March Newsbyte

March 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

Quench all Resentments.

Bhante Bodhihamma
See Below

(Difficulty reading text? Press Ctrl +)

Online Winter Mahasi
Please note the Weekend Retreat over Easter
See below

Diary: 
Yet another entrance discovered. The chimney, it seems, has been leaking for sometime. Noirin is meditating in a room under the chimney and heard drops. We found the wood all wet, but not soft. So it is not rotten.The seal had come away and the mice had found a hole! 

We've also cut branches off an oak that overhangs the kitchen.

The fireplace was taken out when we opened the centre in 2007. So no loss.





Just the other day, noises in the loft and squeak was heard.

La lotta continua! 

Announcements

Observance Days:   The Buddhist Calendar runs on the ancient Moon cycle and it has always been customary to use the Full Moon days as time to reflect upon the Path. Usually people will spend the day at a monastery to take the Refuges and Precepts and listen to talks. Magda has suggested that we try to start this with the Online Meditation Hall.

The first opportuniity is 28 March - Sunday evening. It might not be possible to send out a notice with every Newsbyte, but certainly email those members of the OMH.

I propose to start with a reflection on the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha. And people can take the Refuges and Precepts at whatever level of commitment if any.

I then mean to give a short talk and the rest of the hour to sit with a short ending of mettā.

That's from 20.00 to 21.00 on Online Meditation Hall. It may go over the hour a little!

I hope you can join the evening.

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,
Started Sat 16 Jan, continues till Sat 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.

You can start or end on any of the following dates,
Saturdays: 13 & 27 March     10 & 24 April.
Sundays: 7 & 21 March           4* & 18 April.

* 4 April start only possible for Mahasi devotees, those new to the practice should join the Easter Weekend retreat on Fri 2nd April and join the Winter retreat when that finishes on Monday 5th.

For a 7-day retreat, start on Saturday, finish Sunday the following week.
For a 5-day retreat, start on Sunday, finish on the following Saturday.
Longer retreats – up to the remaining 8 week period are also possible.

Please enter the dates you want to attend on the Application Form .

Beginners welcome!

Calendar to Book
Information will be sent in due course.

 

Easter Weekend Retreat, Online

with Noirin Sheahan


Friday 2nd April, 19.30 - Monday 5th April 16.00

See  Easter Weekend Retreat Schedule.


Using Zoom.

An invitation to start or renew your vipassana meditation practice over Easter.

This will run in conjunction with the on-going Winter retreat and those who wish may continue, joining the Winter Retreat on Monday evening till Sat 10th April or longer.

We wll have a meeting a   few days prior to the retreat to say hello and talk about practicalities. 

Beginners Welcome!

We’re not asking for a deposit, but  donations  would be greatly appreciated as we have had a large drop in  our income

For further information contact Noirin at  noirinretreat@gmail.com

To book a place, please go to  Calendar .

Note there are also places left for the Winter Mahasi retreat!

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 01 at 19.00 – Weds 05 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

Quench all Resentments.

Bhante Bodhidhamma

Resentment burns. Old wounds smoulder in the heart. Fantasies of revenge fan to flames. And the desire for vengeful acts, retaliation, becomes more and more violent.

Sometimes we shock ourselves at the fierceness of our imaginations and then quickly supress them and with them the blazing. And this malevolence begins to manifest in more subtle ways, such as the passive aggression of sarcasm.

The Path of Purification was written by Buddhaghosa in the 5 th Century CE. My teacher told me I had in my hand the whole of Theravada Buddhism [i] . It is considered one of the great spiritual manuals of all religions. It is not a book you would want to read from page to page, but to dip in when needed. This is a summary of an extensive section of how to dissolve resentment at Chapter IX 14 [ii]

The first remedy is to develop metta towards the person who has hurt us. This would begin perhaps by not dwelling on the person’s negative characteristics. In this way we can undermine the anger and develop patience, which is the willingness to bear with the unpleasant and not to react with ill-will.

‘If bandits brutally severed limb from limb with a two handled saw, he who entertains hatred in his heart on that account, would not be one who carries out my teaching’ M i 129 Tall order!

If that approach fails to dampen, then bring to mind the person’s good qualities. I remember my niece when she about five telling her father how she could not stand her brother. He reminded her that he makes her laugh. There was a moment of recognition and she went away happy! Everyone has a good side that can be appreciated. But writes, Buddhaghosa, failing all that, if the person has no redeeming qualities, then they are deserving of our compassion.

If this approach fails, then consider the damage resentment is doing to us. Such negative mental states, when we dwell on them as feeling, are very unpleasant – hot agitation. And, of course, the chemicals produced are not doing the body any good either. Seemingly it takes 90 seconds for the chemicals caused by anger to dissolve once we are patient. Hence count ten … slowly!

Failing that, then the reflection on kamma: All beings are the owners of their actions (kamma), heirs of their actions, born from their actions, related to their actions, and have actions as their refuge. Whatever action they do, whether good or evil, they will inherit its results. In other words, we suffer the consequences of all our actions – good and bad. There is no need to punish.

And, of course, this leads to a reflection on our own past unkind, perhaps callous behaviour. We would not want people to bear grudges against us.

From a rebirth point of view, that person may have been a parent of ours in a past life. The Buddha says we would not repay our parents even if we carried them on our shoulders throughout our lives, such are the gifts we have received from them. According to rebirth theory, groups have been revolving around each other throughout countless lifetimes.

If even now, resentful feelings are not soothed, then bring to mind the blessings of Metta, Loving Kindness, one of which is good sleep. How exhausting it is to wake up in the middle of the night, the heart burning with resentment.

Still finding it difficult to let go, a more subtle contemplation is to ask what is it I actually resent? Breaking the person up into parts – is it the hair? The knees? And so on. Seeing the person through the Elements of Earth (solidity), Water (fluidity, elasticity), Fire (heat and cold) or Air (movement). In other words, by dissecting the person, one finds there is nothing solid, substantial to be angry with.

When all has failed, finally, most difficult, buy the person a present! An act of generous forgiveness is a powerful way to douse the flames.

All these techniques can be used where we see resentment towards ourselves. [iii]

An exercise: list all resentments towards others and ourselves. Work your way through them. It takes time.
May all our resentments dissolve into generous patience and caring benevolence! [i]

 
[i] there is also Venerable Sariputta’s advice: Getting rid of Resentment and the Buddha: Getting rid of Resentment .
 
[ii] This essay complements Towards the End of Forgiveness
 
[iii] A poem on self-forgiveness by Dilruba Ahmed:  Phase One
 

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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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