August Newsbyte

August NEWSBYTE
Trust all is well!

All Past Tips 
For Calendar and assistant opportunities see below .
Tip o' the Day

‘If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there’. Lewis Carrol
 

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Apologies: there is a lot of stuff on this emails these days, but I hope you find it useful.
Diary:  

The meadow continues to flourish with a variety of wild flowers. But to maintain it means it has to be cut. Cut the earliest at the end of August and miss out on late flowering flowers. Cut it in mid-September and the farmers don't want it since the goodness has gone back into the ground and all you have is straw. And there is the problem of finding someone who wants the hay. For the last two years a local family has taken it to feed their two horses. This year without telling me, they have failed even to answer my phone calls! We are lumbered with two acres of meadow grass. What to do? Hopefully by the next Newsbyte, we will have found a lasting solution.

Announcements:

Climate Crisis : A chink of hope?    COLLAPSE : THE ONLY REALISTIC SCENARIO ? (A. Keller)

The Earth Protectors I met an old friend at the Cambridge day and she introduced me to The Earth Protectors. Put simply, this is a charity, started by the lawyer Polly Higgins, to bring an additional law of Ecocide to the Rome Statute that constitutes the law for the International Court. Such a law would allow such leaders of companies that damage the environment and bank CEO's that invest in such companies to be prosecuted. Here is her eloquent explanation: https://www.stopecocide.earth/videos
 

Continuing Beautifications! The gardens:  If you want to see more and the work gone into it - Satipanya Gardens

 

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
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 the day is for practice.
You can see the menus
here.
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, please 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.

 

Vipassana as taught by the Mahasi Sayadaw of Burma
The Mahasi Sayadaw of Burma, one of the most influential vipassana insight meditation teachers of the last century, developed techniques to help us maintain moment to moment mindfulness from the instant we awake to the instant we fall asleep.
 
This leads not only to spiritual insights into our true, unborn-undying essence, but also, equally important, to the purification of the heart. So that we not only become wiser but more caring, generous, joyous and compassionate.
 
Applying the techniques on this retreat we follow a robust schedule, but meditators can modulate their practice to fit their level of experience, even absolute beginners. The accent is on relaxation and curiosity, rather than striving and concentration. And regular teacher contact, daily Q&A and personal interviews ensures students are supported throughout.
 
The retreat ends with advice on how to bring the practice into ordinary daily life to enhance our relationships and give spiritual meaning to our work and everyday tasks.

Summer Mahasi Retreat
Bhante Bodhidhamma
Eleven week roll-on, roll-off Retreat.
Minimum stay eight nights.
Start dates: Saturdays:-
 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 – 07 September: Assistant : Jim Tibby
07 September – 14 September: Assistant : Dea Paradisos

Sangha Day : Twelth Anniversary
Saturday 14 September
Assistant
 
Needed
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
Assistant
 
Alison Weeks
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.

 

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.
Assistants: 
Needed
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 : 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.

 

‘If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there’. Lewis Carrol
 

In his inimitable quirky way, Lewis Carrol points to a profound truth about our lives. If we don’t know where we are going, there is not only no central focus to our lives, there is also no meaning.

When there is no focus, no aim, no meaning, our lives drift. But not in any old haphazard way. We are already in any given moment conditioned beings. We have our habitual ways of understanding and acting upon those understandings. And understandings can be true and they can be false.

Our history is littered with ‘ideologies’, secular and religious, that have taken us down dark alleyways.

The Buddha’s own avowed aim when he took up his mission to teach others to liberate themselves was to elucidate a path: a development and an aim. And most important an understanding, not based on philosophical abstraction, but based upon his own personal direct experience of his own progress and attainment.

Our idea of time as a linear progression, an arrow that moves from past to present to future, lends itself to a view of progress that presumes from worse, we get better and from better we get even better (for the pessimist the opposite).

We may consider this true when we think of science which investigates the physical and psychological world with a view to understand and then, as is our nature, to control. This has led to a technology that astonishes. Yet, it is common observation that when it comes to ethics, the way we as humans relate to each other, to other living beings and nature, there does not seem to have been a comparable progress and one might argue that it has all got worse.

However, we can point to individuals both in the religious and secular life that are paragons of human goodness, but they remain a rarity and always arise as a response to general unethical behaviour, such as apartheid, regime oppression and careless destruction of our environment. And there are legions, yes legions, of people involved in putting the world aright whether climate crisis, slavery or political oppression to mention some of the worse.

How then would progress manifest in a world truly devoted to Dhamma? Because our aim is to achieve liberation from suffering, we look into the causes of that suffering. We find the root cause to be selfishness. It’s really all about me! When we realise this ‘me’ is a mistaken understanding of how we really are, we begin to change.

Before we thought this ‘me’ was independent, a self-willed integer, complete and entire unto ‘itself’. On careful observation and reflection, we begin to realise this ‘me’ is entirely dependent on its relationship with other beings and the surrounding world. I am inextricably bound up in the total environs that envelope me. I cannot exist outside this milieu.

This beckons us to develop those attitudes that will lead the whole environment towards harmony since in harmony we also find our peace and joy.

In that harmony people are more than willing to support each other in their spiritual quest. How easy it is to practice when surrounded by like minded others on retreat. Or indeed, how joyful is the practice of affectionate mindfulness when doing something with others who have a similar goal.

So it does help to know where we are going, no matter how nebulous the goal. The Buddha says our ultimate goal is Nibbana. But what can that be? Rather than fretting over something that is by definition beyond description, we can ground ourselves in the ethics manifested in the way an Arahant, one who has attained Nibbana, lives. Then that path becomes clear. In short, the second step of the Eightfold Noble Path, Right Attitude, shows us where we are going - moving from selfishness to generosity, hatred to love and cruelty to compassion.

These are all social virtues. They cannot be practiced on ‘me’. They demand the ‘other’. And in that relationship, the ‘other’ is encouraged to reciprocate as we are encouraged when the ‘other’ behaves towards us with generosity, love and compassion.

It would be delusive to believe that we would end up in Shangri-La for this is after all Samsara. But we may move from a disharmonious social order based on competition to one based on harmonious co-operation.
 

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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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