Lama Yeshe Ling Tibetan Buddhist Group is an open hearted community that empowers people to discover and develop their inherent potential for compassion, wisdom and inner peace. In fact, that is our mission statement. We offer programs in various sites from Toronto west to Kitchener/Waterloo and south to Hamilton, and maintain The Centre for Compassion & Wisdom in Burlington, Ontario, Canada.
Lama Yeshe Ling is part of the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT) an international Tibetan Buddhist organization started by two Tibetan masters, Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche in the 1960's. In the early years, FPMT was a tightly-knit family of a handful of students looking for answers and two ground-breaking lamas who had profound answers to give. It grew as students decided to bring back what they had learned to their local communities, and FPMT centres began springing up around the world. We are now an international community of over 150 centres, retreat centres, publishing houses, monasteries, and social service projects, and we are still a family.
The Lama Yeshe Ling community is particulary drawn to His Holiness the Dalai Lama's example of authentic practical compassion and wisdom. Recently His Holiness the Dalai Lama said this about Lama Zopa Rinpoche and the FPMT.
"May whoever comes into contact with this community discover what they are truely seeking; be it healing, friendship, meaning, confidence, an entryway into deeper understanding, a vehicle for kindness, or simple good-hearted fun."
|His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet||Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Spiritual Director of the FPMT||Lama Yeshe, Founder of the FPMT|
Guru is from the Sanskrit; it means “heavy, weighty.” A guru is someone who is weighty in the sense of having a substantial presence, someone weighty with good qualities. A qualified Guru will be able to teach you from their own imediate, experiential realizations, because they have become a living embodiment of the Buddha's teaching. This sublime quality inspires, allowing you to open up and discover Dharma truths, and your own true nature easily and without confusion.
A relationship with a Guru is different from being a student of Buddhism in relationship with a Buddhist professor or Dharma instructor or meditation facilitator. The Guru represents your own potential physically manifest to your senses; the Guru provides direct access to your own latent Buddha potential. The Guru is not only what you seek outside of yourself (through a healthy relationship with your Guru), but is what you seek inside yourself (through a deep heart commitment and practice of his or her teachings and advice). Problems you may have with your Guru amount to problems you have with your own Buddha potential so it is traditional to carefully evaluate a candidate Guru prior to making a heart comittment.
Whether the Guru, who is the active expression of the buddhas’ infinite kindness, manifests to us as a teacher of the Dharma or in the form of ordinary beings, situations, even inanimate objects in our life, whatever the outer form, the guru always serves to reveal to us our minds, our best and worst inner natures, so that we can grow in wisdom and compassion, and surpass our limitations on the path to awakening. It is simply up to us to open our minds to these manifestations of the Guru in our lives.
|Venerable Geshe Sherab, Kopan Monastery, Nepal||Venerable Geshe Ngawang Tharchin||Venerable Robina Courtin||Venerable Amy Miller (Lobsang Chodren)|
|Venerable Connie Miller|
Geshe Sherab is the young, fluent in English, Headmaster of Kopan Monastery, Nepal, the spiritual centre of the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT). He has lived for several years in the U.S. also, so he is familiar with North American culture, and knows how to relate to the western mind when teaching the Dharma.
Born in Nepal of Tibetan parents, Geshe Sherab received his education at Kopan Monastery from the time he was a boy, and completed his studies at Sera Je Monastic University and at Gyume Tantric College in India. He has lived in the USA working at the FPMT Central office and several nearby Dharma Centres in New Mexico. He returned to Nepal after several years in the U.S.A. to become Headmaster of Kopan Monastery. Geshe-la has just retired from the Headmaster role in order to have more time to devote to meditation and to teaching internationally.
Mandala magazine has a story of Geshe Sherab here.
You can download and listen to several recordings of Geshe Sherab teaching here.
Several community members have met and studied with him personally and two share their impressions of him below...
Suzanne Rhodes met Geshe Sherab two years ago at Kopan Monastery where he ran the English reading groups that she participated in with the young monks. She writes...
