May Newsbyte



Trust all is well!

All Past Tips

For calendar and assistant opportunities, see below.

Tip o' the Day

Non-violence is not Pacificism


Zoom Study Group &
Daily Life Course

See Announcements Below

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Summer Mahasi
Assistants Needed!

 Retreats 01 & 02    
Fri. 17 June - Saturday 02 July
Retreats 11 & 12
Fr.26 August - Sunday 11 September
(see below)

Crowd fund:   Help Buy First Aid Kit for Ukraine
Set up by Tomas Remiarz, a Mahasi Devotee.

Covid infection rates are still high. For most, it will be a like a flu, but some will die and some will suffer long term effects.

So we still ask everyone to take a rapid covid test before their journey to Satipanya, and not to come if the test is positive. Your deposit will be refunded. This is to protect Bhante, Noirin or other teacher, as the retreat would have to be closed if the teacher were infected.

If you develop any symptoms during retreat, you must take a test and isolate if the result is positive. Please bring your own tests.


Health and Safety: I'm sure there is a small group tasked by the government to imagine where dangers might happen. Four years ago the bore hole was fine. Now it is Very High Risk. New regulations have appeared about how the bore hole should be covered or raised 15cm from the base of the bore hole chamber. Nothing seems to cost less that £1000. 

I'm wondering when we all have to by hazmat suits in case Martians visit. Anyway, that is another expence our risk averse society will put us through.

On a brighter note, here is the Morning Chorus at Satipanya.

Early Morning April


Zoom Study Group:  This collaborative study group has evolved out of the fortnightly London and South East Satipanya Sangha which has been meeting via Zoom since the beginning of the Covid outbreak.  We are currently studying the Satipatthana Sutta , as set out by Joseph Goldstein in his 46 part discussion on the Dharma Seed site and in his book Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Awakening. We are currently studying the section on  The Five Hindrances.  We intend to continue this group on Zoom and warmly extend an invitation to any practitioner who would like to join us. Currently meeting alternate Sundays 10:30am - midday. Please contact for further information.

Daily Life Course:  This year's course focuses on the Five Aggregates of Clinging - looking at what gives us our sense of identity and whether we cling too tightly. Anyone who joined a retreat at Satipanya is eligible. The first run of the 6-week course starts in May and uses the Satipanya forum with notes and exercises given by Noirin. Contact  Noirin  for further information or if you wish to register.

Regular 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.

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 2022

Coronavirus: Requirements for visiting Satipanya.

We are asking everyone to take an antigen test before setting out in their journey to Satipanya and not to come if the test is positive.

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 .

Weeklong Mahasi Retreat

Sat 21 May-Sun 29 May

Guus Went

Sayadaw U Pandita’s definition of Mindfulness: Mindfulness is the observing power of the mind, which clearly and simply experiences an object, without reacting to it.

We start actively to develop this power with the body as primary object. That makes it possible not to get fully entangled in the hindrances and to come to know something about them.

Sitting meditation, walking meditation and daily activities are fully equal in importance. Gradually we come to know other objects of meditation, both internally and externally.

Practical thing: It is useful to take a small notebook and a pen, to make notes of observations  after  a session or during the day. This will be helpful to make the interview sessions useful and relaxed.

 The usual schedule and format – see website.

Assistant: Sally Davies

All about Guus

Click here to book

What we teach.      Schedules


Summer Mahasi Retreat

Sat 18 Jun-Sun 11 Sep

Noirin Sheahan will lead from Saturday 18 June to Saturday 16 July


Bhante Bodhidhamma will lead from Saturday 16 July to Sunday 11 September.

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 restricted to these Saturdays :   18 June  & 2, 16, 30 July, 13 & 27 Aug.

Alternate  Sunday  starts are possible – 26 Jun, 10 & 24 July,  07 & 21 Aug, 04 Sept :  only past students can start on Sundays during Bhante’s time. But beginners can join during Noirin’s time.

Finishing Sun.  morning  11 Sept. to include the Anniversary Celebration on Sat.10 Sept.

A challenging Retreat easily modified for beginners.
See  Beginner’s Testimonials on website .
You are encouraged to stay for more than one week.

Choose the retreat/s you want to join.

Please enter the appropriate number/s for the retreat time you wish to apply for. For example: 03 means you will be coming on Saturday 02  and leaving  on  Sunday 10 July. If you wish to stay longer simply enter the following numbers. For instance: 03,04, 05, 06 means you will be coming on Saturday 02 July and leaving on Sunday 30 July.

01 … Sat 18 Jun – Sun 26 Jun

            02 … Sun 26 Jun – Sat 02 Jul

     03    Sat 02 – Sun 10 Jul

     04 … Sun 10 – Sat 16 Jul

     05 … Sat 16 – Sun 24 Jul

     06 … Sun 24 – Sat 30 Jul

             07 … Sat 30 Jul – Sun 07 Aug

       08 … Sun 07 – Sat 13 Aug

       09 … Sat 13 – Sun 21 Aug

       10 … Sun 21 – Sat 27 Aug

              11 … Sat 27 Aug – Sun 04 Sep

        12 … Sun 04 – Sun 11 Sep

For a 7-day retreat, start on a Saturday (19.30) and finish on Sunday morning the following week.

For a 5-day retreat, start on a Sunday (19.30) and finish on the following Saturday morning.

Longer retreats – up to the full 12-week period – also possible.

Please enter the  Number/s  you want to attend on the Application Form.

Beginners are welcome!

Assistants : Come on Friday evening and leave on Saturday after breakfast.

