September Newsbyte

September NEWSBYTE

Trust all is well!

All Past Tips

 Tip o’ the Day below
Excitement Boredom Contentment

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The new Accommodation Block seems to have lived up to people’s expectation. But it does take time to get used to a new building.  One is the need for a little carefulness in locking the bathroom doors. If you fail to do so, you may be visited in all your glory!
There is also the escape of heat in the top store room. Not much we can do about it, but fortunately it is good for drying clothes. Since there is no window there, we have to use a dehumidifier.
There’s a light perpetually on in the staircases. It attracts a lot of moths. Some of them quite remarkable.

It’s been a good summer with plenty of warmth. Happy to say we now have a woman who takes the hay for her horse. I was never comfortable giving it to feed cattle or sheep.

Andy continues to work magic on the meadows. It will soon be a wild flower park!


Winter Mahasi :  Sat. 13 January – Sun. 11 March :  I started a new long session of retreats last year and now mean to continue it indefinitely.
It is an eight weeks long and runs along the same lines as the Summer Mahasi,  except – only those can apply who have done at least one full week retreat here with any of the teachers or a week with a recognized Mahasi teacher.  
Applications are open at the end of August as from now       

Right Livelihood Forum with Noirin:
The next 'Right Livelihood Forum' will start in October. This year's course focuses on the Four Noble Truths, suggesting how we might work with these in meditation and daily life. 

Its unfortunately easy to lose ourselves in busyness once we leave the retreat setting. Right Livelihood requires that we keep treading the path within the complexity of daily life and our on-line courses provide valuable support for this challenge. 

To register or for further information contact [email protected]                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

 ***Assistants Needed:           

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.
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.
It does help if you have done a retreat in the Mahasi tradition – if only a weekend. Or any long vipassana retreat whatever the tradition.

Karuna Book: Every morning at puja we call the names of those who are sick or dying, or are 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 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. 
Summer Mahasi Retreat

Bhante Bodhidhamma

Assistant : Needed

Eleven week roll-on, roll-off Retreat.

Minimum stay eight nights.

Start dates: Saturdays:-

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 : Ulla Mergen

15 July – 29 July : Assistant : Jean Anderson

29 July – 12 August : Assistant : Gwen Sanderson

12 – 26 August: Assistant : Needed

26 August – 09 September: Assistant : Jim Tibby

09 – 17 (Sunday) September: Assistant : Dea Paradisos


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

Assistants :Wendy Harvey

See usual weekend Schedules
The Mahasi system can feel challenging, and its emphasis on moment-to-moment mindfulness can prove to feel 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.

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 : Anne Ashton

 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.

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.

 For Bhante’s courses away from Satipanya:

Excitement Boredom Contentment

It is when we confuse excitement with happiness that the trouble starts. You can get excited about anything – trainspotting, juggling, tiddly-winks. It does not matter what it is, so long as it excites us. We can absorb quickly into that mental state and for that time it is, well, heaven. There are those who absorb into beautiful states through their meditation and may even mistake them for Nibbana. So long as we can be lifted into that state, all is well. But when we don’t get the same gratification, then disappointment sets in.

After a joyous meal or party with old friends or family, there is a call for ‘let’s do it again!’ The second time just does not live up to it. How disappointing! Suggestions for another meeting are met with rictus smiles and forced nods. Come the time, excuses abound.

But what if you have to do the same thing again and again. Like work that once was so interesting. Or the breath in sitting that once was a haven. That is when the aversion sets in. A type of restless aversion that moves towards listlessness and a feeling of meaninglessness. Then a deeper boredom sets in. A sense of wasted time. Then the driving search for something - anything else. The fidgety swipes through websites. The restless flicking through channels. Scrolling though the social media. The pursuit of biscuits. The mind in meditation starts to live in its virtual reality.

And we find it! Now there is joy. And off we go again, indulging in a new passion. This time it is foraging for mushrooms, playing THE Great Big War Game, scanning up and down the body in sitting. And the whole cycle starts off again. How I save the world from ecological distaster.

Consumerism depends on this sort of intoxication. And it is a religion that is onto a real winner, because once it has hooked you, it knows you are always after the NEW. New means good, means excitement. That is greed, of course. But how quickly we are bored. And at the first tweak of boredom, we are off ‘seeking pleasures here and there’. Boredom is the underlying engine consumerism depends on.

However great the excitement, boredom comes in equal measure. And the more excitement we indulge, the more we raise the bar, the greater the excitement has to be. Greed in all its forms is voracious. More, once an adjective, becomes a noun. We simply want More.

Should there come a time when excitements lose their gloss and boredom, feelings of wasted time, of a vacuous lifestyle set in, then there arises the loss of hope of ever enjoying life again – and that beds into despair.

That is endgame of course. But for most of us, we can take boredom as a warning.

And the cure? Repetition with good intention. Re-establish why you are doing your job. And do it for that reason. Raise a sense of care to be excellent. Interest reappears.

Acknowledging that a lot of what we do is useless entertainment and determine to spend the time more usefully. The joy of living returns.

Practising renunciation. Let go of all that planning. What are we going to do this evening, this weekend, next month. Do something simple instead. Over a series of weekends, the same walk, the same simple meal. Draw the attention into the present doing, and develop contentment. This is the way it is and it is ok.

Contentment is poison to boredom.

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Directors - Richard Benjamin   Maureen Tibby   Jim Tibby    Mike Regan

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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