May Newsbyte


Dear Friends


I hope this Newsbyte  finds you all well and happy!

A full description of courses on the website.

Click: Calendar 2016


All Past Tips

Tip o’ the Day below

Awareness, Compassion and Wisdom


Sayadaw U Pandita died on 16 April. He was one of the most outstanding teachers of his generation, the one taught by the Mahasi Sayadaw himself. I practiced under his guidance at IMS in USA and also in Penang, Malaysia. He also ran a week’s retreat at our Vihara in Birmingham in 1987. My own root teacher was Sayadaw U Janaka. They both demanded a commitment to the practice that I hope Satipanya mirrors.

You can read a tribute to him here:

This is download of a later work, Timeless Wisdom

But the core book is: In This Very Life.

You can listen to some of his talks on Dharmaseed:

Such a teacher is always a really great loss. Let’s hope someone else arises of his kind.


See calendar below of Assistant places. Scroll down to Resident Assistant.


Noirin is offering another on-line course starting in June. This year the focus is on cultivating goodwill, compassion, appreciative joy and equanimity (the Brahma Vihara) in daily life and in meditation practice. The course is suitable for beginners as well as experienced meditators. It will run for 5 weeks and is open to anyone booking a retreat at Satipanya this year. A second course will start in October. To register or for further information contact Noirin at



Note from the Mike, our Treasurer:


Deposits: We would like to correct an anomaly which has been causing some confusion. In the past we have sometimes mentioned per night rates, and sometimes per day rates. We would now like to clear this up by always referring to per night rates. Thus for example someone arriving on a Saturday evening and leaving the following Sunday morning will be staying a total of eight nights. The required deposit for this (at £10 per night) will be £80. This does not apply to those who have already paid a deposit.


In addition to the deposit, at the end of the retreat we ask people to consider also making a minimum donation of £25 per night, for example £25 x 8 = £200

Karuna Book: Every morning at puja we call the names of those who a sick /dying or having a hard time. 

Mudita Book: Every evening at puja we call the names of those who have something to rejoice about.

Photo of Grounds  16 April. Last one 29 April! Can get pretty bleak up here.


The Complete Calendar for 2016

Assistants Needed

N.B. All the courses are serviced by assistants.

As an assistant, we do not expect payment of the deposit because you have kindly offered your time.

And as usual any dana by you is entirely in your gift.

However, your commitment is essential, for the course would be very difficult to run without an assistant and may indeed have to be cancelled.


If you are interested, follow this link: Course Assistant


For info. about Retreats and teachers see website

See drop down menus: especially About Us, Teachings and Retreats


Would you like to come and assist on a course?

Scroll down to see where we need you.


All Retreats run by Bhante Bodhidhamma

unless otherwise stated

Click on names for bio.


Mahasi Weeklong Retreat

Places Available

Noirin Sheahan

Assistant : Mary Stuart

Sat. 07 – Sun. 15 May

The usual schedule and format – see website.

Vipassana means “Seeing clearly”. When we see the world as it really is, we will be free from the distress that comes from identifying with a limited view of who and what we are.

During the retreat, we relax from all our usual busyness to give our full attention to present experience.  We learn to see the world more clearly, and to disentangle the knots of confusion that bind us to emotional turmoil.  At precious moments, the heart opens and we may sense what it means to be free.


Mahasi Weeklong Retreat

Places Available

Sat. 21 – Sun.29 May

Noirin Sheahan

Assistant : Mark Blaxland

The usual schedule and format – see website.


Mahasi Weeklong Retreat

Places Available

Noirin Sheahan

Assistant :Wendy Harvey

Sat. 18 – Sun. 26 June

The usual schedule and format – see website.


Summer Mahasi Retreat

Places Available

Bhante Bodhidhamma

Assistants : Need may arise

Eleven week roll-on, roll-off Retreat.

Minimum stay eight nights.

Start dates: Saturdays:-

02 & 16 & 30 July; 13 & 27 Aug. 10 Sept.

Finishing Sun. 18  Sept

N.B. Start restricted to listed Saturdays.

Alternate Sun. possible for Mahasi devotees.

A challenging Retreat easily modified for beginners.

See Beginner’s Testimonials on website.

You are encouraged to stay for more than one week.

Assistants : Needed possibly

Starting and ending on following Saturday.

02 – 16 July : Matthias Wicki

16 July – 30 July : Assistant : John MacDougall

30 July – 13 August : Assistant : Ulla Mergen

13 – 27 August: Assistant :  Adeline Defrance

27 August – 10 September: Assistant : Adeline Defrance

10 – 18 (Sunday) September: Assistant : Dea Pardisos


Sangha Day : Ninth Anniversary

Saturday 17 September

Assistant : Needed

Please bring veggie food to join us for communal lunch at noon.

Ceremony starts 13.30

Talk: To be announced.


Mahasi Two Week Retreat

Places Available

Sat. 24 Oct.  – Sun. 09 October

Noirin Sheahan

Preference given to those who want to stay two weeks.

Assistant : Therese Caherty

The usual schedule and format – see website.


Day Retreat

Saturday 15 October

Local Assistant : Needed

Carl Fooks

 Kick Start/Top

Arrive 09.30. Finish 17.00

Please bring food to share.


