Photographs from His Holiness Karmapa's UK visit 2017

Wednesday, 11 March 2020

Ringu Tulku has cancelled his visit to Ireland in June this year

Sadly we have received this message from Bernie Hartley, Rinpoche's secretary:

"With regard to the current world situation with the spread of the covid 19 virus it is with regret and with consideration to the health of all that Rinpoche has asked me to cancel his planned visit to Ireland. At the moment April. May, and part of June dates are being cancelled. 
We are currently looking into the possibility of live on-line teachings with Rinpoche but this is at an early stage and we will keep you informed if this becomes a viable possibility".

If Rinpoche is able to give online teachings  it will be announced here, but unless the current conditions have cleared, Bodhicharya Ireland will not plan to host a group event to view, for the protection of the sangha.

Tuesday, 28 January 2020

Celebrating 30 years

This June Rinpoche will be visiting Ireland again, his 30th year to visit this country. The dates for Dublin are 1-3rd June - three evenings of teaching at Kagyu Samye Dzong on Inchicore Road. Rinpoche has also accepted an invitation from Palpung Ireland at Banteer in Co Cork to give one evening  of  teachings on the 4th June before travelling on to Dzogchen Beara for the weekend of 5-7th  (Friday evening to Sunday lunchtime). 
Please watch this space as well as Kagyu Samye Dzong for more news on the Dublin visit, and keep an eye on Palpung Ireland and Dzogchen Beara websites  for details and updates of his teachings in Cork.

Wednesday, 1 January 2020

Many Roads e-magazine

A Happy Hogmanay

The new edition of Many Roads e-magazine is now available to read online. An collection of articles, poetry, reviews, recipes, anecdotes and news by an eclectic mix of contributors from all walks of life, coming together through Bodhicharya and Ringu Tulku. It is edited by Albert Harris (a Scotsman) - who is always looking for new material and welcomes interested writers to join him in sharing their vision,  perspectives, poetry, recipes and more with the Bodhicharya Sangha. If you would like to contribute to the magazine Albert can be contacted through the Many Roads 2020 news page

Rinpoche's New Year Message for 2020


Monday, 24 June 2019

A Summer Retreat in Ireland with Donal Creedon

We have a couple of places left on our annual retreat led by Donal Creedon,  August  9th -18th at Teach Bhrid, Tullow, Co Carlow.
Donal has been leading retreats in Ireland and Europe for many years, bringing together his experience of twelve years in enclosed retreat followed by extended further studies at the Krishnamurti Institute in Varanasi, India, as well as Thrangu monastery in Nepal. 
The retreat in Tullow uniquely blends silent meditation practice with periods of facilitated dialogue.  
It is only possible to come if you can attend all nine days. 
Food is vegetarian.