"He's amazing, warm hearted, generous, accessible, and articulate. He also spent an afternoon going through the Eight Verses of Mind Training that he zipped through in 2 hours! He's extremely concise yet so humorous. He kept punctuating the important bits by stopping and asking ‘did you get it? did you get it?’ while laughing. This happened so much throughout his teaching that it became our own way of underlining stuff in our discussion group as it really seems to stamp ideas and concepts onto the mind. He is so easily understandable as his English is great and we really enjoyed him as a teacher because of his light hearted presentation".
Florence Sicoli also met Geshe Sherab at Kopan during a meditation retreat there last October. She writes....
"I offer here two brief personal observations about Geshe Sherab. During his teachings, a quality that really impressed me is his enthusiastic intellect. This surfaced when students asked questions, particularly difficult questions. Geshe-la seemed to delight in engaging students in heart-felt debate, very much in the style of the animated monks’ daily debates in front of Kopan’s main gompa. This is not to say that he presented himself to us as all knowing. On the contrary, he frankly admitted if he did not know the answer to a question and quickly added he would consult with his colleagues. Then he would return the next day to tell us what he and the senior monks had discussed about the question. I really admired Geshe-la’s dynamic approach to explaining and discussing dharma".
"Also, during a private meeting when I sought advice from him on a family issue, I found Geshe-la to be very approachable and conducted himself with a wise, gentle demeanour. He quickly grasped my issue, and his counsel has helped me develop the compassionate mindset necessary for me to find positive, respectful ways to approach this ongoing issue."
Here is a portion of an interview with Geshe Sherab taken from the online edition of The Hindu, one of India's national newspapers.
"Love and compassion will help destroy the ‘inner terrorist’ of each person and this purging of negativity from individuals is the only lasting solution to hatred, bigotry and terrorism", Geshe Lama Thubten Gurung (Geshe Sherab) of Kopan Monastery (Nepal) has said. He was speaking after inaugurating the Pre-Parliament Summit of the Parliament of the World’s Religions to be held at Melbourne, Australia, in 2009. The Summit was organized here on Sunday by the School of Bhagavad Gita.
"Rules and regulations can bring only an outer peace, that too temporarily. If there is hatred and the feeling of revenge inside man’s mind, it is bound to come out some time and then outer peace will disappear. Real peace has to come from a person’s mind", he said.
Geshe Ngawang Tharchen was born in Northern India in 1967. After moving to Southern India, he attended the Central School for Tibetans in Mundgod until he was 14, at which time he decided to enter Drepung Nyagre Khangtsen Monastery.
Geshe-la became a novice monk in 1981, and in 1992 was ordained by H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama. He was awarded the degree of Geshe (Lingtse Tsoramp) in 1999, and futher studied for an additional year at Gyüto Tantric University, also in India.
In 2001, Geshe-la began teaching with Dagyab Rinpoche in Germany, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. He became the resident Lama at Chodzong Buddhist Center in Germany beginning in 2003 and completed his term at the end of 2004.
In addition to being part of the Drepung Spiritual Arts Fund Raising Tour in 2007, Geshe-la has also taught in Malaysia and Singapore.
Geshe-la has lived in Toronto, Ontario for the last three years and is focused on English studies (he is of course fluent in Tibetan and Hindi) and is eager to continue teaching Dharma to students in our area.
The designation ‘Geshe’ is the equivalent of a Ph.D (doctorate) in buddhist studies and is awarded after a minimum of 18 years of intense study including a three year, three month retreat. It is attainable only by monastics. The term "Geshe-la" is the correct form of address meaning "Honoured Geshe".
The title “Geshe” is not just a name for a graduate. In the monastic system it is believed that to graduate as a Geshe is to create the karmic imprints to take rebirth in Shambala. “Ge” means “virtue” and “she” means “knowing”. Geshe thus means; one who knows virtue, one who knows what should be practiced and what should be abandoned. – Source: FPMT Mandala
Amy Miller (Venerable Lobsang Chodren) has been immersed in Tibetan Buddhism since 1987 following a career in politics in the United States. She also worked as a hospice volunteer in San Francisco, California for several years during the height of the AIDS epidemic. Since then, she has spent a great deal of time engaged in meditation retreats, study, teaching, and Buddhist center management throughout the world.
