Today we took a group of students on a visit to Samye Ling, a Karma Kagyu monastery and Tibetan cultural centre in remote Dumfriesshire. If I am honest, it was a little too remote for my liking, given that we were in a big slow coach on narrow windy roads for two and a half hours each way. My stomach certainly did not enjoy it, but the rest of me did, and so did my new camera!
Founded in 1967, Samye Ling was the first Tibetan monastery in the West, and it has expanded over the decades to include not only an impressive shrine room, meditation rooms, dining room and monastic quarters, but also a delicious-looking cafe and a shop. The grounds are also extensive and there are plans afoot for a new medicine garden.
Unfortunately the weather was distinctly Scottish, but we had a great time regardless – the students certainly appeared to enjoy the opportunity to witness a living Buddhist centre, and our guide was excellent. I hope we will be able to repeat the trip in subsequent years, perhaps with either a smaller bus or the promise of an overnight stay!