is and we will be celebrating it at the Buddhist Centre throughout the day. There will be a practice afternoon from 2.30 5.30pm, led by Ratnaguna. Then there will be a shared meal between 5.30 and 7.00pm. The evening festivities will start at 7.15pm and will be a celebration of sangha: all the awakened teachers who have kept alive the wisdom teachings, as well as the community of present-day practitioners who we have the great fortune to share our lives with.
On we will begin our Padmasambhava day festival at 10.30am with a day retreat. I have decided this year to look at a text from called 'A spur towards spiritual practice'. It is a fantastic text full of advice and beautiful images. Here are a couple of excerpts from it to whet your appetite:
What we will do throughout the day is have periods of study interspersed with meditation and chanting. We did this a couple of years ago and it worked really well. It allows space to reflect, absorb and deepen your understanding of the text. In the evening I will hand over to Manjunaga for a festive puja starting at 7pm So why not join us. The day is open to anyone who has completed Buddhism 2 (if you fall outside this category and still wish to come please ring 0161 834 9232 and talk to me). As a festival day there is no charge but dana is always welcome). Hope to see you there.
I am delighted to say that we have a new addition to the menâ€™s mitra Sangha: Gary Stanley. If you have not done so already and know him, I am sure your congratulations would be welcome! We now have 41 men mitras in the Manchester Sangha. To remind all men mitras that we have two events for you in the remainder of 2008. The dates are:-
We have now had three such events for mitras and I personally have found them inspirational. We have studied together, we have discussed how we are getting on in our practice, we have discussed how I/the local order could help and we have created a stronger sense of Sangha amongst us. So do put these dates in your diary once you
have finished reading this article and do come along: just imagine if all 41 men mitras came together in the same shrine room for the same event, sharing and participating in practice, what an inspirational event it would be! So when thinking about attending the evening, donâ€™t just think in terms of what you can gain from the evening but also think in terms of what you can give to the evening just by turning up. For men who have asked for ordination, there is a specific event for you on at the MBC. In brief the programme will consist of meditation and puja and talks from Saccacitta and Maniraja on the theme of gratitude in the spiritual life. There will also be opportunity for discussion of your spiritual life with your peers and of course, the opportunity to spend a day with your fellow men who have asked
During the evening we will hear from some of our sangha community on what sangha means to them. All mitras new and old are invited to come along and reaffirm their commitment in a mitra reaffirmation ceremony. And we will also welcome some new people to the mitra sangha through witnessing their mitra ceremonies. All welcome for all or part of the day or evening.
On In a puja led by Karunavajri we will celebrate , the Bodhisattva of energy and power. He is concerned with gathering the energy of the universe to serve spiritual development. He is about overcoming fear, of confronting everything that terrifies us, of being able to stay outside the comfort zone - because that is where freedom lies. All welcome
for ordination. For further details of the programme for the day, please email Mahasraddha: firstname.lastname@example.org. So do come along and contribute to what promises to be an excellent opportunity to hear and talk dharma as well as an opportunity to support your spiritual life and that of your fellow men. Your presence at the event will most definitely make a difference. And why? Iâ€™ll let you think that one through! Finally, we currently have two study groups for men, one led by Maniraja and I and the other led by Saccacitta. The number of groups will expand as more men want study or want study more tailored to their needs. In addition, the new study course for mitras is due for launch in February next year which will help give a clear structure to study and is likely to increase demand for study. Contact Mahasraddha if you want to join a study group for men, especially if you have any concerns about study which are currently holding you back form joining a group.
