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article imageTibetan tranquility in the Scottish Borders Special

By Amanda Payne     May 19, 2014 in World
Eskdalemuir - Tucked away amongst the mountains and forest of the Scottish Borders is a haven of peace and tranquility known as the Kagyu Samye Ling, a Tibetan Monastery where visitors are welcome to come and enjoy the facilities and take part in activities.
The Kagyu Samye Ling was first established by two Tibetan monks, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche and Akong Tulku Rinpoche, in 1967. At that time, it was the first ever Tibetan Monastery in the West. It was set up to be a centre for world peace and health. Called Samye after the first successful Buddhist temple in Tibet, the monastery has been visited by many lamas and monks who have added to the teachings. The monastery now has links to a centre on Holy Isle and is part of the registered charity, the Rokpa Trust.
The main temple building
The main temple building
The beautiful temple building, in the photograph above, was completed in 1988 with all the work done by members of the community, some of who are master crafstmen. Inside, the temple is incredibly beautiful with golden statues, colourful tiles and thangkas, paintings on cotton or silk, which have all been created by community members.
The grounds of the monastery
The grounds of the monastery
Visitors to the centre are welcomed, either for the day or to enjoy weekend retreats. One doesn't have to be Buddhist or even religious to enjoy the peace and beauty of the monastery. Day visitors can walk around the grounds, which include gardens such as the one above as well as those providing food and medicinal plants for the community. There is a tea room and a shop. Visitors are welcome to enter the temple and listen to the prayers being chanted
Prayer wheels
Prayer wheels
Those who wish can attend courses in Buddhism, Meditation, Mindfulness,Tai Chi etc and it is possible to stay in the guest accommodation at the Purelands Retreat Centre which can also be hired for events. It is also possible to become a member of the community if you wish or stay there as part of a gap year. Famous visitors have included David Bowie, Leonard Cohen and Scottish comedian, Billy Connolly.
The monastery has a website with information regarding opening times and courses.
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