditators have asked themselves and each other for thousands of years: how can I motivate myself to meditate every day? We are aware that meditation is good for us, and yet the pressures of daily life and our various commitments can make it hard to ensure we fit a meditation session into our busy schedule each day. These days, when even major news outlets have sections on meditation tips, we can look to the 2,500 years of Buddhist meditation experience for inspiration.
Here we offer five tried-and-tested meditation tips to overcome the most common problems that beginners and experienced practitioners can encounter in motivating themselves to sit regularly.
From 23-27 January 2013, Lama Ole Nydahl visited London for a momentous and action-packed visit. Arriving at Heathrow Airport at lunchtime on Wednesday 23 January, fresh from his winter tour of Russia, Lama Ole with his travelling group including Tomek Lehnert were greeted by members of the London sangha as well as Caty Hartung, who had already arrived one day previously. The main focus of the visit was the London Diamond Way Buddhist Centre‘s new home at the Beaufoy Institute in Lambeth, the sale of which had completed on the auspicious day of 21 January (a Guru Rinpoche day). Caty had already spent quite a lot of time the previous day with friends in London, sharing her decades of experience in building up Diamond Way Buddhist Centres, and helping to answer many important practical questions about the big project ahead to transform the building.
Today, 12/12/12, marks the end of the three-month statutory waiting period or “intermediate state” (Tib. Bardo), after which final approval for planning permission for the Beaufoy Institute could be confirmed. During this time the opportunity was present for a judicial review to be launched into Lambeth Council’s decision to grant Diamond Way Buddhism UK planning permission to turn the Beaufoy into our new Buddhist centre. However, no such appeal was lodged, reconfirming the satisfaction of all parties with Lambeth’s decision.
We are therefore pleased to share the delightful news that there is now nothing holding us back from completing the sale of the Beaufoy Institute and moving into our new home and headquarters in Lambeth’s future London Diamond Way Buddhist Centre, a big and representative centre for the Karma Kagyu lineage in South London.
We would like to show our recognition of the enormous amount of meticulous planning, hard work, compromise and personal sacrifice made by people too numerous to name individually, both from within the Karma Kagyu Dharma family, and from Lambeth’s community. It was these people whose unrelenting efforts – particularly from March 2012 when the planning consultation opened – led us to this triumphant result.
On the international Diamond Way Buddhism website, there’s a new article where you can read more about our project for a new Diamond Way Buddhist centre in Lambeth.
As mentioned here last month, On Saturday afternoon, 7 July, H.H. 17th Karmapa Trinley Thaye Dorje and his entourage from the East and West, including representatives of of Diamond Way Buddhism UK and Dechen, participated in an important interfaith event. They were received in BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Europe’s first traditional Hindu temple, located in Neasden, north London. It is dedicated to Bhagwan Swaminarayan, whose fifth spiritual successor, H.H. Pramukh Swami Maharaj, is also the Mandir’s creator.
The picture above is a painted detail from an 8th-12th Century palm leaf manuscript of the “Perfection of Wisdom Sutra in 8,000 Lines”, produced by the Nalanda Buddhist University. It survived the sacking and burning of Nalanda University, was preserved in Tibet for hundreds of years and now forms part of the collection of the Asia Society Museum. It depicts Buddha Shakyamuni’s first discourse, turning the Dharma Wheel.
The “Victorious Banner” (Tib. Gyaltsen) was originally a military standard of ancient Indian warfare. Early Buddhism adopted the banner as a symbol of Buddha Shakyamuni’s triumph over the armies of Mara, the personification of obstacles on the path to enlightenment, whose demonic warriors bore it as an emblem. Legend says that this banner was placed at the summit of Mount Meru, the mythological centre of the cosmos, as a symbol of the Buddha’s victory over the entire universe. The top of the banner was surmounted by the “Wish Fulfilling Jewel” (Tib. Yidzhin Norbu), which is a famous epithet of the Karmapa…
July 2012 marked some of the most significant events in the history of the Karma Kagyu lineage in the United Kingdom: the Wish Fulfilling Jewel appeared once again in the UK, and a victorious banner was raised above the Beaufoy Institute in Lambeth. In the midst of the celebrations of the enormous success, after a long process of planning consultation, in planning permission being granted for Diamond Way Buddhism’s new London Centre at the Beaufoy Institute, H.H. 17th Karmapa Trinley Thaye Dorje arrived in the UK for a momentous 10 day visit.
On 3 July 2012, Diamond Way Buddhism was granted Planning Permission to complete the sale of the Beaufoy Institute, 39 Black Prince Road, Lambeth. We will transform the Beaufoy into the biggest Buddhist meditation centre in central London, and brought back into use for the whole community. Our vision for the Beaufoy is one that will breathe new life into the building, preserving the heritage of the original listed building, whilst ensuring it meets the needs of the Buddhist community in London, local people in Lambeth and London as a whole (click on thumbnails below to see artists impressions of the project).