First of all, thank you to everyone who difference between information and has given me feedback and suggestions wisdom, and how the reflective process about what we is not so much about might look at in learning new information the Sangha Night as a deepening of Harold Bloom ourselves. We’ll see how a classes over the next few months. One of your text , and even suggestions was to have Order members as we reflect on it and as we coming to talk about what inspires them change. to practise, and in September we heard In weeks five and six we’ll be moving four Order member’s accounts: from the more discursive kind of Padmakara, Devamitra, Kavyasiddhi and reflection (wisdom through thinking) to Shakyajata. the non-discursive kind of reflective In August I gave a talk at one of the meditation (wisdom through meditating), Sangha Night classes on the Three which I call contemplation. We’ll look at Levels of Wisdom: Suta-maya-panna and practice two contemplations: (wisdom through listening), Cinta Maya , or ‘recollection of the Panna (wisdom through thinking) and Buddha’ - both through contemplating Bhavana Maya Panna (wisdom through his qualities and through visualization of meditating) and some of you expressed his form - and the contemplation of an interest in hearing more. So over impermanence. Sangharakshita once October and November we’re going to be said that the whole of Buddhism could be exploring these in more depth, pared down to just one word – specifically the second and third levels. impermanence. By contemplating the Buddha and the truth of impermanence In the first week – we’ll be contemplating both Nirvana and we’ll be trying to understand exactly Samsara. what is meant by reflection in the Buddhist tradition. We will see how to learn the skills necessary for reflection: reducing ‘papanca’ (mental proliferation), developing ‘vitakka’ and ‘vicara’ (aspects of directed thinking), as well as stilling the mind. We’ll do this partly by looking at a sutta where the Buddha talks about the ‘two kinds of thought’, and we’ll also look at some practical things we can do to prepare ourselves for reflection.
As with the previous Sangha Night course – ‘Chopping Wood, Fetching Water’ – the course will be run as a workshop, with a presentation of the theme for the evening followed by breaking into small groups to discuss and question. There will also be periods of silent reflection, and we’ll also practise I’ll tell ‘reflective dialogue’. you on the night!
The second week – will be about reflecting in our everyday lives, on what happens to us and also on what we do. We’ll do this with the help of a little-known French philosopher (Gabriel Marcel), who has some very helpful things to say about reflection “in the daily flow of life”. We’ll also consider what Sangharakshita has to say about the possibility of gaining insight in the midst of our active lives.
So, a six-week course, starting on the , with a break of two weeks in which Prabhasvara will be offering his own reflections on the Four Noble Truths. Here’s how it pans out:
Week three will be about – which could be a specific Dharmic topic, such as impermanence, or it could be something else of your own choosing – a line from a poem or even an image. We’ll see that it’s not so much the actual topic as the that we think about it that matters. In week four - we’ll be exploring how to read Buddhist texts and how to with them. By doing this we’ll discover the
6th 13th 20th 27th -
Ratnaguna Ratnaguna Ratnaguna
November 21st – 23rd Hi everyone, bookings are now being taken for the last sangha retreat in 2008. We'll be returning to Vajraloka - the site of our last five successful sangha weekends over the last two years. Please book now to avoid disappointment - all of our previous weekends have been sold out! The theme will be Reflection in Everyday Life', and will follow on from the up-and-coming series on Reflection at Sangha Nights led by Ratnaguna and Prabhasvara. Best wishes,
Tuesday afternoons: 2:30 – 4:00 pm Aryamati leads our friendly group in the Mindfulness of Breathing and Metta Bhavana meditations. During the tea break we chat and discuss ways of deepening our practice. Do join us if you can.
Mon Dec 8th It's that time again! At sangha night on
Monday 8th December I will be hosting the 2008 skills auction. So please have a think about what you'd like to offer. We'll be doing the usual email bidding for those of you who can't attend, but please do try to come and support the live event - there's usually so much good stuff on offer at these evenings - and all in time for Xmas! Please email me on email@example.com if you would like to donate something, or be involved in any way. Best wishes,
- Prabhasvara 3rd 10th 17th -
- Prabhasvara - Ratnaguna
- Ratnaguna 24th - Ratnaguna Looking forward to seeing you there!
From January 1st 2009, we will be changing the start times for evening classes to allow you and our teachers to get home earlier! Instead of the usual 7.15 - 9.45pm, we will run events from 7.00 - 9.30 pm. Of course, this starting time already applies to Study night on Thursday, but now we will be extending this to both Sangha nights and Introductory classes.
