April Newsbyte

Trust all is well!

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For Calendar and assistant opportunities see below .

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Every Evening during Lockdown from 20.00 to 21.30 - Short talk, meditation and developing compassion, joy and metta

See below for special news of Rob Burbea

Treasurer's Note
Dear Supporters

Our AGM was held last Sunday 29 March via internet conferencing.

Raising the Deposit to £20 a night as from January 2021

It will not come a surprise that the financial crisis we are settling into will have an effect on our income.

As you might expect of insurers, although we are covered for loss of earnings, the insurance does not cover such situations caused by COVID-19!

We set the deposit at £10 a night in 2008, when the food bill was under £3000. It is now just short of £6500. But such were the donations that we saw no reason to raise the basic deposit.

The reason we have to have a deposit is because HMRC do not accept that donations given after a course are true donations, but a subtle form of payment. They, therefore, ask that running costs be covered and then whatever more is given is allowed to be gift-aided. 

Our running costs this year will be close on £40,000. Partly because of rising costs over the years and partly because we now employ Mark’s services to help administer and run the courses. When this figure is divided into person days using last year's attendance figures, it comes to about £20 each.

We expect donations on top of this to fall, though we hope not. This does put Bhante’s intended move to a Shrewsbury Vihara on the back burner. On the other hand, we are now just about all finished, both with the expansion and the ‘beautification’ of Satipanya. Below you will find a list that takes us to completion. So, there will be no more very great expenditures.

£20 a day as a basic deposit needs to be put in perspective with other meditation centres and lodgings. Gaia House, for instance, which has heavy overheads, charges anywhere between £40 and £50, and for B&B's it is difficult to find any below £40. Satipanya is a rare centre that offers single bedrooms. And, of course, we are here only considering board and lodging. We are not including the teaching in the deposit. That still remains offered free of a charge and is dependent on your generosity.

It will be these further donations that will allow us to take on any new project or refurbish and maintain the centre when needed. You can view the accounts soon on Companies House or the Charity Commission and you will see the cost of Depreciation this year is put at £20,906, which raises the potential cost of running the centre to £60,000 a year

(Depreciation is an accounting method of deciding the cost of a tangible or physical asset over its useful life or life expectancy. Depreciation represents how much of an asset's value has been used up e.g. all appliances, building maintenance, refurbishment etc. In other words, the cost of keeping Satipanya at its present standard.)

Air Source:
This has turned out to be dearer than we had hoped. With the grant from the Government we should be paying just about the same for power as we used to, but Bhante reports the heat is so much better. Of course it is also a greener option, and we have also changed our supplier from Npower to Opus, who use alternative energy and when short gas. So, in terms of Climate Crisis, we have done what we can.

Bell Tower
The bell is up. Unfortunately, because of the dreaded COVID-19, we have had to cancel Buddha Day so the ceremonial chiming of the bell will have to wait till the Anniversary Celebration at the end of the Mahasi Summer in early September … we hope.

Jetty or Bridge on the pond.
The first ashes to be poured into the pond were those of Vajira Dorothy Bailey who was Bhante’s first ever meditation teacher. She was a Zen practitioner.

Reliquary on Stupa has been gilded and now is back to its former brilliance.

Car Park has been partly tarmacked with an apron at the gate and the passages at the back have been stoned.

Statue will be placed into the island in the car park as soon as the COVID-19 crisis is over.

Mark Blaxland, whom many of you will now since he was here as a Facilitator for two years is now the General Coordinator and has taken a lot of duties off Bhante.

Bhante’s hope of ‘retiring’ from Satipanya as ‘manager’ seems a little more far away than hoped. With the effect of COVID-19 and Brexit, the financial future of Satipanya may be strained. But the intention still remains to find a way of running Satipanya without Bhante and to set up a Vihara in Shrewsbury.

Many thanks to all who donate at the retreats and all those who donate in support of the centre. The finances will be made public on Companies House and the Charity Commission website soon.

Financial Support:
As always a request for you to consider a regular donation if you have not given one before. And if you are already giving, a small addition would be gratefully received.

You can donate single and continuing gifts via PayPal: http://www.satipanya.org.uk/donations/
(Don’t forget to click on Gift Aid if have a given us a form or wish to have your donation Gift Aided. You can download the gift aid form from the Donation page and email it. No need to sign.)

However, if you prefer to offer by way of Internet Banking the details are below.

£1.00 a week is a worthy gift!

