November Newsbyte



Trust all is well!

All Past Tips

For calendar and assistant opportunities, see below.

Tip o' the Day

Material World.

See Below

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The Winter Mahasi Retreat
now open to applications
See below for details.
Applications for the rest of 2022 will start on 10 January.

Noirin here, Bhante being away on his annual retreat in Metta Vihara Meditation Centre in Germany. Just as he left, the mice returned! (When the cats away ...) Four already and he's only gone four days!

Its the cold weather that draws them in. Which has been hard on us humans too because of covid and the need to keep the rooms well ventilated. We purchased a CO2  meter for guidance as CO2 rises with the amount of exhaled air in the room and hence the risk from airbourne covid. We've found that so long as we open windows for five minutes after each hour of meditation our CO2 levels stay well below the levels considered risky. Keeps us (and the mice!) reasonably warm too.

But do continue to bring lots of warm clothes. We're not going to heat rooms beyond 18. Climate change and all that ... Lets hope for progress in Glasgow.

Oblivious to the cold, the Buddha ascended the Commemorative Wall and now gazes over the pond and the ashes therein, Some photos here:


Autumn Mahasi Retreat: 4-week, roll-on, roll-off residential retreat, led by Noirin. Beginners welcome. Click here to book.

Day Retreat: Sat 8 Jan, 10.00 - 17.00, kick-start / top-up. led by Bhante Bodhidhamma. Beginners welcome. Click here to book.

Winter Retreat: 12-week, roll-on, roll-off residential retreat. Bhante will lead the first 8 weeks, 15 Jan - 12 March, and Noirin will leaad the final four 15 March - 9 April. Beginners welcome. Assistants needed.  Click here to book.

Doggy Dana: If anyone would like to mind Flash (a 
3 legged rescue dog from the Caribbean, playful, energetic, affectionate and naughty!) for Sarah, one of our regular retreatants here at Satipanya, between 5 March and 3 April , this will allow Sarah to attend the winter retreat. Contact Sarah for more info.

Online Meetings

Meditation Hall on Zoom: Join us for your daily meditation - 06.00, 09.00, 14.00, 16.00 and 20.00 sits. Info.

London and South East Satipanya Sangha: Fortnightly meetings, currently on Zoom. If you're interested in joining or you recently tried but didn't get a response, please email

Satipanya Spiritual Companions: An informal meditation group meets on a monthly basis via Zoom for a full day of meditation. Email Magda for details at

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.  For date of next Celebration.   

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

Warning re Coronavirus: We would prefer you to cancel your retreat or visit should you show any signs of illness.

We would ask anyone who as any sign of fever, tiredness, cough, or breathing difficulties, such as shortness of breath or chest pain, should cancel their proposed visit.

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:
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.

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: Aren Alexander

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

Attendance & Online - New Year Retreat

A kick start to the year!

Bhante Bodhidhamma

Saturday 08 January
Meeting at 09.30 : Ending 17.00

Schedule and details will be sent with application.
Email Marion :

Assistant Needed

Winter Mahasi Online Only

Twelve week roll-on, roll-off Retreat.

Saturday 15 January to Saturday 09 April

First 8 weeks: Bhante Bodhidhamma. Last 4 weeks: Noirin Sheahan

Applications open.

You can start or end on any of the following dates:

Saturdays: 15 & 29 Jan, 12 & 26 Feb, 12 & 26 Mar.

Sundays:  24 Jan,  7 & 21 Feb, 7 & 21, Mar, 4 &18 Apr.

Assistants Needed

Weeks 1&2  (14 - 29 Jan)     ..Jim Tibby.
Weeks 3&4  (28 Jan - 12 Feb)  ..Needed..
Weeks 5&6  (11 - 26 Feb)   .....Needed.
Weeks 7&8  (25 Feb - 11 Mar)   ..Needed...
Weeks 9&10 (10- 26 Mar)  ...Josephine Tobin...
Weeks 11&12 (25 Mar - 09 Apr)  ..Needed.

See Calendar for dates.

For a 5-day retreat, starting on a Sunday (19.30) and finish on the following Saturday (07.30).
For a 7-day retreat, starting on a Saturday (19.30) and finish on Sunday (07.30) the following week.  
Longer retreats - up to the full 12-week period - also possible.
Please go to Calendar and enter the NUMBER of the week/s (not the dates!) you want to attend on the Application Form. 

Beginners welcome
(though must start on a Saturday during Bhante's period)

Bhante's Away Calendar

Material World.

Noirin Sheahan

We live in a material world. As a minimum we need food, clothes and medicine but most of us want a house and car too and these lead on to mortgage, insurance and don’t forget the freezer, sound system, house alarm …

We can use the stresses and strains of material possessions as teachers about the first khanda – material form. Khanda is the Pali for a heap or an 'aggregate', something formed from a mixture of different elements. The Buddha lists five such khanda, the first being material form while the others are to do with the mind. We delude ourselves by clinging to the khanda, building a false identity for ourselves as we struggle hold on to these.

Does my identity depend on material form – my body and material possessions? Would I be the same person if I were to lose my house? To have nowhere I could call home, relax, forget the outside world? Nowhere to invite family or friends for Christmas. Would this threaten my self-belief, the sense of who I am? What about losing my eyesight, hearing, mobility? I’m still learning first-khanda lessons from the loss of my voice several years ago, seeing how much of my confidence and sense of self was bound into being able to speak fluently and with a voice I recognise as my own.

We get somewhat easier first-khanda lessons every day: when we lose our mobile phone, our car keys, our glasses. Before turning the house upside down, we need to pause, look within, enter the spiritual schoolroom.

Does the situation feel irritating or threatening? Listen awhile to the stories we are telling ourselves. We’re not interested in the detail but to see how they build and sense of self: I need this because …. I’ll lose my job if I don’t have … I want … I’m fed up …They will never forgive me if ...

This automatic self-chatter always revolves around I, me, mine and how essential the lost item is to I, me, mine. This is how we build and maintain a false identity with the great heap of material possessions we struggle to hold together.

The practice is to turn attention away from the story and towards that basic material entity we attach to – the body. Body awareness sets us on the path from delusion to reality. The path might lead through knots of anxiety or tensions that underlie impatience, or the tight jaws of irritation, the tight breath of fear. Our job is to follow the path, no matter what uncomfortable, unedifying terrain it leads through. Eventually the emotions burn out, the body relaxes, we can think more clearly, continue the search more calmly. Car keys and glasses are not the end of the world after all! Mobile phone though ...

More fundamentally, we have loosened our binding to the first khanda. We’ve trusted that there is something more essential than the stories we tell ourselves. That’s what the Buddha wants from us – that we search for an essence more reliable than the stories we believe about I, me, mine. He doesn’t want us to be satisfied by anything less than perfect the peace and happiness of our true nature.

And yet we live in a material world, where all our possessions need care and attention. Can we care for them without building stories around them, tying ourselves into knots of false identity? 

Can we love the material world without attaching to it?

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Many thanks.

Finally, please forward this email if you know someone who may be interested. Thanks.


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

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