Voice of Amida-shu, Amida-kai and The Amida Trust: Pureland Buddhism: Absolute Grace, Total Engagment. : Issue 14, Winter 2008 ÂŁ2.50/4.25 euro/US$5.00
5th Living Buddhism Conference News and Updates from Amida Sanghas Courses and Events 2008
IMAGINE, REMEMBER, REFLECT, REACT p.12 By Beata Uwazaninka
BEYOND GUILT p.14 By Caroline Prasada Brazier
NEMBUTSU BABY p.18 By Mudita davies
NO SELF, NO OTHER p.20 By Jim Pym
Namo Amida Bu! A new year has begun and the cycle of birth, aging, sickness, and death continues. From a seasonal perspective, January does not mark the start of something new. It is a continuation of winter and a time to go deeper. A time when plant growth slows down and trees have lost their leaves. Above ground the landscape is stark and bleak. However, unseen and invisible to us is the activity taking place beneath the surface. This period of inward activity is equally important in human development - a time to take stock and look at the heart of the matter as Dharmavidya suggests on p4. A time to reflect. In order to make a fresh start we must re-cognize what has happened in the past. January 27th has been chosen as the day to hold events around the UK for National Holocaust Day. These events are not only to remember the holocaust but also other genocides that have taken place around the world and to highlight the fact that genocide is still happening today. History tends to repeat itself. We try and do things differently but we find ourselves cycling over the same stories, the same reactions, and the same habit patterns. The need to remember our history is very important if we are to change the way we do things. Some historians feel that the danger in not knowing or not seeing our past is that we will most certainly live it time and time again until it does become history - something of the past. One way to remember or learn about history is through stories. Stories told by survivors are extremely powerful and moving. It's hard to imagine, from the confines of our safe and comfortable homes, what it must be like for a young girl to be hunted like an animal because she belongs to the other ethnic group (page 12). By listening to individual stories and reflecting on what has happened, perhaps we will feel the impulse to react, maybe our hearts and minds will open and find a way to respect and support each other. Each of us has a story to tell and through the power of stories we hear the tide running - the voice of Amida. In order for this to happen we need to create spaces in which others feel heard, and thus, grow in a different way. Hence the theme for our upcoming conference â€˜Breaking The Mould - Buddhism comes West and Gets Engagedâ€™. Itâ€™s a time for our stories to come out in whatever shape or form. We will be exploring this theme as well as other interesting topics at the 5th Living Buddhism Conference in May (see inside back cover). This issue of the Running Tide brings together a collection of different kinds of stories and poems which I hope will inspire and move you in a new and fresh way.
Running Tide Running Tide is the periodical of the Amida Trust, to offer a voice for faith and practice, as well as critical, existential and socially engaged enquiry within the broad framework of Pureland Buddhism. We publish short articles, poetry, pictures, interviews, comment and Buddhist resource materials. Opinions expressed are those of the contributors and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Amida Trust, Amida-shu or Amida-kai.
Imagine, Remember, Reflect, React By Beata Uwazaninka....12
Running Tide is distributed by: Amida Trust, The Buddhist House, 12 Coventry Road, Narborough, Leicestershire LE19 2GR, UK, 0116.286.7476 Web sites www.amidatrust.com www.amidatrust.com/runningtide.html www.buddhistpsychology.info http://amidatrust.typepad.com/amidashu http://www.amidatrust.typepad.com/amidakai/ Amida Centres/Groups
Beyond Guilt By Caroline Prasada Brazier....14
Sheffield: http://pureland.wordpress.com/ Hawaii: http://amidatrust.typepad.com/hawaii/ London: http://www.amidalondon.org.uk/ Belgium: http://www.namoamidabu.be/ France: http://amidatrust.typepad.com/france/ Correspondence and contributions for consideration for publication should be sent to the Editor at: email@example.com Amida Trust A religious charity established in UK, registration number 1060589, for the furtherance of Buddhism. The Trust sponsors a wide range of Buddhist activities. The Amida Trust is a member of the Network of Buddhist Organisations in UK, The European Buddhist Union and the World Buddhist University and has mutual affiliation with the Buddhist Peace Fellowship. Amida Order & School The Amida Order and Amida School are a religious order and a religious communion respectively, following the Pureland tradition, established under the auspices of the Amida Trust. In this periodical the letters OAB after a name indicate membership of the Order (Order of Amida Buddha) and the letters MAS indicate membership of the Amida School. The Amida School is also referred to as Amidashu. All Order members are also School members. Amida-Kai The Amida Association, an association for spirituality and its application. Amida-kai is the association for everybody interested in the Trust's work, for the application of spiritual principles to empirical world problems, and to the exploration of the meaning of spirituality irrespective of faith alignment. Membership of Amida-Kai Open to anybody who supports Amida Trust and is interested in spirituality and its application, on payment of an appropriate subscription. Membership of the Kai does not imply membership of the Amida Order or School or any particular religious affiliation. Amida-kai members can download Running Tide in colour at: Http://amidatrust.typepad.com/runningtide. This site is for members only and is password protected.
