the lotus represents our enlightened state

Cornwall Buddhists


Nyingma Tradition - lineage of Khyungchen Aro Lingma

The Nyingma Tradition

a beautiful statue of Padmasambhava

The Nyingma Tradition originates from Buddha Padmasambhava, who came to Tibet in the year 817 CE (AD) at the request of Chögyal Trisong Détsen. Padmasambhava—in collaboration with Shantarakshita and Trisong Détsen—built Samyé monastery, which became a principal centre of learning and the site where many of the texts that would make up Tibet’s vast Buddhist literature were first translated into Tibetan.

Padmasambhava is the Tantric Buddha – the second Buddha, who brought the teachings of the Nine Yanas of Buddhism to Tibet and the entire trans-Himalayan area. He founded the two sanghas: the red sangha of monks and nuns, and the gö-kar chang-lo’i dé, the white sangha or ngak’phang sangha of ngakpas and ngakmas, naljorpas and naljormas.

Padmasambhava gave widespread teachings of the three Inner Tantras to Yeshé Tsogyel and to his twenty-five principal disciples. These first Tibetan siddhas are renowned for their spiritual accomplishments.

The Aro Lineage

thangka painting

Aro is a Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhist tradition whose unusual characteristics make it singularly appropriate for many Westerners. Aro is principally concerned with transforming our experience of everyday being, rather than achieving an esoteric or spiritualised mode of existence. Our aim is to engender cheerful courage, perceptive consideration, sincere determination, natural gallantry, graciousness, creativity, and spaciousness.

The Aro teachings descend from a lineage of enlightened women – beginning with Yeshé Tsogyel. She was the female Tantric Buddha, who—together with Padmasambhava—founded the Nyingma tradition of Buddhism. Aro is a small family lineage within that tradition – founded by the female visionary Lama Aro Lingma in 1909 (picture left). The Aro Lineage Lamas are Ngak’chang Rinpoche and Khandro Déchen, a married couple with one daughter, who live in Penarth, South Wales.

There are three distinct yet compatible approaches within Buddhism: self-liberation, transformation, and renunciation. Aro emphasises self-liberation and transformation, whereas it is more common to prioritise renunciation. more on the principles of the three yanas

Aro emphasises simplicity, clarity, and depth – both of practice and understanding. To wield the essential functions of Buddhism is the Aro mode of practice. To grasp the essential principles of Buddhism is the Aro mode of study. more about Aro

Dzogchen is ‘complete’ in that all other Buddhist teachings are contained within it. All Aro teachings—whether on Dzogchen, Tantra, or Sutra—are rooted in the Dzogchen perspective. Aro is quite unusual in teaching even basic concepts of Sutra, such as the Four Noble Truths and Five Precepts, from the point of view of Dzogchen

The lineage sangha is very active in providing a huge amount of information on the Internet, using a range of media and offers audio instruction and a free on-line course in meditation.

Sutra, Tantra and Dzogchen

“The nine vehicles of the Nyingma School can roughly be described as the three vehicles of Sutrayana, and the six vehicles of Vajrayana – the three Outer and three Inner Tantras. The highest Inner Tantric vehicle, Ati yoga, can also be called Dzogchen. When Dzogchen is viewed as a path in its own right, we talk about the three vehicles of Sutra, Tantra, and Dzogchen, rather than about Sutrayana and Vajrayana. Sutra incorporates all teachings and practices of the path of renunciation with the experience of emptiness as their fruit. Tantra embraces all the teachings and practices that use symbolic method as the path of transformation. Dzogchen includes all teachings and practices that provide an opportunity for direct introduction into the experience of non-duality.” (Spacious Passion, Chapter II, ‘Sky Mind’)

Practice Groups

Monday evening practice alternating Yogic song and silent sitting, on the second and fourth Monday of each month 7.30p.m.—9.00p.m. No previous experience of Vajrayana practice or meditation is needed. We can intersperse discussion with practice to assist anyone new to the style of practice. Sessions are in the home of apprentices to Lamas of the Aro sangha at 22 Clarence St, Penzance. Occasional sessions will be held at 10, St. George's Road, Hayle. email dates of events Also contact.

In Sutric dön-pa it is the meaning of the words which is the focus. In Tantric dön-pa the words are used as a guide to visualisation. The melody is employed in order to give power to the words – to animate them.

Yang or Dzogchen Gardang are terms we usually translate as yogic song. There is no translation in English for these words as they do not equate to anything within Western religions or spiritual traditions. With yang there is no concept – it is a Dzogchen practice. The primary function is finding the presence of awareness in the dimension of the sound. For this transmission is required, both for the method and for the vajra melody of the yang. more on Yogic song.

Meditation, or “silent sitting” can take different forms depending on the practitioner’s development. We start with Shi-nè: a process of allowing any thoughts to arise, then letting them go. This is repeated continuously throughout the period of silent sitting. Guidance will be given to approach Shi-nè from different directions. The dictionary item on Shi-nè gives further explanation and depth.

Get that Insane Ape off your back

Wednesday 23rd May 2018 7–9pm

‘ . . . to be at the mercy of conflicting emotions is described in the Buddhist tantras as ‘having an insane ape on your back’. The ape demands you go one way, by raking your flanks with its spurs — whilst also demanding the exact opposite, with severe jerks to the bit in your bleeding mouth. The alternative is meditation — in which non-dual awareness allows the ape to become your best friend.’. Ngak’chang Rinpoche

Emotions become problematic when they are driven into complexity and conflict with one another through thinking. This teaching explores the Tantric psychology of the elements and their associated emotions, and also the Dzogchen method of liberating these emotions into the rainbow of enlightened energy. Learn how to welcome the opportunity to embrace emotions within meditation: strong emotions make meditation more difficult, but also more powerful, so working with them accelerates progress.

Understanding the elements and our emotions, and learning a better way to relate to emotions in meditation, can transform our experience of everyday life, making us both happier and more pleasant to be around.

Come and find out how to get that insane ape off your back and experience life as a spectrum of ecstasy!

How exciting and refreshing would it be to see, hear and feel the world without our habitual thought patterns and reactions getting in the way? To find ourselves alive, awake and crackling with creative energy in every moment?

This evening we will explore the Buddhist practices which can help us to stay in the present moment – and what it means to be a vibrant and engaged Buddhist.

Suggested donation £5

Conference room, Clarence House, Clarence Street, Penzance further details

Contact Chris Haydon


Other events


Aro Ling Centre in Bristol

Aro Ling is a Buddhist bookshop and meditation equipment supplier, offering teachings and retreats at Benjamin Perry Boathouse, Phoenix Wharf, Lower Guinea Street, Bristol, BS1 6TJ not far from Bristol City Centre.

Aro Ling is an idea: that openness and appreciation – life and art – are inextricably intertwined, and that the process of discovering that fact can be a joyful one, shared with friends.

booking enquiries.




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