December 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

In what way should Buddhadhamma affect our politics?


The Autumn Mahasi retreat in the first three weeks of November was special in that there was a core group of six people who stayed the whole time.

I had always thought my sitting with the group was important to maintain their effort. In the middle week I kept away because of regular coughing. My absence had no harmful effect whatsoever. In fact depth of concentration grew. I realised I was redundant! To my own surprise I did not feel ‘redundant’, but a little relieved. Liberated from the duty to attend, I was more than happy to ring the bell, air the room and water the plants.

Special Appeal from our Chair : Rob Poleykett

CO2 levels mark 'new era' in the world's changing climate:

It’s important we do what we can at Satipanya.

At a rough estimate around £7,000 has been donated. Many thanks indeed!

So we still have some way to go for the PV panels!

I’m hoping many of you are wanting to donate, but haven’t quite managed to get round to it. Well, there is still plenty of time.


Please do consider offering any amount – even £1 a week is worthwhile!


Re the PV for the new accommodation block we could fit 2 rows of 16 panels in portrait, approximately 9kW and would cost some £13,000.

Guideline pricing for Viessmann Vitocal 300A 301.B Airsource heatpump

The price of the machine :Viessmann Vitocal 300-A Airsource heatpump 14kW         £13,600

Air Source System Price Installed         £22,208


You can read the original appeal: Special Accommodation Block Appeal

You can donate directly from Donations


Thanking  you  all.

Rob Poleykett

Rob Poleykett

Accommodation Block: Slowly, slowly, the building rises from the ground.

Take a look: Accommodation Block

Rendering the walls has begun and also the plastering.

Most recent:


Calendar 2017 – please note the new long Winter Mahasi Course is now open for applications. 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.

Applications for all other courses: please do not apply until after 08 January.

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. 

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.


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 Cancelled


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.


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


In what way should Buddhadhamma affect our politics?


The recent vote concerning membership of the EU, (and perhaps we can include the presidential elections in USA) brought up one stark reality about democracy. The vast majority of us (I include myself) don’t know enough to make a truly informed vote. And the ‘information’ given by parties, newspapers and other social outlets are always skewed towards their own bias. Indeed all of us vote from a biased angle – our preference.

Politics is about power. So when we vote, we put someone in power over us! When a person or party has power, they can change our society, our national and local community. When an election comes round, this is the only time, we, ordinary citizens, have a chance to affect the political landscape and so the society, the national and local communities we live in.

The Buddha got involved in the politics of his time, sometimes directly and sometimes indirectly. Though a very different society, the moral problems around power were the same.

 Whether the Buddha would have voted or not, is a moot point. There are party politics and there are also some real people issues out there.

When a dispute arose over the water rights of the Rohini River between the Buddha’s own clan, the Sakya and the neighbouring clan, the Koliya, he went to pacify a situation that threatened to turn into a war. He asked them what is more precious the water that runs in the river or the blood that runs in our veins?

In the latter case the Buddha managed to prevent bloodshed, but his advice could also used for ill. The new young king of Magadha, Ajātasattu (who starved his father to death!), sent advisors to ask the Buddha whether it was a good time to attack the Vajji Sangha, a democratic republic. The Buddha enumerates the qualities that make a sustainable Sangha, the monastic order. (see below you need to append these).  The king took this to mean it was ‘not the right time’ to attack. So he then went on by subterfuge to undermine those very qualities the Buddha had obliquely praised and so eventually conquered them.

It is to be noted that the Buddha would have intended his words to have been interpreted in this way. This goes to show that even a Buddha when speaking with the heart of compassionate wisdom, does not know the consequences. He is not in control of what others do with his words.

These days there are so many community issues on the plate – immigration, NHS, armed intervention, the financial sector, EU, climate change and so on. Is there a way we can guide ourselves so that we are not boxed in by our own views and opinions and worse by our unacknowledged biases; nor swayed by popular demand?

A very old friend who is active in local politics texts: Cultural sensitivity is empathy. However, political correctness creates a consensus on truth and bans criticism - and denigrates those who object to that consensus. E.g. Socialist Workers Party  ban UKIP from Glasgow University. Now Feminist Action have banned SWP. Hilarious!

It is instructive to make a list and write what we want to happen and why. And then to question our assumptions by seeing what those opposed to our positions are arguing. To be open to their arguments. To listen - and not be afraid that we will somehow be hoodwinked or brainwashed or converted. It may surprise us that opposing arguments also have their strengths. We may move to a more nuanced position.


Post Script: 

Talk on TED:

Transcript  Jonathan Haidt: The moral roots of liberals and conservatives

Is this why  why liberals (small l) become conservative (small c) in later life? 

A Moral Politics

Given that government, in theory at least, is our common will, representing us as a people, how do we define ourselves? Will we come to the aid of those among us struggling to get by or will we throw the needy back upon their own meager resources? Is the prevailing philosophy of governance one of mutual concern and collective help, or one of stark individualism in which everyone has to fend for themselves, or at best rely on charity? This is not so much a political question as a moral one, a question pertaining to the moral basis of our common life. Much depends on how we answer it.

- Bhikkhu Bodhi, "A Moral Politics"


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Away Calendar




Directors - Rob Poleykett, Richard Benjamin, Dea Paradisos, Jim Tibby

Limited Company Number 05924965 Registered Charity Number 1116668

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



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