A visit to Samye Ling by Ysgol Glantaf’s Religious Studies Department

Yn ystod mis Hydref fe aeth 40 o ddisgyblion bl.12 ac 13 sy’n astudio Bwdhaeth fel rhan o’r cwrs lefel A i fynachdy Samye Ling yn yr Alban. Gan fod hon yn un o’r ganolfannau astudio yn y modiwl ar Fwdhaeth Prydain, teimlwyd y byddai profiad o ddilyn trefn dydd aelodau y ganolfan yn cyfoethogi dealltwriaeth ac empathi y disgyblion o fywyd mynachaidd. Canolfan Bwdhaeth Tibetaidd yw Samye Ling ac mae ei haelodau yn lleyg ac yn fynachaidd. Ein bwriad oedd i dreulio 24 awr yn y mynachdy er mwyn gallu gwerthfawrogi bywyd a threfn dydd mynachod a lleianod o fewn yr ysgol fwdhaidd yma.

Bu rhaid dechrau yn gynnar am 4.45am o Lantaf er mwyn cyrraedd Lockerbie erbyn 12.30pm ar gyfer cinio yn y mynachdy. Roedd cyrraedd y ganolfan sydd yng nghanol mynyddir anial yr Alban yn brofiad ansicr i lawer o ddisgyblion y ddinas. Dim siopau, sŵn….na rhwydwaith ffôn …na wi-fi!!!!! Mae Samye Ling yn ganolfan encilio ac mae cyrraedd y safle yn eitha trawiadol wrth weld y Stwpa mawr gwyn, giât dibetaidd draddodiadol a delwau mawr o’r Bwdha a bodhisatfau yn y gerddi. Tibet fach yng nghanol yr Alban.

Ar ôl cael ein croesawu gan fynach Bwdhaidd, aethom i gael cinio! Roedd y profiadau newydd am ddechrau yn syth! Rhaid tynnu esgidiau i ffwrdd cyn mynd mewn i unrhyw ystafell gyhoeddus (gan gynnwys y ffreutur!) er mwyn parchu traddodiadau Tibetaidd. (Cofiwch fynd a esgidiau sy’n hawdd eu tynnu i ffwrdd a’i rhoi mlaen os ydych am ymweld â’r ganolfan yma, oherwydd maen digwydd ddegau o weithiau yn ystod y dydd!!) Wrth gwrs, roedd y bwyd i gyd yn llysieuol. Roedd dewis i eistedd a bwyta wrth y byrddau arferol gyda’r lleygwyr, neu fynd i’r byrddau tawel ble ni cheir siarad wrth fwyta! Roedd y mynaich ar lleianod yn bwyta  ar fyrddau eu hunain. Wrth gwrs, dyma oedd pryd bwyd olaf y mynachod a lleianod am y dydd!! Dim ond dŵr a mêl ynddo oedden nhw yn ei gymryd yn ystod ein swper ni y noson honno.

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During the afternoon, we were shown around the centre. Following an introduction to the history and lifestyle of the Centre, we had the experience of meditating in the main temple. The temple is very impressive! It is colourful with Tibetan architecture on the outside and inside. The sanctuary is impressive, laid out with daily offerings of water and flowers. The incense is very strong in the temple! Buddhism of a very tantric nature!

After the meditation session, we were given a tour of the monastery. There are many buildings and traditional Buddhist sculptures within the site. We were shown traditional Tibetan homes/tents to learn how Tibetans live. After that, we tied ribbons on the centre’s prayer tree. We were able to rotate the stupa by turning the prayer wheels before entering the stupa itself! This is where the funerals of Samye Ling members are held.

Behind the temple is a small hut, where one nun lives alone. She has excommunicated herself from the rest of the sangha, having lived a life of solitude and peace for over 15 years in the hope of attaining enlightenment. At the end of each day, she opens a door in the floor of the hut and goes to sleep underneath the hut. The pupils were amazed to see such a thing. We also had the opportunity to have a question and discussion session with a nun from the centre. She gave us an honest and realistic picture of life in monasticism, showing that life as a nun is not easy. After dinner, we had the opportunity to observe Tibetan Puja and to hear the traditional chanting before winding down and going to bed. After 10pm it was quiet time and turning off the lights. The pupils appreciated having a bed to sleep on. Most of the monks and nuns sleep on thin mats on the floor of their rooms, and some even sleep seated in meditation boxes.

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Everyone got up at 4.30am to observe prayers and Tara chants. This was difficult because everyone was tired, and the captivating sound of the chants made everyone feel sleepy …. but the drums and gongs ensured that everyone was kept awake! After breakfast, we left the monastery to return to Glantaf after, of course, spending the afternoon at Alton Towers on the return journey.

Following a monk’s daily routine for 24 hours was an unforgettable experience for everyone. The pupils had an insight into monastic life. They felt empathy for the challenges and discipline facing the people who choose this way of life.