November Newsbyte

October NEWSBYTE
Trust all is well!

All Past Tips 
For Calendar and assistant opportunities see below .
Tip o' the Day 
Understand and See things as they really are: ñāṇa dassana yathā bhūtaṃ

(Difficulty reading text? Press Ctrl +)

Diary:  I had a very long time away from the centre. Not only was I travelling my usual teaching round to Ireland, Paris, Switzerland and Oxford, but attended the European Budhist Teacher Meeting at Sangha Activa near Barcelona. I went with  Carl.  Although the subjects matter, such as 'What can Buddhism offer the West,'  the real joy is to be with teachers of so many other traditions.  Carl especially was locked into conversation on many an occasion. And of course another highlight was visiting  the Basílica de la Sagrada Familia - Gaudi's masterpiece in Barcelona. Lucky not to be there for the riots!

Announcements:

Encouragements to Awakening on Retreat  Many of you will have a hard copy of this book. Unfortunately, ever since Wisdom Books closed down, I have been unable to distribute the hard copies. Wisdom Books were very generous, charging only the postage.
It occurred to me that the book lent itself to being an ebook so one could hyperlink to a tip and have it there on one's phone, tablet and so on. Since I have seen other Buddhist monks publish books on Amazon, I have followed their path. A little difficult for me, since it was mainly Amazon's control of the book market that caused Wisdom Books to close. Whatever kamma ...
So if you want an ecopy, you can download the Kindle version. Just type my name, Bodhidhamma, into the search bar. There is a £2 on top of Amazon's charge partly to cover costs of this publication and help with others. (A hard copy will available in time, but as you will see it is quite costly.)

Course Assistant   (no need for deposit, your assistance is your donation, plenty of time to join the course) needed for Winter Mahasi:

 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 Gaia Zocchi

 

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

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.

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.
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 : Fi Robertson

Assistant Nov.Sat.16 - Sat. 30 : Robert Narayan Taylor
The usual schedule and format, easily modified for beginners. 

The Complete Calendar for 2020
(See website calendar for updates)

Teachers: Click on names for bio.

Day Retreat
Kick Start/Top up
Saturday 04 January

Bhante Bodhidhamma
Local Assistant : Trevor Flaxman and Mary Ryan
Arrive 09.30. Finish 17.00
Please bring veggie food to share.

Three Month Winter Mahasi
APPLICATIONS OPEN NOW
Bhante Bodhidhamma
Eleven week roll-on, roll-off Retreat.
11 January - 28 March
Finishing Sat 28 March am
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.

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 Gaia Zocchi

 
APPLICATIONS START JANUARY 07
 
Easter Mahasi Retreat
Noirin Sheahan
Sat 11 April Sat. 25 April a.m.
( Possible start Sunday 19 April for Mahasi devotees)

Assistant : 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.

The usual schedule and format – see website.

Buddha Day
Honouring Our Teacher  and Exemplar
Taking Refuges and Precepts Ceremony 
On Saturday 02 May : Start 10.30 
Morning Meditation at 11.00
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
Sat 02 – Weds 06 May 

Come Friday evening if you want to join in Buddha Day Celebration

Mahasi Day Retreat
Jenny Birkett
Sat. 16 May
Assistant : Needed

The usual schedule and format – see website.
Especially for beginners.

Weeklong Mahasi Retreat
 Guus Went
23 May – Sun. 31 May.
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.

Mahasi Weeklong Retreat
Carl Fooks
Sat 06 – Sun 14 June
Assistant : Needed

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
Eleven week roll-on, roll-off Retreat.
Minimum stay eight nights.
Assistants : Needed (see below)

Noirin Sheahan
Start dates: Saturdays:-
27 June & 11 July
Finishing Sat 25 July
Alternate Sun. possible for Mahasi devotees: 05 & 19 July

Bhante Bodhidhamma
Start dates: Saturdays:-
25 July - 08 & 22 Aug. 05 Sept.
Sun. 13 Sept
N.B. Start restricted to listed Saturdays.
Alternate Sun. possible for Mahasi devotees: 02 & 16 & 30 Aug,
You are encouraged to stay for more than one week.

