July Newsbyte



Trust all is well!

All Past Tips

For calendar and assistant opportunities, see below.

Tip o' the Day

Dullness and Lethargy:
Our Two Very Good Friends. 
Carl Fooks
See below

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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 or if they've had covid symptoms within previous 5 days (unless PCR test shows negative). 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.


Noirin here, Bhante having been away in Italy much of the month. 

The summer retreat is now underway. Since reopening last summer the number of cancellations increased fourfold!  over pre-covid times, but it was still a shock to get four cancellations for the first week. A variety of reasons, no one mentioned covid and in fact only 10% of all cancellations have been because of covid. An indication of how unpredictable life has become for many people since the pandemic. Might be a temporary glitch as things start to (hopefully) stabilize again.

On the positive side we've had lots of midsummer sunshine and the gardens and meadows are in full bloom - a few pictures below. Our gardener, Andy, has spotted signs of badgers this year, though I've yet to see anything other than a furry black and white tuft near the pond one morning and occasional dark shadows at the corner of my eye which vanish as soon as I turn to look. Badgers know how to keep the silence!


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 Satipaṭṭhāna 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 just about to finish 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 [email protected] for further information.

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  [email protected]

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: 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 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  Elaine Marshall-Bradley
         Retreats 03 & 04      Grace White
      Retreats 05 & 06      Hui Hui Ng

      Retreat 07 Kelly Chamberlaine

     Retreat 08      Zach Bates

    Retreats 09/10        Jim Tibby
                Retreats 11/12            Graham Collins

Click here to book

What we teach.      Schedules

Thanksgiving Ceremony for Satipanya
Fifteenth 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 it doesn’t rain!

Local Assistant needed

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

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 : Trevor Flaxman

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: [email protected]

What we teach.  

Autumn Weeklong Retreat

Hui Hui Ng

01 - 09 October

Assistant: Needed

Through the practise of Vipassana meditation we develop skills which allow us to navigate the ups and downs of life. We learn that we can enjoy without grasping, and be peacefully present to discomfort without conflict.

Immersive Mahasi style retreat time allows us deeply connect and engage with ourselves and the world, in a wholesome and healthy way.

The usual schedule and format.

What we teach.      Schedules

Click here to book


Autumn Five Week Mahasi

Sat 29 Oct-Sat 3 Dec


Noirin Sheahan

Assistants: Needed

Five-week roll-on, roll-off, residential

Deposits will be refunded if cancellation due to Covid Restrictions

Starting dates:  October Sat 29,  November Sun 06, 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

Dullness and Lethargy: Our Two Very Good Friends

Carl Fooks

I’m at Satipanya as I write this, on the second day of a two week retreat and, as is usual for me during the first few days of a retreat (at least!), dullness and lethargy is the prevalent state. I’m used to this. It doesn’t seem to matter what I’m doing, when I switch from one mode of being to another, dullness and lethargy arises. That can be from work to retreat or retreat to work, it doesn’t matter. Holidays are the same. Any major change in behaviour results in the same thing: dullness and lethargy! Bhante calls them “our two very good friends” as they’re always trying to help you be more comfortable, to rest, to take it easy, and always for good and compelling reasons: you deserve it, you’ve worked so hard, and so on.

It’s interesting to watch. For me, dullness and lethargy typically starts in the mind. Often, what happens is that I notice a warm and comfortable aspect of experience which envelopes me, and before I know it I’m nodding off! As the dullness develops, it can migrate from mere sleepiness to a full-on (off?!) physical lethargy, like the energy supply has been disconnected!

It lulls you in like that. Dreamlike thoughts/images grab at you, trying to pull you down into the depths of sleep. This is, of course, exactly how sleep starts normally. Typically, I’ll close my eyes and reflect on something from the day, this quickly turns into a weird hypnogogic semi-dream and I’m gone. The feeling and character is just like dullness and lethargy, though. Stuff going on in the mind “takes over” and drags you down into sleep.

So, the “problem” definitely appears to be the mind and, by that, I mean paying unwise attention to the contents of the mind. When mindfulness is present, and we’re diligent with watching physical sensations in the body, it’s much harder for dullness and lethargy to get a foothold. From a meditative point of view, I pretty much equate getting lost in thought with dullness and lethargy. I know that if the mind is thinking a lot, dullness and lethargy is sure to follow.

While meditating, there’s an apparent conflict with our “friends”, though. We want to be alert, but they can make for an unpleasant and unsatisfactory experience.

Dullness and lethargy is not the enemy, though. It’s not a “problem”. It’s the mind’s conditioned strategy for dealing with difficult situations, disinterest, disengagement, boredom and so on. As such, it’s automatic, so I try not to fight it any more. Instead, I try to gently feed in the conditions for interest and alertness to arise. I try to stay awake, I’ll keep my eyes open, stand up, walk, and so on. That is, all the usual instructions for dealing with dullness and lethargy, but I also look for something interesting, that is, I’ll try to encourage my “perspective” to be that of a curious child. There’s something amazing about the way the breath feels when it breathes itself. What makes it breathe in long sometimes and short others? Sometimes it’s steady, sometimes it huffs. Oftentimes it feels like I’m not getting enough air, but the breath carries on like that anyway, and I don’t keel over! What?! Also, the feeling of standing back and watching the body running on without “my” input is remarkable. It really shows that this body is not-Self!

Also, when dullness and lethargy has grabbed me, it’s fascinating to be lolling about in its stupor one moment, and then wide awake and fully engaged the next! That happens of itself, too!

So, far from being a “problem”, dullness and lethargy is actually fertile ground for great investigation and insight. Impermanent, unsatisfactory, and not-Self, our two very good friends, dullness and lethargy, turn out to be a great vipassanā teacher!

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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
info:  [email protected]

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