What’s on at KSDE in July

Midsummer at the KSDE Oasis –  It’s a rare thing to be feeling the heat in Scotland and we’re certainly not complaining! But it’s such a blessing to have the cool, calm sanctuary of Samye Dzong’s  Shrine Room in which to cultivate a cool, calm mind.

And as July is the last month of this summer term, ahead of the August holiday break, here’s a wee heads up on what’s happening at weekends, in addition to our ongoing daily programme of pujas, meditation sessions and exercise classes.

July 8th Sunday 10.30am- 4.30pm

The Four Preliminary Foundations
Part 4 The Illusory Nature of Worldly Life (Samsara)

The final part of this four part course completes the instructions on these essential teachings. This course is open to those who have attended the other three parts. However, as these preliminaries form the basis of the Buddhist view and are such an invaluable support in life we will be running the course again next year.

July 22nd 10.30-12pm

Sunday Matinee: His Holiness the 17th Karmapa
A Summary of the Four Preliminary Foundations

This matinee screening of HH Karmapa’s summary gives his unique insight into the essential points expressed with clarity, depth and humour. They are an invaluable aid to understanding, whether one is a seasoned practitioner or a complete beginner.

July 28th 10.30-11.30am

Chenrezi Puja

This Chenrezi Puja is the last event of the summer term. It is dedicated to the cultivation of wisdom, loving kindness and compassion for all sentient beings. Everyone is welcome.

After the Puja we will get together for light refreshments in the courtyard. Those who have the time and energy can also stay on for an optional tidy up before we break up. Volunteers welcome!

A date for your diary

September 22nd/23rd Lama Yeshe Rinpoche will be visiting and teaching at the Centre on the 8th Anniversary of Kagyu Samye Dzong Edinburgh.

Further details of this and of our Autumn Programme will be available very soon. Watch this space!

From Buddha to Holy Isle


Explore the fascinating story of how Tibetan Buddhism came to the West, and in particular to Holy Isle, a magical island off the West Coast of Scotland.

Ani Rinchen Khandro, a nun in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, was ordained and studied at Kagyu Samye Ling Monastery, then completed a three and a half year retreat on Holy Isle, before being appointed to establish and run Kagyu Samye Dzong Edinburgh.

She returns to the island this summer to share something of its unique history and revitalising energy, giving talks, guided meditations and pilgrimages to the cave of Celtic Christian Saint Molaise and to the Tibetan Buddhist Masters depicted in beautiful rock carvings, allowing the island to speak for itself.

Information and Bookings at www.holyisle.org

Events in June

In addition to our weekday programme throughout the month, please note the following events and weekend courses:

Sunday June 10th, 10.30am – 4.30pm
Timeless Wisdom for Modern Times – with Ani Rinchen Khandro
Buddha Dharma is as relevant and necessary in our 21st Century as it was when Buddha first taught. This course explores how we can apply the time tested blueprint of Buddha’s teachings as a method for working with and transforming life’s challenges and problems, whether personal or global, into a cause for spiritual growth and fulfilment.
Everybody is welcome, but please book online at www.edinburgh.samye.org

Sunday June 24th, 10.30am – 12pm – The Sunday Matinee
Meditation – The Meaning, Motivation and Method 
by His Holiness 17th Karmapa
Using the Kagyu Lineage Prayer as a basis, His Holiness explains how meditation is not merely “a kind of spiritual massage”, but can be a profound mind training to transform our lives on the path to liberation.

Tuesday June 26th – Birthday of His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa
6.30pm – 7.45pm Chenrezi Puja 
This evening’s Chenrezi Puja is dedicated to the good health and long life of His Holiness the 17th Karmapa. Katas will be available to offer. Or you can bring your own offering if you wish. Saffron, flowers or tea lights are always welcome.

Saturday June 30th 10.30am – 11.45am
Green Tara Puja
An opportunity to practice Green Tara Sadhana, especially useful for those who are unable to attend our evening Pujas.
11.45am – Tea/Brunch Break, al fresco, weather permitting
12.30pm – Optional offering of volunteer service, whatever needs doing on the day!

Please note: All our Dharma activities are offered free of charge. However, the Centre relies on its supporters to sustain the precious offering of Dharma, by contributing towards our considerable running costs. What better way to cultivate generosity than by enabling the Buddha Dharma! All donations are gratefully received and can be made here online.

His Holiness Karmapa

We are delighted to announce the first in our series of weekend teachings to be screened in the KSDE Shrine Room. This month’s insightful and inspirational teaching is by His Holiness Karmapa – When Meditation Meets Faith and Devotion.

The Summer Term Starts Here 

For health and harmony of body, mind and spirit, dive in to the KSD Edinburgh Summer Programme of weekly classes and monthly courses and events starting in May.

