February Newsbyte

February NEWSBYTE 2021


Another lockdown : another opportunuity for growth?

Trust all is well!


All Past Tips


For calendar and assistant opportunities, see below.

Tip o' the Day

Coronavirus : Messenger from the Gods

Bhante Bodhihamma
See Below

(Difficulty reading text? Press Ctrl +)

Online Winter Mahasi
See below

Diary: 
We are still mystified as to where the mice enter, but at least they were very few and far between.

Then, Andy, our gardener, arrived with a bag full of ferret poo. I put some in jars in the loft. Not a scratch since. And we have enough poo for many years!

I do hope you have again taken lockdown as an opportunity to develop a project new or old. Someone wrote to say they had joined a creative writing group on Zoom.

There is hope in the air with the vaccines and we can now look forward to 'liberation'! And we plan to open up June.

Meanwhile don't forget you can join the Winter Mahasi which carries on beyond Easter - even as part-time.

Photos!
Metta Buddha on Island
Snowy Mettā Buddha

No comment!
The Weight of Thought

Announcements

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

Satipanya Online Meditation Hall on Zoom: Join us for your daily meditation - 06.00, 14.00 and 20.00 sits.  Info

Satipanya Spiritual Companions:  An informal meditation group to meet on a monthly basis via Zoom for a full day of meditation. 
Email Magda for details at spiritualcompanions2020@gmail.com

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.

Calendar for Start of 2021

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 - WINTER MAHASI 

Fourteen week roll-on, roll-off Retreat.

Saturday 16 January to Saturday 24 April

First 8 weeks: Bhante Bodhidhamma. Last 6 weeks: Noirin Sheahan

Applications open.

Please read  Winter Mahasi   in order to see how we hope to run the retreat.

Retreatants can start only on the following Saturdays and continue until another Saturday. Please enter the dates you want to attend on the Application Form.

January 16 & 30

February 13 & 27

March 13 & 27

April 10 & 24

Beginners welcome!

Calendar to Book
Information will be sent in due course.

 

BUDDHA DAY


Honouring Our Teacher  and Exemplar

Taking Refuges and Precepts Ceremony 


Saturday 01 May
Start 14.30 

Probably all outside.


Taking Refuges and Precepts : Procession
Tea and Biscuits 16.00

ONLINE - VIPASSANA : METTA : BODYCARE

Sat 02 at 19.00 – Weds 06 May 08.00


Bhante Bodhidhamma
with Bryan Lester, Reiki Master


See Calendar for details

SUMMER MAHASI

Residential with some online (should all be back to normal. 🤞🏻)

 

Noirin Sheahan will lead the retreat from 19 June – 17 July

Bhante Bodhidhamma will lead the retreat from 17 July – 12 September

 

Online attendance is open only to the elderly, those who live at too far a distance, or those that have medical reasons, that is, anyone incapacited one way or another. Retreatants can tailor their schedule to suit their own circumstances.  Information!

For further info. email: noirinsheahan@gmail.com or bodhidhamma@satipanya.org.uk

 

N.B.  Although the retreats are organised on a two week rota, it is possible to come for the first 8 days  of any two week slot. However, we would encourage you to attend for at least two weeks.

 

Start dates restricted to these Saturdays :   19 June  & 3, 17, 31 July, 14 & 28 Aug.

(Alternate Sunday start is possible for Mahasi devotees.)

Finishing Sun. 12 Sept. to include the Anniversary Celebration on Sat.11 Sept.

A challenging Retreat easily modified for beginners. See  Beginner’s Testimonials on website .
You are encouraged to stay for more than one week.

Please note:   make sure the  dates on the application form  match the dates you want to come.
 

Assistants: Needed

(Come on Friday evening and leave on Saturday after breakfast.)

18 Jun – 03 Jul: Assistant: Needed

03 Jul – 17 Jul: Assistant: Grace White

16 Jul – 31 Jul: Assistant: Needed

30 Jul – 14 Aug: Assistant: Needed

13 Aug – 28 Aug: Assistant: Needed

27 Aug – 12 Sep: Assistant: Needed

    (includes the Anniversary on Saturday)   

Bhante's Away Calendar

Coronavirus : Messenger from the Gods

Bhante Bodhidhamma

I much prefer to call our ‘Messenger from the Gods [1] ’ Coronavirus rather than the bland Covid 19. It gives a certain majesty (corona/crown) to the role it is playing in our human world.

