I hope this Newsbyte finds you all well and happy!
A full description of courses on the website.
Click: Calendar 2017
Tip o’ the Day below
Money and Power
Special Appeal from our Chair : Rob Poleykett
We are now committed to building the Accommodation Block.
Just in case you have not looked at the drawings
As always costs outrun expectations.
We have enough to complete the building to a point where we can use it to house meditators, but there are many finishes that would be possible if we collected a little more.
These include outside glazing of passageways, covering the ground around the building with slabs or tarmac, fitting solar PV cells to the roof and ultimately an air source heating system.
To include these finishings we need £30,000. If we want to run on green energy it would be another £30,000 at least.
The reason for doing this all now is that it will come under the Zero Rated Value Added Tax, saving us 20%. Once the building is declared finished at the end of the contract with the builder sometime in January, we shall have to pay VAT on all the rest.
This Newsbyte goes out to over 600 people, if everyone could find £100, we would be able to complete the work entirely. If you can offer more, all the better. But whatever you give, no matter how small, will help us.
£100 is fair amount of money to give all at once, but over a three/four month period it amounts to £1 a day or less! And you can space your offering out monthly on PayPal.
Our PayPal account can be found on this page: http://www.satipanya.org.uk/donations/
If you have a PayPal account, donate through that and it is easy to stop it. If not, email us when you wish to stop it and we will cancel the donation. Should you forget, we can repay the amount you did not wish to donate.
Or you can do much the same with Internet/Phone Banking. These are the details you will need:
Account Name: Satipanya Buddhist Trust
Account Number: 11 44 54 05
Sort Code: 40 34 31
Bank Address: HSBC, 42 Courtenay Street, Newton Abbot, Devon TQ12 2EB, UK
International Bank Account Number: GB32 MIDL 403 431 1144 5405
Branch Identifier Code: MIDLGB2 166W
Thanking you all.
Calendar 2017 – please note you can apply from the start of October for the new long Winter Mahasi Course. It is only for those who have done at least one weeklong course in the Mahasi Tradition either here or in another meditation centre and it will be a little more demanding than the Summer Mahasi – but only a little! See below for details.
Please Note: Xmas course is cancelled this year.
Karuna Book: Every morning at puja we call the names of those who a sick /dying or having a hard time.
The Complete Calendar for 2016
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 www.satipanya.org.uk
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.
Saturday 15 October
Assistants : Yatin Mistry & Medini Richardson
Arrive 09.30. Finish 17.00
Please bring food to share.
Waiting List Places Available
Fri. 21 – Sun. 23 p.m. October
Assistants : 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
29 Oct. – 20 Nov.
Ulla Mergen and Ruth Worgan : Needed
Preference is given to those who wish to stay for the full three weeks.
The usual schedule and format – see website.
Kick Start/Top up
Saturday 03 December
Local Assistant : Needed
Arrive 09.30. Finish 17.00
Please bring food to share.
Xmas Retreat Cancelled
New Year Retreat
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.
Winter Eight Week Mahasi
Applications from October onward.
Open to those who have done at least a one week course at Satipanya
Or one week with another Mahasi teacher.
You are encouraged to stay for more than one week.
Assistant first Two weeks : Jim Tibby
Assistant for other Six Weeks: Mark Blaxland
Sat 14th Jan. - Sun 22nd Jan : Sun 22nd Jan - Sat 28th Jan
Sat 28th Jan - Sun 5th Feb : Sun 5th Feb - Sat 11h Feb
Sat 11th Feb - Sun 19th Feb : Sun 19th Feb - Sat 25th Feb
Sat 25th Feb - Sun 5th Mar : Sun 5th March - Sat 11th March
Tip o’ the Day
Money and Power
When it comes to money and power, the Buddha, of a very different age, has only general guidelines for us today. For instance, here is a wise counsellor advising his king:
You majesty, the country is beset by thieves. It is ravaged; villages and towns are being destroyed … If your majesty were to tax this region that would be the wrong thing to do. If you majesty (were) to get rid of this plague of robbers by executions and imprisonment … the plague would not be ended properly. Those who survive would later harm the realm. However, this plan will eliminate the plague … to (farmers) let Your Majesty distribute grain and fodder; to those in trade, capital; those in government service, a proper living wage
D.N5 (In the Buddha’s Words by Bhikkhu Bodhi)
The teaching of the Buddha spread through different cultures in the east and established ‘medieval’ societies. With the onset of the industrial revolution, the tech. revolution and modernism, even post-modernism, the Dhamma has yet to be fully adapted.
