‘Rain of Clarity’: teachings on the Buddhist path by Lama Jampa Thaye

“A gateway into Buddhist spiritual thought.” His Holiness Sakya Trizin on ‘Rain of Clarity’

Saturday 6 February in Bristol saw the first in five teachings by Lama Jampa Thaye on the stages of the Buddhist path in the Sakya tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. Attended by around 150 people from across the UK, this first session outlined the purpose of the text, which serves as a map to the destination of Buddhahood, from becoming a Buddhist through taking Refuge and then practising the path, to the wisdom, compassion and power of enlightenment itself.

This first instalment focused on what it means to become a Buddhist through taking Refuge and why people decide to do this. It could be a wish to find some happiness in this life; for some it may be the recognition of the suffering in the world, and, for others, a wish to help others find a way out of such misery. The concept of Refuge – protection from suffering – was also explained, as well as how the Buddha, his teachings and those who practise them can provide a reliable refuge, in contrast to other more changeable sources of happiness such as relationships, possessions and so on.

What faith means in Buddhism was also defined, in that although being inspired by beautiful images and knowledgeable teachers is helpful, actually it is only through applying our reasoning to the teachings that we can develop real confidence. Finally, because the potential to become a Buddha dwells within our mind right now, Lama Jampa explained how enlightenment truly is possible.

In the afternoon, Lama Jampa gave the vajrayana initiation of White Manjushri, a deity renowned for increasing wisdom, from the lineage of Mati Panchen. Mati Panchen was an elderly and illiterate buffalo herder who, through the power of this practice, went on to be a great scholar, dedicating the rest of his life to teaching others.

Sunday morning saw a well-attended Chenrezik puja at Sakya Buddhist Centre, with Lama Jampa and his family in attendance, followed by tea, cake and conversation.

The next part of ‘Rain of Clarity’ will be given in London on 12 March, with Lama Jampa returning to Bristol for part 3 in June. The next part of ‘Rain of Clarity’ will be given in London on 12 March, with Lama Jampa returning to Bristol for part 3 in June. For further details,  see our What’s On page for details of further teachings on this text.