London School of Tibetan Studies
We have had an active year in London at Lekdanling! For our final on-site event for 2022, SSIUK hosted a book launch with the Tibetan Nyingma Lama, Khentrul Lodro Rinpoche on his text ‘Power of the Mind’ published by Shambhala based on the Mind Training teachings. Khentrul Rinpoche studied at the renowned Larung Gar academy in Tibet with one of the most influential Dzogchen masters of modern times, Jigme Phuntsog Rinpoche. He is now based in the US and this was his first visit to the UK. Drinks and momo were served during the evening and there were beautiful musical performances by London based artists from Tibet and Bhutan.
Earlier in November, we also concluded our series of 6 modules on ‘The Gateway to the Teachings’ with a weekend on Tantra & Dzogchen based on the open parts of the Precious Vase, in collaboration with the IG and the ATIF. The whole series was well attended and participants were keen to know what will happen next, in terms of open programming. From January 2023 we are therefore planning a series of open days at Lekdanling as on-site events aimed at newcomers, as well as regular practice sessions on Saturdays starting on the 14th January. Many thanks to the SMS teachers from all over the world who have taken part in this venture over the past year as well as leading regular practice sessions every Sunday morning. Thanks also to everyone who helped to make the ‘Gateway to the Teachings’ series a success including the translators, moderators and those at SSIUK who worked tirelessly behind the scenes.
Other highlights from the past year include our regular and extremely popular lecture series with high profile academics & speakers from across the globe, together with a number of workshops led by experts in their field. These include ‘Gesar, King of the Vajra Life’ with Dr. Gregory Forgues who revealed new insights into this famous Tibetan epic; ‘The Writings of Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö (1893–1959)’ with Dr. Adam Pearcey; ‘The Khyentse Vision Project: The World of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo and Translating His Works’ with Casey Kemp; and ‘The Early History and Publications of the Derge Printing House’ with Dr. Ben Nourse.
Most of our talks and workshops are recorded and can be downloaded via our website or can be viewed on Youtube. We would also like to encourage you to join our mailing list and connect to our Instagram & Facebook pages … this is one of the best ways of keeping up to date with all our activities which we are expanding all the time. The full programme of our past activities can be viewed on our website within our latest brochure, posted on the home page. Find us at shangshunguk.org
Please note that our popular SSIUK lecture series is ongoing and future talks for 2023 include:
- January: Professor Larson speaking on : “The Life and Songs of Tsangnyön Heruka”
- February: Charles Manson speaking on “The Second Karmapa, Karma Pakshi”
- March: Ruth Gamble speaking on “The Third Karmapa, Ranjung Dorje”
Later in the Spring, John Bellezza and Mark Aldenderfer will also give a presentation about their archeological survey in the ancient kingdom of Shang Shung.
Following the amazing response to our first Himalayan Photographic competition for which we literally received hundreds of entries, many of which were of a very high quality, we are now launching a new online artistic competition: the winners will be announced at Losar 2023. For our second online art competition we are inviting paintings and drawings representing the Tibetan astrological sign of the WATER HARE, where any technique or medium can be used. For details of entry please visit our website: shangshunguk.org
Our Tibetan Cultural Centre still continues to be a hub for a range of local group events in East London which take place on the basis of a rental arrangement with carefully chosen individuals. We have also recently secured a rental agreement with the photographic studio next door who pay a regular monthly fee, thanks to our dedicated Lekdanling management team.
Finally, I will be standing down as the Principal Director SSIUK at the end of December 2022, after a busy ten years in this role. Jamyang Oliphant, who has already been actively involved in SSIUK for many years, will be taking over my position. Richard Steven who has acted as Company Secretary and who has been involved in Shang Shung UK since its inception in 2010, is also standing down at the end of this year. He will be replaced by Trinley Walker who has been looking after the Lekdanling shop in recent months and has been an active Dzogchen Community member in London for many years.
I would like to thank everyone on the Shang Shung team for being such a pleasure to work with: Dr Fabian Sanders, Academic Director; Anne Bancroft, Arts Director; Richard Steven, Company Secretary; Jamyang Oliphant PhD, Fundraising & Events Co-ordinator; Premila Van Ommen, Media Liaison; Mandarava Bricaire, Creative Director; Mike Gilmore, Bookshop Manager; Trinley Walker, Jowita Niedzielska and Ewa Michalec of the Lekdanling Management Group, as well as the many volunteers.
We hope to see you online or onsite soon!
All good wishes,
Shang Shung UK