August Newsbyte

AUGUST NEWSBYTE 2022

 

Trust all is well!


All Past Tips


For calendar and assistant opportunities, see below.

Tip o' the Day

Full Catastrophe Ethics 
Noirin Sheahan
See below

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COVID
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.

Diary

Noirin here, Bhante is now teaching the summer retreat.  The July heatwave brought temperature to 34 degrees here at Satipanya. We're 1,000 ft above sea level so that saved us from the higher temperatures seen elsewhere in UK. Still, 34 degrees would be pretty miserable for sitting meditation. Luckily Bhante had the brainwave to hang our old black-out curtains outside the shrine room bay window to reflect the light and heat. It worked - temperatures stayed below 25 degrees inside. Knowing climate change will bring ever more frequent and severe heat, we're now looking at awnings and the like to shade the windows during future heatwaves. 

The badgers are still illusive but Vesta who was on retreat for the past fortnight snapped this little black bunny hiding under the apple tree. We're hoping this is a good omen!


 

Announcements

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 have just started the section on The Five Aggregates . 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 satipanya-lse@genko.co.uk 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  spiritualcompanions2020@gmail.com

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 led from Saturday 18 June to Saturday 16 July

 

Bhante Bodhidhamma leads 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: 09 means you will be coming on Saturday 13  and leaving  on  Sunday  21 August. If you wish to stay longer simply enter the following numbers. For instance: 09,10 means you will be coming on Saturday 13 and leaving on Saturday 27 August.
 



             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.

                         

      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: satipanna@gmail.com

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: satipanna@gmail.com

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 : Toby Glynn

Fri 11 to Sun. 20 November :  Assistant needed

 Sat 19 November to Sat 03 December :  Assistant needed

Schedules

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

Full Catastrophe Ethics

Noirin Sheahan

How do you react to news of climate change and forecasts of ice-caps melting, cities flooding or burning, widespread drought and famine, breakdown of essential services like water and electricity, hundreds of millions of refugees seeking homes in temperate regions like ours? Do you shrink into a ball of anxiety and disbelief? Weep? Numb out? Feel totally out of your depth and inadequate? Trust the scientists to find a way out?

Any or all of these happen for me depending on circumstances. Afterwards I might be prompted to read some relevant articles, sign a petition, donate to an environmental cause, toy with the possibility of learning basic survival skills. Then I’ll turn back to more immediate concerns. Till the next scary news bulletin.   

The ‘out of my depth and inadequate’ feeling I find particularly troublesome. It begs so many questions. Surely there is something I can do to help myself face what might be coming down the tracks?

I was relieved and grateful therefore to come across a bioethics paper suggesting ethical maxims that we can practice to help us face the environmental and social disaster that the authors see coming as soon as 2031 – only nine years away!!!

The paper [i] was publicized in a recent Zoom event featuring Joanna Macey, the renowned author, climate activist and Buddhist scholar in conversation with the authors of the paper. She enthusiastically endorsed their suggestion to prepare ourselves so as to behave with as much integrity as possible in the face of environmental and social breakdown. Here’s a brief summary of their suggested maxims:

Work Hard to Grasp the Immensity. The possibility of environmental and subsequent social collapse is inconceivable for most of us. We enter a fog where we no longer know how to think, where right and wrong become meaningless. And yet that incomprehension may be a necessary steppingstone to the next maxim.

Cultivate Radical Hope. This not based on optimism that some solution can be found to restore the social security we now enjoy. Having worked through grief and anger and a depth of despair, hope takes the form of faith that some values are worth preserving to the end - kindness, not abandoning people, behaving with integrity. Radical hope sees openings for positive action, finds gaps in the gloom.

Have a Line in the Sand . Know that there are some things you will not do, some actions you will not embrace. Be prepared to die rather than cross your red line.

Appreciate the Astonishing and Unique Opportunity. Acknowledge what an extraordinary transition is coming for humanity and the biosphere. Appreciate what is vanishing before your eyes, be glad for every blade of grass that is still green, every tree still standing. Practice gratitude for being alive now, able to breathe now.

Train Your Body and Your Mind. Develop the capacity to deal with despair. Learn skills for getting beyond the limits of ego. Climate collapse will bring widespread physical, psychological, and spiritual trauma. As our physical and social resources shrink, our mental and spiritual resources will become ever more valuable to ensure human survival and flourishing.

Act for the Future Generations of All Species. Think beyond yourself and your immediate circle.  Act for the benefit of the poor, future generations, other species, forests, seas and mountains. Act, personally and politically, to limit the damage - every 0.5° C increase avoided will save millions of lives, species, resources. We are all in this together, interconnected, a multiplex unity.

The authors of the paper aren’t proposing these maxims as absolutes, but as a bare beginning that will provoke discussion. Personally I feel very grateful to have this skeleton upon which I can begin to take on board the spiritual challenge that is to come.

Over the coming months I hope to examine each maxim in more depth, see how it ties in with the Dhamma, see how we could put the maxim into practice in our meditation and daily life. I hope to be back with a series of tips on the subject and if any of you would like to practice alongside me on this, please get in touch and we'll find a way of supporting each other.

 

If you fail to receive a monthly NEWSBYTE, please look in spam, or reestablish the email by filling in the MAILING LIST form at the bottom of the front page of the website.

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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