An unbroken garland of jewels and showers of blessings: October teachings with Lama Jampa Thaye

On Saturday 3 October, the Sakya Buddhist Centre was delighted to welcome Lama Jampa to give a day of Buddhist teachings at the Paintworks Eventspace in Bristol. This is a new venue for us, and we are especially grateful to them for enabling us to host this event in such a great space, in line with all the government guidance and requirements relating to COVID-19.

To enable as many people as possible to attend under the current circumstances, Lama Jampa kindly offered the same teachings twice in one day and it was wonderful to be with the Lama and our Buddhist friends again. Such was the occasion that we even had two tiny mice join us too!

 ‘A Garland of Jewels’ by Chogyal Phakpa

The first part of the session continued with part five of this celebrated text by the great Sakya master, Chogyal Phakpa. It was composed as a manual of instructions for the 13th century Mongol Prince Gibek Timur and, in 204 verses, covers the entire Buddhist path, from the level of a beginner to that of full enlightenment. This instalment of the text continued our journey to the heart of the Mahayana or Great Vehicle of Buddhist practice, firstly describing how the bodhisattva engages in four means of gathering disciples, such as pleasant and truthful speech and acting in accord with the Buddhist teachings. Chogyal Phakpa then explained the signs of progress along the successive paths and stages of practice, from the time that we start to gather merit and wisdom as beginners, to the decisive moment of seeing reality for the first time, face to face, and, finally, the cultivation of this experience until complete buddhahood is attained.

The initiation of Red Tara

For the second part of each session, Lama Jampa gave the initiation of Red Tara from the lineage of the Indian master, Vagishvakirti. The goddess Tara is revered in all traditions of Vajrayana Buddhism as the embodiment of the liberating activity of all buddhas. Among the many forms of Tara, Red Tara is the special embodiment of the attractive and magnetising qualities of enlightened mind. It is 21 years since this initiation had been given in Bristol by Karma Thinley Rinpoche, one of Lama Jampa’s principal teachers, lending an even more auspicious air to the day.

We look forward to welcoming Lama Jampa back to Bristol to continue ‘A Garland of Jewels’ in January next year.