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.

Tuesday, 30 April 2019

 Ringu Tulku Rinpoche’s visit to Kagyu Samye Dzong Dublin this year is from 13th – 16th May 2019. Teachings will take place in the Buddhist Centre at 56 Inchicore Road, Dublin 8 on three evenings – Tuesday 14th, Wednesday 15th and Thursday 16th – starting at 7.30pm each evening. 

Rinpoche will be  teaching on  ‘The Instructions of Gampopa: A Precious Garland of the Supreme Path’ 

Space is the Shrine Room is limited, early booking is advisable to guarantee a place – booking is now open on 01 4537427 or email ***Teachings begin at 7.30 sharp!  There will be no admittance to Shrine Room once Rinpoche has entered, but we will accomodate latecomers in the overflow space.   

On Friday 17th Rinpoche will begin his annual teachings at Dzogchen Beara in West Cork:

Meeting Challenges  :  Unshaken by life’s ups and downs

Friday 17, 8pm to Sunday 19 May, 1pm

On this weekend retreat, Rinpoche will teach on the topic of his most recent book, a commentary on “Turning Suffering and Happiness into Enlightenment” a text by the Third Dodrupchen Rinpoche, (1865-1926)  who was one of the most outstanding Tibetan masters of his time and the teacher of many great lamas, including Jamyang Khyentsé Chökyi Lodrö.   
When times are hard and we have challenges, how can we meet them in a good way; in a way that will not create further unnecessary suffering for ourselves or others? Since we all have our own challenges in life, this really is an extraordinarily useful teaching. But, similarly, how can we take the joyful times in our lives so they do not become a cause for problems (when they pass, as all things must, for example)? Learning these techniques will offer us a path towards true equanimity and peace.

Monday, 22 April 2019

A Tribute to Rager Ossel

Rager Ossel has died suddenly in Brussels during a visit to attend Ringu Tulku Rinpoche's teachings in April this year. He was founder of In Touch technologies and a founding member of the board of the Karmapa Foundation Europe, supporting the KFE website and online activities. Rager first came across Buddhism when he was 20 years old after meeting 16th Karmapa and since that time he has devoted his life to Dharma, using his skills in IT to help facilitate sharing live teachings of His Holiness Karmapa directly into our homes. He also initiated the live transmission of the Bodhgaya Monlam ceremonies, through his communications company In Touch.  He will be sorely missed by all who knew him, in particular his two sons, Rager jnr. and Ender.  Bodhicharya Ireland joins Ringu Tulku in sending our prayers to Rager's family and friends.  He will be hugely missed in the extended Buddhist community.
Ringu Tulku Rinpoche has paid a wonderful tribute to Rager and his life's work, which can also be read on the and KFE websites.
Rager Ossel, left, and Ger Rrenders, with Ringu Tulku Rinpoche in Brussels.   photo Rager Ossel. 9.4.19

"Rager Ossel or Karma Gyurme was a close friend of mine and I knew him for over 40 years. He often used to come to Sikkim to see HH the 16th Karmapa. He was a devoted student of the Karmapa and his devotion never wavered all through his life. He served the HH the 17th Karmapa also in many ways including as a Director of Karmapa Foundation Europe.
He drove Karmapa in Europe and also in USA. The 16th Karmapa told him not to become a monk but serve the Dharma and people through his training and expertise in computer technology. He started the company InTouch more as a mission than a business and was always ready to help people in whatever way possible.
I never saw a man whose heart was as pure and with no grudge against anybody. He was always there to help anyone in need. I am sure that his journey beyond would therefore be all well and good but I have informed all the great masters of our lineage to pray for him and 49 days of practices are being done in both men’s and women’s three year retreats in Palpung Sherab Ling.
I would like to express my deep condolences to his family and friends and pray for a wonderful rebirth. His absence will be a big vacuum in my life and I will miss him deeply."
Ringu Tulku
Berlin, April 2019