July Newsbyte

July NEWSBYTE 2020

Let's hope these strange times are coming to an end! 

Trust all is well!

All Past Tips

For calendar and assistant opportunities, see below.

Tip o' the Day

The conditioning we are born into.

Bhante Bodhidhamma
See Below

(Difficulty reading text? Press Ctrl +)

Every evening during lockdown from 20.00 to 21.30 — Short talk, meditation and developing compassion, joy and metta.

Don't forget:

Evening Lockdown YouTube Session above continue!
Online Meditation Hall on Zoom continued
Summer Mahasi: First month with Noirin Sheahan online (see below)

Residential courses from Saturday 18 July
looks increasingly more promising. 
We shall email everyone on the Summer Mahasi two weeks before to confirm.
If you cannot make it, there will be online teaching with every course.
If you would like to join the online courses do apply as usual.

Three months on and still all uncertain. Living with the insecure! That's becoming accustomed to impermanence. I watch my anxiety rise and fall - the students, the income, our society, the economy, the world ... 

Then I ground myself in, 'Well, what can I actually do?' And sit comfortably in my powerlessness.

It's good practice!

Noirin's midsummer evening photos (10.30pm)

Beautiful Satipanya waiting in vain, bereft of devotees!


The Bell finally! Three Years on since we bought the Bell on the pilgrimage to Japan, the Zen Bell is fully installed. The Dhammacakka, Dhamma Wheel, the Buddha himself agreed to have a as a sign over his monastery, is finally in place. Many thanks to Archie who has done all the fine metal work on the property.

Full history of photos and explanation.

Summer Mahasi first four weeks online with Noirin Sheahan.  Because people will be working from home, connecting via Zoom, the schedule can be tailored to suit each individual's circumstances. Info. (PDF)  Any questions email: [email protected]

London and South East Satipanya Sangha:  Fortnightly meetings. If you're interested in joining, please email [email protected] .

Online Meditation Hall on Zoom: Join us for your daily meditation. Info. (PDF)

Insight Timer: 'Satipanya Mahasi Devotees' group set up on the Insight Timer app organised by Mark Arthur. Info. (PDF)

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 .

Summer Mahasi Retreat

Twelve week roll-on, roll off retreat.

Minimum stay eight nights.

The usual schedule and format. Easily modified for beginners.


Noirin Sheahan


Because people will be working from home, connecting via Zoom, the schedule can be tailored to suit each individual's circumstances.
Online Retreat Info.

Start dates: Saturdays (7 day retreat) 20 June & 04 July
Sundays (5 day retreat) 28 June, 12 July.
Finishing Sat 18 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.

Starting and ending on following Saturday.

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: Dea Paradisos

Sunday 06 September Finishing Day

Sangha Day : Thirteenth Anniversary

Saturday 05 September

Assistant: Trevor Flaxman

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 sense what it means to be free.

The usual schedule and format . Easily modified for beginners.

Bhante's Away Calendar

The conditioning we are born into.

Bhante Bodhidhamma

As soon as possible after birth, the training begins. Potty training. Thank
you training. Do as I say training.

And then there are covert trainings. A way of seeing the world. A way of seeing yourself in the world. Nothing is said. There is no need. It is in the ether.

There are virtues. Love thy neighbour. There are vices. But some more than others. And some you are taught to dislike, even hate.

In my boyhood, Catholics, (called Roman Catholics by Anglicans) and Anglicans (called Protestants by Catholics) acknowledged each other’s presence, but communication was strained if not constrained. You didn’t speak about religion and politics. As a Catholic, ‘Protestants’ were to be guarded against. There was always a frisson of wariness at their mention. Both religions had marches on different days, of course.

Catholic schools had more holidays than Anglican ones. On one such holiday, I was sent to the Barbers. In those days, mature children were free to travel around on their own. The bus went past a Church of England school and the playground was full children. I looked at them and with that sense of satisfaction when one has come to ‘see and understand the way things really are’, I said to myself ‘Yes, they’re really strange.’

Such is the subtle and pervasive osmosis of prejudice.

I, myself, have been the victim of prejudice, though to a comparatively mild degree. As the son of an Italian mother, I would occasionally be mocked. Remember this was not long after the WW2. ‘How many gears does an Italian tank have? One forward and three in reverse’. I must have been a young boy, but this mild mocking stayed with me. As a student on ‘Rag Week’, I remember the disgusted, snobbish looks of middle-class professionals when they heard my northern accent. As a Buddhist monk, I was jeered at by building workers and children, and most shocking at the time, being laughed at by two young police officers. I found that quite frightening, having lost a lot of trust in the honesty of the police a long while before. Luckily, I was on the opposite side of the road and quickly scurried away.

I cannot think how anyone cannot but be conditioned into the virtues and vices of one’s own society. And in that sense, we carry the national and social karma of our race, sex, religion, class and so on. We need only catch the comment when we see someone unknown unexpectedly in the street or travelling on public transport. The Buddha’s teaching warns us not to suppress such negative thoughts, but to bring them into the light of awareness. At this point there is no support or continuation. What happens after though is crucial.

Even if the thought flow was unintended, there will be some will behind it. And that is a warning to be more alert and allow the presenting negative thoughts and images to have their say and allow them to die away. And they are dying away. Over time conditioning atrophies as a leg in plaster loses muscle.

To acknowledge any negative thinking whatsoever carries no penalty and we should not feel ashamed or guilty. Mara, the evil enticer, gave up on tempting the Buddha after his enlightenment. ‘The Buddha sees me’. He had to accept that once he is seen, he loses all power. So it is with us. Whenever we stand back from an unwholesome thought and say, ‘I see you, Mara!’, it has no power over us.

But once we have fallen into the temptation and activated a prejudicial fantasy, flow of words or an action, then we need to accept the harm done (by way of thought to ourselves) and put it right as soon as we can.

And when the purity of heart returns, to remind oneself of the terrible suffering caused by hateful prejudice, and send all victims our metta.

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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 Buddhist Trust Satipanya White Grit Minsterley, Shropshire SY5 0JN United Kingdom
T:  +44 (0)1588 650752
info:  [email protected]

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