No Self, No Other By Jim Pym ................................20 5th Living Buddhism Conference Breaking the Mould, Buddhism Comes West and Gets Engaged .......................................23
Regular Features COURSES AND EVENTS VOLUNTEERING BUDDHIST TRAINING
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Where Lies our Joy? By David Dharmavidya Brazier OAB
AS WE ENTER A NEW YEAR, let us ask ourselves what is really important; what is worth putting our heart into? Why do our lives matter? Are we not simply ordinary folk beset with heavy karmic burdens - what difference do our lives make? It is easy for the ordinary person when he or she reflects upon the state of the world with its poverty, wars, environmental problems, oppression, refugees, starving people, cruelty and looming economic problems to become discouraged. What difference does faith make to this? It makes all the difference in the world. As people of faith we let go of our little lives and take our parts in a bigger one. We take it that, tiny as we are, we are part of a great scheme that is the work in hand of all the Buddhas. We follow our own Buddha, Amida, because he is the most allaccepting and we consider ourselves to be the ones in need of the least stringent criteria, but it is the desire of all Buddhas, not just â€œour Buddhaâ€?, that a Pure Land come into being where all will experience love, compassion, joy, peace and freedom. As Pureland Buddhists we can take comfort both in the fact that our Tathagata loves and cherishes us just as we are and also in the fact that the Pureland Sutra is the only Buddhist text that contains a full manifesto for a better world, but we can and do take it that, in fact, that better world is actually the goal of all Buddhas, not just ours. So, whether we can see the outlines or the details ourselves, we take it as a matter of faith that the Buddhas of all religions are all working together to bring the Pure Land into being and it is therefore sheer folly and blindness when the followers of different Buddhas fall to quarreling and mutual misunderstanding. What greater nonsense could there be. It is the Pureland Sutra again that tells us to honour all those other Buddhas each in their own way. We should therefore resolve straight away that to the very best of our abilities - feeble though they may be - we shall do everything that we can to 4
Put your heart into what matters support the cause of faith and the direction of faith toward harmony and construction. Nowadays it is fashionable in some quarters to reject faith, but all people have faith whatever they think. Everybody puts his or her heart into something. Unfortunately some of those things may not be the most worthy. It is important, therefore, whatever our formal faith affiliation may be whether we are Buddhists, Christians or card carrying atheists - for us each to examine our life and see what we
Amida DHARMA are doing with it and what we are giving it to. Where lies our joy? Wherever our joy is it is like a pointer. Our joy may seem to be invested in something quite worldly - our favourite sport, for instance - but that pointer points beyond the immediate object. Buddhism tells us “Do not be taken in by superficial appearance - always go beyond!” While the sport, or whatever, does yield a certain satisfaction, our heart longs for more than that. It longs for a satisfaction that is ultimate of which the immediate desire object is just a hint or token. It points toward the same ultimate goal as all the Buddhas guard. Only they see it clearly.
in our tiny way the greater work that all the Buddhas entreat. Resist oppression, assist the afflicted, and demonstrate an alternative. These are watchwords for us. In applying them we are not just seeking some immediate or foreseeable effect or campaigning success. We may see results or we may not. A person of faith is not motivated by such short run success. Rather, for us, the satisfaction lies in aligning ourselves with the greater process. Even if we happen to live in an epoch that turns out to have been part of the under tow of the tide of time and our efforts are all crushed, can we do otherwise than continue to throw our hearts into the same great work that all the Buddhas desire and that leads to crowning glory for all eventually? Faith raises us out
Let us cultivate amongst ourselves the spirit of acceptance, respect and love that all the Buddhas teach We live our lives here in this temporal frame. Everything that we do is done with material things or limited concepts. We are made that way. We cannot touch ultimate things, but we intuit the ultimate in our heart just as a compass needle always points north. We have religion in order to give expression to that pointing in a fuller form than is allowed by the merely transient satisfactions of worldly life. This is our nature, but it is just part of a much bigger nature. In the bigger scheme there is a huge transformation taking place whereby the world that we all long for - the world at peace where enmity abides not, none starve, but all are full of gladness, where there is no cruelty, but only prevailing love - will surely eventually issue forth. We shall not make that Pure Land by our own efforts or cleverness for our merit is meagre. It is the work of Buddhas. But we can align our lives to or against this great change and in that way we show our faith or our confusion. So in our own Amida community, let us cultivate amongst ourselves the spirit of acceptance, respect and love that all the Buddhas teach. Let us find ways to work together as groups, teams and communities and in the harmony of our work together let us reflect
