New Year 2017 Newsbyte


Apologies – a little late owing to Birthday Celebration!

Dear Friends

Wishing you all  a very fruitful 2017

A time to reinforce or reconsider our direction.


All Past Tips

Tip o’ the Day below

Practice makes perfect.


So much has happened this past year! We’ve had a new dais and pedestal made for the Meditation Room (see link in Announcements below) and a statue is being sculpted for us in China of the Parinibbana Buddha, the Buddha in the lying posture as he died, which is to be placed at the top of the pond.

And the great project of the year, the new Accommodation Block started in the summer, should be finished by the end of February at the latest.

You can just about see the metal frame for the balconies and stairs. The scaffolding is still because the roofing has still to be put up.


We are coming to end of enlarging and enhancing the property. Happy that day will be when all is done and we can finally settle into a peaceful meditation centre.

It’s also been an important personal year. Reaching 70 has been a milestone birthday for me and I mean to step up my practice, taking advantage of a future that is quickly being used up! I shall be going to Burma to Sayadaw U Pandita’s country centre in November. This has allowed me to run an extra-long course this year throughout the winter and next year we shall be up to speed with numbers since the Accommodation Block will be in use.

You will also notice that now there are three teachers with Noirin, Guus and Carl, all offering a week or more. I mean to build up a ‘halo of teachers’, either my own or other’s students.

Announcements (Lots!)

A New Treasurer: Mike Regan had to retire from the Trust for personal reasons. Mike was the one who suggested we use PayPal and that has been a blessing. Many thanks. Sorry to lose him since he has a great eye for detail and that’s the sort of person I need!

Richard Benjamin has stepped up to fill the void. He has been a long-time supporter. You may remember him as the builder of the Dining Room extension and he’s looked after the odd jobs that have come up. Unfortunately, he has joined the Trust when we have a new accounts person and the change has brought unforeseen difficulties. So there has been a bit more weight put upon him than usual. But he’s on top of it. Very grateful! Plenty

Meditation Room : Have a look at The New Dais and pedestal in the Meditation Room. If you click on the linked photos and then Info you’ll find out who the two gentlemen in the photos are.


***Assistants: Plenty of opportunity to come and serve. It’s still a retreat for you. Up to six hours sitting practice is possible and an occasion to bring the practice into ‘ordinary daily life’ tasks. You must have done a retreat in the Mahasi tradition – if only a weekend.

Meditation Teacher Training: If you have a done a few courses and think you might like to run a group or would like to know how you might introduce  a friend, do apply. (See below)

The Complete Calendar for 2017

Download PDF Calendar 2017

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


If you would like to come and assist on a course?

Scroll down to see where we need you.


Click on teacher names for bio.

Day Retreat

Sunday 08 Jan

Bhante’s 70th Birthday

Arrive 09.30. Finish 17.00

Please bring veggie food to share.

Winter Mahasi

Bhante Bodhidhamma

Assistant :Jim Tibby and Mark Blaxland

Eight week roll-on, roll-off Retreat.

Minimum stay eight nights.

Start dates: Saturdays:-

14 & 28 January; 11 & 25 February

Finishing Sat. 11 March

Open only to those who have at least one Mahasi Retreat

either at Satipanya or with another teacher

Alternate Sundays possible: 22 Jan.; 05 & 19 Feb.; 05 Mar.

You are encouraged to stay for more than one week.

Day Retreat

Sat. 18 March

Bhante Bodhidhamma

Local Assistant : Needed

Kick Start/Top up

Arrive 09.30. Finish 17.00

Please bring veggie food to share.


Mahasi Retreat

Sat.01 – Sat. 08 April

 Guus Went

Assistant : Needed

Sayadaw U Pandita's definition of Mindfulness: Mindfulness is the observing power of the mind, which clearly and simply experiences an object, without reacting to it.

We start actively to develop this power with the body as primary object. That makes it possible not to get fully entangled in the hindrances and to come to know something about them. Sitting meditation, walking meditation and daily activities are fully equal in importance. Gradually we come to know other objects of meditation, both internally and externally.

Practical thing: It is useful to take a small notebook and a pen, to make notes of observations after a session or during the day. This will be helpful to make the interview sessions useful and relaxed. 


