Satipanya Buddhist Retreat is informally affiliated to a group of meditation centres in Sri Lanka. The order is the Swejjin Chapter within the Amarapura Nikaya (order). This is the Monastic Sangha that Bhante Bodhidhamma belongs to. There is also an informal relationship to Gaia House, the large meditation in Devon where Bhante was resident teacher.
Buddhism has come to the West in all its varied forms. Satipanya follows the meditation system developed by the Mahasi Sayadaw of Burma. It is hoped that Satipanya offers a clear vision so that retreatants can decide whether this is the form best suited for them.
There are many Mahasi centres and groups within UK and Europe. It is hoped to have some unofficial affiliation with them all and in time to develop a network.
Satipanya welcomes all, irrespective of ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, political persuasion and, most important, religious persuasion.
- To transmit the teachings of the Buddha as expressed through the Theravada Tradition.
- To teach vipassana, insight meditation, in the Mahasi Tradition. Mahasi Courses are set times of challenging practice.
- To offer the opportunity to serve. Each course needs an assistant whose main function is cooking.
- To offer various courses that enhance the spiritual life.
Satipanya offers a quiet environment in a secluded, though not isolated, country bungalow with annexe, sixteen miles south of Shrewsbury. It is a seven minute walk from a bus stop and is, therefore, easily accessible by public transport.
We practise according to the five basic attitudes of the Contemplative Life:
- Simplicity: this is mirrored especially in our rule of silence, daily meditation schedule, plain food and modest accommodation.
- Service: Bringing the practice into daily life in cooking, cleaning, administration etc - whatever tasks are needed to support Satipanya.
- Celibacy: renouncing the joys of intimate relationships in order to devote ourselves to spiritual practice.
- Surrender: the spiritual path always asks us to do what 'the self' would rather not do.
- Metta - practicing all the social virtues one would hope to have as a friend. The importance of good companionship was once described by the Buddha as "the whole of the spiritual life".
- Mahasi Course
There are several periods throughout the year where meditators can stay for longer than a week, especially during the summer.
- Special Courses
There are also special course such as Metta, Bodycare, Teacher Training and occasional Work Retreats.
- On Line Courses
On-line courses are offered bi-annually to those who have attended a retreat during the previous year.
- Evening and Day Courses
There are evening and day meditation courses also offered, aimed especially at local meditators.