September Newsbyte

September NEWSBYTE
Trust all is well!

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

Kamma and the End of Kamma.
Noirin Sheahan

Start of 2020 Calendar below.

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Diary:  

We do have a solution to the meadow. First many thanks for the suggestions you sent. Andy suggests we cut it late August and put the bales along the side of the property where the fruit trees and other trees are. It will rot down. First one side one year and the other side the second year so the  grass has two years to decompose back into the soil.

Picture of the meadows in the sunshine.

You might remember we bought a Japanese bell when I went to Japan on a pilgrimage. Michelle had drawn a tower which was basically a zero held high. Those of you who know the Ten Oxherding Pictures of Zen will know it refers to the Awakening. A steel company kept me on a string for 9 months! Finally, I realised they either didn't want to and couldn't do it. So I mean to keep the idea of a sphere to hold the bell, but sit in on a substantial wall which symbolises the material world we live in. I'll say more when I finally have it up. Who knows how long that will take!

Announcements:

Autumn on-line course: Open to all who’ve attended or booked a retreat at Satipanya, the course looks at the second foundation for mindfulness - contemplation of feelings.  The six-week course starts in October and uses a private forum on the Satipanya website. Each week Noirin sends a few pages of Dhamma notes and some suggested exercises. People can then post reflections / comments / questions on the forum.  The course helps sustain practice outside of retreat. It’s also a chance to maintain contact with the Satipanya sangha and help one another apply the teachings in daily life.  For further information or to register email   noirinsheahan@gmail.com

Encouragements towards Awakening on Retreat.
I had published this book in '08 and it went through two 1000 prints. It was available from Wisdom Books. They advertised the book and only charged the postage. Since this only Buddhist bookshop closed, it's been a quandary how to get this to people. Eventually I thought it best to make it available on Amazon as I see other Buddhist monks have done. It's a book that works well as an ebook where you can hyperlink to whatever Encouragement you want to read. A paper back will be available, but very pricey. I have added on new Encouragement and lots of meditation instruction at the back. If you are interested, just type in my name. The price, £3.99, includes £2 towards Satipanya projects.

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:-
  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:
Sat. 02 Sept - Sat 16 Nov. :  Fi Robertson
Sat 16 - Sat 30 Nov. : Robert Narayan-Taylor

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.

The usual schedule and format, easily modified for beginners. 

The Calendar for 2020

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.

Three Month Winter Mahasi
APPLICATIONS START 01 OCTOBER

Bhante Bodhidhamma
Eleven week roll-on, roll-off Retreat.

Start dates restricted to these Saturdays:  
 
11 Jan  -  25 Jan :  Assistant : Jim Tibby
25 Jan  -  08 Feb  :     Assistant Needed
08 Feb  -  22 Feb  :    Assistant Needed
22 Feb  -  07 Mar  :   Assistant Needed
07 Mar -  21 Mar  :   Assistant Needed
21 Mar -  28 Mar  :  Assistant Needed
 
Finishing Sat 04 April
Open only to those who have at least one Mahasi Retreat 
either at Satipanya or with another teacher
You are encouraged to stay for more than one week.

 
Kamma and the End of Kamma.

Kamma (karma in Sanskrit) is part of the Buddha’s law on cause and effect.  Every action (of body, speech or mind) generates kamma which causes a resulting effect that sooner or later comes back to us. Although there isn’t an exact equivalence in Christianity, the notion of kamma is reflected in western culture with sayings like “As you sow, so shall you reap”; “What goes around, comes around”. I once heard it described as “For every towel you pinch from a hotel, you lose another sock in the laundry!”

This reflects the first part of the Buddha’s law on cause and effect: When this exists, that comes to be. When we give a gift with good-will, happiness comes our way. When we pinch a towel from a hotel, some shade of misery comes our way.

To live happily we need to think, speak and act based on good-will, generosity and compassion. But even a blameless, happy life with lots of good friends ends up in sickness, old age and death.  The Buddha’s spiritual quest was to make peace with that reality. He discovered a form of kamma which loosens attachment to the world, paves a way to a realm without birth or death. This he called the kamma that ends kamma:  When this does not exist, that does not come to be.

It doesn’t mean that we stop giving gifts, stop speaking, thinking, acting. The Buddha lived an active life for 45 years after enlightenment, interacting with society at many levels. But obviously there was something not happening in all his actions.

The word ‘this’ refers to what is immediate, present. It could be this pen I’m holding, this car I’m sitting in, this anger I’m feeling, In contrast,  ‘that’  refers to what is objective, can be pointed at, not part of me - that pen you’re holding, that car you’re sitting in, that anger I might feel tomorrow.

When this exists, that comes to be. This anger leads to that result – more anger, more misery.
When this does not exist, that does not come to be. Could anger lose its ‘this-ness’?

When we think about anger, the notion ‘this anger’ is useful.  This anger I’m feeling now makes me want to burst.  When we stop thinking, just feel the sensations, the tightness, the energy, we can’t also describe the experience. It’s too fluid. It keeps changing. It loses its ‘this-ness’. Very unsatisfactory! When it was ‘this anger’ at least I could blame ‘that idiot who caused it’. When it’s just shifting sensations, I lose the sweet notion of someone to blame. We learn, first hand, that anger is hurting me, not the person I’m angry at.

To enact the kamma that ends kamma, to open ourselves to Nibbana, we drop below the level of conceptual thought. We sense the sensations, feel the feelings.  We lose the notion of ‘this’ and ‘that’, ‘me’ and ‘you’. In a strangely familiar, uncharted world we follow the path to freedom.

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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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