These are hard times financially and economists are predicting that we could be heading for the worst recession in a long time. With gas prices being raised by 30%, no doubt we’re all feeling the pinch or at least anticipating that we will. The MBC will of course feel the pinch as much as anyone and while we have faired better financially in the last six months than in the previous two years, we could be struggling again in the second half of the year. So I just wanted to ask you to keep supporting the Centre in any way that you can. Something I’ve noticed is that when people are under stress they stop doing the very things that will help them cope with stress – meditating, exercising, meeting with friends, ‘downtime’ (as they say in America). It would be a great pity if we stopped supporting the Centre because we are feeling the pinch. In this period of financial difficulty we need to do our best to keep the Centre going. This is partly for our own sakes (can you imagine not being able to come to the Centre to meet friends and practice the Dharma together?), but also for the sake of others living in and around Manchester, who may be suffering more than we are. I also want to thank those of you who have just begun, or who continue, to support the Centre, whether financially or in other ways. Your help makes all the difference. Thank you thank you thank you!
hospital visits and stop-overs at her dad's. When her mum did pass away Di showed great dignity as well as common sense in keeping a low profile for a while, avoiding the sympathy and questioning that could disturb her. Containing her grief she continued to work and be the Di we love. It was an impressive display of her courage and what she'd learned from the group that meets to discuss death. A holiday for Di is to go away and care for her partner's children. She did draw the line though at watching a football match and opted instead to sit in the car for the duration. Metta,
‘Career & Work-Related Coach’ at Bodywise Manchester and London. To find out more about ‘Work As Practice’ you can get Kathryn’s free weekly ‘Noble Pathways’ newsletter emailed to you by registering at: www.90DaysToYourDreamCareer.com/ register.html For Kathryn’s contact details and to get a free place on her upcoming go to www.90DaysToYourDreamCareer.com
Nectar of Instruction - a song of Milarepa There is ample ground for finding spiritual practice in work but we need to know how to respond creatively to the opportunities right ‘under our noses’? Here are seven questions supplied by Kathryn Entwistle that can be used as a method to help you apply the dharma at work right now. How to get the best results rainstorm at least 3 answers to the B questions below.
Day retreat for women with Saddhanandi . Suitable for women who have completed Buddhism level 2 £40 /£30 /£20 - includes breakfast
Padmasambhava’s Advice A Day for women with Saddhanandi . Suitable for women who have completed Buddhism level 2 £40 /£30 /£20 - includes breakfast
I nclude some bold or ‘crazy’ answers to bring lightness and energy. hoose which of your answers you C want to act on in the next 48 hours. ake each action specific so that you’ll M know when you’ve done it. The 7 Questions 1 Who could you show more kindness to in your work? 2 How could your kindness be expressed?
I don't know if Di is a hat lover but she certainly wears a few around here. If she's not working at Bodywise she's doing a stint on Reception or effectively running Breathworks. I think Sona has admitted he waits for Di to tell him what to do. I have the pleasure of working for Di on Mondays (sorry she does insist I say work 'with' her) and it is always a very satisfying day. I find her an excellent boss who leaves me to get on with my work unless something new needs attending to. Mind you, though she gives me space, she also stated clearly, "When I'm busy, you're busy". Di recently had to cope with her mother's illness and passing away. Taking a lead she organised her family to support her father and visit her mum. She was still very conscientious about her work during this period despite being tired often, from
3 Who might benefit most from your generosity at work? 4 How would you enjoy expressing that generosity? 5 What could you do to generate more contentment with respect to your work? 6 What could you do (or not do) to promote harmony this week? 7 How could compassion help you handle your biggest challenge? List the actions you’re committed to taking in the next 48 hours AND Keep your action list somewhere you will see it often. It can help to have an object such as a pebble in your pocket to remind you.
Kathryn Entwistle, is a mitra who has asked for ordination and is a member of our Manchester Sangha. She’s also the
Writing Weekend with Ananda or Manjusvara Noting down what comes to us when we stop and listen can reveal images and thoughts that speak to us from our depths. This weekend is an opportunity to access your more imaginative side through writing exercises and discussion, and find out what your depths are saying to you. The popular book, , was written by Manjusvara, one of the team and is available in the centre bookshop. Open to all, no writing experience is necessary. £80/£60/£40
Day for women who have asked for ordination £25 / £18 / £15*
November, but it will be an introductory weekend led by Manjudeva and Jutika in place of the advertised workshop.