of our smallness and transforms even our afflictions into the paving stones of the noble path. Buddhism teaches faith and wisdom. Some mistakenly think this means that one needs faith until one acquires wisdom and then that wisdom makes faith redundant. Quite the opposite is the case. Wisdom reveals to us our limitations and frailty and cuts the ground away from under our ego and its fond projects, all of which were merely distractions and “apparitional cities”. When that ground has gone, what is there and what is there to do? Only to put one’s heart into what matters most and discard all the trivial dross that might otherwise have distracted. Wisdom clears the way for and allows us to rightly direct our faith. So let us work together at whatever we currently discern to be most worthy for we can be sure that as soon as we do, through that very work, further wisdom will be opened to us and we will by stages be led to that most complete and consummate faith that constitutes the greatest fulfilment of which ordinary temporal beings such as ourselves are capable. Namo Amida Bu. RT
THE BUDDHIST HOUSE 12 Coventry Rd Narborough LEICS LE19 2GR 0116 286 7476 firstname.lastname@example.org
Amida Sanctuary Beacon House 49 Linden Road Gosforth Newcastle upon Tyne NE3 4HA email@example.com Rev. Sujatin is now officially a full member of the Chaplaincy team at Northumbria, in addition to Newcastle, University. She is the Buddhist Contact Person for a year and then Chaplain - this to set a protocol for appointing members of all faiths in future. She writes, ‘For this first year my role is to care for the Buddhists and, thereafter, for all. I am happy to tell you that this appointment is viewed with pleasure by all the current members of the chaplaincy team. They welcomed me at one of the weekly meetings with a celebratory cake!’ Every week during term she'll be running Buddhist groups, attending the Thursday team meetings, International Students' lunch and meetings with Uni staff. And, of course, she'll continue weekly Newcastle University Buddhist classes, Meditation For Relaxation and Amida Newcastle meetings.
MONDAY EVENINGS 7 - 9pm SUTRA STUDY Studying the sutras - Buddha’s discourses is a good way to learn about the basics in Buddhism. It’s a time to deepen our understanding of the teachings as well as discuss the relevance of them in our own lives. TUESDAY EVENINGS 7.30- 9pm PANDRAMATICS A different way of expressing one’s spirituality. It combines drama, therapy, and spirituality in a creative way and safe environment. THURSDAY EVENINGS 7.30- 9pm MEDITATION AND RELAXATION Time to relax and unwind. FRIDAY MORNINGS 10am- 12pm COFFEE MORNING Come and meet the Buddhist House community. A good time to have a look around and ask as many questions about anything you like over a cup of tea/coffee. SUNDAYS 5PM PURELAND BUDDHIST SERVICE Chant and recite Amida Buddha’s name and share a vegetarian meal together.
OPEN TO ALL AMIDA LONDON Sukhavati 21 Sussex Way London N7 6RT Tel 0207 2632183 firstname.lastname@example.org The Sukhavati Sangha is now joined by Modgala who will devote some of her time to being there.
Accommodation and/or private retreat time is available mid-week. Please enquire for more information. Weekly events (please telephone beforehand to confirm) WEDNESDAYS 18.30-21.30 Pureland service, community gathering with chanting, sharing, Dharma talk and refreshments. THURSDAYS 19.30-21.00 Meditation and Relaxation, with guided meditation and discussion. FRIDAYS 19.00-21.30 Film Night, with lots of great films. Followed by discussion and refreshments.
AMIDA SHEFFIELD 118 Broomspring Lane Sheffield 0114 2724290 email@example.com
MONDAY EVENINGS Amida Sheffield meets weekly on a Monday evening. People are invited to arrive for a meal followed by a service. This is usually about an hour long and is an adapted service from the Amida-shu Nien Fo service book. It includes chanting, sitting and walking nembutsu, with occasional readings and Dharma talks. All are welcome to join us. We have a shared vegetarian meal and good conversation. The atmosphere is informal and friendly. Prior to the open evening we have a gathering of the Amida-shu members in Sheffield to update each other and decide on any necessary business. We also have occasional study half days when we explore together Buddhist teachings usually linked to ministry training otherwise known as Vow 22.
GUIDED MEDITATION FOR BUSY PEOPLE Amida Sheffield offers a weekly lunchtime meditation at the Sheffield Anglican Cathedral. Sundari and Bhaktika have been joined by Mary Dight from the cathedral and take it in turn to guide the weekly 30 minute meditation. Ray King (MAS) also guides from time to time. We are very happy that we have been able to offer this simple, public, interfaith activity in the cathedral for about 5 years, and it continues to attract regular and new attenders. The guidance we offer focuses on the simplicity of mindfulness as a natural, if not easy, human activity, one that is supported by sharing the practice. Responding to requests, we also provide occasional half days on a Saturday afternoon when we are able to go into meditation and similar practices a little more deeply and introduce them from both a Buddhist and Christian perspective.