Richard Benjamin
Treasurer on behalf of the Trustees.

For a one off donation:


Account Name: Satipanya Buddhist Trust
Account Number: 11 44 54 05
Sort Code: 40 34 31
Bank Address: HSBC, 42 Courtenay Street, Newton Abbot, Devon TQ12 2EB, UK
International Bank Account Number: GB69HBUK40343111445405
Branch Identifier Code: HBUKGB4166W

For regular donation no matter how small:
DEPOSIT A/C Bank Mandates only:
Account Name: Satipanya Buddhist Trust
Account Number: 91 49 81 34
Sort Code:  40 34 31
Bank Address:  HSBC, 42 Courtenay Street, Newton Abbot, Devon TQ12 2EB, UK
International Bank Account Number: GB32HBUK40343191498134
Branch Identifier Code:  HBUKGB4166W



Bell Housing: The Bell Housing at last - see the photos.

Encouragements to Awakening on Retreat: If you remember, I had put both the Kindle ebook and paper back on Amazon. It has actually taken me all this time to get the paperback up. Lots of issues till I found a good formatter. Then I found out I don't have to have the ebook up on Amazon to sell the paperback. So I have put PDF, Mobi for Kindle and ePub versions for all other readers onto the website for download. 
Again, if you remember I didn't want to print books since I had lost the distributor Wisdom Books. Hence you can now buy a hard copy for £6.99. £1 of which is there to offset considerable costs. I don't expect it will sell well.

Any old mobiles? When people are here for longer periods, I give them talks to listen to. The easiest device is the mobile rather than the fiddly mp3 players or the bulky radio CD players. So if there's an old mobile lurking around your cupboards, I'd be pleased to use it for this simple purpose. 

London and South East Satipanya Sangha: Before the coronavirus lockdown, Carl and Satipanya regular Animesh were in the process of setting up a local Sangha for London and the South East. Location, frequency, and format are still undecided, and will depend on the input of the early members. A first meeting was scheduled for the 15th March, but didn't happen for obvious reasons. If this sounds of interest—once the lockdown is lifted—please email satipanya-lse@genko.co.uk for more information.

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.

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.

Special News of Rob Burbea:
Dear friends and students of Rob,
Dearest Rob is not so well at the moment, so please join us, if you would like to, today at 5pm UK time, for meditation and prayers, to weave a cloak of care and blessing for our beloved friend and teacher. 
Catherine will host the meeting and it will be about one hour long.
Please click on the link below to join us on Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/933383154?pwd=VlN1bDNOTktheGlMdGNoUHowRjV4dz09
With much love,

Click for Bhante's Away Courses

The Calendar for 2020


Warning re Coronavirus: We would prefer you to cancel your retreat or visit should you show any signs of illness.

We would ask anyone who as any sign of fever, tiredness, cough, or breathing difficulties, such as shortness of breath or chest pain, should cancel their proposed visit.  

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: 

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.
(See website calendar for updates)

Mahasi Weeklong Retreat
Very doubtful because of COVID-19 — Decision by end of April

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
Twelve week roll-on, roll-off Retreat.
Minimum stay eight nights.
Assistants : Needed (see below)
The usual schedule – see website - easily modified for beginners.
Noirin Sheahan
Start dates: Saturdays:-
20 June & 4 July
Finishing Sat 18 July
Alternate Sun. possible for Mahasi devotees: 05 & 19 July

Bhante Bodhidhamma
Start dates: Saturdays:-
18 July, 1, 15,  & 29 Aug.
Finishing 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.
20 June – 04 July : Assistant Zach Bates
04 July – 18 July : Assistant : Needed
18 July – 01 August : Assistant : Needed
01 – 15 August: Assistant : Joséphine Mangenot
15 August – 29 August: Assistant : Grace White
29 August – 06 September: Assistant : Needed
Sunday 06 September Finishing Day

Sangha Day : Thirteenth Anniversary
Saturday 05 September
Assistant : Needed

Please bring veggie food to join us for communal lunch at noon.
Installation of new Metta Buddha Statue on the island (to be confirmed).
Ceremony starts 13.30
Talk: To be announced.

Weekend Retreat 
Carl Fooks
Fri. 18 – Sun. 20 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 schedule.

Insight Dialogue
Anne Michel
Sat.17 – Sat. 24 a.m. October
Assistant : Mark Blaxland
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 - easily modified for beginners.

Bhante's Away Calendar


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Many thanks.

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



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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