What’s On

Four levels of speech

We’re coming to the end of our current theme of ‘What is the Sangha/ What is a spiritual community?’ which we have been exploring over several weeks in our regulars class on Wednesday evenings at the Exeter Natural Health Centre. Today we had a very enjoyable and thought provoking discussion on the four levels of speech – a traditional Buddhist list of four aspects to aim to develop: truthful, kindly, meaningful and harmonising.

Here is a picture of the flip chart that Nandavajra so helpfully provided! 
And next week we are concluding this theme of sangha by looking at the archetypal sangha of Buddhas and bodhisattvas – if you have ever been intrigued by the many mythical figures that are associated with Buddhism, come along and find out more – all welcome!

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)

 

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. 

 

Going on Retreat

 Going on a Buddhist retreat is a great thing to do: space to think, time to meditate, learning about an aspect of the Dharma, enjoying being in the company of people who also value living a life based on values with as much awareness and kindness as possible.

If you’ve never been before, give it a go! And if you have been before, and know its value, now is a good time to look ahead and plan any retreats you may wish to go on. goingonretreat.com is a website that lists just about all the English-speaking retreats in Europe. Most of them are naturally in the UK, but you can go on a yoga retreat in Spain or meditate in Finland as well!

New theme for Sangha Nights throughout February and March

We plan to start a new theme on Wednesday February 14thand fittingly this evening will include a period of the metta bhavana practice and an introduction to the topic of The Sangha Jewel: over the next few weeks we will explore questions including

  • What is ‘the Sangha’?
  • The relationship of ‘the individual’ and ‘the group’
  • Sangharakshita’s qualities of a ‘True Individual’
  • friendship and collective practice
  • communication
  • ‘can the spiritual community save the world?’ and more
all welcome!