There are many lineages of meditation and scholarship in Buddhism; teachings passed from one master to another right down from the time of the Buddha. These have historically been organised into traditions or schools of Buddhism.
Here in Yorkshire we follow the teachings of the one of the four best known traditions of Buddhism to come out of Tibet, the Kagyu tradition, which dates from the 11th Century CE. The current head of the Karma Kagyu tradition is Trinley Thaye Dorje, the 17th Karmapa.
Within the Tibetan Buddhist tradition a Lama is someone who has been given the authority to impart the Buddha’s teachings and holds the responsibility of being a trusted guide for those who are following the spiritual path.
Buddhist teachers are therefore never self-appointed. Their authority is an honour bestowed by the Lama’s own teachers, who are themselves part of a lineage reaching back to the teachings of the Buddha himself.
Lama Jampa Thaye
The title ‘Lama’ was bestowed on Lama Jampa by his first teacher, the Fourth Karma Thinley Rinpoche and indicates that through his extensive study and practice he has achieved the realisation and qualities necessary to hold this honoured position. Lama Jampa Thaye – whose name means ‘Teacher of Limitless Loving Kindness’ – is one of the first Westerners to be authorised to transmit these precious and powerful teachings for those who wish to follow the Buddhist path to enlightenment.
A renowned scholar and author, Lama Jampa Thaye was born in Lancashire where he spent his early years before going on to read religious studies at Manchester University. During his formative years he met with many Buddhist lamas and it is through these teachers that he developed a commitment to practice and study in order to traverse the path himself.
Through the inspiration, insight and guidance of his own teachers, including Karma Thinley Rinpoche and His Holiness Sakya Trizin and other great masters, he has developed the profound understanding and realisation that now enable him to help others on the path.
To discover more about Lama Jampa Thaye and his Tibetan teachers please follow the links below to his website www.lamajampa.org and also visit lamajampa/youtube
His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa
His Holiness Trinley Thaye Dorje the 17th Karmapa was born on 6 May 1983 in central Tibet. His parents are the great Nyingma lama Mipham Rinpoche and Dechen Wangmo. As soon as he could speak, he told them he was the Karmapa. The Karmapas are the leaders of the Karma Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism.
Today, Karmapa travels extensively, meeting his many students as well as young people, world leaders, and leading lights in the fields of spirituality, peace, conflict resolution, and education. He has the spiritual responsibility for over 900 monasteries and meditation centres around the world.
For more details please visit his website www.karmapa.org.