Easter Mahasi Retreat

Sat. 15 – Sun. 30 April

Noirin Sheahan

Assistant : Needed

The usual schedule and format – see website.

Preference given to those who want to stay two weeks.

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.


Buddha Day

Saturday  29 April

Bhante Bodhidhamma

 Celebrating the Life of the Buddha

Bhante Bodhidhamma

 Taking Refuges and Precepts Ceremony

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

Ceremony starts 13.30


Mahasi Weeklong Retreat

Sat. 20 – Sun. 28 May

Noirin Sheahan

Assistant : Grace Kelly

The usual schedule and format – see website.

See above for Noirin’s description.


Meditation Teacher Training

Sat. 3 June – Sun. 11 June 

Bhante Bodhidhamma

Assistant : Needed

Please contact Bhante direct if you wish to join this course. 

It is for those who have a regular daily Mahasi practice 

and who wish to start a group or be able to teach individuals 

 or have some vague desire that they might like to do so. 


Mahasi Weeklong Retreat

Sat 17th – Sun 25th June

Carl Fooks

Assistant : Needed

The usual schedule and format – see website.


Summer Mahasi Retreat

Bhante Bodhidhamma

Assistant : Needed

Eleven week roll-on, roll-off Retreat.

Minimum stay eight nights.

Start dates: Saturdays:-

01 & 15 & 29 July; 12 & 26 Aug. 09 Sept.

Finishing Sun. 17  Sept

Celebration Sat 16. See below

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

Starting and ending on following Saturday.

01 – 15 July : Needed

15 July – 29 July : Assistant : Needed

29 July – 12 August : Assistant : Needed

12 – 26 August: Assistant : Needed

26 August – 09 September: Assistant : Needed

09 – 17 (Sunday) September: Assistant : Needed


Sangha Day : Ninth Anniversary

Saturday 16 September

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

Ceremony starts 13.30

Talk: To be announced.


Weekend Retreat 

Fri. 29 Sept. – Sun.01 p.m. October

Carl Fooks

Assistant : Needed

See usual weekend Schedules


Mahasi Two Week Retreat

Noirin Sheahan

Preference given to those who want to stay two weeks.

Assistant : Needed

Sat. 07 Oct.  – Sun. 22 October

The usual schedule and format – see website.


Day Retreat

Saturday 28 October

Local Assistant : Needed

Jenny Birkett

 Kick Start/Top

Arrive 09.30. Finish 17.00

Please bring veggie food to share.


Autumn Mahasi Retreat

04 Nov. – 26 Nov.

Noirin Sheahan

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 16 December

Bhante Bodhidhamma

Local Assistant : Needed

Arrive 09.30. Finish 17.00

Please bring veggie food to share.


New Year Retreat

Fri. 29 December to Tues. 02 January

Bhante Bodhidhamma

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.




Calendar  2016                    

Bhante’s Calendar away from Satipanya

These are my courses when I am away from Satipanya Buddhist Retreat.

Please confirm all dates  with contacts below.

Beginners are welcome on all retreats.






Gaia House,West Ogwell Newton Abbot,

Devon TQ12 6EW

Bookings : 01626 333613


Fri 05–Sun 07 May


Fri 05–Sun 14 May

You can come for the first weekend only.

The course is challenging, but easily modulated for beginners.

Sunyata Buddhist Centre, Snaty,
Sixmilebridge, Co. Clare, Ireland

Michael O’Brien

Long Weekend

May : Fri. 19–

Sun 21 pm


No previous experience needed.

Arrive by 6pm on Fri.

End after lunch on Mon.

Friends  Meeting House

12 Jesus Lane

Cambridge CB5 8BA

David Brown

One Day

Sat. 27 May

Arrive 09.30  Finish 17.00 Bring veggie food to share

The Dharma School

149 Ladies Mile Rd.

Brighton BN1 8TB

For enquiries, Rosie or Richard

One Day

Mon 29 May

Communal Walk

on Sunday!


Register online at from 29th March.

Pian dei Ciliegi

29028 Ponte dell’ Olio, (PC)  Italy

Gianni  Burgazzi

T: 0039 (0) 523 878 948


Weekend &Weeklong

Fri. 16  June p.m. to

Sun 25  June a. m.

You can come for the first weekend only.

The course is challenging, but easily modulated for beginners.