May 2018, Monthly Courses and Events

Saturday May 12th 10.30am – 4.30pm
The Four Ways of Opening the Mind
Part 3- Karma, Cause and Effect

Sunday May 20th 10.30am – 12.00pm
The Monthly Matinee – Meditation, Faith & Devotion
Teachings by His Holiness the 17th Karmapa

Weekly Classes and Pujas

Healthy Body

Tuesday 6.30pm – 7.30pm
Kula Yoga

Wednesday 6.30pm – 8pm
Five Elements Qigong –
(New course starts May 9th)

Saturday 10am – 11am Pilates class
11.10am – 12.10pm Gyrokinesis class

Sunday  11am – 12.pm
Hatha Vinasa Yoga

Peaceful Mind

Monday 7.00pm – 8.00pm
Guided Meditation

Tuesday 6.30pm – 7.30pm
Chenrezi Puja

Wednesday 12.45 -1.15pm
Lunchtime Meditation

Thursday 6.30pm-7.45pm
Green Tara Puja

Meditation sessions & Pujas are drop in and by donation

Screenings of Teachings by His Holiness Karmapa

His Holiness Karmapa announced that he will be giving monthly teachings by live webcast. We will be screening them in the Samye Dzong Shrine Room so that we can all benefit together.

We do not as yet have dates and times but we will email out information, and post it on this website, as soon as it has been confirmed by His Holiness’s office.

Meditation with His Holiness Karmapa, a message from Australia, and What’s On in March

As the saying goes, “March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb”. March 2018 proved at least the first part true as the “Beast from the East” breathed snow blizzards over the UK. Meanwhile, Ani Rinchen Khandro who was in Australia speaking at a Buddhist Conference during the big freeze, sent the pictures below to warm us up until the spring lamb puts in an appearance.

Even more heart warming is the news that His Holiness Karmapa, who is currently in the USA, will be teaching live by Webcast once a month. We hope to screen the teachings in the Samye Dzong Shrine Room so that we can all benefit together. We will keep you updated as more information becomes available and in the meantime provide you with the link to His Holiness’s introductory teaching on meditation. Ah the wonders of modern technology in the service of Buddha Dharma!

Introduction to Meditation by His Holiness the 17th Karmapa

These precious teachings, first broadcast by live webcast on March 2nd, are now available with English subtitles to augment His Holiness’s ever improving English, so now we can benefit from his instruction at the click of a link.

Saturday March 10th
10.30am- 4.30pm

The Four Thoughts, Part 2 Death and Impermanence
With Ani Rinchen Khandro

Sunday March 18th

Acceptance, Forgiveness and Letting Go
With Clive Holmes

Sunday March 25th
10.30am – 11.30pm

Medicine Buddha Puja

Next weekend: Green Tara Puja

Saturday Jan 27th 2018, 10.30am

On the last weekend of most months, KSDE is offering additional opportunities to attend Pujas, Meditation sessions or other Dharma events.

These are drop in and by donation.


10.30 am to 11.30 Main session.
11.30am to 12.30 Tea/brunch break.
12.30 to 2.30 The Centre will be open for personal practice and/or volunteer service.

KSD Edinburgh re-opens on Monday January 8th

Happy New Year Everybody
Our wish for 2018 is for us all to be kind to ourselves,
kind to each other, and kind to our beautiful planet

KSD Edinburgh re-opens on Monday January 8th

We look forward to seeing you, hopefully rested, recharged and ready for the new year ahead. If not, no worries! Our full range of wholesome weekly activities will benefit body, mind and spirit. And our precious monthly Dharma courses are now available to book online, free of charge, or by donation.

If you are willing and able to offer a donation, you will accomplish the threefold benefit of:

  • Enabling KSD Edinburgh to flourish and provide teachings freely for all.
  • Helping those on low or no income to benefit from the Buddha Dharma.
  • Cultivating the noble quality of generosity that gathers virtue and merit.

May all beings be happy and create the causes of happiness.

Butter lamps

Glad Tidings for all, with the launch of an inspiring new Programme

Cue Fanfare!

Cue fanfare!

From January 1st 2018, Kagyu Samye Dzong Edinburgh is offering all Dharma teachings free of charge. Our new Programme also provides a wealth of weekly Pujas, Meditation Sessions and Exercise Classes for health of mind and body. See our Courses and Weekly Programme web pages for bookings and information on all courses and events.

However, it is the precious Buddha Dharma which is the very heart of KSDE because of its invaluable benefit to beings. As it is beyond price, we wish to make the Dharma freely available to everyone. Therefore we hope that those who can, will support and enable the Centre to provide this much needed service for the good of all.

As Drupon Rinpoche said “The friends and sponsors of each Dharma Centre should take responsibility for its upkeep and enable it as a place where Buddha Dharma can flourish”. Inspired by this message, and with the blessings of Lama Yeshe Losal Rinpoche, we cordially invite you to become a Friend of Kagyu Samye Dzong Edinburgh.

Friends of KSDE

Kagyu Samye Dzong Edinburgh is undoubtedly an iconic building, but it’s what happens on the inside that makes it such a precious resource. Dedicated volunteers work for free to keep the place running, but there are still considerable costs involved in the Centre’s upkeep and its sustainability as an oasis of peace, health, learning and inspiration.

By becoming Friends of Kagyu Samye Dzong Edinburgh we can all take care and ownership of our Centre. In this way, we can enable the Buddha Dharma to be free for everyone and so cultivate the virtue of impartial generosity.  Blessings all round.

