The Sakya Buddhist Centre was the first Buddhist centre in Bristol and also the first centre belonging to the Sakya tradition of Tibetan Buddhism in the UK.
It was founded in 1977 by Lama Jampa Thaye at the request of his teacher, Karma Thinley Rinpoche. Rinpoche gave the Centre the Tibetan name, Thinley Rinchen Ling, named after His Holiness Sakya Trizin’s (the current head of the Sakya tradition) grandfather, the 39th Sakya Trizin, Dakshul Thinley Rinchen. Translated into English, the Centre’s name means ‘place of precious Buddha activity’.
Endowed with this rather grand title, it began its life in 1977 in a modest basement flat in Clifton, attracting a few local people interested in Buddhism. Now occupying a beautiful, spacious house over the road from St Andrews’ Park, it has introduced a great number of men and women from Bristol and beyond to the Buddhist spiritual path. The Centre houses a traditional Tibetan shrine room which was blessed with a magnificent new life-sized Buddha statue, specially made for us in Nepal in 2015.
Lama Jampa Thaye, the Centre’s spiritual director, teaches frequently at the Centre. Since its inception he has given numerous teachings from the Sakya tradition and is recognised as one of the few Westerners authorised to teach Tibetan Buddhism at the highest level. He has built up a large following of students at the Centre who have received many public and private teachings from him.
For 40 years, the Centre has hosted teachings from some of the most important Tibetan lamas alive today. His Holiness Sakya Trizin, the supreme head of the Sakya tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, has bestowed many profound and powerful teachings to numerous people at the Centre. His sons, Ratna Vajra Rinpoche and Gyana Vajra Rinpoche, eminent lamas in their own right, are also frequent visitors.
Alongside these major teachings by Lama Jampa Thaye and other renowned teachers, the Centre also has a full programme of events, including introductory evenings, study groups, pujas (group meditations) and Tibetan classes.
Sakya Buddhist Centre Bristol is part of Dechen, an international association of centres of the Sakya and Karma Kagyu traditions of Tibetan Buddhism, founded by Lama Jampa Thaye under the spiritual authority of Karma Thinley Rinpoche. There are centres, groups and retreat centres throughout the UK and worldwide offering a range of classes, courses and other activities.
The Centre is run by volunteers and funded by donations and is administered by Sakya Dechen Buddhism Ltd registered charity no: 1163076.
For more details about Dechen please click here