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.
All ‘New London Centre’ posts
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.
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.
Lama Ole Nydahl visited the UK from 8-10 November 2011 to teach in Manchester, Exeter and London. Here is a report of these exciting three days. Click on any of the thumbnails to enlarge the image.
Lama Ole Nydahl arrived in London St Pancras International by Eurostar from Belgium, having already taught in Paris, Rotterdam and Brussels during the previous days on this year’s “Channel Tour”, an annual part of Lama Ole Nydahl’s teaching schedule in which he is invited by his centres in the countries along the English Channel – France, Belgium, the Netherlands and the UK. Typically this tour is made via coach, with a full travelling group of about 60 students who, as well as attending Lama Ole’s public lectures, use the opportunity to spend more time together with their lama and sangha friends, strengthen connections and use the long coach rides for personal questions and interviews. On this leg of the journey though, Lama Ole Nydahl took the Eurostar to make enough time to visit the Diamond Way Buddhist Group in St Albans.
Today is “Saga Dawa Düchen”, the full moon day in May on which the birth, enlightenment and passing into Parinirvana of the Buddha is celebrated in Tibetan Buddhism.
“Saga Dawa” is the entire fourth lunar month of the Tibetan calendar, which usually begins in May and ends in June. The seventh day of Saga Dawa is the date of the historical Buddha’s birth. However, the Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and entry into Parinirvana at his death are observed together on the 15th day of Saga Dawa, called Saga Dawa Düchen. This is the single most important holiday in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. (more…)
On 6-8 November several members of the London Buddhist Centre had the amazing opportunity to discover the Diamond Way Buddhist Centre in Graz, Austria. During the weekend they were honoured to be guests of the Austrian sangha as well as being given the chance to present the New London Buddhist Centre project. These events are called “road shows” which mainly brings to mind fundraising activities. However, the most important meaning behind the trip to Graz was the exchange of experience, joint dharma activities and simply spending quality time together and having lots of fun.
London Buddhist Centre (Diamond Way) has been offering meditation classes for beginners and experienced practitioners alike since 1997. In this blog post you can find out more about its development and regular activity.
Our London Buddhist Centre was established in 1997 when Steve James moved to London. Steve was the first British student of Lama Ole Nydahl who was based permanently in the UK. After meeting Lama Ole Nydahl in Japan in 1993, Steve was inspired to start a Diamond Way Buddhist meditation group in Cambridge where he was studying medicine.
In July 2009, H.H. 17th Karmapa, Trinley Thaye Dorje made his third visit to the UK to meet his students and give Buddhist teachings and empowerments. The visit started with a wonderful two-day programme in Manchester, hosted by the Dechen community. Details can be found here and here on the Dechen blog. There is also an article on the Dechen website where Lama Jampa Thaye reflects on the visit of the 16th Karmapa to Manchester in 1977. The Manchester Evening News announced the event and The Times also ran a report.
Diamond Way Buddhism UK then had the great honour of hosting Gyalwa Karmapa in Liverpool and London. He was joined by Nendo Rinpoche, Lama Tsultrim Namgyal, Lama Chopon Gyaltsen, and Lama Karma Wangdu, from Rumtek Monastery.
On the way to London from Manchester on 29 July, Gyalwa Karmapa stopped briefly in Liverpool to bless the Diamond Way Buddhist Centre there. Members of the Liverpool Centre and other groups in the north of the UK made a presentation about the activity of the northern Diamond Way Buddhist centres. He gave the oral transmission for the Four Foundational Practices (Tib. Ngondro) and the Third Karmapa’s Great Seal Wishes.