An Tobar,  Ardvaccan

Navan,  County Meath,  Ireland

Margaret Groome

Tel:  00353 1 282 8199



Fri. 29 Sept


Sun.  01 Oct.

Arrive 1830 Friday. Finish 1600 Sunday

Can also come for a day.

Association Terre d'Eveil

Renée Rousso


Sat. 07


Sun 08 Oct.

Two  separate  day longs

Chartreuse de la Part-Dieu


Anne Michel


Five Days

Fri. 13 Oct


Tues. 17 Oct

Arrive 1830 Fri.

Finish Tues. 16.00

Can also come for the weekend.

Oxford Retreats

Headington Parish Hall, Dunstan Road

Oxford   OX3 9BY



One Day

Sat. 21 Oct.

Register 09.15   Finish 17.00

Bring veggie food to share.


London Insight King Alfred School, 149 North End Rd.  London NW11

Louise Kennedy



One Day

Sun. 22 Oct

Arrive 09.30  Finish 17.00

Bring veggie food to share.



Tim Blanch


One Day

Sat.  25 Nov


Liverpool Buddhist

Meditation Group

Ursula Haeckel:

0151 427 6668

One Day

Sat 09 Dec.

Arrive 09.15     Finish 16.30

Bring veggie food to share.

Birmingham Vihara

Osler St. B16 9EU

Sayadaw U Ottara Nyana

0121 454 6591

One Day

Sun 10  Dec.

Arrive 09.30  Finish 17.00

Bring veggie food to share.






A New Dais and pedestal in the Meditation Room

 Practice makes perfect.*


Practice is repetition. Think of the tennis player, the piano player, the actor. Indeed even if you want to become proficient on the keyboard, you have to practice. I myself have become fairly proficient in the two finger technique!

Now we can’t just practice for the sake of practice. Repetition would be meaningless if the aim was simply to repeat and repeat. It would be a hell realm. Consider the punishment of Sysyphus, ‘the king of Ephyra (now known as Corinth). He was punished for his self-aggrandizing craftiness and deceitfulness by being forced to roll an immense boulder up a hill, only to watch it come back to hit him, repeating this action for eternity’ (Wikipedia). That’s tough!

There has to be an aim, a purpose. And it’s the purpose which should give us the courage and tenacity to keep up the practice. Again bring to mind the dedication of Olympic athletes.

In this sense we should endeavour to be spiritual athletes. Luckily this does not need physical prowess or intellectual brilliance – in fact we don’t need any special talent at all.

What we need is confidence in the vision that we are capable of perfect contentment and happiness.

To achieve this, the Buddha has given us a technique, vipassana and instructions on how to maintain Right Mindfulness in ordinary daily life. It all boils down to this Right Awareness.

And when he talks of living the life guided by the Dhamma, it is always based on the virtues – the emphasis being on Metta, that universal quality of good will to all beings.

In our sitting practice, the repetition starts with settling on the breath. And then to repeatedly bring ourselves back to the presenting event – what’s actually happening now. That’s the practice. Insights arise naturally into the three spiritual gateways of awakening – understanding how we create suffering, experiencing the reality of impermanence and realising the false identities and possessions we are creating. Insights are not shattering experiences, but moments or recognition, of acknowledgement, most reinforcing, deepening what we have already seen.

In ordinary daily life, this mindfulness is conjoined with ethical behaviour and the very life we lead is the practice. Much of our daily life is repetitious. The morning ablutions, the eating, the job and so on. And yet, of course, each event is just that little bit different from the rest. Even so the practice is bringing ‘this-moment-attention’ to bear with a good heart.

When we have an aim, all repetition becomes meaningful. But that doesn’t translate into dedication. That comes by exercising the virtues – raising enthusiasm and resolve. A real heart-felt commitment. Resolute practice underpins awakening.

If all we have is the aim, some vision as to the future attainment, and no practice. Then the spiritual life enters the world of fantasy and disappointment.

The Buddha did not become the Buddha by aspiration alone.

* Seemingly this phrase is coined from a man who is a legend in American Football coaching, Vince Lombardi. He actually said : Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect.

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







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

Limited Company Number 05924965 Registered Charity Number 1116668

Satipanya, White Grit, Minsterley, Shropshire  SY5 0JN

T: 0044 (0)1588 650752  email:  info: 

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