March Newsbyte

Trust all is well!
All Past Tips
 Tip o’ the Day below
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Diary: We are now coming to the end of the Winter Mahasi. Very high attendance and a deepening of atmosphere since everyone has practised. The cold, dry snow turned the landscape into a fairyland. On Saturday the roads looked bad, but the Bodhisatta Tesco managed to get through, otherwise it would have been beans on toast for a few days!

Last year I posted no new talks. My head too taken up with building! I've made an effort this year and posted up three talks (one next week) which maybe of interest.   Talks 2018


AGM: Meeting starts 14.00 at Satipanya. You are welcome to attend. Do make sure you email us to tell us that you intend to come.
Spring Day Retreat: Saturday, March 17. Start 09.30. Finish 17.00. Bring veggie food to share for lunch. Hope to see you.
See Calendar below for courses and Assistants needed

Also please note Long weekend also possible: Friday 30 March - Monday 02 April Easter Weekend
                                  NB You can also apply for the Weekend  May 4-6

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.

Click for Bhante's Away Courses

The Complete Calendar for 2018
Assistants Needed
N.B. All the courses are serviced by assistants.

See website for up-to-date Assistant need:
As assistant  you have the opportunity to serve others. It can be a way of expressing gratitude for the gift of Dhamma. Although the morning is taken with cooking, the rest of day is for practice.
As an assistant, we do not expect payment of the deposit or make a donation because you have kindly offered your time.
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.
Teachers: Click on names for bio.

Day Retreat
Bhante Bodhidhamma
Local Assistant
: Marjorie Forrester
Kick Start/Top up
Sat. 17  March
Arrive 09.30. Finish 17.00
Please bring veggie food to share.

Easter Mahasi Retreat
Noirin Sheahan
Assistant : Robert Narayan Taylor / Need one for last week
Sat. 24 Mar – Sat. 07 April
Long weekend also possible: Friday 30 March - Monday 02 April
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.
Mahasi Retreat
 Guus Went
Assistant : Mark Blaxland
Sat.14 – Sun. 22 April
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. 

Mahasi Two Week Retreat
Noirin Sheahan
Assistant :
Cherry Buckwel
Sat. 28 Apr. – Sat.12 May
NB You can also apply for the Weekend  May 4-6

The usual schedule and format – see website.
See above for Noirin’s description.

Buddha Day
Bhante Bodhidhamma
Local Assistant Needed 
Saturday 19 May : Start 09.30 
Honouring Our Exemplar and Teacher
Taking Refuges and Precepts Ceremony 

Morning Meditation
Noon Lunch
Please bring veggie finger food for lunch.
Afternoon Talk : Taking Refuges and Precepts : Procession
Tea and Biscuits 16.00

Vipassana : Metta : Bodycare 
Bhante Bodhidhamma
with Bryan Lester, Reiki Master
Come Friday evening if you want to join in Buddha Day Celbration 
Fri 18 / Sat 19 – Weds 23 May 
Towards a Right Lifestyle 
The first day, Saturday is the celebration above.
The rest of course is devoted to Mahasi vipassana and metta /Loving-Kindness 
and exercises that heal and/or invigorate the body. 
Discussion on how to develop the spiritual life. 

Mahasi Weekend Retreat
Jenny Birkett
Assistant Needed 
Fri. 01 – Sun. 03 June
The usual schedule and format – see website.

Mahasi Weeklong Retreat
Carl Fooks
Assistant Needed 
Sat 16th – Sun 24th June
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.

Summer Mahasi Retreat
Bhante Bodhidhamma
Assistant Needed 
Eleven week roll-on, roll-off Retreat.
Minimum stay eight nights.
Start dates: Saturdays:-
30 June & 14 & 28 July; 11 & 25 Aug. 08 Sept.
Finishing Sun. 16  Sept
Celebration Sat 15th Sept. 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 :
Starting and ending on following Saturday.
30 June – 14 July : Ignacio Duque Sanchez
14 July – 28 July : Assistant : Sita Brand
28 July – 11 August : Assistant Needed 

11 – 25 August: Assistant : David Fernandes
25 August – 08 September: Assistant :Jim Tibby
08 – 16 (Sunday) September: Assistant : Dea Paradisos

Sangha Day : Ninth Anniversary

Bhante Bodhidhamma
 Assistant Needed 
Saturday 15 September
Please bring veggie food to join us for communal lunch at noon.
Ceremony starts 13.30
Talk: To be announced.

