May Newsbyte

Trust all is well!
All Past Tips

Tip o' the Day : Fear!
For Calendar and assistant opportunities see below .
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These past weeks we have so much rain. The meadows are soggy. Yesterday, at last, the full sun. So glad we had stoned the paths.
Such is the climate change that Andy, our gardener, will probably take February off rather than January. When I was in Burma late last year, they told me the weather had shifted one month. What was expected in November, was happening in December.
At last a bit of spring. Daffodils! Light green leaves on the ash tree. Now there's a sad tale. The pond raised the water in the stream and the ash is dying back for it. Andy planted a weeping willow on the bank opposite the Lying Parinibbana Buddha across the pond - sad for the ash and at the Buddha's passing.
And that reminds - we have the celebration of the Buddha's birth, life and death on 19th May. See below.

Assistants needed:
Mahasi Weekend Retreat Jenny Birkett Fri. 01 – Sun. 03 June
Mahasi Weeklong Retreat Carl Fooks  Sat 16th – Sun 24th June
Jo Ridley, one of our meditators has started a new course: 'The Body Talks mission is to help people empower themselves into greater health and well-being. To create lasting and real vibrant health, we help you experience a paradigm shift in the way you relate to your body, emotions, thinking mind and connection to life. It's a matter of listening to that small, intuitive voice and taking inspired action.
Visit to find a free guide and blog posts.

This coming month: see below for further details.
Two Week Retreat with Noirin Sheahan 26 April – 12 May 
NB You can also apply for the Weekend  May 4-6. (See below)

Buddha Day Bhante Bodhidhamma Saturday 19 May : Start 10.30 
Honouring Our Exemplar and Teacher Taking Refuges and Precepts Ceremony at 15.00. 
Vipassana : Metta : Bodycare Bhante Bodhidhamma with Bryan Lester, Reiki Master
Fri 18 / Sat 19 – Weds 23 May 

See Calendar below for courses and Assistants needed

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.

Mahasi Two Week Retreat
Ayya/Noirin Sheahan
Assistant :
 John MacDougall/Robert Narayan-Taylor 
Sat. 28 Apr. – Sat.12 May
NB You can also apply for the Weekend  May 4-6

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
Bhante Bodhidhamma
Local Assistant Trevor Flaxman
Saturday 19 May : Start 10.30 
Honouring Our Exemplar and Teacher
Taking Refuges and Precepts Ceremony at 15.00.

Morning Meditation
Come for 10.30 sitting before lunch
Noon Lunch
Please bring veggie food for light lunch.
Please do not not bring anything that needs heating or cooking.
Afternoon Talk : Taking Refuges and Precepts : Procession
Tea and Biscuits 16.00

Vipassana : Metta : Bodycare 
Bhante Bodhidhamma
with Bryan Lester, Reiki Master
Assistant : Trevor Flaxman

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    28 July – 11 August :
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.  – Sat. 20 October
Ayya/Noirin Sheahan
Assistant Wendy Harvey and Tracey Kambouris
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 – Sat. 24 Nov.
Ayya/Noirin Sheahan
See above for Noirin’s description.
Assistants Jenny Birkett
Preference is given to those who wish to stay for the full three weeks.
The usual schedule and format – see website.


Have you ever allowed yourself to feel fear? I don't mean fearful. I don't mean anxious. I mean have you felt fear intimately? The raw emotion?  The simple sensation of it?
I don’t mean sit by the fire. I mean jump into it.
So long as there is a self, a ‘me’, someone there to defend, there will be fear. Because the self, that notion or view of me, that sense of me, that I am someone, knows it cannot exist for ever. It knows it will die. The fear of death is the mother of all fears.
Yet who would want to sit still in the midst that experience - the cold agitation, the suffocated breath, the debilitating weakness, the exploding heartbeat, the nausea. Surely there is something we can do about it.
Of course there is! We can turn to social media, nothing like talking to others about the weather, the tennis, Brexit, to get away from fear. Nothing like eating, or drinking. Alcohol is such a salve.
Or perhaps the primal fear has morphed into other fears. Fear of loneliness or anger or love or spiders. I say morphed, but it's another way of guarding ourselves. To attach a fear to ‘something’ is more bearable than the fear of death, of annihilation, of total loss.
And to guard ourselves well, we need to control. The more we control, the more we feel safe. To guard what we have. To fend off attacks real or imaginary.  
Yes! And anger too. Anger is good. It empowers us. ‘Where there is fear, I shall fight.’ Anger feels good. It frightens others. It protects me from my fear. And I love to see the fear in others. And dominate!
But in the worst case scenario run. Hide. Seek seclusion.  And there is always shopping, jogging … and sex
What strategies do you have?
The Buddha did not say the path was easy. He said it was gradual. Against the stream.
With every fear that arises we are given a chance to feel the raw emotional material. Slowly we become accustomed. The more accustomed, the more we lose the fear of those emotional sensations.
Then we realise it is the deluded heart that goads the mind into horror scenarios. And as we gradually lose our fear of fear we begin to see the possibility of fearlessness. For if we lose our fear of fear, what could possibly frighten us?
And since fear is the measure of our self-delusion, so the sense of self diminishes until such time as the wrong view of self, the belief that sense of self is substantial and essential, is cut asunder completely.
All the while as the materials of fear dissolve, the barriers of defence weaken. The once embattled heart begins to embrace.
Then we understand how we might suffer for another – die for another.


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