June Newsbyte

Trust all is well!

All Past Tips
For Calendar and assistant opportunities see below .

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This month I have been teaching at Gaia House with Noirin and Karen. It's a very beautiful place and, of course, I have a certain love of going there since I consider it my Dhamma Teacher Training College. Some of you might not know, but I was there for four years as the Resident Teacher. And  a strange thing has been happening!

It's also been happening at Satipanya. Up until three years ago the number of women and men who came to Satipanya was always 50/50%. Then suddenly it moved to 65% men and 35% women. And Gaia on the week long retreat, again usually fairly evenly split, this year saw 7 women to 27 men ie 80% men and 20% women!

If anyone has any idea why this has happened or knows of a similar change elsewhere, do email me. You can reply to this email. Many thanks.


Assistant Needed for Insight Dialogue with Anne Michelle   Friday 7th - Sunday 9th June 2019

Improvements are being made to the car park. The entrance is tarmacked and parts have been re-stoned.

Insight Timer 'Satipanya Mahasi Devotees' group set up on the Insight Timer app by Mark Arthur

Access website https://insighttimer.com/ for relevant App Store or Google Play link. Search for 'Satipanya Mahasi Devotees' within the ‘groups’ section on the app's front page and then request an invite from us.

At present the group settings are ‘private’ and access is available only for members who have sat on a retreat at Satipanya so we will therefore message you to check your credentials before approving your request. If you have any problems with the technology etc by all means email me on markarfa@gmail.com  and I will be happy to assist. Metta Mark Arthur

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.

Click for Bhante's Away Courses

The Calendar for 2019

Assistants Needed
See below Assistant need or: 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
As an assistant, we do not expect payment of the deposit or 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.
Insight Dialogue
Anne Michelle

Friday 7th - Sunday 9th June 2019

Insight Dialogue – created by Gregory Kramer http://www.metta.org – brings the mindfulness and tranquility of traditional silent meditation practice into our interaction with others.Depending on conditions inside us and around us, our perceptions of others and ourselves, we can open the heart with wisdom or create and sustain habitual patterns of stress and reactivity.Insight Dialogue Practice allows us to face the complexity of our relationships with mindfulness.Such experience softens our fears of relationship and diminishes our struggle to be seen or to escape the moment of contact.Trust and calm can settle in us, anchored in wisdom and compassion.It is a very good complement to the Vipassana practice, allowing both concentration and relationship habits to deepen.

The retreat is open to both beginners and long-term practitioners.

Weeklong Mahasi Retreat
Carl Fooks
Eva Carter
Sat 15 Jun  – Sun 23 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.
The usual schedule and format – see website.


Summer Mahasi Retreat
Bhante Bodhidhamma
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 : May be Needed
29 June – 13 July : 
13 July – 27 July : Assistant : Iain MacLeod
27 July – 10 August : Assistant : 
Ben Preston
10 – 24 August: Assistant : 

 Ignacio Duque
24 August – 31 August: Assistant : Jim Tibby
31 August – 14 September: Assistant : Dea Paradisos

Sangha Day : Twelth Anniversary
Saturday 14 September
Please bring veggie food to share 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 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.
The usual schedule and format – see website.


Day Retreat
Jenny Birkett
Saturday 26 October
Local Assistant 
 Kick Start/Top
Arrive 09.30. Finish 17.00
Please bring veggie food to share.

Mahasi Monthlong Retreat
Noirin Sheahan
Start dates Sat 2, Sun 10, Sat 16 Nov.
Sun 24th possible for Mahasi devotees
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 : 
Assistant Nov.Sat.16 - Sat. 30 : Robert Narayan Taylor
The usual schedule and format, 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.

Cherishing ourselves.
Noirin Sheahan
The Buddha’s teaching on anatta (not-self) asks us to investigate our sense of self. To each of us, this is precious - our sense of being unique, individual, an entity in our own right. The Buddha doesn’t confirm or deny this. But he questions our automatic assumption of self-hood within our body-mind system. He asks us to see can we find any self- essence within this, can we locate it, define it, pinpoint it.

How about my body – surely that contains me? But when I look deeper, all I find is an array of shifting sensations. And when I think about it, can something so obviously vulnerable as this body represent my essential being? What about feelings? These certainly feel like me! But they change so easily … same for perceptions, habitual drives, even my subjective experience – all changing, at the mercy of external conditions. Can something so precious as my sense of self really be so unreliable?

If so, I’m most unsatisfactory!

Instead of drawing such an unhappy conclusion, the Buddha asks us to follow the investigation with a question: Since I cannot find anything in my body or mind that is reliable, permanent, satisfying, should I assume that my essential self is contained within my body and mind? He approves, confirming that nothing in our body-mind experience can properly be thought of as ‘Mine / Me / Myself’.  When we make one of our habitual mistakes, thinking of our bodies, achievements, experiences as ‘mine’, or get caught up in plans, dreams, arguments, or mistaking this hot and bothered entity as ‘me’, we’ve fallen into delusion

But there is a danger of throwing out the baby with the bathwater. The sense of self is central to our life in the world and also to our spiritual life. Just because we keep getting it wrong, mistaking our bodies, emotions, ideas etc. as ‘me’ or ‘mine’, this doesn’t mean the sense of self is inherently useless and needs to be quelled whenever it arises. On the contrary, the Buddha asks us to spend time directing kind good wishes towards ourselves. We need this kindness to fulfil our unique potential for full liberation. If you cherish yourself, he says, then follow the spiritual path.

Cherish ourselves? Cherish an illusion? A mistaken identity?

Yes! Mindfully of course. When the sense of self is strong we feel for a moment the pleasure of this – perhaps we think of it as being centred, well defined or happy. But something deep inside wants more. It wants these feelings, this perception of ‘me’ to be permanent. Gradually the illusion breaks down. We realise it was a mistake. It didn’t define an essential, unchanging ‘me’.

But mistakes are just mistakes. We don’t have to despair. We can learn from them. Keeping attention on the experience we feel physical pushing and pulling within body and mind, pulling towards some new definition of ‘me / mine’ as we push away whatever appears to threaten that. Can we allow all that pushing and pulling to lead us along the path?  At times it leads us to new definitions, new understandings. At times it leads us to a simpler experience of sensations and feelings without any conceptual overlay of ‘me / mine / you / yours’ etc. Then the desire for identity pokes out again, pushing and pulling us into some new definition of who or what we are.
The instinct to identify is strong within us. It won’t be quelled just because we’ve heard the teaching on not-self. Rather than fight with the instinct, we can let it be our teacher, our guide to liberation. Cherish the illusion – mindfully of course!


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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  


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