29 October 2014

Remember, remember, the 6th of November . . . November newsletter

The clocks have changed and suddenly we are into dark nights and winter fires. In the run up to Christmas Aro Ling Cardiff has a few interesting events for you to enjoy.

The Body of Visions begins on 6th of November. This is a five week course, but each evening can be attended as a separate event if preferred. The cost is £6 per evening, or £25 for the whole five weeks (saving £5 overall). 7 – 8:30 pm, Thursdays.

Week 1: The path of transforming ordinary appearance into realised appearance (November 6th). What is Sutrayana? What is Vajrayana? What is Tantra? What is Dzogchen? How do these paths differ and how do we practise them? What does it mean to wear the Body of Visions? Discover the principle of the path of transformation and how to engage with this powerful practice in everyday life. 

Week 2. Tantric imagery – a visual presentation (November 13th). Tibetan Tantric imagery is rich and extraordinary. This visual presentation will explore the symbolism and inspiration of Tantric imagery, including ancient pictures of practitioners in Tibet.

Week 3: Padmasambhava – Guru Rinpoche, the tantric Buddha (November 20th). The life story and manifestations of Guru Rinpoche offer an insight into the path of transformation. The practices given to the Nyingma tradition by Padmasambhava are as powerful and as relevant today.

Week 4: Yeshé Tsogyel and other important women in Tibetan Buddhism (November 27th). Yeshé Tsogyel is the female tantric Buddha and the source of the Aro Lineage. Hear the inspiration stories of these Enlightened Women and learn their practices. 
Week 5: Empowerment and the Vajra Master (December 4th) – more details next newsletter.

On Sunday November 16th Aro Ling Cardiff will be having a street stall at the event in Whitchurch Village for switching on the Christmas lights. Do come and see us. There will be a few items for sale and we will be available to take people over and show them around Aro Ling if you have not already visited. Collect a leaflet giving details of our activities, and will be happy to give you more details, and to answer questions about Nyingma Buddhism and the Aro Lineage. The event starts at 5 pm.

Our regular event on the first Saturday of the month will be on 1st November. Do come along at 10 am to Discovering the Spaciousness of Mind. 10 – 12, requested donation £5

The following Saturday (8th) our final Saturday morning course for 2014 will begin: Weaving the Elements. This two hour event from 10 – 12 will teach on the emotions with regard to the elements earth, water, fire, air and space, and how we can liberate our emotional patterning through weaving thread crosses and amulets.
This event can be attended as separate weeks for £6 a morning, or the whole course for £20.

Regular on-going drop-in events:
Tuesday – Meditation Group, 19:00 – 20:30, requested donation £5
Wednesday – Tibetan Yoga, one hour classes at 14:00 and 17:30, requested donation £3
Wednesday – Children’s Story-time, 15:45 – 16:15, requested donation £1
Friday – Tibetan Yoga, one hour class at 10:30, requested donation £3
Friday – Guided Meditation, 12:00 – 13:00, requested donation £3
If you wish to call in to Aro Ling Cardiff at a time outside of the scheduled class times, please phone to arrange this in advance.

For more details
please visit aro-ling.org 
or phone 07875 716644

07 October 2014

Tibetan Yoga, Vajrayana, Children’s Stories – October Newsletter

The Autumn programme is up and running. Please note that enrolment for the Vajra Romance Course is now closed. The Saturday morning Tibetan Yoga course that runs for three Saturdays from 11th October is filling up, so if you are interested in that please book your place as soon as possible.

We have made a few tweaks to the schedule – such as moving the Wednesday afternoon Tibetan Yoga session forward half an hour to 2 pm so that it fits in more conveniently with school times. We have also added a couple of new regular events: Children’s Story-time on a Wednesday afternoon and Guided Meditation Friday lunchtime. Buddhism has such a wealth of wonderful stories, do come along with your children and hear some after school on a Wednesday. At 12 noon on a Friday Ngakma Nor’dzin will lead a session of guided meditation that will include mantra, song and visualisation.

Meditation Group – open group, all welcome
Tibetan Yoga – through these movements Mind finds itself in its own free space
Children’s Story-time stories from Buddhist Traditions
Tibetan Yogathrough these movements Mind finds itself in its own free space
Courses on Vajrayana Buddhism – for details see below
Tibetan Yoga – through these movements Mind finds itself in its own free space
Guided Meditationenjoy a delightfully different lunchtime break
1st Saturday of the month: Meditationdiscover the spaciousness of Mind, & learn how to start or establish a regular practice
Other Saturdays – courses & events – for details see below
closed (unless we are running a weekend event)

Upcoming courses:
The Body of Visions – the rich and dramatic symbolism of inner Tantra
Thursdays, 5 week course, 19:00 – 20:30, 06 Nov – 04 Dec, £6 per night, or £25 for the course
These five weeks will explore tantric theory and imagery, and practices of vision, voice, gesture, and music. It will include an evening of empowerment, and a presentation of Tibetan Tantric arts. Attend for particular evenings or for the whole course.
Week 1: The path of transforming ordinary appearance into realised appearance
Week 2. Tantric imagery – a visual presentation
Week 3: Padmasambhava – Guru Rinpoche, the tantric Buddha
Week 4: Yeshé Tsogyel and other important women in Tibetan Buddhism
Week 5: Empowerment and the Vajra Master
Tibetan Yoga – through these movements Mind finds itself in its own free space.
Saturdays, 3 week course, 10 – 12, 11 – 24 October, £15 for the course
Tibetan Yoga offers a range of exercises suitable for all ages, abilities and body types. The exercises range from simple to challenging, from low impact to high impact. It is an enjoyable practice that can benefit everyone.
Weaving the elements – release neurosis into the skies of the elements
Saturdays, 4 week course, 10 – 12, 08 – 29 November, £6 per session, or £20 for the course
Weave the elements earth, water, fire, air & space into thread cross designs & amulets to release oneself or others from neurosis & health problems. Discover the significance of the elements to our emotional state.

