Volunteer Day and Remembering Queen Elizabeth II

Sunday September 11th

We wanted to share a few images taken at KSDE on Sunday September 11th as Edinburgh prepared to receive the cortège of the late Queen Elizabeth.

The day started with a volunteer clean up, followed by tea and cake in the courtyard, then the planting and blessing of an oak tree in honour and memory of Queen Elizabeth II.

Finally we watched HH 17th Karmapa’s wonderful talk about the illustrious 3rd Karmapa, which seemed particularly relevant on this meaningful full moon day.

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Monday September 12th

In contrast to the modest remembrance of the Queen held in the KSDE courtyard on the previous day, Ani Rinchen was called upon to represent Samye Ling at the historic Ceremony at St Giles Cathedral.

As the Queen’s coffin was adorned wth the ancient Crown of Scotland, His Majesty King Charles III, members of the Royal family and the whole congregation sat in silent reflection. This was followed by a further Ceremony of Condolences and Tributes at the Scottish Parliament, celebrating the extraordinary legacy of the remarkable woman who has been our Queen for the last seven decades, most heartfelt of which was the tribute by her eldest son. Long Live King Charles III!

The Queen lying in State at St Giles Cathedral

The KSDE Lockdown Library Launch

Akong Rinpoche and Lama Yeshe Losal Ripoche

“The real challenge is to have balance and stability within continuous change”  Akong Tulku Rinpoche

As our lives continue to be affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever to look after our physical, mental and spiritual health, as well as doing whatever we can to help others. With that in mind we have created the KSDE Lockdown Library.

This online resource has been specially curated to offer dharma support, connection and inspiration in these testing times. It houses videos of precious teachings, talks, prayers, meditation guidance, Qigong instruction, book recommendations, uplifting music and more!

We hope you will find it a helpful and enjoyable place to visit over the coming weeks as we continue to add fresh content to support your practice and strengthen our interconnection, for the benefit and wellbeing of all.

May all beings be happy and create the causes of happiness

Power in Poetry

This deeply reflective poem, by the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, was sent by both Gwen in Edinburgh and by Annie in Scarborough.

Keeping Quiet

Now we will count to twelve
and we will all keep still
for once on the face of the earth,
let’s not speak in any language;
let’s stop for a second,
and not move our arms so much.

It would be an exotic moment
without rush, without engines;
we would all be together
in a sudden strangeness.

Fishermen in the cold sea
would not harm whales
and the man gathering salt
would not look at his hurt hands.

Those who prepare green wars,
wars with gas, wars with fire,
victories with no survivors,
would put on clean clothes
and walk about with their brothers
in the shade, doing nothing.

What I want should not be confused
with total inactivity.

Life is what it is about…

If we were not so single-minded
about keeping our lives moving,
and for once could do nothing,
perhaps a huge silence
might interrupt this sadness
of never understanding ourselves
and of threatening ourselves with

Now I’ll count up to twelve
and you keep quiet and I will go.

Pablo Neruda is a Chilean poet, who started writings poems at the age of 13. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1971.

KSDE at Climate Strike Edinburgh

Ani Rinchen and Sheila, flying the Karmapa’s Dream Flag, symbolising the interdependence of Heaven and Earth, Wisdom and Compassion, at the Climate Strike march
Ani Rinchen adds a Buddhist perspective to the Climate Change event outside the Scottish Parliament
A symbol designed by Ani Rinchen which merges the Wheel of Dharma with the Extinction Rebellion hourglass logo. Look out for it in upcoming environmental events at KSDE held in conjunction with XR

Khenpo Lhabu Drupon Rinpoche – Teachings at KSDE

A most blessed and joyful Anniversary Weekend with Lama Yeshe Rinpoche

Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th May 2019

Lama Yeshe Rinpoche teaching, 2019
Lama Yeshe Rinpoche teaching, 2019
Lama Yeshe Rinpoche and audience
Lama Yeshe Rinpoche and audience
A rapt audience for Lama Yeshe Rinpoche, May 2019
A rapt audience for Lama Yeshe Rinpoche, May 2019
A rapt audience

After inspiration and meditation comes the celebration! Thanks to Lama Yeshe Rinpoche for blessing this KSDE Anniversary Weekend with his wisdom, loving kindness and joyful presence. Thanks too to all the lovely volunteers that made it happen and to everyone who came and made it both meaningful and fun!

Lama Yeshe Rinpoche and Ani Rinchen Khandro, May 2019
Lama Yeshe Rinpoche and Ani Rinchen Khandro
Anniversary tea party al fresco, May 2019
Anniversary tea party al fresco, 2019
Anniversary tea party al fresco
Flags in the courtyard, May 2019
Flags in the courtyard

Links with local schools and Universities

As well as overseeing and teaching at KSD Edinburgh Ani Rinchen Khandro has forged links with local schools and Universities.

Ani Rinchen Khandro on a recent visit to St. Andrew’s University Buddhist Society
Ani Rinchen Khandro on a recent visit to St. Andrew’s University Buddhist Society

As Honorary Buddhist Chaplain for the University of Edinburgh she teaches at their Buddhist Society meetings one a month and was also the first teacher invited to speak at the Buddhist Society of Saint Andrew’s University.