Amy was ordained as a Buddhist nun in June 2000 and has been teaching extensively since 1992. Her teaching style emphasizes a practical approach to integrating Buddhist philosophy into everyday life. She is happy to help people connect with meditation and mindfulness in an effort to gain a refreshing perspective on normally stressful living.
Amy is the co-author of Buddhism in a Nutshell and a contributor to Living in the Path, a series of online courses produced by the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT).
Presently, Amy continues to teach around the world and has been the director of Milarepa Center, a beautiful retreat center in Vermont since 2008.
Venerable Constance Miller is an American nun in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. Ordained by Kyabje Zong Rinpoche in 1978, she has been teaching Buddhist philosophy and practice in FPMT centers in Europe, Asia, and America since 1982. She assisted our namesake, Lama Yeshe, in establishing the project entitled Universal Education, now known as Essential Education, and served as its Director for a number of years following its inception.
Respectfully known as the ‘Mother’of Essential Education, Connie translates Buddhist philosophy and wisdom into simple terms to benefit all cultures and walks of life. In May of this year she co-facilitated ‘What is EE?’ at the Latin American Essential Education Conference in Mexico and will be teaching and training at the EE Gathering in Toulouse, France this summer.
Ordained since the late 1970s, Robina Courtin has worked full time since then for Lama Thubten Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche's FPMT. Over the years she has served as editorial director of Wisdom Publications, editor of Mandala magazine, executive director of Liberation Prison Project, and as a touring teacher of Buddhism. Her life and work with prisoners have been featured in the documentary films Chasing Buddha and Key to Freedom.
Carmen has a background in theatre dance and movement, Goddess devotion and shamanism. She recovered from a long illness using Transformative Mindfulness which is now at the core of her practice. Carmen is a certified 5 Tibetan Yoga and Transformative Mindfulness facilitator, and completed the 16 Guidelines for Life Intensive in November 2008 with Dekyi-Lee Oldershaw and Alison Murdoch.
Cynthia, aka Sham Rang, has a B.Ed and is an experienced educator. Cynthia was propelled by a life threatening illness into a reassessment of her life and now views this illness as the true beginning of her journey into self-awareness and accessing the wisdom of her own body. She continues, with ever increasing awareness, to appreciate the richness and beauty of the physical experience. Certified to teach the 5 Tibetan Yogas and Kundalini Yoga, and to facilitate Transformational Fantasy and Transformative Self-Healing, she currently co-facilitates meditation courses for SIVAM and teaches yoga in Hamilton.
Dave has studied and practiced Dharma since 1984 and became a committed practitioner in the Tibetan tradition in 1993. He has done several month-long retreats with Lama Zopa Rinpoche and leads the Discovering Buddhism program in Hamilton.
Dekyi-Lee is the Founder of The Centre for Compassion & Wisdom and Lama Yeshe Ling Tibetan Buddhist Group and is a former Tibetan Buddhist nun. She is the co-author of the book 16 Guidelines for Life, developed Transformative Mindfulness, and is an international trainer of facilitators in 16 Guidelines for Life, Transformative Mindfulness and 5 Tibetan Yogas.
Frankie is a retired nurse. She has had an interest in meditation for several years. She has completed a 10 week course in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction
Fred Roland, Hwiemtun
Fred, Hwiemtun, is from the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island, with a Coast Salish mother and Hawaiian lineage father. He spent many years learning traditional ways from local elders and grandparents, indigenous tribes of Canada, South America, Asia and the West Indies. He shares these teachings, stories and songs in schools and universities internationally and has led youth cultural exchange programs by taking Metis and Caucasian youth to share with tribes in Guyana, Dominica, Peru, Germany and the Amazon. He has been a custodian of the Maitreya Project Relic Tour in North America and Asia.