Weekend Retreat 
Fri. 28 Sept.– Sun. 30 Sept. (Finishes  13.00)
Carl Fooks
Assistant Needed 
See usual weekend Schedules
Mahasi  Two Week Retreat
Sat. 06 Oct.  – Sun. 21 October
Noirin Sheahan
Assistant Needed 
See above for Noirin’s description.
Preference given to those who want to stay two weeks.
The usual schedule and format – see website.

Day Retreat
Saturday 27 October
Jenny Birkett
Local Assistant Needed 
 Kick Start/Top
Arrive 09.30. Finish 17.00
Please bring veggie food to share.

Autumn Mahasi Retreat
 Sat. 03 – Sun. 25 Nov.
Noirin Sheahan
See above for Noirin’s description.
Assistants Needed 
Preference is given to those who wish to stay for the full three weeks.
The usual schedule and format – see website.

What is our basic disposition to life?

Just as these days it is almost impossible to walk into a cafe without some sort of background music (and sometimes not so background), there is within our psyche a background tune/s. It is enlightening to discover this basic disposition if you have not already discovered it.
There have been many ways to categorise characters and personalities according to a basic disposition.
The dominant categorisation from ancient to modern times, was the notion of the Four Humours or Temperaments, connected to season, age, organ which we also used diagnose to the cause of illnesses. (See Diagram below courtesy of Wikipedia)
The four fundamental personality types were:
sanguine - enthusiastic, active, and social – optimistic and over-enthusiastic
choleric - independent, decisive, goal oriented, but also aversive and reactive
melancholic - analytical, detail oriented, deep thinker and feeler  but also sad, shy
phlegmatic - relaxed, peaceful, quiet, but also lethargic and unconcerned
(Wikipedia – italics additions are mine)
We pass through such states multiple times during a day, but there usually one which sits as background motif – an attitude we have developed towards life.
There are other typologies such as the Myers-Briggs. One that you might think worth exploring if you have not come across it is the Enneagram, which was a great discovery for me and I found it very helpful.
In Buddhism, it was only in later commentaries that such personality types were developed. You will not be surprised at their categorisation. Yes, you’ve guessed! The Greedy, the Aversive and the Deluded character. Their opposites might seem a little strange: Faithful, Intelligent and Speculative. The one, with Dhamma practice moves towards the other.
Greed seeks to gratify itself, whereas Faith, better translated as Confidence, also desires to get, to achieve, but what is virtuous. We would normally think of Generosity as the opposite, but here we see how close Greed and Confidence are.
Aversion holds objects at a distance but condemning them, whereas Discernment also sees objectively, but is judicious. Again we would normally see the opposite as Love, but here again we see how anger distorts our perception. 

Delusion is a state of confusion, whereas speculation thinks itself undeluded, but gets lost in all sorts of ‘thinking’. It looks as though the Commentaries have given no hope to the Deluded! But obviously as delusion is undermined, wisdom arises. So since we are all, save the Arahants, deluded to some extent or another, ​we need to question our thinking, but we can still live in hope of illumination.
We can tell which one we are if we catch the way we think about things, the way we do things.
If we detect a fundamental disposition, it is good to ask – is it wise, is it beneficial.
If it isn’t, then we need to counteract it.
For instance, if a basic attitude is an amorphous feeling of guilt (Aversive / Melancholic), then we undermine this by remembering any unethical actions we have committed. Either apologise for it or make amends. If that’s not possible, then to accept whatever consequences may arise. Then don’t obsess over it! Instead we bring to mind all the virtuous things we have done and congratulate ourselves.
If it is beneficial, then we need to warn ourselves that there is often an over play. An optimistic joy (Greedy / Sanguine) can lead to over expectation and disappointment. Should we experience disappointment, then that becomes a warning signal to us to make reality checks.
Amita Scmidt does a good introductory job on the Four Temperaments with a quiz:
For a more detailed exposition of the Personality Types in Early Buddhism: : Buddhist Character Analysis Robert Mann & Rose Youd


For those of you, who have a copy of the Visuddhimagga by Buddhaghosa, you will find the Temperaments on Page 102 para 74 (III.74–)

Wikipedia, as usual, does a good introductory job: There is even an Institute -


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Directors - Jim Tibby    Richard Benjamin   Maureen Tibby   Mike Regan
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Satipanya, White Grit, Minsterley, Shropshire  SY5 0JN
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