FRIDAY MORNING MEDITATION 8.15am Come and meditate with Sundari, Bhaktika and Shad, one of our regulars, and the Buddha. Weâ€™re a small group and meet every Friday morning at 8.15am.
COME JUST AS YOU ARE LONDON EVENTS FOR YOUR DIARY ST JAMESâ€™S CHURCH, 197 Piccadilly London, Piccadilly Circus (south side exit) SUKHAVATI
Monday 3rd March 2008 7-8.30pm
15-16 MARCH 10.30-1630 Engagement and Activism Weekend Explore how to encounter our world differently, help the planet and the people and animals who live with us.
AN EVENING WITH DHARMAVIDYA AND PRASADA
THURSDAY 20 MARCH All day from 10am Gardening Day Create a Pure Land garden, including clearing and planting. SATURDAY 19 April 10.30-16.30 Vegetarian Cookery Day
Come and talk about a measureless Other that lies behind spiritual experience. Feel lifted above our limited everyday horizons and see others in their full beauty and naturalness, so that even in facing death we find peace and tranquillity. RT
AMIDA SHEFFIELD CITY OF SANCTUARY SHEFFIELD FAITHS FORUM In March, Sheffield established a Faiths Forum (FF), a vehicle and voice for faith groups, to enable discussion of matters important to the life and well-being of the city from a faith perspective, and to have an input into decision making processes. Each faith community is represented and Bhaktika was appointed as the Buddhist representative. A side effect of this was establishing an email list of known Buddhist groups in the city so they could be consulted and briefed on FF matters. The Forum has now chosen Bhaktika as its chair, which involves both chairing meetings and representing the Forum at city events.
This is an interfaith initiative which aims to establish and promote Sheffield as a city that actively welcomes and supports refugees and asylum seekers. Members of Amida-shu in Sheffield have signed up to the movement and Sundari is a member of the management committee. In the summer, Sheffield City Council formally agreed to support the City of Sanctuary movement - quite a bold decision given the views of much of the popular press on asylum seekers. Since then other cities in England have become interested in the idea (somewhat akin to being a Fair Trade City), including Leicester, Leeds and Manchester.
AMIDA SHEFFIELD NEWS By Mike Bhaktika Fitter OAB
We heard recently that the Refugee Council has decided to adopt City of Sanctuary as one of its campaigns.
BURMESE IN SHEFFIELD
MEET AMIDA IN SHEFFIELD
In October, in common with local Amida groups elsewhere, we meditated in the city centre peace gardens in support of Burmese Refugees who were protesting about the oppression by the Burmese government of popular protests, and particularly of Buddhist monks and nuns, which caught the media headlines. We discovered that Sheffield has the largest population of Karen refugees (a minority group in Burma) in the UK. Following this Bhaktika was invited to speak at an event they organised to publicise the Karen cause. Most Karen are Christian but the local group also put us in touch with a minority of Buddhist refugees.
The “MEETING AMIDA” with Dharmavidya and Prasada took place in November. There were 33 people in attendance at the Quaker meeting house on a cold and blustery night. Prasada began the evening with a talk in which she spoke about how the Amida Trust had developed and the ethos behind its social action, using the India project as an example. Modgala was also present to share her experiences. Prasada went on to discuss how she came to write her book Buddhist Psychology and then gave a reading from her latest work The Other Buddhism which intertwines Pureland Buddhism with psychology and environmentalism. Dharmavidya took up the theme of engaged spirituality distinguishing it from secular activism and asked how one can bring about social change. He remarked that, “Spirituality or religion is about living one's life according to eternity rather than according to temporal conditions.” The coffee break was a chance to mingle and chat and then there was a Q&A session. All in all, a successful evening in a lovely venue.
AMIDA SHEFFIELD NEW MEMBERS In June, Sally(MAS) joined the household, moving from The Buddhist House and immediately getting a job as an occupational therapist in Sheffield. Her arrival coincided with the arrival of the Sheffield summer floods, widespread across the city, including our basement which is where our shrine room is. When the pump got overwhelmed it was all hands to the buckets and Sally's fresh energy and good humour were much appreciated. Stuart, although stressing he is a Zen Buddhist, has for the past year been a regular participant in our Monday sangha evenings, bringing in touches of Zen practice and flashes of lively debate on doctrinal and liturgical matters. He is also an accomplished haiku writer. We also enjoy the participation of Paul, when he is able to come; and occasional visits from others, including Marie from Huddersfield.