Dr. Gareth Sparham
Dr. Sparham received a PhD in Asian Studies at UBC and was a Buddhist monk for 25 years, studying at the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics in Dharamsala, India. Dr. Sparham has translated a number of books including Khunu Lama’s ‘Vast as the Heavens, Deep as the Sea’.
Hart began working in the humanitarian field after a 25-year career in telecoms software. Hart has been involved in micro-enterprise and nutrition improvement for the last six years with Malnutrition Matter which is currently involved in nutrition improvement projects in more than a dozen countries, primarily in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. Hart’s main experience is with nutrition projects in rural India, which began on a volunteer basis in 1989. Hart has been a meditator for over 30 years and has taken various teachings with Buddhist Masters including Lama Zopa, with an Advaita Master, Ramesh Balsekar (Mumbai) and with Dr. David Hawkins (Arizona). He is a trained 5 Tibetan Yogas and Transformative Mindfulness facilitator, and completed the 16 Guidelines for Life Intensive in November 2008 with Dekyi-Lee Oldershaw and Alison Murdoch.
Judy is a retired college professor who found her true spiritual home in Buddhism after attending teachings and Kalachakra initiation with His Holiness the Dalai Lama in 2004. She continues to study and explore ways to put Buddhist values into practice.
Judy is a certified facilitator of 5 Tibetan Yogas and Transformative Mindfulness. She has been teaching 5 Tibetan Yogas classes in Hamilton and Burlington for over three years.
Katie has a B.Ed and is a long-time educator. She trained extensively with Dekyi-Lee Oldershaw becoming a certified facilitator of Transformative Mindfulness, 5 Tibetan Yogas and Meditation. She has also done an Intensive on the 16 Guidelines for Life led by co-authors, Dekyi-Lee Oldershaw and Alison Murdoch, and has her second degree in the Usui Reiki method. Katie is a Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapist, a yoga instructor, and studio owner who offers one-on-one sessions in Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy, leads private & group yoga classes, and facilitates meditation groups in her Hamilton studio called Open Heart Yoga. Katie is also the Communications Coordinator for The Centre for Compassion & Wisdom.
Kelly studied with Lama Yeshe in the 1970’s and brings many years of practice specializing in Vajrasattva.
Laurie has combined her career in the Corporate IT world with her interest in people engaging in their potential for a fulfilling life through developing her personal interests as a Certified Myers Briggs and Personality Dimensions Facilitator, and a CTI trained coach. Laurie is a certified 5 Tibetan Yoga facilitator and completed the 16 Guidelines for Life Intensive in November 2008 with Dekyi-Lee Oldershaw and Alison Murdoch. Laurie is currently the Centre’s Volunteer Coordinator, 16 Guidelines Program Coordinator and Program Co-director.
Lesia is an experienced educator and a certified facilitator of Yoga, 5 Tibetan Yogas, Transformative Mindfulness and Meditation. Currently she facilitates meditation classes and has completed the 16 Guidelines for Life Intensive with Dekyi-Lee Oldershaw and Alison Murdoch.
Gen Ngawang Choklay
Ngawang was born in Tibet, is a scholar monk trained at Kopan Monastery in Nepal then Sera Je Monastery in India. He has translated and taught in Germany and Spain; has lived and taught in the Toronto since 2005.
Roxanneis a certified facilitator of the 5 Tibetan Yogas and Transformative Mindfulness.
Sean received his degree from U of T in East Asian Studies, was a Tibetan Buddhist monk for 13 years and studied at the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics in Dharamsala India. He now coordinates the Lama Yeshe Ling Toronto Study Group.
Sheilagh is a certified facilitator of Transformative Mindfulness and 5 Tibetan Yogas, as well as Hypnotherapy and Reiki. Sheilagh completed the 16 Guidelines for Life Intensive in November 2008 with Dekyi-Lee Oldershaw and Alison Murdoch. Sheilagh has over thirty years experience as an artist and art instructor in floral arts, illustration and wood carving and has taught in various places including Sheridan College.