Assistants : Needed
Starting and ending on following Saturday.
27 June – 11 July : Assistant Needed
11 July – 25 July : Assistant : Needed
25 July – 08 August : Assistant : Needed
08 – 22 August: Assistant : Needed
22 August – 05 September: Assistant : Needed
05 September – 13 September: Assistant : Needed
13 September Finishing Day

Sangha Day : Thiteenth Anniversary
Saturday 12 September
Assistant : Needed

Please bring veggie food to join us for communal lunch at noon.
Ceremony starts 13.30
Talk: To be announced.

Weekend Retreat 
Carl Fooks
Fri. 25 – Sun. 27 September
Assistant : Needed

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.
See usual weekend  
Schedules

Insight Dialogue
Anne Michel
 Sat.17 – Sat. 24 a.m. October
Assistant : Needed
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

 Mahasi Monthlong Retreat
Noirin Sheahan
Start dates Sat 31 Oct. and 14 Nov.
Mahasi devotees can join on Sundays 08 or 22 Nov
Ends Sat am 28 Nov.
Assistant Sat 31 Oct.  - Sat. 14 Nov. : Needed
Assistant Sat.14 Nov. - Sat. 28 Nov.: 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.

The usual schedule and format – see website.
Bhante's Away Calendar

Understand and See things as they really are: ñāṇa dassana yathā bhūtaṃ

This is a favourite saying of the Buddha. But what does it actually mean?

The translation of ‘things as they really are’ gives weight to experiencing in the present moment. But experiencing something can be done at all sorts of levels.

Looking at a rose, I can acknowledge I see the rose and I am made happy by that feeling. But am I really seeing the rose as it is? If I want to do that I have to get back into my body, my senses, and really look and smell the rose. I become aware of how red it actually is. Before it was red, but not this red.

And my nose was simply not engaged. Engaging my nose gave the rose a different sense dimension.

Now I am really experiencing the rose as it really is. But am I?

I could go the scientific route and put it under a microscope and see all the different cells. And if we had eyes that could see the atoms and sub-atomic components, we would find out it was largely made of nothing! At any point I might say, now I see the rose as it actually is.

Looking at a rose this way may be scientifically satisfying, but there is also a spiritual understanding here. That nothing has any substance. It is when we turn the gaze upon this ‘body of mine’ that it may strike home that, as that rose is, so is my body. This insightful reflection might not make us so happy!

Going back to the Buddha’s phrase, the literal translation is to ‘really grasp and see how things have come to be’. In other words, not to see the rose as a thing, but a ‘thinging’ – something that is continuously changing. To see how things have come to be naturally progresses to how things are going to be. The Buddha wants us to be aware of process and how nothing is anything, not even for a split moment.

To see the rose as process is to see it bud and blossom; droop and die a shrivelled memorial. And again when we turn this understanding towards this body of mine, then it may strike home at that intuitive experiential level that this body really is in a process and it will die, most likely a shrivelled representation of itself. What was the magic of nature now becomes the tragic for me. Hardly a happiness engendering realisation!

Gently repeating to ourselves – this is the way it is. Over and over. Feeling the fear, the aversion, the reluctance to accept. Putting a smile on the face. This is the way it is. I am not alone. Everything is arsing and passing away – all the plants, all the animals, all humans – even this mighty cosmos. Slowly the agitation gives way to calm.

In that calm, we hear the Buddha’s teaching – there is an end to suffering in the here and now. Where then can I stand in this tumultuous world and yet not be tormented by it?

When we know where that is, we have come to realise the experiential truth of Satipatthāna – the establishment of awareness. This is what the Discourse on Mindfulness is all about; and at the end of that Discourse the Buddha states that anyone who can maintain complete unbroken mindfulness for even a mere seven days will be fully liberated or reach the goal of Non-Returner.

Reflecting on impermanence and insubstantiality, although at first not a pleasing contemplation, leads to realisation of what is permanent and reliable?

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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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