NEWS OF OLD MEMBERS
WHAT OF THE NEW YEAR?
Ray maintains and is the main contributor to the Amida Sheffield weblog (http://pureland.wordpress.com/) and has his own weblog (http://dprayer.wordpress.com/) - an inspiration for the way it brings together the ordinariness of everyday moments and injects them with insights. Ray continues his work in the local NHS drug and alcohol dependency service, sometimes writing about it on his weblog, relating experiences to Dharma teachings.
In the upcoming year, we foresee current activities continuing to grow. Sundari has now finished writing the 3rd edition of her textbook on Immigration and Asylum Law, a task that has required every available day and hour over the past few months. It is a great relief to us all that it is done, and a short holiday is much anticipated; after which she will be ready for the many challenges of a faith lived life in an exciting city.
Sue after an extended period of ill-health successfully applied for a post as a housing officer in Sheffield and has immensely enjoyed the challenges of the first month, learning the ropes of a new job. Sue has her own weblog too, well worth a visit (http://geese.wordpress.com/) .
Bhaktika and Sundari have continued to contribute to the main Amida- shu and Trust activities, including taking their turn on the rota for celebrant at the Sunday service at The Buddhist House. Sundari has become part of the teaching team in the Buddhist Psychotherapy training programme. Both continue with their training in Process Oriented Psychology, applying the experiential skills in the various aspects of their ministry work, alongside their Buddhist training.
Bhaktika as well as continuing his work as an organisational psychologist envisages spending increased time in his roles as chair of the Board of MESH Community Cohesion Services and as chair of the Sheffield Faiths Forum. It is interesting how the two roles come together at times, when the city grapples with community cohesion issues relating to faith groups and new migration. We would like to spend more time visiting and receiving other local groups. One of the achievements of the past year, which we want to build on, is the meeting of those of us with formal ministry roles in the school, beginning to distinguish our role from the Amitarya path, sharing ideas and supporting each other with the specific challenges of being an Amida Buddhist living and working in a local community.
Amida retreats 23 February - 2 March 2008 8-9 March 2008 INTRODUCTORY RETREAT Learn the basics of Pureland practice and Find out what it means. Amida retreats are friendly, informative, and replenishing. This will be a good time for those interested in taking time out from a busy or stressful life to relax, chant, explore one's faith and spirituality and experience life in a Buddhist community.
Culture, Connections & Society With Dharmavidya & Prasada We will explore contemporary culture through the eyes of leading voices in the arts and political arenas. This course block is timed to coincide with De Montfort Univesityâ€™s Cultural Exchanges Programme, which offers a rich diversity of presentations by interesting contemporary figures. As a group we attend some of these presentations, interspersing the events with our own group sessions for discussion and exploration of the topics raised. 23-24 Feb: Amida Comes West Buddhist thought in the modern context.
25-29 Feb: Culture & Critique There will be opportunities to participate in lectures and performances which reflect contemporary thinking in diverse fields including those of the arts and political, media, and multi-cultural critique. We can also benefit from our local connections with Leicesterâ€™s spiritual communities through informal visits and conversations.
1-2 Mar: Unconcluding Postscripts 18-29 March 2008 MEMORIAL & MERIT TRANSFERENCE WEEK A period of practice, seminars and community living with reflection upon the legacy of our spiritual ancestors and ceremonies for transference of merit to the departed and to all sentient beings. This year this period includes our Easter Retreat.
The Retreat Period will be in three sections: March 18-19: Reflections upon our Japanese heritage and sangha friends. Memorial for Gisho Saiko Sensei. March 20-24: Easter Retreat including celebration of Ohigan ("Paramita Day") March 25-29: Reflection upon the bodhisattva tradition of going forth for the benefit of all beings. Memorials for Linda Amrita Dhammika and Gyomay Kubose. 10
A series of gatherings and creative spaces exploiting and developing themes that have developed through the week.
Courses and Retreats TO BOOK firstname.lastname@example.org Phone 0116 286 7476 FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT www.amidatrust.com OPEN TO ALL
BUDDHIST PSYCHOLOGY TRAINING PROGRAM 31 May - 8 June 2008 THE IMPACT OF PROFESSIONALISM Led by Caroline & David Brazier, and Gina Clayton In this course block we will look at professional issues in therapeutic work and will explore how joining a profession can be a creative process that inspires us to see new potential in our situations.
31 May-1 June: Using Supervision This workshop will provide a good introduction for students who intend to start placements, but will also be an opportunity for experienced counsellors to review their own use of supervision.