At the beginning of there’s a weekend of Body-Mind Centering taking place on and . The theme is enhancing mobility and stability. To find out more about BMC, have a look at the web-site www.embody-move.co.uk or contact Bodywise and we’ll put you directly in touch with Katy Dymoke who’s leading the workshop. there’s a yoga morning On workshop with Christine entitled “Moving into Autumn: A practice to support the lungs.” This is suitable for people with at least 3 months yoga experience. Jutika is running a one day massage course on , Learn basic massage techniques and spend a fun, relaxing day giving and receiving massage. Looking forward to early November, Alastair Stewart and Liz Shelley will be putting on an experiential Hakomi workshop ( ). “Using the Hakomi method of self-study, we will explore how we organize our experience with a view to expanding our opportunities for nourishment in daily life.” Please note – there’s been a change to the advertised programme: There will still be a focusing weekend on
Breathworks has been providing mindfulness strategies to help people living with chronic pain and stress since 2001, and has been growing steadily ever since. As well as providing a growing portfolio of pain and stress management courses, Breathworks has recently landed a substantial contract to provide mindfulness training under a mental health in schools initiative, and is beginning to make contact with a local PCT about providing services to the NHS. Consequently, Breathworks has a growing need for trainers to participate in providing mindfulness training in the region. If you have ever wondered about joining the Breathworks training community, or getting involved in supporting Breathworks courses in any way, please come and talk to us. In particular, do let us know if you have decided not to participate for practical reasons, as we may be
able to find ways to help. Our Trainers' retreat at Taraloka from has two places available at the time of writing, and further retreats are running in January, April, August and November 2009. Our course will be running on Sundays, with the first session on . We are running two courses this autumn; one at the MBC on Wednesday afternoons and one at Salford Hope Hospital on Wednesday evenings. Both courses start on . Some bursary places are Weds still available for participants with chronic musculo skeletal pain who are willing to take part in a research study. Watch this space for details of the November launch party for Vidyamala's forthcoming book, "Living Well with Pain and Illness: The Mindful Way to Free Yourself from Suffering", due for . publication on
The deadline for next month’s edition of the newsletter is Please email any item to address:
Guideline: 150 to 400 words good, 500 - 800 words large and over 1000 a blockbuster that may have to be split.
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Bodywise: Body-Mind Centering with Katy Dymoke 10am - 6pm both days Breathworks: Living Well with Stress. Four week course starts 11am - 5pm PADMASAMBHAVA DAY led by Arthaketu 10:30 - 5pm Teaching & Meditation 7:15pm Ritual evening Evolutionary Spirituality - Six week course starts led by Padmakara: venue/ time TBA Sangha Night: with Ratnaguna 7:15pm Bodywise: Yoga – A practice to support the lungs with Christine – 10am -1pm Day for People New to Buddhism led by Prabhasvara 10am - 5pm Sangha Night: with Ratnaguna 7:15pm Full Moon Puja dedicated to Vajrapani led by Karunavajri 6 - 7pm Breathworks: Living Well with Pain and Illness. Eight week course starts 1:30 - 4pm Day for Men who have asked for ordination led by Mahasraddha & Maniraja 10am - 4:30pm Sangha Night: with Ratnaguna 7:15pm Bodywise: One day massage course with Jutika 10am - 4pm Sangha Night: with Prabhasvara 7:15pm Breathworks Trainers' retreat at Taraloka starts
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Nectar of Instruction: Day retreat for women led by Saddhanandi 8am - 3pm Padmasambhava’s Advice: Day retreat for women led by Saddhanandi 8am - 3pm Sangha Night: with Prabhasvara 7:15pm Bodywise: Hakomi workshop with Alastair Stewart and Liz Shelley 10am - 5pm Wolf at the Door Writing Weekend with Ananda or Manjusvara 10:30am - 5pm both days Sangha Night: with Ratnaguna 7:15pm SANGHA DAY - see article Bodywise: Relax Kids – A programme to set up classes 9am - 5pm both days Sangha Night: with Ratnaguna 7:15pm Sangha Weekend Retreat in Wales Bodywise: Introduction to Focusing led by Manjudeva and Jutika 10am -5 pm both days Sangha Night: with Ratnaguna 7:15pm Bodywise: Yoga – A practice to nourish & restore energy with Christine 10am - 1pm Day for women who have asked for ordination 10am - 5pm
Please note the views and opinions expressed in the Newsletter are those of the individual contributors and are not necessarily those held by the trustees of the Manchester Buddhist Centre or by the FWBO/WBO in general.
The Manchester Buddhist Centre is run by the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order (FWBO) Manchester, charity registration number 514937