For a modest offering of £5, or £10 a month, (the price of a cup of coffee a week), we can make it happen!

Join the Circle of Friends today

Our Centre is in our hands

New Programme Launch

The new KSD Edinburgh Winter/Spring 2018 Programme, with full information on all courses and events, will be launched on Sunday December 10th and includes some very good tidings. We hope you’ll agree it’s been worth waiting for!

Please also note that the Centre closes for the winter holidays from Friday December 15th and re-opens for the new term on Monday January 8th 2018.  We wish you all a joyful holiday and a peaceful, healthy and happy New Year.


who stayed on after Medicine Buddha Puja last weekend and made a great job of keeping the Centre swept clean and cared for, inside and out.

Welcome to the Autumn Term at Kagyu Samye Dzong Edinburgh

Hopefully you are all rested and recharged after the summer holidays. But if you’re suffering from Festival burn out, fear not. We have a revitalising programme of courses and events to relax, restore and re-energise health of mind and body.

For details of our weekday programme of Meditation Sessions, Pujas, Qigong, Yoga and Pilates classes see our Weekly Programme. And for information on all monthly Buddhist teachings and other special events see Courses and Events.

The first of these will be Teachings, Special Events and Celebrations of KSDE’s 7th Anniversary on September 29th and 30th. This starts on the Friday evening with a highly recommended public teaching by Lama Yeshe Rinpoche on The Alchemy of the Dharma, and concludes on Saturday evening with a screening of Akong – A Remarkable Life, an award winning film about our founder, Akong Tulku Rinpoche. As these events are likely to be very popular, please book early if you wish to attend. Everybody is welcome.

A change to the programme

Drupon Rinpoche, who was expected to teach at KSD Edinburgh on October 15th is regrettably not coming at this time. Hopefully Rinpoche will be able to come next year.

Meanwhile, for those who are unable to attend Drupon Rinpoche’s full courses at Samye Ling, Rinpoche will be giving a one day teaching there on Saturday October 7th on Methods of Cultivating Kindness.  This is part of the 4th Anniversary events being held to honour Akong Tulku Rinpoche. Further information is on the Samye Ling website.

Doors Open Day 2017

An additional event to our existing programme will be KSD Edinburgh’s participation in Doors Open Day on Sunday September 24th, 2pm to 5pm. This has come about at the invitation of the Cockburn Association who organise the event to celebrate Edinburgh’s iconic buildings.  As such we are honoured and happy to participate. However, we could do with a little help from our friends! See below.

A huge thank you to everyone who has ever volunteered their help at Samye Dzong Edinburgh! And now an invitation to anyone who can help us get the Centre ready for the upcoming Open Doors Day on the September 24th and the Anniversary Events with Lama Yeshe Rinpoche on September 29th/30th.


Volunteers enjoying an al fresco tea break

Jobs include, cleaning the exterior building and courtyard, weeding, sweeping etc. (please bring a trowel or similar useful tool if you have one),  as well as making the interior spick and span.

In addition we also need people able to help out on a regular basis with Admin, DIY, and General Upkeep so do let us know if you have an afternoon a week to spare.
Please drop us a line if you can assist, either on September 17th, or on a more regular basis. We’d love to hear from you!

Ode to Manchester

A poem by Ani Rinchen Khandro, AKA Jackie Glass, a Mancunian


The blood of Irish, Catholic immigrants

And Russian, Jewish refugees

Flows through the veins of this Buddhist nun,

A seeker of wisdom, compassion and peace,


Whose path has encircled the world and alights

Now in Edinburgh, where it has stayed.

But my heart cries out for Manchester,

For Manchester’s where I was made.


And I weep to see your suffering,

Caused by minds deluded by hate,

Yet tears of sadness are mixed with pride,

Seeing what makes my hometown so great.


Strength and kindness in adversity,

That brave, indomitable spirit,

Bred by love that welcomes diversity,

All embellished with pithy, street wit.


Mancunia, Mancunia!

That fortress of Northern souls,

Your red brick streets and fields of dreams,

Bear witness to impossible goals.


In grief we stand united,

United we’ll rise from the ruins,

Like so many who’ve gone before us,

For in Manchester, that’s how we do things.


Guru Rinpoche Shower of Blessings Tsok Puja

Guru RinpocheIn the holiest week of the Buddhist calendar, marking the Anniversary of both the Buddha’s Birth and his Enlightenment, it is said that the effect of our actions are multiplied by millions. Therefore it is the perfect time for Dharma practice dedicated to the benefit of all beings.

During this auspicious time KSD Edinburgh is offering a weekend course of instruction in all aspects of the Guru Rinpoche Shower of Blessings Practice from June 2nd to the 4th. For details and bookings please visit this page.

The Guru Rinpoche Shower of Blessings Tsok Puja at 12pm, Sunday June 4th on Guru Rinpoche Day, concludes the course and is open for everyone to attend and share the sacred feast. There is no need to book for this but it would be helpful if you could drop us an email if you wish to attend.

Donations and/or food offerings for the Tsok are welcome.