2-5 June: The Role of the Counsellor: Counsellor Intensive A four day intensive offering students an opportunity for intensive experience of both counselling and supervision, interspersed with sessions reflecting on the impact of professional image and issues upon the therapist’s process. *This four day section is suitable for students who have already completed some basic skills training or are practicing counsellors and therapists.
AMIDA FRANCE “BACK TO THE EARTH” RETREAT 10 - 17 MAY 2008 This retreat offers a chance to connect deeply with the world we live in. Much of our time will be spent gardening, clearing the ground, preparing the seed beds and planting the seeds that will offer sustenance in the coming months. Many metaphors with our own and others’ lives can be appreciated as we do this work. We will look at these metaphors in Dharma discussions and gatherings. There are many things we can take home as sustenance for our lives and work. Services will help us make contact with what Amida represents - the measureless life, and how we can live in and create a Pureland, wherever we are. Suggested donation of 200 euros includes simple shared accommodation, good vegetarian food, and transport to and from the nearest station. Please note that accommodation is very rustic! th
Volunteers are needed from 7 til 18 May to open and tidy up the centre and can take part in the retreat at a reduced rate. Please email email@example.com for details or telephone 0207 2632183
Spend the Summer in France Retreat to the countryside in July and deepen your connection with nature and spirituality. Dharmavidya will give dharma teachings th th 10 -30 July while the Arts Period st th will run 1 – 20 August. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org for more information
6 June: Seminar on Structuring Counselling and Supervision Relationships: A Day of Theory This seminar will explore different models of counselling and supervision process taken from Western and Buddhist approaches.
7-8 June: Brief Counselling & Informal Contexts This weekend will explore the way that short therapeutic encounters can offer support and effect real change. RT
imagine remember reflect REACT By Beata Uwazaninka
Beata shared her experience at the National Holocaust Memorial Day event in Leicester. Her poignant story deserves to be heard and shared with others. She ended with a plea to react by saying, ‘You can make a difference. Support a survivor or remember and honour the ones who were not so lucky.’
My father died when I was two and my mother remarried when I was five. I lived with my Grandma. On New Year’s Eve 1987 our neighbours - people I knew - came into the house and beat Grandma on the head with a hammer. They dragged her outside and left her body in the rain. I thought they were going to kill me as well, but one of them said, “Leave her, she can’t do any harm.” I wondered what harm Grandma could have done. I sat with her body in the rain until it began to get light. That was when I realised some people didn’t like us because we were different, but I didn’t understand why. I was seven years old. I went back to Gitarama to live with Mother, who had married a Hutu. That’s how it was; people didn’t think about separate ethnic groups. We were poor but happy. Mother worked very hard and my childhood was good. The morning after President Habyarimana’s plane was shot down in 1994 I was in my uncle’s house with five cousins. The rebels came saying they were going to rape the girls. Uncle Gashugi pleaded with them not to do it, but they cut him down with a machete. I ran out the back door with the others. All the other girls were killed before they reached the gate. I’m the only one of the household who survived. I went from house to house like a hunted animal. Sometimes I hid in the drains with the corpses pretending to be dead myself. One day I was being pursued by a rebel and fled into the house of a Muslim named Yahaya. My heart was beating so fast. The rebel was banging on the gate, threatening to throw a grenade to kill everyone if the family didn’t give me up. Yahaya told his daughter to open the gate. I thought I was going to die, but he took me by the hand, stood with me in his doorway and said to the 12
killer, “NO!”. The same man had shot a boy the previous day in that same house. Yahaya told him that the blood was still on the yard and that God would judge him. He could have been killed for sheltering me but he risked his life for mine. He said that in the Koran it says, “If you save one life, it is like saving the whole world; if you take one life, it is like destroying the whole world.” The saddest day was when I heard that my mother had been killed. They had thrown her into the river. My heart wanted to break. I was fourteen years old and I was now all alone. There is a saying in Kinyarwanda that if a thief steals part of your basket you cry and tell everyone what has been stolen. But if they take everything it is too much to talk about, too much for tears, so you keep quiet. So it is with life after genocide. It is too big to tell. No one can really understand it. People today talk about forgetting, forgiving and reconciliation. I think it’s better to remember than forget, because if you don’t remember what happened, you don’t have the whole truth. People say you can’t have reconciliation without forgiveness, but you can’t have forgiveness if people don’t say they are sorry. For me, memory is personal, but remembering is important for everyone. The world knew and did not stop the genocide. So everyone shares something of what happened in our little country of Rwanda.
A longer version of this account is published by the Aegis Trust For media enquiries , contact the Aegis Press Officer David Brown (+250 0877 4006, email email@example.com)
Arts corner My Grandmother's House I could take you to a house Tall as a ship on the hillside With red gables And seagulls crying in the sky above
And when you thought it was long gone, here it is, up your sleeve, in your pocket, tucked under a sleeping cat.