Members of The University of Edinburgh Buddhist Society kindly volunteering at KSDE.
Members of Edinburgh University Buddhist Society on Volunteer Day at KSDE

The students in turn can choose to join in activities at KSDE, attending meditation sessions and teachings or even lending  a hand on Volunteer Days.

Everybody’s happy!

Meditation in Action

Meditation in Action - Members of The University of Edinburgh Buddhist Society kindly volunteering at KSDE.
Meditation in Action
Members of The University of Edinburgh Buddhist Society kindly volunteering at KSDE. Thank you one and all!

KSDE welcomes groups, as well as individuals, often hosting visits from societies, schools and universities.

As Honorary Buddhist Chaplain to the University of Edinburgh, Ani Rinchen Khandro also gives talks and guidance at Student Buddhist Society meetings.

The students in turn can choose to join in activities at KSDE, attending meditation sessions and teachings or even lending  a hand on Volunteer Days.

Everybody’s happy!

Happy Losar

Tibetan New Year of the female earth pig

Losar - Year of the Pig

May all beings be happy and create the causes of happiness in this New Year and beyond.

The dawn of a New Year in the Tibetan calendar is known as the month of miracles, when the effects of our activities are multiplied a millionfold. It is the ideal time for cultivating positive qualities of wisdom, compassion and loving kindness towards all beings. We look forward to seeing you and sharing any or all of the following events and our regular daily activities at KSDE.

Tuesday February 5th – LOSAR 
6.30pm – 7.30pm Chenrezi Puja, 
dedicated to World Peace and Health. Everybody welcome.

Wednesday February 6th 
6.30pm – 8pm Qigong & Meditation 10 week Course

Places are limited, booking is essential.

Saturday February 9th
10.30am – 11.45am Green Tara Weekend Puja

Developing fearless compassion to overcome obstacles

Saturday February 23rd
10.30am – 4.30pm  Eight Verses for Training the Mind
Lama Zangmo presents this precious text composed by Buddhist Master Langri Tangpa

Beginning With Buddha

BuddhaDiscover Buddha Within

Every year we hold an Introduction to Buddhism course for those who are interested but may not know where to begin. As with most things, it’s best to begin at the beginning, which in this case is with the Buddha.

Sunday November 4th 10.30am – 4.30pm
An Introduction to Buddhism

Ani Rinchen Khandro presents an overview of Buddhism starting with the life of the Buddha, through the spread of his teachings around the world to the West, via Tibet to Scotland. The main focus of the course will be to discover the relevance and benefits of timeless Buddhist wisdom and compassion in our busy modern times. This introduction can also serve as a precursor to the Four Preliminary Foundations course starting in January 2019.

As the Buddha Dharma is beyond price, all our Dharma courses are offered free of charge. In order to enable this we hope those who are able to will cultivate generosity by making a donation when booking online.

For those who prefer a more secular approach KSDE is also offering a weekend course with Alistair Appleton later in the month.

November 24th & 25th 10.30am to 4.30pm both days
A Meditative Approach to Anxiety

Full information and course bookings can be made directly with Alistair Appleton at www.mind-springs.org/courses

And finally, a wee reminder about this Saturday’s Screen Matinee on

October 27th, 10.30am
Teachings by H.H.17th Karmapa on The Four Dharmas of Gampopa

followed by discussion of the topic and Q&A
12pm Tea Break
12.30pm Optional volunteering opportunity to help keep the Centre beautiful. Leaf sweepers much appreciated and rewarded with mugs of steaming hot Chai.

News and Pictures of Anniversary Weekend

After an eventful and joyful anniversary weekend with Lama Yeshe Rinpoche featuring his precious teachings, a wonderful film of Akong Rinpoche in Tibet, a photographic exhibition and a Guru Rinpoche Puja and sacred feast we’d like to share with you a some pictures of the various events. However, we don’t seem to have any pics of the Puja or feast. Obviously we were too preoccupied with praying and feasting!

New Term Newsflash

Greetings one and all,

Kagyu Samye Dzong Edinburgh welcomes you to the new Autumn Term of daily classes and monthly courses to soothe and energise body, mind and spirit.

An important date on our calendar is the upcoming Anniversary Weekend of September 22/23rd when Lama Yeshe Rinpoche will honour us with his joyful presence and invaluable teaching. On the Saturday before his visit we will be getting the Centre spick and span, both inside and out, ready to receive him. Volunteer help is much needed and appreciated!

KSDE VolunteersTLC for KSDE

Saturday September 15th at 10.30
Join us for a morning of weeding, cleaning, sweeping and sprucing up the Centre ahead of the visit of Lama Yeshe Rinpoche.
Refreshments and a warm welcome for all volunteers.
PS trowels owners, please bring them along : )

KSDE is also recruiting Weekly Volunteers to assist with Admin, DIY and general helpfulness. To apply, Just email info@edinburgh.samye.org and mark your email Volunteer Help.

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

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.