Skip to main content

Kagyu Samyé Ling Monastery and Tibetan Centre

I've driven past this Centre a couple of times in the past and have always been intrigued by it. So, as things were pretty quiet in the Lakes, I decided the other Sunday to have a little drive up and investigate. I had intended to drive the whole way up Eskdalemuir as it's a fine Scottish glen but just spent too much time here.

The building that now houses Samyé Ling was originally a hunting lodge called Johnstone House. In 1965 the Johnstone House Trust was formed with the objectives of making the lodge's facilities available to the general public for study and meditation based on Buddhist and other religious teaching. It was founded by two spiritual masters, Dr. Akong Tulku Rinpoche and Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Samye Ling was the first Tibetan Buddhist Centre to be established in the West and was named after Samye, the very first monastery to be established in Tibet.

The grounds are full of shrines, places for prayer and Stupas. The eight stupas line both sides of the entrance to Samye Ling next to the Butterlamp House (where1008 lamps are lit as a prayerful gesture of hope at 16:00 each day). When the Buddha died and passed into parinirvana (final liberation), his disciples cremated his body and interred his ashes in eight stupas, which were erected in different auspicious locations. Each stupa represent an important event in the life of the Buddha. The form and contents of the Stupa express the balance and purification of earth, water, fire, air and space.

 As you enter the peace garden there is a Cloutie tree with colourful cloths tied to its branches. It is seemingly both a Scottish and Tibetan custom to make a wish and then tie a coloured ribbon to the tree and as the cloth fades the wish is carried off by the elements and hopefully one day comes true.

Another interesting section was the Prayer Wheel House. The prayer wheels contain millions of mantras (short prayers) for peace and compassion which have been inscribed on paper soaked in saffron water and blessed in a special way. As you turn the prayer wheel clockwise it supposedly activates the blessing of the mantras, transmitting the energy of peace and compassion in all directions.

I would have liked to have gone into the Temple but there were prayers and meditation going on and it would have been intrusive so I decided to have a drink and something to eat in the Tibetan Tea Rooms instead. Unfortunately it was closed due to it being lunchtime........but apparently not my lunchtime! I bet you don't have that problem at Sid's Cafe in Holmfirth.Oh well, that's Buddhism for you. Although I did notice that the people who were praying in the Temple brought out tray after tray of free food and took it into the dinning room and everyone seemed to just pile in for it but with me just being a tourist, I felt as though I hadn't earned it!

I'm not a religious person but I really took to the serenity of the place. Everything seemed so peaceful and everyone was so friendly and polite which is a rarity these days. Mind you I think it's situation in a secluded Scottish glen may have had a lot to do with that.

Buddhism seems a very caring and harmless religion to me and the people do seem genuinely good; after all, I can't think of any wars being fought in the name of it can you?I spent a very enjoyable afternoon there.

The Victory Stupa

Prayer flag

Nagarjuna Statue in Pond

Prayer Wheel House

The Victory Stupa

Buddhist Statue

Cloutie tree

Peace Garden

Two of the Eight Stupa

Chenrezig Mantra in Tibetan script.

Medicine Tara statue

The Temple

The Victory Stupa.

Prayer Wheel House

Prayer Wheel House

The Peace Garden

The Peace Garden

Peace Garden

Prayer flags, Fairy Hill

Prayer bells.

Prayer flag

Popular posts from this blog

Wharfedale

These are just a selection of photos I took a few weeks ago. The first bunch are of Linton Bridge and the River Wharfe just outside Grassington. The concrete retaining walls of Linton Mill by the side of the bridge now support a housing development called ‘Linton Falls’. A corn mill has probably stood on this site from Medieval times. In 1788, Robert Hargreaves & Co of Addingham built a worsted-spinning mill there. Soon after a new tenant, Samuel Gill, and until 1804, his partner James Parker, turned the mill over to spinning cotton. By 1830 it had returned to worsted spinning under the ownership of J & W Birkbeck. Birkbecks then built a five-storey cotton mill on the site in the mid-19th century. This mill burnt down in 1912 and was replaced by a smaller structure. This went out of business during the 1950s. It was demolished in 1983 apart from the houses facing onto the footpath that crosses the river. Prior to demolition, the mill’s rare uniflow steam engine was rescued an…

The Old Brown Horse :

On the minor road to Scarness Bay in Cumbria, there has been a small stable where 2 two horses have lived for years. On passing it the other week with Dave and Chris, we noticed an R.I.P sign and only one horse. He or she looked so sad and forlorn.

As shown in it's eyes, it was obviously missing it's old mate. Thanks to Sal for the verse which it is rather apt.