Weekend Retreat 

Places Available

Fri. 21 – Sun. 23 p.m. October

Carl Fooks

Assistants : Needed

See usual  Schedules

The Mahasi system is challenging, and its emphasis on moment-to-moment mindfulness can prove to be particularly difficult. Carl teaches a gentle approach to the practice, encouraging a skilful and effective orientation that helps practitioners to commit themselves fully to the practice and the schedule, and thereby get the most out of the course.


Autumn Mahasi Retreat

Places Available

29 Oct. – 20 Nov.

Bhante Bodhidhamma

Assistant(s) : Needed

Preference is given to those who wish to stay for the full three weeks.

The usual schedule and format – see website.


Day Retreat

Kick Start/Top up

Saturday 03 December

Local Assistant : Needed

Arrive 09.30. Finish 17.00

Please bring food to share.


Xmas Retreat

Places Available

Fri. 23 – Tues. 27 December

Assistant : Needed

N.B. This retreat is reserved for those who have completed a Retreat as Satipanya.

The first day will be a normal retreat schedule though we shall rise at 5.30.

An opportunity to make it a day of fasting

in solidarity with the one in nine people undernourished and starving.

The second day, Xmas Day, is a contemplative day

looking at the qualities of gratitude, renunciation and generosity.

During a group event, you will be asked to speak 

about an event which manifests the goodness of mankind.

The third day is communal. There is a walk – weather permitting.

Xmas menu will be close to the traditional veggie fare - a set menu!


New Year Retreat

Places Available

Thurs. 29 December to Mon. 02 January

Assistant : Needed

 N.B. This retreat is reserved for those who have completed a Retreat as Satipanya.

The first day will be a normal retreat schedule though we shall rise at 5.30.

An opportunity to make it a day of fasting

in solidarity with the one in nine people undernourished and starving.

On the second day, the Eve, we will see in the New Year.

During a group event, you will be asked to tell us about an event which has had a effect upon you - international, national or local or personal.

We hope to have a bonfire.

A day to reflect on the past year, plenty of time to oneself.

Retreatants will be asked to say a little about an virtuous event chosen by them.

The third day, New Years Day, is communal with a walk – weather permitting.


Awareness, Compassion and Wisdom


(Another angle – see earlier Tip 17:  Pity, Sorrow and Compassion)

(We’ve not yet worked out the  hyperlinks in Tips, but you’ll see them numbered in Contents.)


There has been a clear example of the difference between awareness of suffering and compassion. For so long Europeans have heard and seen on screens the suffering of refugees from the war torn Middle East or coming across the Mediterranean. Nothing really happened save on the Greek and Italian Islands where these suffering people landed. It was only the photo of the lifeless body of a drowned toddler that suddenly made the connection. Awareness of suffering became compassion – a heart connection that demands action.  An empathy and action – especially by Germany. And it continues in some effort to manage the crisis and not leave it up to Turkey, Jordan, Italy and Greece.

It is quite simple really to acknowledge the distinction. Whenever we are aware of suffering of any kind, stay close to the heart. What do I feel? Is there fear or aversion or indifference or some other attitude? Now that may bring up feelings of guilt and shame. After all I’m supposed to be compassionate! All this, the negative reaction and the judgemental mind have to be acknowledged and felt. It’s not pleasant.

Then we have to put ourselves in the other’s shoes. Or ask the question, if I was in that situation what would I hope people might do for me. It is the central human relationship – do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Consider the travail of refugees? They’ve probably been close to bombs dropping, perhaps lost family. They escape with little money – most spent on traffickers – and little food. The dangerous sea voyage. Arrive exhausted and in despair as to the future.

What would it be like to lose family, your home, your livelihood – your life as you knew it? It doesn’t take long to conjure up sympathy. Sympathy is what we can feel through our imaginary efforts when we ourselves have not had such experiences. Should we have had some such experience of loss, homelessness, penury, then  empathy – a closer resonance in the heart arises. Either way, they both lead to action.

But then we have to be careful not to overdo it! We can get caught up in the energy aroused by compassion. The bigger the group, the greater the energy. But then we find ourselves volunteering for work that is beyond our capability – physically, mentally, financially. It can begin to put strains on long established relationships, on work. In focusing too much on the suffering of one particular person or group, we become blind to the problems we may be causing for others, usually those near to us.

We can make sacrifices for ourselves, but not for others. If we can’t carry people with us, we need to accept our limitations.

It may come down to either not helping others in an hour of need because those close to us or our work situation won’t support this, or helping others with a detrimental effect on your relationship to those close to us or our work. We need to be clear about what we are prepared to lose.

Compassion without wisdom also leads to suffering.



Encouragements to Awakening : Books are now available from Wisdom Books.

This booklet is being kept at Wisdom Books who very generously will only charge you postage.

Towards the End of Forgiveness (Angulimala Monologue) ‘Sold out’, but can be downloaded from the website: Towards the End of Forgiveness

If you haven't been on Wisdom Book's website, it's worth exploring it. They are THE distributors of Buddhist books in UK. Type in Bodhidhamma in search box to find the books: Wisdom Books

Both are also available as PDF files for eReaders etc. Books


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Many thanks.

Finally, please forward this email if you know someone who may be interested. Thanks.





Away Calendar




Directors - Rob Poleykett, Mike Regan, Dea Paradisos, Jim Tibby

Limited Company Number 05924965 Registered Charity Number 1116668

Satipanya, White Grit, Minsterley, Shropshire  SY5 0JN
0044 (0)1588 650752  email:  info:

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