September Newsbyte

SEPTEMBER NEWSBYTE 2021

 

Trust all is well!


All Past Tips


For calendar and assistant opportunities, see below.

Tip o' the Day

All in the Mind 
Noirin Sheahan

See Below

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Thanksgiving Ceremony for Satipanya
Fourteenth Anniversary

An opportunity to celebrate the benefits of the wonderful resource that is Satipanya, and a chance to meet up with other members of the saṅgha .

Saturday 11th September, 15:00. See below for details.

Diary: Noirin here. All well at Satipanya, Bhante is leading the final month of the summer retreat, limiting the retreatants to 8 at a time because of the need for social distancing. Happily no Covid scares so far — I don't think anyone has even sneezed since we reopened!

Thinking ahead to autumn and winter with all the windows open. How to keep warm without huge waste of heating energy. Hot water bottles? Electric blankets? Heated clothing? Thermal vests and long-johns? Its going to be a problem world-wide, get in touch if you have any clever ideas.

The meadows had to be cut early this year to allow the cuttings be used as 'green hay' to start up a wildflower meadow in an English Heritage site nearby. So our meadows look sad and dull now. But nature is thriving in the banks of the pond and stream which were just bare earth a few months ago.

View of the pond looking towards the BuddhaView of the pond looking towards the houseView of the pond looking towards the stupa

Announcements

Thanksgiving Ceremony for Satipanya : Fourteenth Anniversary
Sat 11 Sep, 15:00. We're planning for outdoors, but bring masks in case of a downpour. We need to limit numbers so let us know you are coming by email.

Autumn Day Retreat:  Sat 18 Sep, Arrive 9.30, Finish 17.00 Please bring your own pack lunch. Click here to book.  Assistant Needed.
Sep
Assistant needed:   For Weekend retreat with Carl, Fri 24 - Sun 26 Sep. Click here to book .

Assistant needed:   For Insight Dialog retreat with Anne-Michel, Fri 1- Thurs 7 Oct. Click here to book .

October Weekend Retreat: This residential retreat will be led by Noirin, 15 - 17 October. Beginners welcome. Click here to book.  Assistant Needed.

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.  Assistant Needed for final week 5-12 Sep.

The Insight Myanmar Podcast: Includes interviews with Daw Viranani, Bhikkhu Bodhi and others regarding the ongoing political crisis in Myanmar, its implications for the sangha and what response we might make as Western Buddhists whose practice owes so much to the monastic tradition of Myanmar.   Website

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 Celebrations:  Join 20.00 to 21.00 on the Sunday closest to the Full Moon. Bhante gives a short dhamma talk, followed by a 30-min sitting, refuges and precepts and we end by reading and chanting the metta sutta.  Next Celebration: Sunday Aug 22     

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

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. 🤞🏻)

 

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 must be able to follow the full schedule or close to full.  Information!

For further info. email: 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 :   31 July, 14 & 28 Aug
 

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: 

(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: Michael Quirke

13 Aug – 28 Aug: Assistant: Jim Tibby

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


To book, see Calendar .

Thanksgiving Ceremony for Satipanya
Fourteenth Anniversary

Sat 11th September

Assistants: Needed

Ceremony starts 15.00

Because of social distancing,  the ceremony will be all outside.

We can also come inside in the Meditation Room and Walking Room with windows and doors open. Please bring masks for indoors.

Tea and biscuits after the ceremony!

Feel free to bring your own.

Pray it doesn’t rain!

We need to keep the numbers maneagable, so please let us know you are coming by email

If you don’t recieve a reply, leave a message on the answer phone 01588 650 752

Day Retreat
Kick Start/Top up
Saturday 18 September
Bhante Bodhidhamma
Local Assistants: Needed
Arrive 09.30. Finish 17.00
Covid restrctions: please bring your own pack lunch. Tea provided!

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

nsight Dialogue – created by Gregory Kramer  http://www.metta.org  – brings the mindfulness and tranquility of traditional silent meditation practice into our interaction with others.