The Old Brown Horse :

The old brown horse looks over the fence
In a weary sort of way.
He seems to be saying to all who pass:
“Well, folks, I've had my day-
I'm simply watching the world go by,
And nobody seems to mind,
As they're dashing past in their motor-cars,
A horse who is lame and half-blind.”


The old brown horse has a shaggycoat,
But once he was young and trim,
And he used to trot through the woods and lanes
With the man who was fond of him.
But his master rides in a motor-car,
And it makes him feel quite sad
When he thinks of the days that used to be, and of al…

Derwent Valley, Castleton and The Devil's Arse!

I had this day out and took these shot's at the beginning of June when all the rape was in bloom in the fields above High Bradfield. The cloud cover was kind to me as well, letting the sun burst through intermittently,  lighting up the yellow fields beautifully.

I love this area which is on the edge of The Peak District and can't thank Sal enough for introducing me to it. The view over Bradfield Dale to the distant Derwent Edge is one of our favourites and has to be one of the loveliest in the area. Coupled with this are a pair of nice pubs, a beautiful Church and a brewery which makes Bradfield an ideal stopping off point. No pubs for me today though.

Sal had often mentioned The Derwent Valley so I thought I'd go and have a bit of an explore and then drive on to Castleton. The moor road over to the main A57 passing Strines resounded with the call of the Curlews so I presumed it was their mating season. I love their call, it is an unmistakable, plaintive, and lonely …

Snow in Ribblesdale

Yet another one of those days when I leave Bradford in sunshine and, by the time I do the twenty odd miles up to the Dales, the blue skies have disappeared and the cloud has moved in. This has happened to me every time bar one this year. I did manage to see a few glimpses of the sun just outside Horton in Ribblesdale and then just for a fleeting moment at Ribblehead but apart from that it was pretty gloomy. I was very fortunate at Ribblehead as the sun lit up Whernside beautifully.

I parked the car on the edge of Horton and had a walk around the network of country lanes in the vicinity. All lead up to Brackenbottom Farm which is the usual start for walking up Pen y Ghent. There weren't many takers which I thought was a bit strange as the weather would have been ideal. Mind you, it was midweek so I suppose most people will have been working. It was pretty damned cold though and I was glad to get back to the car and head for Ribblehead.

I had thought of going all the way up to Hawe…

To Lochinver via Coigach

Again, I don't really think many words are needed for this blog. The photos tell the whole story of one of the best drives in the UK.

The route chops and changes from mountain to coastal and back again and is possibly the best section of the Wester Ross Coastal Road. I was fortunate enough to be at Gruinard Bay when the tide was out so I more to less had the whole beach to myself, th the mighty An Teallach (widely regarded as the best hill in Scotland) towered above me as I drove down through Dundonnell.  Then it was through the Dundonnell River gorge and across the Dundonnell Forest to Loch Broom and Ullapool. Even Ullapool looked good with the morning sun and blue skies. I hardly met any traffic at all from the moment I left my hotel on the shores on Loch Maree which meant driving was a sheer pleasure.

The last section of the route through Coigach to Lochinver is the reason I keep visiting these parts. It may only be about twenty miles in length but it goes through what is, in m…

The Old Coal Road.

The Old Coal Road runs between Cowgill in Dentdale and Garsdale high up in the Yorkshire Dales.

There were twenty-five coal pits which formed part of the extensive coal workings and lay on the moorland either side of it. These coal pits were worked by local people, initially to produce domestic fuel, but by the 18th century, the poor quality coal was also being used in lime kilns. Commercial coal mining went on in Garsdale until the 1870s when the Settle-Carlisle railway started bringing in cheaper, higher quality coal from the Lancashire and West Yorkshire coalfields.

If you aren't adversed to a bit of  road walking then I should imaging a trip up on the Settle-Carlisle train, getting off at Dent Station and then walking up to Garsdale Head (or Hawess Junction as it was once known), would be a grand day out. For good measure it should include a couple of pints in The Moorcock Inn before getting the train back down.

On Garsdale station stands a statue of Ruswarp, a collie. Ruswarp…

A Farewell to The Trossachs

I had a rather disappointing day in The Trossachs last weekend. Talk about not feeling welcome.

I used to park up at two places on the shores of Loch Chon and then go for a wander in the forest with my camera. The first place had been ruined by tree felling and was a right mess and the other place had been turned in to a campsite! At the first spot, I just about managed to park my car and clamber around fallen trees and debris to take a few photos but couldn't even get in to the second spot!

The new campsite is all to do with The Trossachs and Loch Lomond National Park's attempt at trying to stop wild camping which they say is becoming a problem on the eastern shore of Loch Lomond from where people used to wild camp and climb Ben Lomond. Their solution is to have purpose built campsites miles away from where they are actually needed. It makes you wonder if they really want visitors at all. The consensus of opinion is that they are using a sledgehammer to crack a nut and var…