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As part of our Buddha Day Celebration here last Sunday, Noirin took Lay Ordination.
This can be done at a number of different levels and in Noirin's case she is taking the Three Refuges and the first Five Precepts with the third one strengthened to ‘Abrahmachariya” or celibacy. She won’t be shaving off her hair or wearing robes but tying her hair back in a bun and wearing a tunic & trousers set in a rust colour that blends in with the Theravada robes. She will still be known as Noirin for everyday matters, while her spiritual name is Puňyanandi (chosen by Ven Ariya Nani when Noirin ordained in the Burmese nuns’ tradition a few years ago); Puňyanandi means ‘Rejoicing in the Power of Goodness”. Noirin writes about her motives for ordination in the tip below and enjoins others to consider this as a practice of Right Intention.
We are sprucing up the centre with a clean up off all the outer buildings, stairs and patio. And a lick of paint on the entrances and Dining Room.
The pond was cleared to start anew. Thomas (Ramiaz) has been leading the project and he hopes to introduce a battery of wild flowers and plants.
Finally, I've been working on creating short YouTube videos. The most recent are on the Dhammapada. Take a look at
Satipanya on YouTube.
We are all set up to run the Summer Mahasi as a residential retreat (see below for details). If any weeks have to be cancelled, deposits will be returned and an Online Retreat offered.
Join us for your daily meditation - 06.00, 09.00, 14.00, 16.00 and 20.00 sits.
Join the on
Online Meditation Hall
from 20.00 to 21.00 ever Full Moon
Next Celbration: Sunday JUne 27 (Buddha Day)
Fortnightly meetings, currently on Zoom. If you're interested in joining, please email
An informal meditation group to meet on a monthly basis via Zoom for a full day of meditation.
Email Magda for details at
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Every morning at puja we call the names of those who are sick or dying, or are having a hard time.
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.
All the courses are serviced by assistants.
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
the menus here
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:
For info. about retreats and teachers see website:
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
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
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.
For further info. email:
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.
Beginner’s Testimonials on website
You are encouraged to stay for more than one week.
make sure the
dates on the application form
match the dates you want to come.
(Come on Friday evening and leave on Saturday after breakfast.)
18 Jun – 03 Jul:
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)
To book, see
Kick Start/Top up
Saturday 18 September
Arrive 09.30. Finish 17.00
Please bring veggie food to share.
To book, see
Mahasi Weekend Retreat
Fri 24 Sep - Sun 26 Sep
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.
To book, see
Insight Dialog Retreat
Friday 01 - Thursday 07 October
Details to follow.
To book, see
November Month-Long Retreat
Sat 30 October - Sat 27 November
Starting dates: Sat 30 Oct, Sun 7, Sat 13, Sun 21 Nov.
30 Oct - 13 Nov:
12 Nov - 27 Nov:
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
Committing to the Path
Right Intention is the second strand in the Noble Eightfold Path. In his book “A Whole Life Path”, Gregory Kramer distinguishes three levels at which we can practice Right Intention:
moment to moment
, bringing wise attention to each footstep, gesture, thought;
where we make a good wish for a specific activity – e.g. before we go to a meeting, or open our emails; and
intentions, which are our guiding principles for life. Marriage vows are an example of overarching intention. So also is Lay Ordination, which I took last Sunday, on Buddha Day, confirming the Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha as the cornerstone of my life and pledging harmlessness according to the five precepts.
I did this to affirm that my life is dedicated to the Eightfold Path. While I’ve had that as a background motivation for decades and recommit every morning when we chant the Refuges and Precepts, it strengthens commitment to make the vows in public, at a formal ceremony witnessed by friends. We don’t like to let people down! The Buddha ranked guilt and shame as beneficial mind-states. They keep us within societies norms. Sadly, these same forces can be used to perpetuate prejudice, war, racial hatred. But when we chose wise friends, align ourselves with a tradition we trust, then our social instincts of guilt and shame foster traits like friendliness, compassion and generosity.
One danger with making any vow is that we take the words too literally, get paralyzed with fear lest we make a mistake. It is painful to see ourselves fail to live up to our own expectations. That pain, when examined mindfully, persuades us to let go of tight definitions of right and wrong, trust that just being mindful of that tension between our aspirations and our habitual tendencies is to step along the path.
Taken gently like this, the vows give a background frame to support us through life’s challenges. Feeling tired and despondent this afternoon, I remembered my ordination and ‘drudgery’ took on the hue of nobility. Life is dukkha after all, tiredness and despondency are only to be expected. What matters is that we embrace them willingly. Remembering the broader aspiration for my life allowed me to value each plodding step. Though the sensations and feelings reflected despondency, the heart saw in these the first noble truth and embraced them with curiosity and tenderness.
After a retreat at Satipanya there is the option to take the Refuges and Precepts formally, and also chose a particular quality you would like to develop, such as equanimity, wisdom or patience; this quality then becomes your spiritual name – traditionally its translated into Pali. My name is Puňyanandi which means ‘Rejoicing in the Power of Goodness’. This balances my tendency toward over-effort and grasping; reflecting on ‘the Power of Goodness’ brings me beyond myself, helps me trust the wider world, develops gratitude for all the goodness I receive, joy that I can contribute to Satipanya and all that I perceive as beneficial.
Lay Ordination is one aspect of ‘The Power of Goodness’. It reminds me to practice Right Intention, direct my life toward the end of suffering, resist habits that drag me into whirlpools of misery. It’s a safety rope. I hope you too will grasp that safety rope, take the Refuges and Precepts formally, make those vows in public, choose a name that calls you home, to the stillness and peace of your true nature.
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