For more information please email Annie at  

Sunday, 9 June 2019

Rinpoche in Dublin May 2019
From 14 to 16 May, Kagyu Samye Dzong Dublin and Bodhicharya Ireland had the privilege of hosting Ringu Tulku Rinpoche once more in this, his thirtieth visit to Ireland.
Rinpoche and Ani Paldron share lunch in the sunshine [photo Karma Changchub]
The first day was spent out at Windgates, near Greystones, where John and Isobel Keeling graciously made their home available for Rinpoche to meet the Bodhicharya group. Asked to give his views on how Buddhist teachings have been received in the West and how we have engaged with them: where they have been well-understood, or where on the contrary there have been misunderstandings, he gave a wide-ranging account of his experience, from the early days in India, where the Tibetans had to adjust to conditions radically different from those in their native Tibet. The first concern of the lamas was to safeguard the Vajrayana, in danger of being lost. The hippy trail of the sixties and seventies provided a fertile conduit for the spread of the Dharma, and its – essentially unplanned – spread into the West, where it found a receptiveness to both practice (meditation) and study (the academic tradition).
Relaxing in the Memorial Park, Islandbridge, Dublin   [photo Karma Changchub]
He gave a warning, however, regarding Guru Yoga for Westerners, who sometimes misunderstand its purpose of the development of pure devotion, substituting blind faith and an idolisation of the teacher. For Rinpoche, the Dharma is always about the teachings, not the personal vehicle. Our input as students is crucial; we must do the work, notably on the kleshas. Progress on the Path for the ordinary student depends on study and practice, much more than being constantly in the presence of the teacher (always stay three valleys away from your teacher, according to Milarepa).
Since its arrival in the West, we can see many fields in which Buddhism is now playing a crucial role: the dialogue between religions, clearly, but also the secular fields of psychology (‘Mind Studies’), physics, economics etc.
In this new context, it is important, Rinpoche maintained, to retain the profundity of the teachings. ‘Mindfulness’ must not obscure the fact that it is total transformation that is the goal, and not just the cultivation of a superficial ’feel-good’ factor, however helpful that might be for our operation in the world. The View lies at the heart of Vajrayana, transforming the individual practitioner’s mind.
That evening, and the following two evenings, Rinpoche gave enlightening teachings on Gampopa’s profound text, ‘A Precious Garland of the Supreme Path’, covering the first three chapters.
The relevance of this text to what Rinpoche had been saying earlier was immediately apparent, when he evoked Gampopa’s assertion that the text was all; to read the ‘Garland’ was as if the student had met Gampopa himself.
And yet Gampopa was one of the most important figures of Tibetan Buddhism, founder, indeed, of the Kagyu school, combining the profound Vajrayana of Marpa with the Mind-Training of the Sutrayana. 
The first chapter, entitled ‘The Ten Causes of Loss’, insists on the precious nature of human beings, which should not be wasted on negative activity. We have many positive qualities, such potential for doing good to others and hence to ourselves, and yet we spend much of our time in meaningless activities. Rinpoche emphasised again the need for total transformation of our minds, the only way we can set ourselves free from enslavement to the emotions. We must awaken our Buddha nature through understanding (the View) and by training our minds (meditation). 
Chapter 2, ‘The Ten Necessary Things’, speaks of the necessity of being independent, using our own intelligence, our own innate wisdom. We must not be easily led, relying instead on our own ultimate Buddha nature, to assess our teachers and the authenticity of their teaching.
In the same way, books are important as instructions on the Path (more important, according to Rinpoche, than images, which have to be blessed). 
But ultimately, the guru is both within us and in everything: we learn from our experiences and from everything around us. He evoked the ‘Four Gurus’: the teacher, the dharma, all phenomena and one’s innate Buddha nature.
Because we easily give up – in our practice, in our faith in our Buddha nature – we must put on the armour of diligence, constantly renewing out commitment to the Path, setting aside excuses (‘I’ve no time for practice’, etc.), and refusing to be discouraged. Rinpoche illustrated this with the story of Robert the Bruce and the spider: Robert King of Scotland was in hiding in a cave during his efforts to rid Scotland from the English. While there, in defeatist mode, he noticed a spider weaving its web over the entrance to the cave. Time and time again, the spider fell, but time and time again he attempted to climb up again. From his observation of the spider’s persistence, Robert gained the courage to renew the struggle against the English.
In case all this seemed rather inward-looking, Rinpoche insisted on our relationship with others and the importance of kindness and compassion towards them, but also towards ourselves: from the knowledge that ‘I don’t want to suffer’, I can deduce that others don’t want to suffer either.

In Chapter 3, Gampopa presents ‘The Ten Things on which to Rely’.
The Guru is the first of these things. He or she should possess both wisdom and compassion, the latter being easier to assess than the former.
Solitude is the second of these things, not easy to obtain in the modern world. Rinpoche teaches that this is nonetheless necessary, especially at the beginning, when our mind is wild, but that we should train ourselves also to live without perturbance in the world, while bearing in mind that all the great Masters of the past got realisation in solitude.
Dialogue on Buddhism in the West. Rinpoche with Bernie Hartley, 
Ani Paldron, Isobel Keeling.                                            [photo Karma Changchub]
Stable companions who share our views are important in this respect and are another thing to be relied on, as are, for teachers of the Dharma, ‘worthy disciples’.
The Dharma itself is another important thing to rely on. We should not however be too scattered in the practices we do, choosing to practise what we really understand, the simplest practice often being the best.
At the end of this third session, Rinpoche again took questions, the final one being on the nature of prayer. Pointing out that prayers in Buddhist practice often take the form of a ‘wishing prayer’ (for example, ‘May all beings have happiness’), he concluded characteristically by saying that we should make our prayers as broad and great as possible. ‘Wish the impossible’, he declared!
At the end of the session, Rinpoche was thanked warmly for continuing to grace us with his presence, giving us food in plenty for mind and heart.
Pat Little
30 v 2019

Special thanks go to John and Isobel Keeling for  hosting the dialogue, Paul and Andy for sound recordings for the Bodhicharya Archive, and Karma Changchub for the images. 

Saturday, 4 May 2019

Preparing for Ringu Tulku's visit

Please come along to Kagyu Samye Dzong on Saturday 11th May to help prepare the centre for Rinpoche's visit.  Fresh flowers for the shrine will also be very welcome.
If you have not yet booked your place at the teachings please do so to ensure a seat in the shrine room.
There will be seating in the library with a video link for those who haven't booked.