A Peaceful Day at Samye Ling


A little while ago, my husband and I spent a day at one of my favourite places, Samye Ling. Founded in 1967, Kagyu Samye Ling was the first Tibetan Buddhist Centre in Europe, and the red-robed monks with shaved heads were an incongruous sight in the little Scottish town where I grew up. I’ve been visiting Samye Ling since I was a teenager, and over the years I’ve come with friends to buy books and prayer flags from the shop, chat over cups of tea in the café or sit peacefully in the temple. Nine years ago now, I suggested visiting Samye Ling as one of our very first dates as my then boyfriend (now husband) had never been before, and we’ve returned several times throughout our relationship.

In keeping with the Buddhist belief that everything is impermanent and ever-changing, Samye Ling is a work in progress and there is always something new or slightly different every time we visit. Nevertheless, I’m always struck by how calm and unhurried the pace of life at Samye Ling is, yet somehow the work still gets done.

I often write about slowing down because it is not something that comes naturally to me. Like many of my peers, I’ve rushed through life treating significant milestones like items on a to-do-list to be ticked off one by one, instead of achievements to be celebrated or precious moments to be savoured. Many of us are so impatient to reach our destination that we barely experience the journey itself, yet watching the monks mindfully – and joyfully – going about their daily routines and chores always reminds me just how calming and restorative it is to immerse ourselves in the here and now.

This has been a turbulent year for us with illnesses and injuries – as well as daily news reports of terrorist attacks, natural disasters and political unrest – reminding us just how fragile and fleeting life is, but I feel very grateful for the people and places that help me to find peace and contentment in the present moment. So much has happened since the first time we visited Samye Ling together, and so much has changed, yet some things have remained constant, like the serenity of Samye Ling and the steadying presence of my husband as we walk hand-in-hand through life together. Have a lovely week. X

7 thoughts on “A Peaceful Day at Samye Ling

  1. Wil and I found a Buddhist retreat quite like this near Ulverston in Cumbria when we stayed at a holiday cottage nearby. It is called Conishead Priory and has a temple and giant Buddha. It is also near the sea, has a lovely relaxing coffee shop and beautiful grounds and woods to stroll in. Also very welcoming to dogs so when we were in the area recently we returned. Just a very relaxing and friendly place like your Samye Ling. X

    Liked by 2 people

  2. What a lovely post, you are right – it has been a turbulent year – I have every admiration for the Londoners who have just continued on their daily lives despite some terrible attacks. It’s true some things change and others stay the same – but it is the anchors that help us though, your husband and the special places you visit.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I went to Samye Ling in 2016. When I came across it on the web I was so surprised that I had never heard of it before, having spent may family holidays in my youth in the beautiful region of Dumfries. I just had to go there, and I wasn’t disappointed. 🙂

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