Inner peace leads to world peace

The monks and nuns of Samye Ling are active in working with other faiths, and are keen to spread the

Since its beginning forty years ago, Kagyu Samye Ling has pursued three main areas of activity; namely spirituality, health and charity. The spiritual aspect is immediately evident in the Buddhist teachings, prayers and meditation practice which are on offer throughout the year.

As well as being a spiritual teacher, Akong Tulku Rinpoche is also a doctor of Tibetan Medicine. One of his main aims has been to preserve this vast area of healing for the benefit of all beings. Under his direction a fully accredited system of psychotherapy has evolved in which Buddhist philosophy combines with Western therapy to create a holistic system aimed at relieving mental and physical suffering to bring about a more balanced and joyful state of being. It is run under the auspices of Tara Rokpa Therapy, which now has branches throughout the UK and around the world.

Rokpa is the Tibetan word for help. It is also the name of our charity which was originally set up to help Tibetan refugees, but now has branches in many countries which raise funds for hundreds of projects in Africa, Nepal and in Tibet itself. The projects range from orphanages, schools and clinics to cultural and environmental preservation projects in remote areas where no other help may be available.

Interfaith relations are also an important part of Samye Ling’s activities and Akong Rinpoche’s brother, Lama Yeshe Losal Rinpoche who is Abbot of Samye Ling and a prominent member of the Interfaith Council, works with leading representatives from all major faiths to promote harmony and understanding. One of his main projects has been the acquisition and development of Holy Island, off the west coast of Scotland, where he has built a long term retreat Centre at the south end of the island and the magnificent interfaith Centre for World Peace and Health at the north end. The Centre was built with great sensitivity to the unique ecology of Holy Island, with its profusion of wildlife, flora and fauna, using environmentally friendly materials and technology. People of all faiths and nationalities come to enjoy a variety of therapeutic courses or simply unwind in the pure, natural environment.

These two indefatigable Tibetan brothers work constantly to benefit beings in whatever way is most appropriate. As Akong Rinpoche says, “People in the West rarely suffer from physical hunger but their minds may be undernourished or stressed therefore therapy and meditation can be very valuable to restore mental health and balance.” Their immediate goals are to complete the Samye Ling Monastery complex with the building of an educational wing, and to establish a substantial Tibetan Buddhist Centre of Peace and Health in Edinburgh.

With a large population of Buddhists and people of other faiths interested in meditation, therapy, interfaith and cultural activities the Scottish capital would provide fertile ground for such a Centre to flourish. A suitable property has already been identified. It is now a matter of raising funds to enable it to happen. It is said that, “to build temples and places where wisdom, truth and compassion flourish will generate much virtue which will last as long as even one stone or brick of the building continues to exist.”

If you would like to help or you wish to know more about this or any of the projects mentioned, you can contact Ani Rinchen Khandro on Tel.013873 73232 ext. 241

Ani Rinchen Khandro is a life ordained nun in the Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. She is based at Kagyu Samye Ling Monastery and Tibetan Centre in Scotland where she has lived for the past fourteen years, apart from the three and a half years she spent in closed retreat on Holy Island. She recently wrote a book in honour of the Centre’s fortieth anniversary, entitled Kagyu Samye Ling - The Story, which is available for purchase online.
Steve Garry
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The footie is back. Three weeks in and what have we learned so far?

Barcleys, boots and big names... the Prem is back.

Another season, another reason for making whoopee cushions and giving them to Spurs fans to cheer them up during the long winter afternoons ahead. What have we learned so far?

Big names are vital. Just ask the manager of the Man United shop. The arrival of Schneiderlin and Schweinsteiger has done wonders for the sale of repro tops and they’ve run out of letters. Benedict Cumberbatch, please join Carlisle United. They’re desperate for some extra income.

Beards are still in. The whole Prem is bristling with them, the skinniest, weediest player convinced he’s Andrea Pirlo. Even my young friend and neighbour Ed Miliband has grown a beard, according to his holiday snaps. Sign him.

Boots Not always had my best specs on, but here and abroad I detect a new form of bootee creeping in – slightly higher on the ankle, not heavy-plated as in the old days but very light, probably made from the bums of newborn babies.

Barclays Still driving me mad. Now it’s screaming from the perimeter boards that it’s “Championing the true Spirit of the Game”. What the hell does that mean? Thank God this is its last season as proud sponsor of the Prem.

Pitches Some groundsmen have clearly been on the weeds. How else can you explain the Stoke pitch suddenly having concentric circles, while Southampton and Portsmouth have acquired tartan stripes? Go easy on the mowers, chaps. Footballers find it hard enough to pass in straight lines.

Strips Have you seen the Everton third kit top? Like a cheap market-stall T-shirt, but the colour, my dears, the colour is gorgeous – it’s Thames green. Yes, the very same we painted our front door back in the Seventies. The whole street copied, then le toot middle classes everywhere.

Scott Spedding Which international team do you think he plays for? I switched on the telly to find it was rugby, heard his name and thought, goodo, must be Scotland, come on, Scotland. Turned out to be the England-France game. Hmm, must be a member of that famous Cumbrian family, the Speddings from Mirehouse, where Tennyson imagined King Arthur’s Excalibur coming out the lake. Blow me, Scott Spedding turns out to be a Frenchman. Though he only acquired French citizenship last year, having been born and bred in South Africa. What’s in a name, eh?

Footballers are just so last season. Wayne Rooney and Harry Kane can’t score. The really good ones won’t come here – all we get is the crocks, the elderly, the bench-warmers, yet still we look to them to be our saviour. Oh my God, let’s hope we sign Falcao, he’s a genius, will make all the difference, so prayed all the Man United fans. Hold on: Chelsea fans. I’ve forgotten now where he went. They seek him here, they seek him there, is he alive or on the stairs, who feckin’ cares?

John Stones of Everton – brilliant season so far, now he is a genius, the solution to all of Chelsea’s problems, the heir to John Terry, captain of England for decades. Once he gets out of short trousers and learns to tie his own laces . . .

Managers are the real interest. So refreshing to have three young British managers in the Prem – Alex Neil at Norwich (34), Eddie Howe at Bournemouth (37) and that old hand at Swansea, Garry Monk, (36). Young Master Howe looks like a ball boy. Or a tea boy.

Mourinho is, of course, the main attraction. He has given us the best start to any of his seasons on this planet. Can you ever take your eyes off him? That handsome hooded look, that sarcastic sneer, the imperious hand in the air – and in his hair – all those languages, he’s so clearly brilliant, and yet, like many clever people, often lacking in common sense. How could he come down so heavily on Eva Carneiro, his Chelsea doctor? Just because you’re losing? Yes, José has been the best fun so far – plus Chelsea’s poor start. God, please don’t let him fall out with Abramovich. José, we need you.

Hunter Davies is a journalist, broadcaster and profilic author perhaps best known for writing about the Beatles. He is an ardent Tottenham fan and writes a regular column on football for the New Statesman.

This article first appeared in the 27 August 2015 issue of the New Statesman, Isis and the new barbarism