Shelley is a certified facilitator of Transformative Mindfulness and Meditation. Shelley completed the 16 Guidelines for Life Intensive in November 2008 with Dekyi-Lee Oldershaw and Alison Murdoch. She has run experiential learning programs for youth, including Mindblast for Kids, Mindblast for Youth, 16 Guidelines Retreat for Youth, which incorporates a variety of fun experiential visualizations, meditations, simple breathing techniques, co-operative games, journaling and creative expressions through art that bring about a deeper understanding and meaning to life experiences.
Sonya is a high school student preparing to go into university in journalism. She is the first youth facilitator of Transformative Mindfulness in Canada, trained by Dekyi-Lee Oldershaw. She has co-facilitated teen retreats based on the 16 Guidelines for Life as well as Transformative Mindfulness.
Sonya is an Early Childhood Educator who has been working in the child care field for over 15 years. Sonya completed the 16 Guidelines for Life Intensive in November 2008 with Dekyi-Lee Oldershaw and Alison Murdoch.Her view of children as intelligent, capable and compassionate is reflected in the philosophy of the 16 Guidelines for Life and the program she has implemented into the child care program at the McMaster University Child Care Program.
Una is a Holistic Practitioner and Workshop Facilitator, and is certified by Dekyi-Lee Oldershaw in Transformative Mindfulness and 5 Tibetan Yogas. Una completed the 16 Guidelines for Life Intensive in November 2008 with Dekyi-Lee Oldershaw and Alison Murdoch She has had her own private practice in Dundas for the past 13 years.
Valerie is a registered social worker offering counselling, groups and workshops using a holistic approach through her private practice. She has studied meditation, and energy healing with teachers such as Dekyi-Lee Oldershaw, Marco Mascarin, Michele Chaban, Jon Kabat-Zinn, Saki Santorelli, Tara Brach and Kumar Jeeva, and has her second degree in the Usui Reiki method. Valerie uses talk therapy incorporating Transformative Mindfulness, meditation and visualization. She teaches in the Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University. She has a special interest in addressing compassion fatigue and promoting wellness for health care and social service providers. More information at www.choosewellness.ca.
Centre for Compassion and Wisdom.
Mission, relationship, distinction to Lama Yeshe Ling etc.
This page could simply point over to http://lamayesheling.org/oakville_burlington_group, which has until now existed in the Programs section, but in any event there may be some wish to revision this material.
lets try a little edit here.
The Discovering Buddhism program takes a break, in favor of the program offered by Tibetan Buddhist Monk, Geshe Ngawang Tharchin (see below)
Study, discuss, and practice Buddha's teachings from the Graduated Path to Buddhahood, with the FPMT program called Discovering Buddhism.
For location please contact Dave at (416) 388-6549, or Lama Yeshe Ling at (905)-296-3728.
Anyone is most welcome to participate in any activities of this group, begun originally in Oakville when they were led by Dekyi Lee Oldershaw, former nun and founder of Lamp on the Path. The Centre for Compassion & Wisdom now holds meditation courses, events at Holy Cross Lutheran Church, 3455 Lakeshore Road, Burlington, ON (west of Walker’s Line).
Programs designed to deepen compassion and wisdom for those not interested in traditional Buddhism are offered by the Centre.
Check our Calendar and our Home Page for dates and further details. For events that require advance registration, please call us at 905 296-3728 to leave a voicemail and we will contact you to confirm your registration.
SHOP HOURS: The Shop is open whenever the Centre is holding an event....which is most evenings. Please drop by when you come for an event and check us out! Prices are reasonable and cash and cheques accepted.
