May Newsbyte

May NEWSBYTE 2020

Strange times! 

Trust all is well!


All Past Tips


For calendar and assistant opportunities, see below.

Tip o' the Day

Yearning for a Better World
Noirin Sheahan
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.

This Newsbyte contains a lot! The usual plus:

Evening Lockdown YouTube Session above
Buddha Day Evening Celebration
Online Meditation Hall on Zoom 
Meditation in Daily Life (On-line course)

 

Buddha Day Celebration
Full Moon of May on Thursday 07
Joining the Sangha of Pain Dei Ciliege   Zoom
Zoom entrance 15 minute time slot: UK 19.50-20.05  :  EU 20.50-21.05
Meeting ID: Email Bhante    Meeting Password: Email Bhante

Talk on the Buddha and Taking Refuges and Precepts : Taking the Refuges and Precepts : Sitting
Finishing Contemplations - Compassion, Joy and Metta

Finishing UK 21.30 : EU 22.30

Courses:
Summer Mahasi:  We plan to start the course as listed below
Guus Went Course: this has been moved to Sat.12 to Sunday a.m. 20 September

Diary:
I started my 'isolation' in the last week of the Winter Mahasi, 21 March. I prefer to think of myself as cocooned at Satipanya. And how fortunate I am. There's no downside I can see in being 'secluded' in the Shropshire Hills, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty! And it is the first spring that I have seen sprung here at Satipanya. Usually I'm travelling.

I am the great fortunate one! And I wonder how it would be for me to be 'locked up' in a flat without a garden or even a balcony because of a medical condition. That indeed would be a situation where Dhamma practice might show its value. I do hope that those of you who are isolated this way and even those who are freer are finding solace in the meditation and contemplations. And that you are able to brighten the heart also with e-communication and various wholesome entertainments.

All things come to pass. And let us hope that people in general have contemplated their lifestyles, driven by competition and acquisition. Whatever hard economic times arise, let us imagine a society based on the principles of generosity and care. There does not seem to be a dream to replace this neo-liberal mindset, causing such damage to community cohesion and the environment. But if enough people yearn for a better world, no matter what their personal dreams may be, something will manifest. After all society is conjunction of hearts and minds. Let us work in our own little ways for unification.

The heart-mind is the forerunner of all conditions.
Understanding and attitude determine unwholesome states.
Every thought, word and action is heart-mind made. 
If we speak and act with immoral intention,
Suffering will follow as wheel follows the hoof  of an ox

The heart-mind is the forerunner of all conditions.
Understanding and attitude determine wholesome states.
Every thought, word and action is heart-mind made.
If we speak and act with moral intention,
Happiness will follow as a shadow that never leaves.
— Paraphrase of Dhp. 1&2

Announcements

Online Meditation Hall: *Recently an Online Meditation Hall was created
using Zoom in response to Noirin's online Easter Mahasi retreat. It serves
as a space where Meditators can sit together, according to their varying
schedules and circumstances, so as to increase that sense of Sangha support
throughout the day. It is now being offered to the wider Satipanya mailing
list for those who feel that they would benefit from the feeling of sitting
together in this way. The schedule is as follows:

6am (BST) - 50 minute sit, followed by (optional) Morning Chant with
Refuges and Precepts
9am (BST) - 1 hr sit
11am (BST) - 1 hr sit
2pm (BST) - 1 hr sit
4pm (BST) - 1 hr sit
6pm (BST) - 1 hr sit

[An 8pm sitting may be added at a later date]

The suggestion is that people try and join 1 or 2 minutes before the
scheduled start and decide who will take responsibilty for the bell. And
then everyone else can go on 'mute', so that there isn't too much noise
interference generated. After the 1hr there is also a short opportunity to
say hello and perhaps share experiences, if people so wish. It's a work in
progress. However, the overall intention is to develop the support of the
sangha, particularly during this time.

Hopefully, there will not be any security issues (ie the infamous
'Zoombombing'!), as a Waiting Room to counteract that has not been set up,
since there is no practical way of managing that. It should be fine though, as
long as the link isn't shared publicly eg on Facebook.

However, as an extra measure, to access please email the organiser, Mark
Arthur, on  markarfa@gmail.com  , so that he can then send out the Zoom
Meeting details. In addition, he is happy to address any technical
difficulties and any other issues that may arise.

