Kagyu Buddhism community

Welcome to our community space

Kagyu Buddhism isn’t about centres and groups, but about people.  We are a network of people of all ages and backgrounds who share a common interest in learning about and practising Buddhism and Buddhist meditation.

Through the Dechen community we are linked to similar groups and centres throughout the UK, Europe and the Americas.

In this section we hope to reflect some of that lively and diverse community.  Here you will find photos, blogs and updates about activities and events, past and present, which reflect some of that rich experience from the Kagyu Buddhism community.

First impressions

One of our community members, Judy Whitehouse, talks here about coming to Kagyu Ling for the first time.

Manchester does the Monlam

Buddhists from around the world who follow the Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism come together each year in Bodhgaya for a prayer festival which lasts several days.  This international celebration is held at the site of the Buddha’s enlightenment and is led by His Holiness Thrinley Thaye Dorje, the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, who is the leader of our tradition.  In December, a group of people from Kagyu Ling took part in the Monlam:  read their blog.

Appreciating other Buddhist traditions

April 2018 saw two members of the Colne Buddhist group, John and Simon Rowan, representing Kagyu Buddhism North West at the European Buddhist Union (EBU) Conference at the Benalmadena Stupa in Spain.  Read their blog here.

September 2017 saw one of the Kagyu Ling Centre Co-ordinators, Jonathan MacAskill, visiting Poland as a delegate to the European Buddhist Union annual meeting.  These events are held in a range of locations and this year it was hosted by the Benchen Karma Kamtsang Centre at Jaktorow.  Jonathan blogged from the event; read his impressions from Poland.

Jonathan travelled to Sri Lanka in November 2017 with Lama Jampa Thaye, the UK delegate to the seventh World Buddhist Summit . Read Jonathan’s blog from Sri Lanka.

One of our members, John Rowan, helps organise an annual Manchester Buddhist Convention at the University.  This sees Buddhists from across the north west come together for a series of workshops to learn more about one another’s approaches and to practice together.  The 2017 event took place in October and you can read more here.

Learn about the nunnery we support in Nepal

Our community helps support a monastic community in the Kathmandu valley which is home to 25 nuns and a group of little girls.  Read about life in the shadow of the Boudhnath Stupa here.

Drawn to art

Some members of our community have decided to study the ancient Himalayan art of Thangka painting.  These are the beautiful hand painted images, usually sewn into satin hangings, that you will see in many Buddhist centres and temples.  The act of painting the Thangka is, in itself, a meditation.  Read Viera Taylor’s reflections on her first experience of learning Thangka painting from a member of our community, Elliot Ripley.

Away from the hustle and bustle

An annual summer school takes place at the Dechen retreat centre, Changlochen, in the Dordogne region of southern France.  This is an opportunity for members of the wider Dechen sangha, whether they follow the Kagyu or Sakya tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, to spend a week together listening to Lama Jampa Thaye teach from a Sakya text, followed by a week’s group retreat.  John Sainsbury’s personal account of the 2017 teaching can be read on the Chang Lo Chen summer school page.  John’s account of a recent birthday treat also gives a flavour of a retreat centre run by a Buddhist group in Germany.

Celebration and meditation

Dane Heald, who runs a Kagyu Buddhist meditation group in North Manchester, talks about what makes the group special.  Find more about the celebration in Prestwich.

What makes a garden party?

Visit garden party 2017 to find out what it takes to organise Kagyu Ling’s annual open day for family, friends and neighbours.

An Eid dinner invitation

A member of our community, Kamani Wijeyesekera, talks  about representing Kagyu Ling at Eid dinner celebrations at the Dar-ul-Amaan Mosque in Hulme, Manchester.

Sangha on tourKagyu Buddhism community - Viera, Gill and Sue

Three of our sangha members spent three weeks backpacking around the Buddhist pilgrimage sites of northern India earlier this year.  This might not seem remarkable but Viera, Sue and Gill are all ladies ‘of a certain age’ and not used to roughing it!  Read their blog – Varanasi on Voltarol.

 Kagyu Ling – the early years

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Lama Jampa Thaye, Karma Thinley Rinpoche and Angela Brady (Kagyu Ling’s first Co-ordinator) outside the first Centre in Reynard Road, 1977

We’re developing a digital archive for Kagyu Ling.  Our community has grown dramatically since it began over 40 years ago and we thought it would be great to preserve some of that history.  We’ve been based in a number of buildings over the years and have had visits from many Lamas.  We’re hoping to capture the spirit of those times with photographs and other documents.  If anyone can help by letting us have old photographs to scan in (we’ll take care of them and return them asap) we’d very much appreciate it.

If you have any contributions for the archive, please contact us.