Today we welcome Lama Jampa Thaye to St James. This will be his second visit, his first visit was for the opening of our school when he read a prayer of blessing. The Lama is a scholar and meditation master trained in the Sakya and Karma Kagyu traditions of Buddhism and authorized as a lama by his two masters, Karma Thinley Rinpoche and H.H. Sakya Trizin. Born in England in 1952, he became a student of Rinpoche at the age of 20 and met His Holiness a year later.
Karma Thinley Rinpoche bestowed upon him innumerable initiations, transmissions and instructions from the Kagyu, Sakya, Nyingma and Kadam traditions. In particular, he received from Rinpoche the famous collection of vajrayana initiations known as the One Hundred Sadhanas of Bari Lotsawa, the One Hundred Lojong Teachings, the complete cycle of Konchog Chindu and various works on Kagyu philosophy.
From H.H. Sakya Trizin, Lama Jampa has obtained many initiations and transmissions from all four sets of tantras, most notably the Thirteen Golden Dharmas, Lamdre Tsokshe, the esoteric teachings of Vajrayogini, the Jonang Transmission of the Eighty Four Mahasiddhas and the One Hundred Sadhanas of Narthang.
A third master who was particularly important in Lama Jampa’s education was Ngor Phende Shabdrung Rinpoche (b. 1934), from whom he received numerous initiations, textual transmissions and instructions, such as Vajrayogini, Vajrapani and White Tara.
Having completed the Kagyu Mahamudra preliminaries by 1975, Lama Jampa went on to complete the retreat of the development and completion stages of Konchog Chindu as well as the retreat of Amitabha. Over the following years he completed White Tara, Vajrayogini and Hevajra, the chief retreat practices of the Sakya tradition.
In 1977, Lama Jampa was appointed by Karma Thinley Rinpoche as his dharma-regent and subsequently in 1988, as a result of his completion of the necessary retreats and textual studies, he was given the authority to carry the activities of a lama, such as bestowing vajrayana initiations. Since then he has traveled extensively giving teachings and initiation in many countries.
Lama Jampa Thaye is the author of various works including Garland of Gold (1990), Way of Tibetan Buddhism (2001) and Rain of Clarity (2006). His books and essays have been translated into German, Polish, Spanish and Bulgarian. He holds a doctorate from the University of Manchester for his work on Tibetan religious history and lectured for over twenty years at the University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University. He edited and wrote the introduction for Karma Thinley Rinpoche’s The History of the Sixteen Karmapas of Tibet (1980) and composed the entries on Tibetan religions for The Dictionary of Religions (1980).
In 1974 H.H. the Sixteenth Gyalwa Karmapa appointed Lama Jampa to the Karma Kagyu Trust (UK) and in 1989 Dzokchen Ponlop Rinpoche requested him to serve on the editorial board of the Nalandakirti Journal of Rumtek Monastery. Currently Lama Jampa serves on the endorsing authority for the Buddhist Chaplaincy to HM Armed Forces and is one of the religious leaders attending the Fifth World Buddhist Summit in Kobe, Japan, in November 2008.
Lama Jampa Thaye lives in Bayswater, London with his family. He maintains a busy annual programme of teachings, initiations and personal interviews at the request of his students. (Taken from the Dechen website).