And we could enter by the side Through a door that's never locked To a kitchen, big with laughter With a stove that's always lit And a kettle on the hob I could take you through the hall, muffled in deep carpet There would be a fire in the grate And faded satin cushions on the chairs, Brocaded curtains And treasures on the shelf: A cardboard cut-out boat, a plastic dancer An egg cup, present from the china shop Remembered childhoods We would climb the stairs and find The bedroom with its high black bed Where winter gales rattle dead fingers on the panes In the darkness And seem to rock the walls to the sounds of distant waves. But no The building stands Not quite so tall upon the hill But all the rest Is gone Like the ripples on a pond After a leaf has fallen
- Caroline Brazier OAB
You pull it out, let it fall, drape it over both arms, admire its improbability a thin-air hammock, woven in light to be flung up Between a cold house and a home, harsh words and a smile. Lie in it. It will hold you. - Marylin Ricci published in Smiths Knoll magazine Issue 41, December 2007
THREE WISHES When I die, I will go with the jaguar Through the flooded forest, Feel his spray shattered rainbow droplets in my eyes, Share his lair, the leaves, the bark, the rank smelling vines And lie in the hollow of his rich fur, paws enclosed. I will swim with the dolphins, In the caves and bays and far out to sea, Playing with coconut shells, bananas leaves, the island debris Tossing it to the stars. I will go with the sheep in their death trucks Taking no space, packed in their terror Holding them close, feeling their warmth, On their journey through hell, To find in death at last their own kind In the daisy scented fields of paradise Let me be there.
- Joan Court MAS Http://amidatrust.typepad.com/poetry/ RT
By Caroline Prasada Brazier OAB
Going, Going, Going Beyond . . . Awakening! Svaha!
WHY DO SO MANY PEOPLE FEEL GUILTY? As someone who often listens to others talking about their lives, I hear again and again the anguish of regret. Why did I do it? Why did I not do it? Why did I not see; not hear? How could I be so silly? Why am I not good enough? The voices plead for answers. And in the night, the ghosts of memories flock in to terrorise the wakeful with thoughts of what might have been, or worse, what was. We all have regrets. Some regrets are justified. Recognition that we messed up, that our behaviour was thoughtless, selfish, cruel, unethical, is not easy to face. How can we readily accept such selfcondemnation? Yet other guilt is darker, less clearly located, a sense of brooding unease that permeates our being as if the night itself had seeped into our soul. To lie, eyes staring awake, heat rising in the breast, mind swimming downward in the spiral of a drowning man, is to know guilt. Breath caught in the between space of "if only"; heart beating out its jagged rhythm across the darkness, it descends, tightening its grip. Of course we are right. The dark intimations of fallibility are quite correct. How could it be otherwise? Are we not bombu? The Pureland message shines like a light into our
darkness, like the soothing hand on our forehead that tells us that the dream has passed. Of course we do things badly sometimes. Of course we let people down. Of course.. how awful if it were otherwise! Being accepted as bombu - foolish being of wayward passion - is a great liberation, the relief of ordinariness. So much of our feeling of guilt comes from our expectation that we should be extraordinary. Not only do we mess up and feel regret, we then feel deeply ashamed that we have proved our failure as perfect beings. We squirm with humiliation at the prospect that others might see our imperfection. We struggle to hide beneath a mirage of niceness, whilst layers of resentment and anger bubble up at our exposure. So, guilt is many layered. Sometimes it reflects the reality. We did do wrong. Often it is more a feeling response, arising in us from the perception of judgement. We judge ourselves. We imagine that others judge us. Sometimes they do. Crazy, that in a world of ordinary humans, so much expectation of never doing wrong should abound. Understanding guilt requires an understanding of our nature. Conditioned beings, in particular we nurse our conditioned identities; we rely on certain continuities. Identity is our protection. Good or bad, it wards off the uncertainty of life. For some, the self is seen as something to be perfected; it is paraded before others like a stately
car, all shining chrome and gleaming bodywork, polished to the point where nothing out of place detracts from the pleasing image. So, for some, willing themselves close to perfection, guilt manifests in burning anger that their behaviour is less than exemplary. Slip ups scratch the smooth surface of such lives. Anger that arises then, itself gives rise to further guilt. We have so let ourselves down, how could we? And now, these feelings boiling in the mind that should be calm and tranquil; guilt multiplies. Other times, guilt is the habit. Reflecting our doleful image of our imperfection, we wallow in its confirmation. We invite condemnation because it sustains our existence. We cling to guilt in the relief that we cannot do worse for we are already sunk. No possibilities. No pressure. Heroic misery blankets our reality. They cannot kick us further now, for we have already surrendered to their criticism. Whether the perfect self or the utter failure, these constructed identities protect us from the raw impermanence of life. To accept the reality of our human condition, means casting ourselves into a sea of uncertainty. We cannot do it of our own volition. We need faith.