Meditation in Daily Life (On-line course):   Open to all who’ve attended or booked a retreat at Satipanya, this year’s course looks at the third foundation for mindfulness - contemplation of mind.  The seven-week course starts in May 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

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 Mark on markarfa@gmail.com and he will be happy to assist.

Encouragements to Awakening on Retreat and Encouragements to Awakening in Daily Life: The paper backs are available on Amazon . But you can download  PDF, Mobi for Kindle and ePub versions for all other readers from the website .

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.

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 calendar on 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 (PDF).

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 you are needed .

ONLINE COURSE
Vipassana : Mettā : Bodycare 

Bhante Bodhidhamma
with Bryan Lester, Reiki Master

Sat 02 - Mon 04 May

ONLINE COURSE
Mahasi Weeklong Retreat

  Noirin Sheahan  and  Carl Fooks

Sat 06 - Sun 14 June
Places still available.

Email noirinsheahan@gmail.com for information on schedule and approach.

Summer Mahasi Retreat

Twelve week roll-on, roll off Retreat.

Minimum stay eight nights.

Assistants: Needed (see below)

The usual schedule and format . Easily modified for beginners.

 

Noirin Sheahan

Start dates: Saturdays:-
20 June & 04 July
Finishing Sat 18 July

Alternate Sundays possible for Mahasi devotees: 28 June, 12 July

 

Bhante Bodhidhamma

Start dates: Saturdays:-
18 July; 01, 15, & 29 Aug.
Finishing Sun 06 Sept.
NB: Start restricted to listed Saturdays.

Alternate Sundays possible for Mahasi devotees: 26 July; 09, 23 Aug; 06 Sep.

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: Linda Ciardeiello

01 August - 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.

Weeklong Mahasi Retreat

Guus Went

Sat 12 - Sun. 20 September

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 .

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.

The usual schedule and format .

Insight Dialogue

Anne Michel

Sat.17 - Sat.24 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.: Fi Robertson

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 . Easily modified for beginners.

Bhante's Away Calendar

Yearning for a Better World

Noirin Sheahan

This tip is inspired by a few lines from Bhante’s Diary:   “If enough people yearn for a better world …something will manifest. After all society is conjunction of hearts and minds. Let us work in our own little ways for unification”.  We can join this effort, this collective yearning for a better world, through the practice of metta (goodwill) e.g. “ May the global crisis bring a change for the better in society ”.

Don’t underestimate the potential for good even in a single good-wish. The flap of a butterfly wing can cause a storm. The ripple effects of metta through the world are similarly unpredictable. But there may be challenges e.g. the words ‘global crisis’ might bring up anxiety, while thinking about society changing for the better could bring up scepticism. We might give up after a few token wishes.

But if we want to do our bit, we need to persevere. One option is to focus on equanimity, the balance of mind that adds strength to metta, giving us the necessary calm and steadiness to bring forth good-will in the face of challenges like anxiety and scepticism.   Paradoxically, this strength stems from recognizing our limitations. It’s the delusion that we should somehow be able to save the world that brings on anxiety, prevents us seeing the potential for good in others.  We can cultivate equanimity using a phrase such as “ Though I wish the world changes for the better, I have no power to make this happen”.  Sometimes recognising our limitations brings relief, and we are better able to wish well for our fragile world.

But sometimes not - admitting to powerlessness in the face of the deep threat to civilisation might bring up fear, hatred or other hindrances. Here we resort to our old friend - vipassana. Seeing how much work is needed to change ourselves for the better, we start to feel relieved that we’re not expected to do this for anyone else never mind the whole world! We start to trust that at some deep level, the world is OK, that each person has the potential for good, and that change for the better really is possible. 

To encourage ourselves we need to look out for signs of hope such as the number of community groups that have been set up to help vulnerable people through the crisis. We should pause for a moment on hearing any such news, let it recharge our metta-batteries, hope that the cumulative effect of all such efforts will bring beneficial change to our social structures, our shared values. As Bhante says:  If enough people yearn for a better world …something will manifest.”

 

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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 Buddhist Trust Satipanya White Grit Minsterley, Shropshire SY5 0JN United Kingdom
T:  +44 (0)1588 650752
info:  info@satipanya.org.uk

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