On the 11 of October, the college was lucky enough to receive a very unique visitor. Lama Yeshe Losal Rinpoche, the abbot of Europe’s largest Tibetan monastery addressed the college about Buddhism ideals of living peacefully. Kagyu Samye Ling, the monastery based in Scotland, was the first Tibetan Buddhist centre to be established in the west. Since 1967 it has been accepting visitors of all spiritual backgrounds for retreats of mediation and relaxation.
Lama Yeshe gave us a brief insight into his upbringing, and his life before coming into his position of responsibly. After spending the first 14 years of his life in Tibet raised in a Buddhist family, he moved to India, where he began to practice as a Buddhist monk. At the age of 18 he made the journey to the USA, where he moved round New York, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Toronto and the Grand Canyon for 12 years. It was there, in North America where he began to guide others in the ways of Tibetan Buddhism, and over the years, he began to gain international acclaim.
It was also in America that he gained the title ‘Rinpoche’, which means ‘enlightened one’, and dedicated his life completely to Buddhism. Once having reached this level of being, Lama Yeshe was sought after by many for answers about the Buddhist faith. Prompted by this, Lama Yeshe travelled across Europe, spending time in both Rome and Venice giving talks and holding discussions about Buddhism. He also took an interest in the Rudolf Steiner Schools movement (a worldwide alternative education institution), and lectured at schools in Germany and Belgium. Before coming into the position of abbot in Scotland, he had involved himself in a multitude of worthy endeavours. These include his homeless care centre in Butawal, Nepal, which helps ¼million people survive all the year round. Through the help of many, he recently managed to raise £5.7 million for this institution.
His philosophy that he introduced to our school was very simple. ‘Think positive thoughts, and be open to oppertunities.’ How clear and beautiful this philosophy is, and ideas such as these lie at the root of Buddhism. One could feel an aura of self-control about Lama Yeshe, and he radiated warmth.
He mentioned to those interested that his Scottish monastery was in need of workers to help him with new developments he plans to make, an idea several people have expressed an interest in. We will be following him up on this, and investigating possibilities for the future.
– United World College Student Magazine –