01 October 2014

Happy First Birthday Aro Ling Cardiff - an interview with Ngakma Nor'dzin

Ngakma Nor’dzin teaching amulet weaving.
Q:  In September 2013 you opened a Buddhist Centre—Aro Ling Cardiff— in Whitchurch Village. What inspired you to begin such a venture?

Ngakma Nor’dzin:  I was inspired by the success of a similar venture in Bristol.  The teachings of the Aro Tradition are so precious and relevant to our everyday lives that I wanted to make them available to the people of Cardiff as well.

Q:  What were your hopes for the Centre when you began looking for a place?

Ngakma Nor’dzin:  I wanted to offer a space for meditation that people would find welcoming and inspiring.  It also needed to be convenient for me and easy to access.

Q:  Why did you choose Whitchurch as the place for the new Centre?

Ngakma Nor’dzin:  I have lived in Whitchurch for nearly 30 years.  It is my home and an area of Cardiff that I love.  Whitchurch village is a pleasant place to be and has a good feeling of local community.  I felt the centre could become a real asset to the community and the village.

Q:  What have you had to change in your life to take on the running of a Centre?

Ngakma Nor’dzin:  I had to reduce other commitments so that I had more time available, and t​he main manifestation of this was with regard to our horses. We owned two horses at the time and they took up a lot of my time. We ga​ve our gelding to​ the place where they are liveried, and put our old mare on retirement livery. This meant that they could stay together and both be happy and cared for without needing​ my attention day by day.

Q:  What does the Centre offer to the people of Whitchurch and Cardiff?

Ngakma Nor’dzin:  The Centre offers teaching on Vajrayana Buddhism, Tibetan Yoga and Buddhist arts and crafts. We offer meditation instruction and group practice. There is also a small reference library. 

Q:  ​When are you open?

Ngakma Nor’dzin:  Something is available every day except Sunday and Monday. There is something available during every part of the day: morning, afternoon and evening at some point in the week. Our
schedule can be found at aro-ling.org/cardiff, and at meetup.com/arolingcardiff.

Q:  ​Do you offer courses?

Ngakma Nor’dzin:  ​Yes, and we hope to increase these as Aro Ling Cardiff moves into its second year. Our evening courses ​are usually on Thursday​ evenings for around five weeks, ​and​ explore particular Buddhist teachings in some depth.  We also run Saturday morning courses, including a regular introduction to meditation practice on the first Saturday of each month.​

Q:  What tradition of Buddhism does the Centre teach?

Ngakma Nor’dzin:  The Aro Tradition – which is a small branch of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism.

Q:  In what way does this tradition differ from other Buddhist traditions?

Ngakma Nor’dzin:  It has an emphasis on Vajrayana practice, embracing ordinary life as the path of Liberation.  The ordained practitioners in the Aro Tradition are not monks or nuns b​ut​ tantrikas, yogis and yoginis, who live an ordinary non-celibate lifestyle whilst maintaining their commitment to practice and the Vajrayana vows.​ This tradition embraces romance, marriage and family life as a powerful means of gaining realisation.

Q:  Would you say that this approach is particularly suited to Western people?

Ngakma Nor’dzin:  Absolutely – that is why it is so valuable and so important that people learn about this style of practice.  The householder tradition was well-known in Tibet, but it is the monastic style of practice that has mostly been imported to the West. It is vital that something other than renunciation and a monastic style of practice is available to those who do not find this works for them but still feel an affinity to Buddhism.

Q:  How do you make the Centre and it’s activities known to the public?

Ngakma Nor’dzin:  We advertise as much as we can afford! Leaflets are delivered locally a couple of times a year and we advertise in The Local Advertiser.  I have a notice board at the end of the drive that advertises our activities.  We use Facebook, Twitter and Meetup and other social networking. ​We produce flyers and posters and simply try to let as many people know of our existence as possible.

Q:  Aro Ling Cardiff has been open for a year. Has the response to the Centre met with your expectations?

Ngakma Nor’dzin:  ​The response has been most encouraging.​ The first courses were better attended than I expected and this has evolved into a regular group for meditation on a Tuesday evening. The furtherance of awareness of Vajrayana Buddhism and the Householder Lineage is the primary purpose of the centre, and this is going well.

Q:  What are your plans for the future?

Ngakma Nor’dzin:  ​We are hoping to offer more courses as these have been popular, and we will continue with the Saturday opening. ​There will be Tibetan yoga sessions and opportunities for craft work. We are hoping to get a projector so that we can do visual presentations and show Buddhist films. We will continue to invite guest teachers​ from time to time and may have weekend teaching events and retreats as well.  ​I hope that we ​will​ be able to​ expand what we are able to offer and giving a more detailed view of the amazing scope of the Aro teachings and practice.