Sangha Nights June & July 2018

As it’s Buddhist Action Month we are looking at the figure and myth of the bodhisattva, all those beings that are dedicated to achieving Enlightenment for the sake of all beings, not just for oneself alone. Bodhisattvas can be, and are, real human beings! However at the moment we are looking at archetypal bodhisattvas, and in particular a group of five well-known figures who form the Five Buddha Mandala.

Last Wednesday, we started with the Buddha of the East, Akshobhya; Wednesday 13th is dedicated to the exploration of, and practice of Amitabha, the red Buddha of the Western realm whose special quality is Love.  We look forward to seeing you there, newcomers very welcome, Wednesday 7pm in the Phoenix Room in the Exeter Natural Health Centre on the first floor.

 

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June is Buddhist Action Month!

June is Buddhist Action Month!
This is a pan-Buddhist event initiated by the Network of Buddhist Organisations which takes place at Buddhist Groups all over the UK and increasingly also internationally. Many Triratna Centres and Groups participate  so if you are inspired to take this opportunity to reflect on which areas of your life you may be able to reduce any harmful impact on planet & people  – or indeed what you may be able to do to help others – then this is your chance.
You can go to the Buddhist Action Month 2018 page on the buddhistcentre online to see some of what is going on, or have a look at these BAM Handbooks to help you come up with a plan what you can do during the month of June. It may change your life, or that of others, forever!

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Sangha Weekend Retreat at Hridayabija

A good dozen of us came together for a weekend retreat at the wonderfully lush and beautiful East Devon Forest Garden AKA Hridayabija, ‘seed of the heart’. The theme of the weekend was Under The Bodhi Tree: Dwelling In The Presence Of The Buddha, given that it took place just a few days after the full moon night of May, which is when many parts of the world celebrate Buddha Day – marking the Enlightenment, birth and death of the historical Buddha. We were joined by Sagaravjara and Kerry-Ann, our hosts at Hridayabija, who were wonderful hosts and their care and eye for beauty pervades their garden. Here are some photos, including of the covered lunch & meeting space which was completed just in time for our arrival! 

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Dates for your diary!

 

We have a few opportunities to come together to practice together, in addition to our weekly Wednesday evening class or study group – please make a note of the following dates and out them in your diary! 

1-3 June Weekend Retreat: In the magical space of the East Devon Forest Garden – Hridayabija, ‘the seed of the heart’, near Kerswell/Honiton. This is a camping weekend retreat over the weekend 1-3 June. For more info and to book please get in touch – mokshini41@gmail.com. Cost and more info to follow.  

29 July day retreat (Sunday) to celebrate Dharma Day, one of the main Buddhist festivals. The plan is to go for a walk on Dartmoor, share food and celebrate the day with a puja on the moor! 

22 September – day retreat to mark the start of the Triratna International Practice Week. 10am to approx 4.30pm, in the Art Room at the Exeter Community Centre. (We regret that this venue is not accessible to wheelchairs)

 

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Sangha Nights in March and into April ….

For the rest of the month of March and into April, we are continuing the theme of ‘What is the Sangha?’ – looking at the value of collective practice, friendship and communication in our lives. 

  • First off, this Wednesday, March 7th, we have a practice night: a wonderful opportunity to spend an evening practicing sitting and walking meditation – this will be led by Karunadarshin. 
  • Wednesday 14th  we will explore the theme of the pull of ‘the group’ and how that might affect our practice and discuss the qualities of ‘the true individual’! Led by Mokshini 
  • Wednesday 21st Nandavajra will introduce us to the ‘duties of friendship’ as written in the ‘Sigalovada Sutta‘  – a text from what is known as the Pali Canon, some of the earliest texts in the Buddhist tradition
  • Wednesday 28th we will look at ‘the four levels of skilful speech’  wise guidance on what to consider in our communication with others – again with Nandavajra. 
  • April 4th will conclude this particular theme with a look at the topic of gratitude, or rather the Buddhist term katanutta, which has a rather different connotation 
  • Looking ahead we may well follow the theme of Sangha up with a period of study of the ‘Eight Mind Training Verses’ – a set of pithy and profound training principles from the Tibetan Lojong  tradition 

If you haven’t been before, or haven’t been for a while – please feel free to come along and enjoy the opportunity of practicing with others. If you have no or little experience with meditation, it will help if you get in touch beforehand so we can point you to some useful resources. 

 

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