Scotland/China news

SCA visits Samye Ling monastery

by Fraser Newham, Glasgow branch

On 26 May 2012, sixteen SCA members enjoyed a trip to the Samye Ling Monastery in Dumfries and Galloway on our summer excursion.

We arrived at the monastery in time for lunch, where in return for a donation we could join the monks, residents and other visitors for a vegetarian meal in the monastery dining hall.

Photos courtesy of Inna Prorovner-Smullen

After lunch we had plenty of time to explore the well-kept monastery grounds and spin the prayer wheels. Samye Ling was the first Tibetan Buddhist Monastery to open in Europe - David Bowie went on retreat there in the 1970s.

Set in a peaceful valley, today the site itself is a unique blend of Tibetan and Scottish elements, including a large golden stupa, wandering peacocks, a Buddhist pet cemetery and what is believed to be the only stained glass window in any Tibetan Buddhist monastery anywhere in the world. We also had the chance to sit in on afternoon prayers in the main prayer hall.

As you can see from the pictures, in what has certainly been a wet summer we couldn’t have asked for better weather !

For more background about the monastery, see their website.