July Newsbyte

July NEWSBYTE 2023

Trust all is well!

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All Past Tips

For calendar and assistant opportunities, see below.

Tip o' the Day

Appreciate the Astonishing and Unique Opportunity

Noirin Sheahan
see below


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email: Barbara

Full Moon Celebration
  Sunday 02 July 

We have taken away all time restrictions for course applications.
You can apply any time, but please only do so when you are certain.

London Insight need new Trustees.


Noirin here, Bhante is off on a briief visit to the Lake District. 

As the days begin to shorten (yes, already!) the Spring / Summer retreat is reaching its mid-point. The weather has been beautiful, though very dry till thunder-storms brought a deluge last week. There are still places left especially for the final two weeks 2 - 16 Sep.

Some of you will know Hui Hui Ng  who started teaching with Bhante last year. Hui (pronounced Way or something like hWhay if you can you aspirate W!) assisted Bhante during April and June and will be back again  for his final month in July/ August. Later in the year Hui will be joining me for the November retreat and then leading a 2-week retreat in December. We're hoping she will become a regular teacher here at Satipanya in the coming years.  

Max Lacome, who is assisting Bhante and Hui at the moment, captured some midsummer magic in these photos.


Northwest area Satipanya Sangha: Anyone living in the northwest, particularly in Chester, Manchester, Liverpool and surrounding areas who would like to explore options for practicing together please contact Martin Ratcliffe who hopes to form a local group.

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]

Zoom Study Group: 
This collaborative study group has evolved out of the fortnightly London and South East Satipanya Saṅgha 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 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. (By the way, please try again if you've emailed to attend and haven't received anything back, Carl has been particularly busy lately.)

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.   
Opening to the Impact of the Climate Emergency:   Following on from the Zoom with Gwen Sanderson and Bhante Bodhidhamma in September, there are two options for ongoing engagement:
  • Gwen Sanderson is facilitating monthly Climate and Dhamma Conversations which are held using Zoom . Email Gwen for further information or to register. 
  • Noirin Sheahan has set up a Satipanya Forum focussing on the Six Maxims (ethical training to prepare for the social and environmental consequences of climate change - see tip below). Contact Noirin for further info or to register.  

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.

Satipanya Courses

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.

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?

See calendar on website for up-to-date assistant need.

Satipanya Calendar 2023

We have taken away all time restrictions on when you can apply for a course.
You can apply any time, but please only when you are certain.

Bhante's Away Calendar

Appreciate the Astonishing and Unique Opportunity

Noirin Sheahan

After a break, I’m looking again at the six maxims  suggested as ethical preparation for climate catastrophe, teasing out some links with the Dhamma.

Instead of focussing on the horrid side of climate change, the fourth maxim asks us to embrace our good fortune to be living through this crisis. This parallels with the Dhamma teaching on Transcendent Dependent Arising.

“Dependant Arising” refers to a step-by-step process by which one thing leads to another; the first step lays down the conditions for the second and so on. Many of you will be familiar with this teaching, showing how ignorance leads to dukkha (usually translated as suffering but including even minor irritations). Transcendent Dependant Arising completes the process, showing how awareness of dukkha sets off another chain of conditions which culminate in liberation. 

This teaching is better known in Jhana schools but also applies in vipassana, though it needs some steadiness of attention to discern the links. I’ve found it helpful and encouraging at times of distress and thus an apt support for this maxim.

There are twelve steps in the process, though we may repeat these a million times before we reach the end of suffering. For simplicity I’ll focus on the earlier stages.

The starting point is dukkha. The anxiety we feel as we contemplate climate change is an ‘astonishing and unique opportunity’ to cultivate the path to transcendence.

This may seem fanciful, naive. How could drought, wildfires, social breakdown and the like facilitate transcendence? And yet there are countless examples of how acute suffering led people to spiritual renewal.

Our usual mistake is to keep suffering at arm’s length, fretting about how awful things are, comforting ourselves with food, alcohol, escapism. Transcendence requires intimacy with the sensations and feelings of dukkha. As we explore these mindfully, we find something within us that refuses to capitulate, insists that we will somehow find a way through these troubles.

Thus, dukkha, examined mindfully, becomes a condition for faith in our innate ability to overcome dukkha. This is the second link in Transcendent Arising - faith that we will find a way through difficulty.

Luckily we have access to the Dhamma. Faith can find refuge there, knowing there are teachings, practices, and a sangha to guide us. In these supportive conditions, the determination to overcome dukkha can be experienced as a form of joy – a positive, life-affirming energy that carries an intuition of goodness.  Thus, faith is a condition for joy, the third step in the series.

I’ll stop here for now, describe some following stages next month. If this teaching is new to you, I hope you’ll examine it, see whether it could be a helpful support for your troubles, whether these centre around climate change or more personal issues. Reflect on your practice with dukkha and whether this has or could stir faith; whether faith could be a source of joy in life.  

To help the teaching sink deeper, try to spot these links in vipassana. First settle yourself in meditation, then bring the difficulty to mind; does the distress overwhelm mindfulness, or can you feel the feelings? How might you describe whatever keeps you practicing? Would it be the faith that mindfulness will somehow show you a way through?

Well done if you’ve managed to make that first link in the path to transcendence. If not, try again tomorrow. If and when you can perceive faith arising from dukkha, explore this. Does faith have an energetic manifestation in the body, are there associated feelings, tensions? Practice meditating on faith itself.

In subsequent meditation sessions, as you get more confident that dukkha, observed mindfully, leads to faith, it may become possible to detect joy within the experience of faith. Not an excited giddiness, but the joy at having the courage to be mindful in the face of dukkha. Learn to relax with this joy, feel its energy within the body, how it affects the breath. We may still seem far from transcending dukkha, but we can enjoy the path thereto.

Although the problem of climate change remains as a real existential threat to humanity, this teaching helps us make the best of a bad situation, appreciating this astonishing and unique opportunity to forge a path to transcendence.

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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  Gwen Sanderson
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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