The combination of money and power can be lethal and the discrepancy between the one-percenters and high earners (including those who head Charities!) and the lowest paid is undermining social cohesion. There are economists who say it is bad for the economy! How might we consider a change, for it is our civic duty to have a perspective on the financial, social and political landscape?
Christianity has been in the thick of change and heavily challenged. It has over time had various responses and perhaps one that comes close to the Buddha’s way of thinking is Distributism.
This is a social doctrine developed by the Catholic Church which is often described as a middle ground between Capitalism and Socialism. But actually it has deep roots in Catholic social doctrine.
It is based on the idea of equality which is expressed in the terms subsidiarity and solidarity. These words will not come as a surprise. Subsidiarity, a word we may have become familiar with when we ‘were’ EU members, actually originated in the Catholic Church. In politics, it is ‘the principle that a central authority should have a subsidiary function, performing only those tasks which cannot be performed at a more local level’. The word became prominent in EU after the 80’s, fearful of central control – the ogre of Brussels! And solidarity defined as ‘unity or agreement of feeling or action, especially among individuals with a common interest; mutual support within a group’, is a core principle of unions.
The argument is based on seeing the fallacy of both Capitalism and Socialism as giving ownership either to the boss or to the state. Ownership is another word for control. Distributism is searching for a way to give back ownership to everyone on the understanding that the dispossessed would then have greater control and greater power both in the local community (subsidiarity) and at higher levels of governments by forming pressure groups (solidarity).
There is a simple psychological reason for ownership in that the owner takes better care than one who rents or works for. I’ve rented and bought a house; I’ve worked for someone and I have worked for myself; so to me this is obvious.
This may be a no-no for some Buddhists who think all possession is wrong. Or as Proudhon, the first person to declare himself an anarchist, would say, ‘All property is theft!’ It may come a surprise that a monastic ‘owns’ their robes and bowl. In fact, every time I get a new set of robes, I have to put a ‘bindu’, a mark, on it to distinguish it as my own. There was a bit of ‘all property is theft’ going on and monks made off with other monks robes. Since they didn’t ‘possess’ them, how could it be ‘taking what is not freely given’!
It’s not what we possess, but how we possess which presents the problem, of course. When someone makes off with the mobile, we still go around saying someone stole my mobile. But it’s hardly mine since the thief possesses it! Possession of things is a legal construct and can be an attachment. But when we realise that actually we can only use objects, we free ourselves of a lot of stress and possessiveness. So just a monastic ‘owns’ their robes, so an individual can ‘own’ his property, ‘own’ her business.
As for solidarity, it is core sangha principle. To quote an well known saying of the Buddha: Admirable friendship, admirable companionship, admirable camaraderie is actually the whole of the holy life. By which we can include society as a whole. And we are much more likely to build societal solidarity when all people feel they have something to cherish and something to defend – their property or business. In the political jargon – a stakeholder.
Self-esteem is based upon the ability to make decisions for oneself, to take responsibility for them and so have power over one’s life. This, of course, can never be complete power. But the more power we have, the greater our self-esteem and the respect of others – and our sense of responsibility.
So it is that power and riches feed one another for better or for worse.
You may be interested in this documentary about the Capitalist System.
Four Horsemen - Feature Documentary - Official Version
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SATIPANYA BUDDHIST TRUST
Directors - Rob Poleykett, Mike Regan, Dea Paradisos, Jim Tibby
Limited Company Number 05924965 Registered Charity Number 1116668