               Retreats 01 & 02      Assistant needed
         Retreats 03 & 04      Grace White
      Retreats 05 & 06      Hui Hui Ng
                    Retreats 07 & 08      Kelly Chamberlain 
     Retreats 09/10        Jim Tibby
             Retreats 11/12            Assistant needed

Click here to book

What we teach.      Schedules

Thanksgiving Ceremony for Satipanya
Fifteeth Anniversary

Saturday 10 September

Ceremony starts 15.00

Hopefully Covid has disappeared and we shall not need the safeguarding.

Otherwise we can also come inside in the Meditation Room and Walking Room with windows and doors open.

Tea and biscuits after the ceremony!

Feel free to bring your own.Pray is doesn’t rain!

Local Assistant needed

No need to book. Please let us know you are coming by email:

Residential Weekend Retreat

Fri 16 Sep-Sun 18 Sep

Carl Fooks

See weekend schedule.

Carl’s may be a little different.

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. 

Assistant needed

Click here to book
What we teach.  

Autumn Day Retreat

Saturday 24 September
Kick Start/Top up

Bhante Bodhidhamma

Assisted by Mark Arthur

Arrive 09.30. Finish 17.00
Covid!!! Please bring your own sandwiches etc. Beverages provided.

Local Assistant: Needed
No need to book. Please let us know you are coming by email:

What we teach.  

Autumn Five Week Mahasi

Sat 29 Oct-Sat 3 Dec


Noirin Sheahan

Assistants: Needed

Four-week roll-on, roll-off, residential with a few places on-line.

Deposits will be refunded if cancellation due to Covid Restrictions

Starting dates:  October Sat 28,  November Sun 07, Sat 12, Sun 20 & Sat 26

Assistants needed

Fri 28 October to Saturday 12 November : Assistant needed

Fri 11 to Sat. 26 November :  Assistant needed

 Fri 25 November to Sat 03 December :  Assistant needed


Join for the full five weeks or a shorter period

(Minimum 5 full days, Sun evenig till following Sat morning).

Beginners welcome!

When we see the world as it really is, we will be free from the distress that comes from identifying with a limited view of who and what we are. The retreat supports our efforts to see the world more clearly, and thereby disentangle the knots of confusion that bind us to emotional turmoil.  At precious moments, the heart opens and we sense what it means to be free.

What we teach .

Click here to book

Bhante's Away Calendar

Non-Violence is not Pacificism

Bhante Bodhidhamma

Some reflections as a consequence of the invasion of Ukraine.
Pacifism is an ideal. Although there are various forms , it takes the high moral ground that all war is morally indefensible, no matter what the circumstances, what the context, whether self-defence or justifiable armed intervention . It is centred on war.

However, Non-Violence is not an ideology. It doesn’t say how the world ought to be, but how we should behave in a world that is always going to be driven to some extent by acquisitiveness, aversion and delusion.

The Buddha was born into pre-literate society. There were plenty of views and opinions, but no systematic philosophy, sociology, systems thinking that we have today. (Socrates did not leave a philosophy either. He thought writing was inferior to dialogue. He developed a method of enquiry. It was left up to Plato and Aristotle to write ‘philosophies’.)

Non-violence is a direct practical approach to life’s problems coming from moral reasoning, either received or developed, based on a good heart – a commitment not to harm any sentient being – the first Precept.

It is about relationship. How we should behave towards each other. The Axial Age, which was a great turning point in humanity, was led by the Buddha and other Indian teachers, Confucius, Lao Tse and Socrates. The message is ‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you’. And when the mind is not infected with anger, hatred and revenge, empathy and compassion arise naturally.

All tremble at violence; All fear death.
Seeing others as being like yourself,
Do not kill or cause others to kill. (Dhp.129)

All tremble at violence; Life is dear for all.
Seeing others as being like yourself,
Do not kill or cause others to kill. (Dhp.130)

When it comes to moral reasoning, all moral decisions are contextual and circumstantial. What is right in one circumstance, may not be right in another. So it is that the Buddha taught moral and virtuous principles and left their interpretation up to the individual. That is why the Buddha never counsels kings to stop maintaining an army or physically punishing and executing criminals.

The Discourses carry stories about the World Conquering Monarch, Cakravartin. At birth, the wise man foretold that Siddhartha would either be a Cakravartin or a fully Enlightened Being. It seems this is the Buddha’s alter ego. This monarch makes his way around the world with his four fold army – infantry, cavalry, chariots and elephants - conquers everyone not in battle, but by intimidation through the size of his army and then establishes the subject kingdoms in the Five Precepts and brings peace. He is able to accomplish this because he is devoted to the Five Precepts. Does this suggest a ‘ Just War ’?

Finally, it is important to distinguish between force and violence. Force is the necessary energy needed to put right what is wrong. Violence is the same with hatred, anger, revenge – any aversive state of mind. Even dropping our mobile phone may cause us to pick it with anger towards ourselves. More so if someone else drops it.

The Buddha is always bringing us back to the ‘me’. It is for each of us to develop the attitude of non-violence. Yet there are occasions where we believe there is a moral obligation to defend , to protect, even to use deadly force. The problem is to kill or intend to kill without aversion. Is it possible? 

When the Dalai Lama was asked whether he would kill someone if he saw them about to push a nuclear button, he said he would and that he would accept the resultant kamma.

There may be justification for armed intervention. The purpose may be to prevent further bloodshed. But again we come back to the individual. The soldier may be able to empathise with the enemy. Other soldiers are in a similar position. Sorrow may arise after killing. It maybe that a soldier harbours revenge or enjoys torturing and so on. On reflection, shame and guilt may arise. Research of American soldiers in WWII shows how difficult it is for us to kill another human being.  Hope on the Battlefield .

Non-violence was the attitude behind Kung Fu and the Samurai code. There is a story told of a samurai who had defeated his enemy and was about to slice him through when he walked away. When asked why, he said he was angry.

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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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