Lambeth Buddhist Centre symbolically opened by Lama Ole Nydahl

It was a long journey, from the wishes of our highest Karma Kagyu lamas 40 years ago until now, running through the long preparation and planning application, down to the approval and the receipt of the keys, supported by the enormous hard work and altruistic dedication of many friends and supporters.

Finally, on Wednesday 23rd January 2013, the London Diamond Way Buddhist Sangha entered their new Buddhist centre and home for many years to come, the Beaufoy Institute. Lama Ole Nydahl, founder of over 640 Buddhist Centres around the world to date, symbolically unlocked the front doors and led a large group of students and friends inside.

Lama Ole helped to carry an impressive-sized statue of Maitreya, the Future Buddha, into the main meditation hall. Truly, the power-field of the direct unbroken lineage of the Karmapas was now established definitively, here in the heart of Lambeth. In the centre of London, we are a stone’s throw from the Thames and the Houses of Parliament, home of the oldest parliamentary democracy, heir to the Magna Carta, the “foundation of the freedom of the individual against the arbitrary authority of the despot”, often mentioned by Lama Ole in his lectures. History was in the air, and it seemed to fit perfectly that this very Institute, founded to help people, embodying a hundred years of idealism, would now be an exemplar of the development of selflessness and freedom – a Buddhist centre – home to so many idealists, and carrying the blessing of a thousand years of the Karma Kagyu Buddhist meditation transmission.

Waiting for Lama Ole, holding the keys to the Beaufoy InstituteLama Ole Nydahl entering the Beaufoy Institute, our new Buddhist centreLama Ole Nydahl unlocked the door to the Beaufoy Institute
After having waited on Black Prince Road in the crisp winter weather, everyone was glad to be inside. Lama Ole gave a short speech, praising the hard work of his friends and students and underscoring the importance of working to benefit others. Especially, building up Buddhist meditation centres, places where people can access the Buddha’s teachings and experience the nature of their mind, is considered to be one of the most useful things one can do.

Statue of Maitreya and Lama Ole Nydahl in the Beaufoy InstituteLama Ole gives a speech by the altar in the BeaufoyLama Ole gives a speech about the new Buddhist Centre

Immediately after Lama Ole’s speech, work began on cleaning the small meditation room. The delicate task of restoring the Beaufoy Institute and making it usable as a Buddhist centre will take some months; then we will open it for the Lambeth community and the general public, and it will be some years before the full potential of the Beaufoy Institute as a Buddhist centre is realised. The work continues – we shall not be bored!


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