Shamar Rinpoche visits the London Diamond Way Buddhist Centre

Shamar Rinpoche teaching in London

Shamar Rinpoche teaching in London, 3 June 2014

On Tuesday 3 June 2014, the London Diamond Way Buddhist Centre welcomed the 14th Kunzig Shamar Rinpoche. Shamar Rinpoche is second to Gyalwa Karmapa in the spiritual hierarchy of the Karma Kagyu School, and is an emanation of Buddha Amitabha. The Shamarpas are referred to as the “Red Hat Karmapas” since the 4th Karmapa Rolpe Dorje presented a ruby red crown to the second Shamarpa, saying, “You are the one manifestation, while I am the other. Therefore, the responsibility to maintain the continuity of the teachings of the Kagyu lineage rests equally on you as it does on me.” The present Shamar Rinpoche received the complete teachings and transmissions of the Karma Kagyu School from the 16th Karmapa at Rumtek monastery in Sikkim. In 1994 in accordance with Karma Kagyu tradition, he officially recognised and enthroned Trinley Thaye Dorje as the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa.

Shamar Rinpoche had spent the preceding weekend in Manchester, at the invitation of Kagyu Ling, the Manchester centre of the Dechen community led by Lama Jampa Thaye. Many members of both the Dechen and Diamond Way sanghas attended Rinpoche’s teachings on Mind Training (Tib. lojong) based on the concise manual of his illustrious predecessor the 5th Shamarpa Konchok Yenlak, which combines lojong with the Mahamudra view of the unborn nature of mind.

This was the first time since 2002 that Shamar Rinpoche had given teachings in the UK, the last time being on a brief visit to the London Diamond Way Buddhist Centre at its old location in Holborn. Rinpoche was keen to visit the new London Diamond Way Buddhist Centre at the Beaufoy Institute, which is the fruition of the 16th Karmapa’s great wish for a large, representative centre for the Kagyu Lineage in London, something which for over thirty years many attempts were made but never accomplished.

After being welcomed by Caty Hartung, Co-Founder and Director of the Diamond Way Buddhism Foundation, and the local sangha, Shamar Rinpoche and his entourage were guided to the beautifully refurbished gallery room, which had been arranged to serve a delicious breakfast. Lama Jampa Thaye and his wife Dechen Dolma soon arrived to join the group. The lamas were updated about the progress made with the renovation of the new London Diamond Way Buddhist centre.

Afterwards, the tour of the building started, and Shamar Rinpoche blessed all the main areas of the building while the many friends and students who had arrived to receive his transmissions gathered in the main hall. When the centre blessing had finished and Rinpoche had taken in the full scale of the project, he took his seat on the throne prepared in the main hall of the Beaufoy and greeted everyone present. Steve James introduced Rinpoche and asked him on behalf of everyone present to give the oral transmission (“lung” in Tibetan) of the main practice texts used in Diamond Way Buddhist centres. Shamar Rinpoche then read aloud the Tibetan texts, transmitting to the audience the authorisation to practice the 9th Karmapa Wangchuk Dorje’s “Four Foundational Practices” (Tib. Ngöndro) and to study the Third Karmapa Rangjung Dorje’s “Mahamudra Wishes”. Rinpoche also transmitted the text for the short Manjushri practice.

Afterwards, all present offered ceremonial silk scarves (khataks) to Rinpoche and received his blessing, each establishing or renewing a profound dharma connection with Shamar Rinpoche and the Karma Kagyu lineage, of which after the Karmapa he is the preeminent master. Finally, Rinpoche and his entourage departed for St Pancras Station to board the Eurostar to their next destination, Paris. We hope that Rinpoche will be able to visit London and the UK soon and more often in the future! Enjoy the photos below from Shamar Rinpoche’s visit (click to enlarge).

Friends awaiting the arrival of Shamar Rinpoche 3 June 2014Shamar Rinpoche being greeted at the Beaufoy 3 June 2014Caty greeting Shamar Rinpoche 3 June 2014Shamar Rinpoche arriving at the Beaufoy 3 June 2104Breakfast with Shamar Rinpoche 3 June 2014Shamar Rinpoche in the Beaufoy 3 June 2014Shamar Rinpoche on a tour of Beaufoy 3 June 2014Lama Jampa Thaye and Dechen Dolma 3 June 2014Shamar Rinpoche in the main hall of the Beaufoy 3 June 2014Shamar Rinpoche giving the oral transmission of the Foundational Practices 3 June 2014Shamar RinpocheShamar Rinpoche leaving the Beaufoy 3 June 2014

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