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).
The “Space for Mind, Space for Art” exhibition was the first major exhibition the Diamond Way Foundation has undertaken in London or the UK. For the first time the exhibition linked the treasures of Tibetan Buddhism to modern art and local artists. It was held in Lambeth at The Spring from 28th May – 3rd June 2012, and was made possible by a number of donors and sponsors.
The exhibition aimed to build a rich and atmospheric experience for people to enter into the realms of the Buddhas and a contemporary art response. This came from local artists in Lambeth whose works were displayed alongside pieces of national significance kindly loaned by the British Council Collection.
The Exeter Respect Festival is an expanding and very popular local community festival. It was launched in a very small way a few years ago to celebrate cultural diversity in the city. Since it moved outdoors, into Belmont Park, it has increased hugely in popularity and now has lots of delicious and exotic food on offer, as well as music, singing and dance from around the world.