November Newsbyte

November NEWSBYTE

Trust all is well!

All Past Tips
See below the Tip o' the Day : Two metaphors for our process of liberation.

For Calendar and assistant opportunities see below .
 

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Diary
A very sunny October followed me to Ireland and onto to Paris and  Mudita Meditation Centre in Switzerland. Great to come back on a damp old day in UK - sunk in Brexit gloom!

When I walked into the basilica of Saint Remi in Reims, the stunning stained glass vibrated with the sounds of the organ in full flight. It’s at moments like these that there feels an overwhelm of beauty. It’s all but painful for the heart to receive it, open up to it and relax into it. Then it all changed. A lot of  messing about. Shrill ear bursting trumpets one minute. Heavy bone drilling bass pedals the next. I thought the beauty had sent the organist berserk. Wandering down the nave, I came across the brand new organ hanging onto the wall. Probably a tuner.  : (

I am away now to Sri Lanka for two months of sweet solitary meditation till the end of the year. Bit early I know , but ...  I hope you all have a fruitful and joyous Xmas and New year.

Announcements:
Assistants Needed for Winter Mahasi:  see Course Assistant for details.
Sat 26 Jan – Sat 09 Feb     
Sat 09 Feb – Sat 23 Feb     
Sat 23 Feb – Sat 09 Mar 

Paul Sharp at Exeter University is doing research on the psychological benefits of meditation. He's looking for people who have meditated at least once per week (hopefully a lot more!) over the last 6 months or more. Would you like to help him? Just fill in this form: 

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

See website for up-to-date Assistant need: http://www.satipanya.org.uk/calendar/
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 mainly taken up with breakfast preparation and cooking, the rest of day is for practice.
You can see the menus here.

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 www.satipanya.org.uk
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.
 
Autumn Mahasi Retreat
 Sat. 03 – Sat. 24 Nov.
Noirin Sheahan

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.
The retreat supports our efforts to see the world more clearly,
and thereby disentangle the knots of confusion that bind us to emotional turmoil. 
At precious moments, the heart opens and we sense what it means to be free.

Assistant: Jenny Birkett 03-17 Nov. 
Assistant Adeline Defrance 16-24 Nov.
The usual schedule and format – see website.

Easily modulated for beginners.

Day Retreat 
Saturday 01 December

Jenny Birkett 
Local Assistant Trevor Flaxman
 Kick Start/Top 
Arrive 09.30. Finish 17.00
Please bring veggie food to share.

 
Day Retreat
Kick Start/Top up
Saturday 05 January

Bhante Bodhidhamma
Local Assistant : Needed
Arrive 09.30. Finish 17.00
Please bring veggie food to share.

Winter Mahasi
Bhante Bodhidhamma
Open for Application
Assistant(s) : Jim Tibby
Eight week roll-on, roll-off Retreat.
Start dates restricted to these Saturdays:  
Sat 12 Jan – Sun 20 Jan : Sun 20 Jan – Sat 26 Jan     Assistant : Jim Tibby
 Sat 26 Jan – Sun 03 Feb : Sun 03 Feb – Sat 09 Feb      Assistant Needed
 Sat 09 Feb – Sun 17 Feb : Sun 17 Feb – Sat 23 Feb     Assistant Needed
 Sat 23 Feb – Sun 03 Mar : Sun 03 Mar – Sat 09 Mar  Assistant Needed
Finishing Sat 09 March
Open only to those who have at least one Mahasi Retreat 
either at Satipanya or with another teacher
Alternate Sundays may be possible: 20 Jan.; 03 & 17 Feb.; 03 Mar.
You are encouraged to stay for more than one week.
 

Day Retreat
Bhante Bodhidhamma
Local Assistant : Needed
Kick Start/Top up
Sat. 16 March
Arrive 09.30. Finish 17.00
Please bring veggie food to share.
 

APPLICATIONS START JANUARY 07
 
Easter Mahasi Retreat
Noirin Sheahan
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.

Assistant : Needed
Start dates: Sat. 06 and 20 April
(Sunday 14 April for Mahasi devotees)
Finishes Sat. am 27 April
The usual schedule and format – see website.
Easily modified for beginners.
  

Buddha Day
Honouring Our Exemplar and Teacher

Taking Refuges and Precepts Ceremony 
On Saturday 04 May : Start 10.30 
Morning Meditation
Please bring veggie finger communal lunch at noon.
Ceremony starts 13.30
Afternoon Talk : Taking Refuges and Precepts : Procession
Tea and Biscuits 16.00

Vipassana : Metta : Bodycare 
Bhante Bodhidhamma
with Bryan Lester, Reiki Master
Assistant:
 Needed
Come Friday evening if you want to join in Buddha Day Celebration 
Sat 04 – Weds 08 May 
Towards a Right Lifestyle 
The first weekend is devoted to Mahasi vipassana and metta /Loving-Kindness 
and exercises that heal and/or invigorate the body. 
After that, one can choose what to practise. 
Discussion on how to develop the spiritual life. 
 

Mahasi Weekend Retreat
Jenny Birkett
Assistant : Needed
Fri. 17 – Sun. 19 May
The usual schedule and format – see website.
Especially for beginners.
 

