May Newsbyte

May NEWSBYTE 2021

 

Trust all is well!

While our own lockdown eases, we think of all those affected by this new wave of coronavirus, particularly at the moment the people of India.


All Past Tips


For calendar and assistant opportunities, see below.

Tip o' the Day

Exiting Lockdown

Noirin Sheahan
See Below

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Celebration of Buddha Day on the Online Meditation Hall
Sharing with Pian Dei Ciliegi in Italy as last year.
Sunday 23 May
Earlier start at 19.30
Details will be sent out in good time.
If you want to join, you must join the Online Meditation Hall

Diary: 
Noirin here, recently liberated from the winter retreat! This started in the dark days of January, accompanied at various stages by ice and snow and storms. In March the daffodils started blooming, little lambs arrived next door in April and the retreat has ended in beautiful spring sunshine with trees are coming into bud and birds singing their hearts out ... Oh yes, whispers delusion, this is the way life should always be!

The pond meanwhile has had a springclean, removing an overgrowth of bullrushes and pondweed. Thanks to Andy, Tomas and Roy for this work. The dredged soil now lining the banks and will provide good nourishment for new plants. We trust the beauty of the area will be much enhanced, perhaps including a flowering bank underneath the Parinibbana Buddha.

Announcements

 

Metta for India: 30-min meditations at 19.30 on Mon 3 and Fri 7 May organised by Buddhists Across Traditions and Dales View Sangha Info

Buddha Day Sunday May 23, Honouring our Teacher and Exemplar.

  • Afternoon celebration: Starts 14.30. Taking Refuges and Precepts, Procession, Tea and Biscuits (probably all outdoors)
  • Evening celebration: Starts 19.30, Sharing with Pian Dei Ciliegi (Italy) as last year, Online Meditation Hall, details to follow.


Spring Weekend Retreat  with Noirin Sheahan. Fri 28 - Mon 31 May, (On-line only) Kick-start or renew your vipassana meditation practice Info

Daily Life Course  with Noirin Sheahan. A 5-week on-line course with weekly Dhamma notes and practical suggestions to support your practice outside of retreat. A forum on the website allows people to post reflections and learn from one another. For further information or to register email  Noirin .

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

Full Moon Celbrations:  Join the on  Online Meditation Hall  from 20.00 to 21.00 ever Full Moon  Next Celbration: Sunday May 23 (Buddha Day)  Info.  

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 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 Satipanya Online

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

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 .

BUDDHA DAY

 

Honouring Our Teacher  and Exemplar

Taking Refuges and Precepts Ceremony 

 

Saturday 23 May
Start 14.30 

Probably all outside.

 

Taking Refuges and Precepts : Procession
Tea and Biscuits 16.00

Spring Weekend Retreat (Online)
Noirin Sheahan
Fri 28 May 19.30 - Mon 31 May 16.00.

Beginners Welcome!

In vipassana we open up to experience moment by moment, seeing it clearly, without judgement. Relating to experience like this is transformative. From confusion we move toward wisdom, from negativity toward friendliness and compassion. The practice clears up our misperceptions and brings us into harmony with ourselves, our relationships and all aspects of life.

Schedule

We will have a meeting a few days prior to the retreat to say hello and talk about practicalities.   If you have questions, contact Noirin  

To book a place, please go to  Calendar .

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:  Saturdays :   19 June & 3, 17, 31 July, 14 & 28 Aug
Sundays: 27 June, 11 July; alternate Sunday start only for Mahasi devotees during remainder of retreat.

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: Gwen Sanderson 

30 Jul – 14 Aug: Assistant: Josephine Mangenot

13 Aug – 28 Aug: Assistant: Jim Tibby

27 Aug – 12 Sep: Assistant: Jim Tibby (till 5 Sep) 
                                                       Dea Paridisos (5 - 12 Sep)
   (includes the Anniversary on Saturday)   

Mahasi Weekend Retreat

Carl Fooks

Fri 24 Sep - Sun 26 Sep

Assistant: Needed

The Mahasi system is challenging, and its emphasis on moment-to-moment mindfulness can prove to be 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.  etreat description/text.