There is the fear it inspires, especially to those who are vulnerable. It connects us to the fragility of human life. How ironic that this minute arrangement of chemicals has the sensitivity to pierce our cells and destroy them.

The aversion towards it for upsetting our daily routines, undermining our economy, destroying our jobs, impoverishing the already poor, worsening the suffering of the mentally ill and fragile. Painful in preventing us from being with loved ones and the young from enjoying each other’s company. And most painful of all when it kills the ones we love. And all this is spiced with anger at having to comply with rules and regulations.

In some it has brought out a boldness, perhaps a bravado. Life must go on. We can’t be cowered by a disease. There have always been diseases. So what! We all have to die anyway. Life becomes meaningless when everything stops.

Then there is the libertarian – no-one tells me what I am going to do! No-one not even death should undermine my personal freedoms even if it imperils others.

What has been your response?

On a wider scene, Coronavirus has confused the leaders of our countries with differing responses. The authoritarian lockdown of China which learnt from the Sars outbreak. The wise response of Jacinda Ardern. The macho response of Trump and the confused efforts of our own Boris.

But there have been great pluses. How quickly vaccines have been produced when co-operation is demanded. And with no testing on animals so easily sacrificed for humans!

How well local communities responded in helping those who are vulnerable. There was a re-discovery of neighbourliness. Some inkling as to how we could be so much happier as a community of interdependent citizens rather than isolate entities, vying with each other for personal advantage.

New communication especially with Zoom. It is not the same as a real presence, but it surprises how real the encounters are. It has been a great boon to be able join online courses of every description.

A change for many in work habits. Working from the comfort of home. The saving of time and money for travel as well as carbon footprint. Every indication is that this will be a permanent change in working habits.

Finding ways to make life enjoyable in lockdown has led many to new pursuits and to re-ignite the joy of education, of involvement through social media in the problems of the day.

The virtual collapse of tourism which has its negative effects on jobs, but so much better for the Climate Crisis we are in. It maybe that people seek vacations closer to home, discovering the beauty of their own countries.

Greater appreciation for ‘front line’ workers – health care [2] , shop assistants, refuse collection, bus and train drivers. Also seeing importance of NHS over private medicine. And we can add the BBC as a trusted information media.

The forces to re-assert life as it was with an economy based of personal greed at the expense of social welfare and the environment will without doubt return with great force. But hopefully, it will be guided towards the sustainable. And it may just be that there is enough conscience especially in the Democracies of the world to start addressing the unsustainable balance between the rich and the poor and the neo-liberal economy that has produced it - and the growing far right politics..

And the consumer also plays an important part. Many have realised that they do not ‘need’ all the stuff they are used to buying. A visitor told me how he envied the Travellers who work for enough money to live by, live simply and contented in their caravans.

Perhaps you see further advantages and disadvantages from what is after all a plague. Do email me.

Some commentators talk of a turning point. There are grounds for hope.
 

 
[1] The Buddha was said to awaken to his task when he came across a very sick person, an very old person, a corpse and an ascetic sitting under a tree. They are known as ‘Messengers from the Gods.
 
[2] A member emails: Where I work Covid is rampant and taken out most of our clinical team including me! … The NHS is under extreme pressure both in the acute and mental health sides - it's like a war zone. … work and keeping sane are my only focuses right now! I should also be part of the emergency mass vaccination programme starting at the end of this month too. I can do this in my spare time to help. On Monday morning I was in a Covid red zone in resuscitation wearing full PPE - respirator, face shield, full body gown and gloves. That's really tough for people to work in day in day out. In ITU many wear nappies because they do not have the time to use the bathroom and get out of their gear...
 

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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 Gritt, Minsterley Shrewsbury, Shropshire SY5 0JN United Kingdom
T:  +44 (0)1588 650752
info:  info@satipanya.org.uk

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