Weeklong Mahasi Retreat
 Guus Went
Sat 25 May – Sun. 02 Jun.
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. 
 The usual schedule and format – see website.

Weeklong Mahasi Retreat
Carl Fooks
Assistant : Needed
Sat 15 – Sun 23 June
The Mahasi system can feel challenging, and its emphasis on moment-to-moment mindfulness can 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.
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:-
29 June & 13 & 27 July; 10 & 24 Aug. 07 Sept.
Finishing Sun. 15  Sept
Celebration Sat 14. 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.
29 June – 13 July : Needed
13 July – 27 July : Assistant : Needed
27 July – 10 August : Assistant : Needed
10 – 24 August: Assistant : Needed
24 August – 31 August: Assistant : Needed
31 August – 15 (Sunday) September: Assistant : Needed
Sangha Day : Twelth Anniversary
Saturday 14 September
Please bring veggie food to join us for communal lunch at noon.
Ceremony starts 13.30
Talk: To be announced.
 

Weekend Mahasi Retreat 
Carl Fooks
Fri. 20.  – Sun. 22 September
The Mahasi system can feel challenging, and its emphasis on moment-to-moment mindfulness can 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.
Assistant : Needed
See usual weekend
Schedules

 
Day Retreat
Jenny Birkett
Saturday 26 October
Local Assistant : Needed

 Kick Start/Top
Arrive 09.30. Finish 17.00
Please bring veggie food to share.
 

Mahasi Monthlong Retreat
Noirin Sheahan
Start dates Sat 2 and 16 Nov.
Mahasi devotees can join on Sun 10th or 24 Nov

Ends Sat am 30 Nov.

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.

Assistant Nov.Sat.02 - Sat. 16 : Needed
Assistant Nov.Sat.16 - Sat. 30 : Needed

The usual schedule and format – see website.
Easily modified for beginners.
 
Day Retreat
Saturday 04 Jan 2020
Bhante Bodhidhamma
Local Assistant : Needed
 Kick Start/Top
Arrive 09.30. Finish 17.00
Please bring veggie food to share.

Two metaphors for our process of liberation.

Process of Indentification

The myth of Narcissus is normally understood as the sin of pride. Narcissus looks into the pond and upon seeing himself, falls in love with himself, goes to embrace himself, falls into the pond and drowns. Water in mythology usually stands for creation.

However, we can also read this as spiritual metaphor. The awareness has drowned in the screen of consciousness. In Buddhadhamma, the consciousness of the Five Aggregates that constitute the human being, is better understood as a screen, a multi-dimensional screen, upon which all our life’s experiences manifest. Seeing itself in the screen, awareness is also aware of other things on the screen as when we look into a shop window and catch our image in the glass and are yet aware of all the things on display. Such is the enticement of what awareness sees in the screen that it identifies with or possesses whatever it experiences there. Our job, then, is to get back onto the bank of that pond. And that is where we find ourselves when in a clear state of vipassana.

The process of disindentification

When we are born, it seems we experience the world as an undifferentiated bath of sensations. It’s all ‘me’ from the point of view of the new-born. But we do know some are pleasant and some are unpleasant. That seems to be hardwired. Then after four months the first object looms out of this out of this shower of pixels – our primary carer, usually our mothers.

The baby then slowly pushes the outer world outwards, creating the three dimensions. Then there is the process of detaching from mother. It all takes three years for that child to know itself as distinct from every other person or thing. It has become you might say an individual. There is yet more development until the age of 7 and even of course beyond that.

But for our purposes, this tells us something about what is happening when we meditate. We are as it were repeating the new-born’s process of disidentification, stepping back within ourselves and what we had previously presumed was ‘me’, begins to appear more and more clearly as objects of this inner awareness. Such that the distinction between the awareness and what it is aware of are quite separate. The perceiver cannot be the perceived!

We can observe and sense the sensations and feelings in the body, see and understand the images and thoughts in the mind. We are aware of the ‘distance’ between the ‘one who knows’, the knower and the known; the feeler and felt; the experiencer and the experience.

This is the process by which we become aware of the unique quality of the awareness – it feels, it knows, it experiences. There is still a view of self. The awareness experiences itself as ‘self awareness’. Although this is not the end of the process of discovering the true quality of the awareness, we are well on the way.

Ordinary Daily Life

It’s important in daily life to begin the day with this access, for it reminds us of the potential of delusion unless we maintain an alert awareness throughout the day. If we keep stopping throughout the day and be still enough for a moment to regain the poise of a ‘nibbanic moment’, we will find ourselves drowning less and less into the quagmire of unwholesome emotions and mental states.

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Many thanks.

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

                                              Metta
                                                 Onward 
                                                            Bodhidhamma

 

 
SATIPANYA  BUDDHIST TRUST
www.satipanya.org.uk   
Directors - Jim Tibby    Richard Benjamin   Maureen Tibby   Mike Regan
Limited Company Number 05924965 Registered Charity Number 1116668
Satipanya, White Grit, Minsterley, Shropshire  SY5 0JN
T: 0044 (0)1588 650752  

  info: info@satipanya.org.uk

 

 

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