Depending on conditions inside us and around us, our perceptions of others and ourselves, we can open the heart with wisdom or create and sustain habitual patterns of stress and reactivity.

Insight Dialogue Practice allows us to face the complexity of our relationships with mindfulness.

Such experience softens our fears of relationship and diminishes our struggle to be seen or to escape the moment of contact.

Trust and calm can settle in us, anchored in wisdom and compassion.

It is a very good complement to the Vipassana practice, allowing both concentration and relationship habits to deepen.

The retreat is open to both beginners and long-term practitioners.

Click here to book

October Weekend Retreat
Noirin Sheahan
Fri 15 October - Sun 17 October
Assistant: Needed

An invitation to start or renew your vipassana meditation practice, to rest attention in the here and now, learn what causes suffering what eases it. 
See Schedule
Beginners Welcome!
To book see Calendar.

November Month-Long Retreat

Noirin Sheahan

Sat 30 October - Sat 27 November

Starting dates: 30 Oct; Sun 7, Sat 13, Sun 21 Nov

30 Oct - 13 Nov: Assistant: Needed

12 Nov - 27 Nov: Assistant: Fi Robertson

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 usual schedule and format — easily modified for beginners.

To Book see Calandar

Bhante's Away Calendar

All in the Mind

Noirin Sheahan

If we suffer a physical disease, a broken bone, a bereavement, we might get sympathy and attention. But if people suspect our problems are ‘all in the mind’ they usually want to get away as fast as they can!

And yet suffering is ‘all in the mind’. The pain of a broken bone is physical. True we might writhe in agony, convinced our leg is where suffering is located. But the leg just gets on with the business of tissue repair. It’s only the mind that panics, thinks ‘this is unbearable’, gets us moaning and contorted in an effort to soothe ourselves.

When the mind is still in meditation, we can sometimes see that physical sensations are separate from mental reactions like emotions and thoughts. In fact all of the six senses (five physical senses plus the mind, which forms the sixth sense in Buddhism) occupy distinct ‘spheres’ within experience.

I first saw this during walking meditation. I noticed that the sight of the foot swinging forward was totally separate from the sensation. It was as if they occupied separate universes, different dimensions. One contained colours and shapes, the other sensations. There was no possibility of communication between the two, and it was a third dimension, the mind, that put the information together and decided they both described a foot moving forward. I was amazed that I could walk so easily even though my legs, eyes and mind were confined to separate dimensions!

This isn’t just academic. The Buddha’s only purpose in teaching was to point us along the path to the end of suffering. One very practical consequence is the possibility of letting attention rest in one of the five physical sense spheres, to get a new perspective on our mental life.

In meditation we notice the incessant stream of thinking that often seems to get in the way of calmer experience such as the sensations of breathing. We begin to see for ourselves that suffering ‘is all in the mind’. I learned this one time when my mind was afire with anxiety, repeating questions endlessly — What was going on? Why couldn’t I get on top of this anxiety?  By chance, my attention was momentarily called by the sound of birdsong, interrupting the flow of questions. My mind relaxed as I listened. But as soon as I noticed this 'lapse', it hurried back to its urgent duty of fretting. As relaxation changed to anxiety I felt the voluntary nature of thought. I sensed myself choosing to fret, to indulge anxiety. It was as if I was choosing to pick up heavy suitcases.

I was amazed to realise that I had a choice in the matter. But now there was no escaping that choice. Would I continue burdening myself with anxious questions? Although the answer is obvious, it felt scary beyond words to stop, to accept the reality of not knowing what was going on, or how to get on top of anxiety. It was like taking a step over a cliff. And yet, something deep within commanded that I stop fretting, accept that I did not know any answers. With my heart in my mouth, I surrendered to that truth. Next moment, anxiety disappeared without trace!

Luckily, suffering is ‘all in the mind’. And we have access to five other dimensions of experience which show us the way out. At each and every moment we can rest attention in sense contact, learn to recognize the possibility of not reacting, not picking up heavy suitcases of anxiety, depression, woe, and misery. We can choose sense contact rather than thought as our guide, step over our mental cliffs, fall into freedom.

 
 

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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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