image of bird singing amongst spring blossom

Living Creatively in Turbulent Times – Coronavirus and Triratna Exeter activities

Dear friends,

I hope that you are keeping as well and in good heart as possible under the present turbulent and uncertain circumstance. At present we are unable to offer any face-to-face Exeter Sangha activities due to the current coronavirus status, so we plan to sustain our Sangha here in Exeter and South Devon in alternative ways.

Practising mindfulness and loving-kindness during times of crisis is ultimately what supports us all to stay emotionally positive and to grow. We therefore want to keep alive our connection as friends in the Sangha and our shared Dharma practice, supporting each other as much as possible.

Continuing our Sangha evenings online.

We are planning to keep our Sangha evenings going on Thursday evenings using zoom. You can follow a link, which I will email shortly before the session (you can also sign up for an account at zoom.us ). You will need to email me  in advance to let me know that you wish to participate.

The free zoom platform allows meeting of up to 40 minutes (for up to 100 participants!) so we will start at 7 pm with a welcome and at least a guided meditation along with, perhaps, some chanting a chance to hear a little from everyone. We will then have a ‘tea break’ (and allow for those who want to join in the Clap for our Carers) and then recommence the meeting for up to a further 40 minutes with a chance to explore some aspect of the Dharma (perhaps focusing on what is particularly helpful in these troubling times). This will of course be a bit of an experiment which we will adapt and refine as we go along but I do hope that as many of us as possible will be able to join in.

Other online gatherings

Our priority will be to sustain our Thursday Sangha evenings but if this proves successful and if there is an interest, we may organise other online gatherings such as a led morning meditation session. You can also access additional online sesions in the wider Triratna Sangha – see ‘Other Resources’ below.

Keeping in touch

We will be using our online platforms to keep in touch and to provide information and resources. These are:

Triratna Exeter page on The Buddhist Centre Online (you may need to create an account and ‘follow’, but both are pretty simple) and our Facebook group Exeter Triratna meditation and Buddhism group. Both allow for comment and participation.

We may also send out further newsletters from time to time.

Other resources

Triratna has developed several resources to support people in their Dharma practice and keep alive an experience of Sangha and connection.

The buddhistcentre.com has developed a Dharma Toolkit for Uncertain Times  (again, you may need to create an account and ‘follow’).

A number of  Buddhist Centres are providing a range of online resources and teaching which you can also find at the Buddhist Centre Online: Triratna Online

Finally, if you have any questions or suggestions please do not hesitate to contact me. I wish you as much solace and ease as possible.

With love,

Nandavajra

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Finding Peace in a Turbulent World: An Introduction to Buddhism and Meditation

Six weeks from Thursday 23rd Jan to Thursday 27th Feb, 2020, from 7 pm to 9 pm.

It seems as though we are living in a turbulent world and we can experience ourselves as blown around by what the Buddha called the ‘worldly winds’ of pleasure and pain, gain and loss, praise and blame, and, fame and infamy, which blow constantly regardless of how we try to stop them. However, Buddhism teaches that we can engage more positively and creatively with the world, and our experience, and that we can cultivate peace and be happier and kinder. On the course we will explore some of the most fundamental teachings of Buddhism and learn two meditation practices – one to cultivate a calmer mind and another to help us become kinder.

The six sessions will be held on our regular Thursday evenings from 7 to 9 pm at the Exeter Natural Health Centre, starting on 23rd Jan and continuing weekly until 27th Feb 2020. Due to the size of our venue places are limited so please book and decide to attend the course in full. The cost of the course is by donation, but we suggest £60 (for the full course) if you are well resourced, and £30 if you are less so. To book a place we ask for a £10 deposit for which you will receive a course booklet. For more information and to book please email nandavajra

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Radical Buddhism – 6 Week Course

Discover central Buddhist ideas and how they can change your life

This six week course explores how we might bring about positive change in our lives through the application of central Buddhist principles and meditation. We will explore how these ancient teachings can help us to lead a richer, fuller and happier life in the modern world.

Six weeks from Thursday 16th May 2019, from 7 to 9 pm, at Exeter Natural Health Centre (ENHC). Due to the size of our venue places are limited so please book by emailing Nandavajra and decide to attend the course in full. The cost of the course is by donation but we suggest £60 for the full course (if you are well resourced and £30 if you are less so).

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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!

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