The next time you visit the Centre please check out our great little shop. A new shipment of books and jewellery and other items from Nepal have just arrived. There are “OM Mani” rings, bracelets, hand-crafted prayer beads/malas, incense, postcards & handmade greeting cards, photos, beautiful Tibetan embroidered hanging brocades and hemp bags & wallets, silk shawls, Buddhas, Tibetan singing bowls, CD’s, katas/silk white blessing scarves, Buddhist rings and pendants, batik prints, original framed art and much more.
From Malaysia we have an assortment of full length as well as wrist malas made of crystal, tiger eye, quartz, amber, green stone and lapis lazuli (from $8 to $60); new CD’s: The Heart Sutra, Om Mani Padme Hum, The Chant of Metta (Loving-Kindness), Medicine Buddha Dharani, The Wisdom of Manjusri Bodhisattva, The Great Compassion mantra, and Mantra of the Green Tara; hand-held & table mounted Om Mani Prayer Wheels; Tibetan sacred art tables, and for those of you wishing to advance your mantra and or prostration counting to the next level, handheld electronic digital counters.
Thanks from our Centre Shop co-ordinator volunteers.
The Lama Yeshe Ling Tibetan Buddhist Study Group in Kitchener/Waterloo has been meeting for over 8 years.
After the summer break, our Kitchener Waterloo group will meet again in September for discussion and meditation.
Please contact Jean McFarlane at 519-578-7228 for location details.
Lama Yeshe Ling is a non-profit organization which means it has a volunteer board of directors.
The board members are:
Laurie Dolan (President), Frankie Worobec (Chair), Deborah Seigel (Centre Director/Manager), Theresa Horak (Treasurer), Joan Urquart (Secretary) and Dave Gould
The board meets about once every two months.
As well as the board, there are teams for planning programs, publicity, and special events. If you are interested in getting involved, consider visiting our volunteer page.
These are the practices we do or have done, on a regular basis at Lama Yeshe Ling.
We practice Chenrezig or Avalokiteshvara in Sanskrit - the Buddha of Compassion about once a month.
More to come...
We have practiced the Diamond Cutter Sutra, with group recitations, and by the Sutra Circle for success in some of our projects, on the advice of Lama Zopa Rinpoche.
For more detail on this Sutra, and to download this sutra, visit here.
Five Tibetan Yogas
More to come...
We recite the Heart Sutra prior to most teachings.
You can download a copy of the Heart Sutra here.
Lam Rim Meditation with Guru Shakyamuni Budha
More to come...
We do a group practice of the Medicine Buddha healing practice about once a month.
You can download a copy of the text we use, from a page of advice Lama Zopa Rinpoche composed for the SARS scare a few years ago.
A more extensive Medicine Buddha practice in both English and Tibetan can be downloaded here.
The Sanghata Sutra is a direct teaching by the Buddha that promises to transform all who read or recite it. It is one of a special set of sutras called 'transformative teachings' that function to transform those who hear or recite them. In general, the recitation of Mahayana sutras is one of the six virtuous practices specifically recommended for purification, and the recitation of this sutra in particular has far-reaching karmic consequences that last for many lifetimes. The recitation can bestow a powerful blessing on the place where it is recited.
At www.sanghatasutra.net, visitors can learn all about this sutra, read stories of how others have been changed by the text, and get tips on reciting the text.
Based on an original text from King Songtsen Gampo in 7th century Tibet, the 16 Guidelines offer a practical introduction to secular ethics, starting with Humility and ending with Courage. They are divided into four wisdom themes: How we think (the power of the mind); How we act (that every action brings a result); How we relate to others (that we are all interdependent) and How we find meaning (impermanence).
Learn more here.
Reciting the Sutra of Golden Light is a practice that brings peace. Peace and protection to the individual, peace and blessings to the place where it is recited, and peace to the world through promoting enlightening government leadership. It is one of a special set of sutras called ‘transformative teachings’ that function to transform those who hear or recite them. You can read more about the Sutra of Golden Light here and here.
More to come...
More to come...
We do a group practice of the White Tara healing practice about once a month.
You can download a copy of the text we use, from a page of advice Lama Zopa Rinpoche composed for the SARS scare a few years ago.