July Newsbyte

July NEWSBYTE 2021

 

Trust all is well!


All Past Tips


For calendar and assistant opportunities, see below.

Tip o' the Day

Beauty 
Bhante Bodhidhamma

See Below

(Difficulty reading text? Press Ctrl +)


Special Notice 
Still hoping someone will volunteer as assistant for Summer Mahasi  
Fri. Evening 30 July - Sat. morning 15 August.  APPLY HERE
Further information about the retreat is on the  Calendar .
Further information about  Assistant for Retreats

Diary: 

Noirin is doing a fine job keeping people free from infection. Windows wide open. Cold in the morning, but there are blankets. Everyone wearing masks whenever walking around. And everyone taking tests. It's a fandango, but that's the way it is at present. By the time my tour of duty starts, I hope the restrictions have mostly gone, but we'll probably keep up the safeguards.

Covid with all its conditions of isolating has prevented most applications from the Continent and Ireland, though a couple are hoping to be here. Very unfortunely Josephine who was to assist in August can't come.
 
We've had a blackbird singing to us for possible four or more years. There was a distinct three notes at the same pitch in most of his compositions. The other day, a dead blackbird lay at the front door - without a head! For a while I thought it was our avian Pavarotti. Cats!!!

Finally, I've been working on creating short YouTube videos. The most recent are on the Dhammapada and the Full Moon Celebrations. Take a look at Satipanya on YouTube . Click on Play Lists.

Announcements

Summer Mahasi as a residential retreat is now running (see below for details). If any weeks have to be cancelled, deposits will be returned and an Online Retreat offered.

Meditation Hall on Zoom:  Join us for your daily meditation - 06.00, 09.00, 14.00, 16.00 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 JUne 27 (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 .

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 only

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: John MacDougall

03 Jul – 17 Jul: Assistant: Grace White

16 Jul – 31 Jul: Assistant: Gwen Sanderson 

30 Jul – 14 Aug: Assistant: Needed

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 Calendar .

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.

To book, see Calendar .

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.

To book, see Calendar .

Insight Dialog Retreat

Anne Michel

Friday 01 - Thursday 07 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

Beauty

Bhante Bodhidhamma

Flowers are true teachers of the foolish vanity of physical beauty. Even now in late spring, the radiant golden lilies fade, curling into a crispy, tanned rigor mortis.

The obsession with physical beauty is not new by any means, though hyped to impossible heights by Hollywood, Bollywood and CGI [i] . The Vinaya, rules for the ordained Sangha, rules against any indulgence in beauty. There is a long list of cosmetics and ornaments not to be used. Even in the Eight Precepts lay people take when staying at a monastery, physical beautification is avoided.

I undertake [to observe] the rule of abstinence from dancing, music, visiting shows, flowers, cosmetics, the wearing of ornaments and decorations.

It does seem as though the Buddha has a grudge against physical beauty!

But in fact, these undertakings are based, not surprisingly, on alleviating suffering.
For what is it we are trying to achieve when we try to make ourselves look beautiful in others’ eyes? It makes us feel good to be admired. But does it not also give us a sense of power, even the ability to manipulate?

Both of these have their downfalls.

As beauty fades, the comfort and joy of the admiration of others is a mask that falls away to reveal a self-admiration based on the admiration of others, which, as it corrupts, leaves a damaged self-image and a realisation that admiration is, after all, not love. 

Worse! Beauty’s power, based on admiration, is now trapped into a relationship, where it is forced to prove over and over again that it controls the admirer and not vice-versa. Should the admirer look elsewhere, the underlying dependency, which we term attachment, manifests as the acid burn of jealousy.

Physical beauty has its time and place. But as far as the cause of suffering is concerned, it is the constant concern of how one looks that is the underlying cause of dissatisfaction with our bodies. So the Buddha advises us to get real. To awaken to our skewed perceptions and establish not just a healthy relationship with our bodies, but one that leads to liberation from suffering.

Physical Beauty is only skin deep. So let’s begin there, by peeling off the skin. No-one would find a flayed body beautiful. And if we take apart all the different parts and pour all liquids into bottles, that old saying takes on a deeper meaning. Whatever this sense of ‘me’ is, surely it is foolish to consider itself as a body.

In the same way, imagining what happens to the body after death, is another way of undermining that part of the sense of ‘me’ that defines itself as beautiful.

At this point, you may be saying to yourself. This essay does not concern me. I don’t think of myself as particularly beautiful. But look again. You may be surprised as to how you are concerned with how you look in company. What special measures do you take when you go out? And what do you wear when alone? Do you bother with perfume and aftershave if you’re not going to meet anyone? And if you do, why?
And what about those romantic daydreams?

One of the discoveries that some people have made in these lockdowns is how these fineries have been dropped. How baths and showers became less frequent. (Often also because of Climate Crisis). There is a distinction to be made between cleanliness and beauty.

Becoming more concerned with what the body does, our actions, rather than what it looks like, our image, we can turn away from caring how people see us towards how people value us.

Craving to be valued, of course, creates other sufferings. But that’s for another Tip! [ii]

[i] Computer-Generated Imagery

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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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