 

Day Retreat
Kick Start/Top up
Saturday 18 September
Bhante Bodhidhamma
Local Assistants: Needed
Arrive 09.30. Finish 17.00
Please bring veggie food to share.

Insight Dialog Retreat

Anne Michel

Sat 10 - Sun 23 October

Assistant: Needed

Details to follow.

To book, see Calendar .



November Month-Long Retreat
Noirin Sheahan
Sat 30 October - Sat 27 November
Starting dates: Sat 30 Oct, Sun 7, Sat 13, Sun 21 Nov.
30 Oct - 13 Nov: Assistant: Needed
12 Nov - 27 Nov: Assistant: Needed

Beginners Welcome!

For 5 full days, start on a Sunday (19.30), end the following Saturday (07.30).
For 7 full days, start on a Saturday (19.30), end the following Sunday (07.30)
Longer periods also encouraged - ideally the full month. 

In vipassana we open up to experience moment by moment, seeing it clearly, without judgement. Seeing ourselves objectively like this is transformative. From confusion we move toward wisdom, from negativity toward friendliness and compassion. The practice clears up our misperceptions and brings us into harmony with ourselves, our relationships and all aspects of life.

The usual Schedule and Format - easily modified for beginners.

To Book see Calandar

Bhante's Away Calendar

Exiting Lockdown

Noirin Sheahan

As coronavirus restrictions start easing again, many of you will be engaging with family, social and worklife more fully. Similarly for us here at Satipanya, as the winter retreat closes, we start looking outwards, forwards, planning outings, visits, work.  

Transitions are tricky. We so easily lose the run of ourselves, expect too much of whatever is on the horizon. You might be dreaming of booking a meal in your favorite restaurant; on retreat we’re dreaming of the first breakfast when we can chat. We project too much happiness into these events and get disappointed, bewildered, angry when the initial happiness fades, leaving us as grumpy as ever! Or it can be the other way round, we suddenly realise how attached we’ve grown to the enforced withdrawal of lockdown, of retreat, and dread all the coming busyness. Most of us suffer from both afflictions – expecting wonders one moment, dreading change the next!

The good news is that transitions are also rich opportunity for spiritual practice. It's when we see our attachments and delusion most clearly, and thereby find a precious opportunity to work with these, find wiser ways of responding.

As always, mindfulness is key. Can we tune into whatever emotions are driving our thoughts, actions, speech? Say we’re being fired up by expectation. Stop a moment to acknowledge and explore the experience. Expectation usually has a pleasant, happy flavour. Stopping to savor that is a form of mudita – appreciative joy. It is good to be able to look forward to things, to have faith that we can enjoy life.  Anyone who has suffered from depression knows what a great gift this is. Stopping to enjoy our anticipation of happiness cultivates gratitude for mental well-being as well as whatever we are looking forward to. Stopping also grounds us, makes our expectations more realistic, lessens disappointment if things don’t go exactly as we would have wished.

Say we’re being driven in the opposite direction – dreading the thought of going back into society. Can we feel the reluctance, dislike, aversion - whatever way unhappiness is manefesting? There is truth here too – going back into society requires effort and will not bring us lasting happiness. Though this insight is painful, we have the good fortune of knowing that the Buddha saw value in this pain and formulated it as the first noble truth; he told us we must fully understand dukkha (the unsatisfying nature of life) to become liberated.  We won't learn by shying away from life. But if we can embrace the pain as a spiritual insight, this lifts our spirits. We'll reengage with society more willingly, knowing this is part of our spiritual path. The burden of dread diminishes, and we might even start looking forward to a meal in our favourite restaurant – after all the path can have enjoyable aspects as well as pain!

As we see-saw between overexpectation and dread, we learn to savor here and now the happiness we were projecting into the future, and to embrace the unhappiness that teaches us the first noble truth. None of this is easy however, and we need to be patient with our many mistakes as we fly up into the sky with false expectations and get rudely dumped on the ground with disappointment. Transitions are precious. Transitions are tough. The habit of stopping to acknowledge our emotional state helps us emerge from our various lockdowns with minimal misery, maximal learning and deeper gratitude for all that society offers.

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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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