Space for Mind event in London, 4-13 June 2010

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We’d like to share some impressions from an enormously successful ten-day long series of events held by Diamond Way Buddhism UK from 4-13 June 2010 at the Novas Contemporary Urban Centre on Bankside, London.

The programme included a series of talks, movies, exhibits and guided meditations aimed at introducing Tibetan Buddhism’s profound methods for understanding the mind and discovering lasting happiness. The theme “Space for Mind” was borrowed from the working title of the project to purchase a new London Buddhist Centre. In particular, the programme was geared towards offering Diamond Way Buddhism to the London Borough of Southwark and the people who live and work there.

Throughout the ten days there was an exhibition of Tibetan Buddhist art entitled “Expressions of Enlightenment”. A number of beautifully crafted examples of Tibetan Buddhist statues and scroll paintings (thangkas) were displayed together with explanations of their deep symbolism and use as aids for meditation. Tours of the exhibition were offered each weekday from noon to 7pm, together with the opportunity for visitors to take part in short guided meditations.

Here is a slideshow presentation that was screened to accompany the event:

Manfred Seegers

On Friday June 4, the programme was opened with a public lecture entitled “Tibetan Buddhism in the West” by Manfred Seegers, a highly sought-after teacher of Diamond Way Buddhism. Manfred met Buddhism in 1982 and was authorised as a Buddhist Teacher after having completed a five-year study programme. From 1990-2000 Manfred studied and taught at the Karmapa International Buddhist Institute (KIBI) in New Delhi, India. He holds the degree of Master of Philosophy (MPhil) in Religious Studies at the University of Kent. His books “Buddhist Terms” and “Knowledge on Meditation” have been translated into many languages. He has taught Buddhism in many countries, including the popular study courses held at the Karma Guen retreat centre in Spain.

Manfred’s talk covered the basics of Tibetan Buddhism and how it is practiced in Western culture today. It was an informative introduction to the weekend course from Saturday 5 – Sunday 6 June entitled “Distinguishing between Consciousness and Wisdom”, in which Manfred went deeper into the Buddhist philosophy of consciousness. This course was based on the classical Buddhist text “Distinguishing between Consciousness and Wisdom” by the Third Karmapa Rangjung Dorje.

On Monday June 7 there was an introductory lecture entitled “Why Meditate?” which covered the basics of Diamond Way Buddhist meditation, and how it can lead to greater clarity, joy and fearlessness in every day life. On Tuesday June 8 Matt Huddleston, one of the UK’s travelling teachers who is a climate scientist by profession gave a lecture entitled “Where Buddhism and Science Meet” exploring the common ground between modern science and Buddhism and where compassion fits in. Many newcomers attended Matt’s lecture keen to hear about this fascinating topic.

On Wednesday June 9 the theme of the evening was “The Karmapa – King of Tibetan Yogis”. Following a short introduction to the history of the Karmapas, the fascinating biographical documentary “The Lion’s Roar – the Classic Portrait of the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa” was screened. This is an extraordinary film on the life, teachings, and death of the 16th Karmapa featuring extensive interviews with the central figures of the Kagyu lineage and rare footage shot at Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim and during his 1974 visit to the USA.

On Thursday June 10, travelling teacher Cristina Ferrando, who was instrumental in the establishment of the charity Diamond Way Buddhism UK, gave a talk entitled “Using Buddhist Methods to Handle Modern Life”, drawing on her experience as a nurse and former Site Manager of one of London’s major hospitals. Cristina lived for many years at our London Buddhist Centre but since 2009 she moved to Germany and currently helps to coordinate the Europe Center, the flagship centre and international headquarters of Diamond Way Buddhism.

On Friday June 11 another movie was screened. This was entitled “Looking for Ancient Tibet”, and was shot by film maker and Diamond Way Buddhist Thomas Schmidt from Berlin. Thomas presented his fascinating footage from a recent journeys to Eastern Tibet in search of living practitioners of Milarepa’s yogi tradition. During these two visits, Thomas and his crew encountered several extraordinary lamas and yogis living in remote mountain locations who proved that despite the Chinese subjugation of Tibet, the yogi tradition has survived unbroken.

Yogis from the film “Looking for Ancient Tibet”

Wojtek Tracewski

The programme was completed by a second weekend course from Saturday 12 – Sunday 13 June with the theme “Essentials of Diamond Way Buddhism”. This was given by Wojtek Tracewski, another very popular teacher of Diamond Way Buddhism. Wojtek has been instrumental in the development of Diamond Way Buddhism in his home country of Poland. Since 1992 Wojtek has travelled around the world almost constantly inspiring many people with his lectures and courses. Wojtek is Lama Ole Nydahl’s official translator in Poland and has translated many Buddhist books into Polish. He is also the editor in chief of the very popular Polish Buddhist magazine “Diamentowa Droga.” Wojtek gave a series of four talks covering some of the most essential topics in Diamond Way Buddhism, providing insight into how the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism can be skilfully integrated in all life situations. The topics were “Working with Disturbing Emotions”, “Love and Partnership”, “Death and Rebirth” and “The Teacher-Student Relationship.”

You can find out more about Wojtek here (auto-translated from German) in a recent news story from German TV.

Finally, we would also like to share these two photographs of the billboards where the event was advertised. Through a stroke of good fortune, this billboard space was offered to us for a massive discount. We had originally wanted to place a small 3m X 2m poster in a space next to the Novas CUC building where we hosted the event, but were later told that its size was irregular and the advertising company was not able to produce it. Instead, they offered two alternative sites at 6m X 3m at no extra cost – it seems that the Buddhas wanted to make their presence felt in South London!

Poster near Contemporary Urban Centre

Poster by London Bridge Station

All photographs © Copyright Diamond Way Buddhism UK. Do not reproduce without permission.

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4 Responses to “Space for Mind event in London, 4-13 June 2010”

  1. Ania G says:

    The only thing left to say: let’s do it again!

  2. Peter the Hun says:

    It was cracking, Friends! Thanks for all who made it happen… and for the travelling teachers… and for all the visitors. May it benefit as many as possbile!

  3. Mar says:

    Wonderful!!! and so inspiring!!!

  4. Clive G says:

    Well done great friends and teachers it was a truly inspiring event. It shows what a wonderful offering London DWB has to offer the conditioned worldi Lets do it again!

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