Newsletter – 2006

Lama Lekshey’s teaching on the “Bodhicaryavatara”

The “Bodhicaryavatara” – a guide to the Bodhisattva’s way of life by Shantideva was taught to us by Lama Lekshey on his recent visit. These teachings incorporated the six perfections (or paramitas) on how to walk the eightfold path as taught by the Buddha. Lama’s teachings were captivating and very relevant to ordinary life and our own personal experiences. Everyone had a lot to contemplate and absorb. We quote below an extract from Lama-la’s closing remarks at the end of the final teaching. The full transcript is enclosed separately with this newsletter, followed by a short personal reflection on the teachings by two of our members.

“So, until now everybody has worked hard. We have found this place now and although there may have been some disagreements about finding it, I would say that our first step is done and we have to do more and this is now a holy place. We do not need a kind of certificate to make it a holy place. We don’t need a kind of seal to make this a holy place. A holy place is everywhere if you have a pure vision. There is no negative place anywhere. Negative place comes when your mind is negative.

So this place is particularly used for Dharma practice and the environment also shows the Dharma practice. It used to be a church in the past, that means it was used for many years for the spiritual purpose and it was already a holy place. Now it is us who are using this place and we also use this for good purpose and with the blessings of Buddha, Dharma, Sanghas and with the blessings of our Guru.

Through the force of our faith and devotion this place is now a holy place. Even if you cannot practice you can visit this place often, you can bring your friends. There is no one who can’t come to this place. You don’t necessarily have to be a Buddhist to come to this place

So, usually Tibetans what they do is that, whenever they have important business or important works to do, they go to visit (the Temple) and make the offerings (flowers, incense etc…) and make wishes for what particular work or job they might be doing to be achieved. So, you can also do in the same way.

Come here sometimes when you have time or when you are doing important things or even when you have some problems, sickness etc… and say prayers and prayer is not necessarily to read Buddhist text. Prayers you can make with your own words and with your own mind. Tell them whatever difficulties you have and ask them, Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, to give the blessings and if your karma and faith all go positively then I am sure there will be blessings.”

We are grateful for all the blessings and teachings bestowed on us and hope to remember and uphold them in our daily life and practices. Thank you to everyone who supports the Centre financially and in every other way. Our wish is for the Centre to grow and provide a place where Dharma can be taught in a relaxed atmosphere with the intention of bringing a resident Lama to this area. This is a sacred opportunity for us all to work together for the same purpose and benefit many beings.

Vedant, Richard, Jill and Liz

Sixtieth anniversary service of World War Two

Photograph of Sue and Richard at 60th anniversary of WW2

Sue and Richard at 60th anniversary of WW2

The STL was invited to participate as the Buddhist representatives at this inter-faith service held in the open air at Bournemouth Pier approach on Sunday 14th August 2005. The service was attended by war veterans, civic leaders and the general public with about 1,500 people attending. Lama Lekshey was keen that we should participate and trustees Jill Stanley and Richard Sedgley spoke on behalf of the STL with a quotation from HH the Dalai Lama, with the main thrust of the message being the need to transform our individual lives and society through compassion.

 

There were also representatives of the Muslim, Sikh and Hindu faiths. The service included a march-past by the Ghurkhas which helped bring home the point that non-Christian peoples also fought and died in the war.

Photograph of Sue addressing participants at 60th anniversary of WW2

Sue addressing participants at 60th anniversary of WW2