August Newsbyte


Dear Friends

I hope this Newsbyte  finds you all well and happy!

A full description of courses on the website.

Click: Calendar 2017

All Past Tips

Tip o’ the Day below

Appamāda : Diligent


After thought: Whichever way you voted in the referendum, I think you may agree with me that the conduct of it was reprehensible. The remain camp feeding our fears of disaster if we leave, unable to raise any general enthusiasm and the Brexit camp fueling the distaste built up over the years for Brussels and the paranoia of immigrant floods, without any strategy for the future. Both guilty of exaggeration close to untruths.

Then there was the inevitable ‘Begret’, as so many voters felt cheated. So many who had voted as a protest vote, now realized they didn’t want to leave after all!

But many will note that elections are always the same, it’s just this one had so much at stake.

So perhaps we can take heart in this observation from Churchill:

No-one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise.  Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.


Calendar 2017please note the new long Winter Mahasi Course. You can apply from the start of October. It is only for those who have done at least one weeklong course in the Mahasi Tradition and it will be a little more demanding than the Summer Mahasi – but only a little!

Accommodation Block: We started the foundation on 18 July – to the delight of the meditators: hearing, hearing!

Once this is done, there’s very little noise. Even this was a quiet rumbling in the distance.

Sacred Activists: Leadership & spirituality in action : Young People Needed

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.

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.


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:-

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.

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

Assistant: Yatin Mistry
Local Assistant :

Carl Fooks

 Kick Start/Top

Arrive 09.30. Finish 17.00

Please bring food to share.


Weekend Retreat 

Fully Booked. Feel free to apply to be on the cancellations waiting list.

Fri. 21 – Sun. 23 p.m. October

Carl Fooks

Assistant: Yatin Mistry

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

Assistants : Ulla Mergen and Ruth Worgan

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 : Anne Aston

 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.

Apamāda is one of the Buddha’s favourite words. It comes into his final exhortation:

‘All compounded things arise and pass away. Strive diligently for you liberation.’

Although the Buddha mentions lots of virtues needed to stop unwholesome states arising and to develop wholesome states, diligence is there among them This is how he phrases them, here in the quality of diligence: Bhikkhu Bodhi : The Numerical Discourses of the Buddha – prefers the word heedful.

AN 1.58

I do not see even a single thing that so causes unarisen unwholesome qualities to arise and arisen wholesome qualities to decline as heedlessness. For one who is heedless, unarisen unwholesome qualities arise and arisen unwholesome qualities to decline.

AN 1.59

I do not see even a single thing that so causes unarisen wholesome qualities to arise and arisen unwholesome qualities to decline as heedfulness. For one who is heedful, unarisen wholesome qualities arise and arisen unwholesome qualities to decline.

These are synonyms for appamāda:

Hard-working, industrious, assiduous, heedful, meticulous, conscientious, thorough, attentive, careful, painstaking, persistent, vigilant, zealous

I think we can separate these out into three different lists: the first to do with effort, the second with mindfulness and the third with care. Perhaps you would organise them differently.

Mindfulness: attentive, vigilant, heedful

Care: careful, conscientious, meticulous, thorough, painstaking

Effort: hard-working, industrious, assiduous, persistent, zealous

Each word brings a nuance to our reflection.

In this way appamāda offers us a useful way to reflect on our actions. In the general how would I describe the way I think, say and do things?

Taking each word and to ask: Am I in general …?

Then a daily reflection: Have I been …?

And finally even after a task: Was I …?

Appamāda is to be seen as a Right Attitude in the Eightfold Path. We express this attitude in the way we think, speak and act. In this way it becomes habitual.

But, of course, this presumes that the intention and the act arise out of wisdom, Right Understanding. For these are the same qualities you need to rob a bank!

Then there is antonym: lazy, sluggish, slothful, can’t be bothered, do it tomorrow. That’s what we have to see first of all, the underlying unwholesome tendency (anusaya) and the presenting defilement (kilesa). As per usual, we recognise it, acknowledge it, feel it and stay with it a while if there’s time. If not, park it, put it one side without fear or aversion, refuse to be hijacked and raise appamāda.



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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