October Newsbyte

October NEWSBYTE 2020

Covid continues to reign.
I trust you are safeguarding!

Trust all is well!


All Past Tips


For calendar and assistant opportunities, see below.

Tip o' the Day

The Wisdom and Virtues of Uncertainty

Bhante Bodhidhamma
See Below

(Difficulty reading text? Press Ctrl +)

Online - Autumn Mahasi Retreat

Four-week roll-on, roll-off format. Starting dates Sat 31 st  October, Sun 8th, Sat 14th and Sun 22 nd  November. See Calendar below.

Spiritual Companions:  an informal meditation group to meet on a monthly basis via Zoom for a full day of meditation.

Email Magda at spiritualcompanions2020@gmail.com

Autumn Daily Life Course with Noirin starts in October. It's an eight-week course examining the Third Foundation for Mindfulness - see below.

Diary:

We are now planning how to run the Winter Mahasi. It is obviously very difficult to plan in uncertain times. And as a 'small-business man', (yes, I run a business: Satipanya Ltd.) I have a lot of empathy for business in general and especially those where so much employment is involved. But we and all who have attended the online courses continue to be grateful to Zoom.

We will send out a Minibyte explaining how we intend to run the Winter Mahasi with both residents and online retreatants next Sunday.

Announcements

Autumn Daily Life Course with Noirin starts in October. It's an eight-week course examining the Third Foundation for Mindfulness, working with the mind in its glorious and inglorious states. Each week Noirin sends a few pages of Dhamma notes and exercises. People can then post reflections / comments / questions on the forum. The course helps sustain practice outside of retreat and also allows people deepen their connection with the Satipanya sangha, learning from one another how to apply the teachings in practice. For further information or to register email noirinsheahan@gmail.com

London and South East Satipanya Sangha: Fortnightly meetings, currently on Zoom. If you're interested in joining, please email satipanya-lse@genko.co.uk .

Online Meditation Hall on Zoom: Join us for your daily meditation. Info. (PDF)
Now includes a 5.am sit. to facilitate our continental cousins who are more advanced (timewise anyhow) than us.

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

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.

Mahasi Monthlong Retreat

Noirin Sheahan

Start dates Sat 31 Oct, Sun 8, Sat 14, Sun 22 Nov.

Beginners welcome

Ends Sat am 28 Nov.

ONLINE

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.

Easily modified for beginners.

Online - New Year Day Retreat

A kick start to the year!
Bhante Bodhidhamma

Saturday 09 January
Meeting at 09.00 : Ending 17.00

Schedule and details will be sent with application.
Email Marion : info@satipanya.org.uk

Bhante's Away Calendar

The Wisdom and Virtues of Insecurty

Bhante Bodhidhamma

Everything changes and everything is dependent on something else. We, human beings, are always changing and dependent on virtually everything! We are all made up of bits and pieces and each bit is dependent on many of the pieces. And all these bits and pieces are changing all the time.

The recognition and acceptance of impermanence is one of the rocks upon which the Buddha established his teaching. It is part of his last valedictory encouragement. ‘Everything that is a compound is subject to change. Strive diligently for your liberation.’

None of this comes as a surprise. But that does not mean to say we are ready for changes that really do upset our regular, presumed changes of everyday life. The sudden appearance of Coronavirus, a fatal illness! We have been lucky in the West not to have to deal with MERS, SARS, Zika, Ebola. And scientists say there are more on the way! Hold onto your hats!

What are the contemplations and virtues that will steel our hearts to acceptance and action?

The contemplations of sickness, ageing and death prepares the ground for profound acceptance. These were the awakening calls – the ‘Messengers of the Gods’ – that woke the Bodhisatta to his vow to become fully self-enlightened. Repeating the phrases once a day and really driving home their truth value that sickness and death could strike today, sensing any resistance, would be enough to keep us prepared for the worst.

Equanimity, calmness in danger, comes in handy! This has to be based on acceptance. This is the way it is. This is what it is. This allows clarity to arise, untainted by emotional bias, and protects us from denial and fake hope of wacko theories – how could anyone in their right mind think that swallowing a cleaning liquid that says it kills 99% of known germs could be taken as a medicine and swallowed? Hopefully, they have recovered.

Yes even the good old British stiff upper lip, courage and stoicism to face dire situations. Patient forbearance the Buddha says is the highest form of ascetic practice. In other words, letting go is most difficult when we are in a stressful situation. Lockdown, social distancing, restrictions on where we can go, who we can visit, where we can eat, all call for renouncing of enjoyable habits.

So all in all, we may become grateful for this disruption in our lives. If we have responded with wisdom, it will make us more flexible, more inventive, more optimistic, more ready to face sudden changes in our lives in the future whatever the cause.

The Chinese word for crisis says it – dangerous times may lead to opportunities.

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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  Noirin Sheahan  Mike Regan  Alison Weeks
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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