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Kagyu Samye Ling Tibetan Buddhist Monastery and Centre for World Peace and Health
Certificate of Excellence
Stirling, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
50 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
“I wouldn't go back”
Reviewed 24 March 2014

Stayed here for the weekend as I was attending a training course being held there. I was looking forward to experiencing a sense of peace and serenity and reflecting on the philosophy and principles of Buddhism and the training I was undertaking. Instead I found the expensive, ostentatious buildings (a lot of which are still works in progress therefore bits look like a building site), overpriced goods and noisy communal living conditions difficult . The surrounding countryside is beautiful and you can certainly find peace in the hills and by the rivers etc but you could get that in any Scottish country location. Accommodation is sparse (which I didn't mind) but none too clean in some areas e.g. communal showers, which I did mind. Bed linen was washed but had a distinct unwashed body smell, thankfully I had brought my own sleeping bag as I wasn't sure about using the linen provided. The room also smelt the same and even though it was snowing and minus degrees I kept the window open from arrival to help get some fresh air in. The food is nice and well prepared, hence the two stars but otherwise if it wasn't for the fact that I have five more weekends to attend for training I would never be back. It just wasn't for me. However, some people love the place......each to their own!

Visited March 2014
9 Thank Inca102
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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123 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
York, England, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 February 2014

We called at the centre while on a family history trip to Scotland. Situated in beautiful countryside the centre exudes peace and tranquility. There's a large car park only a short stroll from the entrance and plenty of interesting areas to walk around, from flower and vegetable gardens to gift shops and cafes. Simple home cooked food and knowledgable staff able to cater for special diets.

Visited September 2013
2 Thank MayfieldsAnne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“Tranquil and inclusive no matter what your religion (if any)”
Reviewed 12 November 2013

I have been making the journey up to Samye Ling for the past 17 years and have watched the progress of the main building and its surroundings with interest. Yes, it always has the appearance of a "work in progress" and is often akin to a building site - especially in the winter with mud a constant problem.
No, it is not a luxury hotel, nor even a 4 star establishment - but that is not really what it purports to be. What you will find at Samye Ling is a quiet haven in a busy and troubled world. For those wishing for a little "luxury" as far as accomodation is concerned the newly built "Retreat Rooms" are top notch. For those wishing to re-capture earlier experiences of hostel type accomodation shared dormitaries are available. The middle option is the Potala rooms. All are clean, warm and comfortable. The food is excellent vegetarian fare. The volunteers, nuns and monks are friendly and helpful.
I finally commited to the Buddhist faith by taking Refuge at Easter this year, however I never felt excluded on my numerous visits to this wonderful centre over the previous years. Lots of courses available throughout the year, not all of which are specifically for Buddhists or for those interested in Buddhism. Have a look at their website for further details.
The recent murder of their founder, Akong Rinpoche, has left a void in the community. Prayers for his swift return were underway whilst I was there. We pray for those who commited this terrible act.

Visited November 2013
5 Thank Moniat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Over Night Stay”
Reviewed 16 August 2013

We stayed over night. The room for me and my wife was basic twin room with shared disable toilet.
The room was comfortable beds were also comfortable. You make up and strip your own bed which is no problem. Bedding was ironed and freshly washed. We had a good nights sleep. My sons room was a little better with a work bench for study. We where full board and found the food to be very good and filling. Main meal is at lunch time (reminds me of how it used to be in the hospital). They call the evening meal soup and it was good me and my son had 2 bowls of it. plenty of bread along with jam, honey. peanut butter etc. Did not need anything for the rest of the night. You can get cup of tea in Johnstone house any time.Tea rooms was very good as was the shop. We attended the Green Tara prayers 6am to 7am and also the Chenrezig prayer 7pm to 8pm. This was the highlight of my personal visit and was uplifting and refreshing to someone who dies not know anything about Buddhism and the Kagyu Tradition. But i now do want to know and understand more. This is a great visit for a day out or longer. As a pipe smoker they have a smoking area just behind the tea rooms down beside the river with seating. I spent many a happy hour or two there just chatting to different people and learned so much more. (who says you don't get much from pipe smoking. LOL) The worst thing about the visit is the Scottish Midge, this made it later on in the day and at night almost impossible to stay outside. They do advise you buy a product called SMIDGE wish we had bought it before we went as this was the only thing that spoiled our visit. The other thing we found a little off putting is the request for all types of donations al over the place. We do understand why this is but felt it was a little over the top.
The people we meet there were nice and the volunteers where very helpful and hard working. And we thank them for this. We only spoke to one monk and he was from London very helpful also but a little apathy from the others. It may be they where tired from the Tea party on the Sunday ? My son went into the temple at 9pm on his own for some me time and space and was in the wrong part ie moving near the front and got a telling off. If they had just taken the time to explain about the temple rules he would not have felt so bad.
All in all a must visit place. We are going again shortly as it is a joy to be there and see the work in progress in the centre.

Visited August 2013
4 Thank MylesMM0MYL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
116 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 116 helpful votes
“Annual Tea Party was FAB!”
Reviewed 12 August 2013

As a regular visitor, I can honestly say that the Annual Tea Party was something very special. The grounds were heaving with visitors monks, nuns, volunteers, dignitaries, performers and such likes.

All events on the day were well supported and the speeches and displays were brilliant.

Samye Ling is a wonderful place to stay, visit, and study all year round, but even more breathtaking during this truly magnificent event.

Visited August 2013
1 Thank TrishMcQ73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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