So bombu nature is our ordinariness. Acceptable to Amida just as we are we can face the ordinary misdemeanours of our lives. Of course we get it wrong, but it is not necessary to compound the suffering with pretense. We are not perfect and we do not need to be. Nor do we need to cling to the bad, which inevitably arises from time to time, in order to safeguard ourselves from condemnation. With recognition of this ordinariness comes true relief. The bombu paradigm is one of relaxation; of refuge. No longer locked in criticism of self, we have less reason to feel critical of others, though, of course, as bombu we are by no means perfect in either respect! However getting to the point of acceptance requires us to cross a line which is not always easy to negotiate. Most importantly, the Pureland message is one of radical non-judgementalism, or, put another way, Amida's acceptance of us just as we are, warts and all. This is the challenge. Most of us would prefer to be accepted as we'd like to be. We want to believe we are really only the nice bits, and that the rest of our behaviour is just a series of unfortunate anomalies.
Caroline Prasada Brazier, amitarya in the Pureland tradition, has been a pioneer in the presentation of Buddhist Psychology in the West and directs the training programmes offered by the Amida Trust which include a full professional training for psychotherapists and counsellors taught from a Buddhist Psychology perspective. She is author of Buddhist Psychology and The Other Buddhism, and is currently writing her next book on Guilt. Stay tuned for more . . .
Tithandizane zambia vso
By Clare Adamson
paying tribute to the true human potential to affect positive change
Mulambo is a conscious events project which aims to acknowledge, realise and inspire the true human potential to create a better world through shifting consciousness, and taking and encouraging socially engaged action, and raising money for vulnerable groups in the UK and overseas. Mulambo takes its form through musical and multimedia events organised ultimately so that people can have fun and celebrate, but also to present a deeper meaning. The aim is for the attendees of the events to get a sense of truly being alive which can be transformed in the outside world as a positive force for change. We aim to inform and inspire positive action and do this through our campaigns area which features stalls offering information, ethical products and ideas for how to take socially engaged action that can be really effective and life affirming. We, Clare and James Adamson, were initially inspired to create Mulambo in Sept 2006, after being recruited by The Amida Trust, to complete a voluntary stint at the Tithandizane HIV Clinic, in Zambia. We were totally inspired by the Amida Trust's approach of acting from the heart and from deep seated conviction. Although their work is deeply rooted in spiritual belief, it is not restricted by reverence, dogma or philosophy. To us, what really defines them is their no-nonsense, practical approach to socially engaged action, how they get on with things and achieve a lot with such a small resource. We intended Mulambo as a one-off event to raise money for Tithandizane, in order to help financially as well as provide a people resource, and see Lindaâ€™s life work continued. Linda was the founder of Tithandizane who died in March 2006. Following the success of this initial event, 16
and being totally inspired by just what a difference can be made, during our time in Zambia, we decided to put on more Mulambo events, and develop it into something more encompassing. Although we place inspiration for Mulambo with the Amida Trust, the foundations were laid much earlier. For me, since childhood, it's been an important aspect of my being to want to help those less fortunate than myself and stand up for the vulnerable. The defining moment was the declaration, at age nine that, some day, I would go help the indigenous peoples being persecuted under Apartheid in South Africa. My spiritual journey began here, was defined in the early years as putting myself between those being bullied and the perpetrator, and later by inwardly reflecting in order to cultivate higher qualities of kindness, compassion and love, so that I can better serve and create positive change in the world. Yet it was not till going to the Amida Trust and realising that all my philosophies were Buddhist, and going to Zambia as a volunteer, that I entered the most powerful defining time of my spiritual journey. Realising the completion of a childhood aspiration to help in Africa, affected me profoundly in itself. Also it presented an opportunity for spiritual growth through overcoming challenges, through the selfless service to others and through true socially engaged action. As a result I have become stronger, more aware of myself and of spirit, been able shake loose a deep seated and long held feeling of inadequacy, become more spiritually empowered and become more committed to the needs of others and to the benefit I can be towards them. This experience has given me the confidence and a deeper inspiration to strike forward with Mulambo, which not only has become a positive force for change, and raises money for the vulnerable, but it exists as a source of inspiration to others as to what is possible with a positive and compassionate heart.
Love from Delhi Dear all, Kaspa, Amidaâ€™s newest novice monk, and Prasada are here safe and sound. They huffed and puffed up the four flights of steps with baggage in tow after a fifteen minute rickshaw ride to the metro around gaping holes and over piles of rubble, and we are very happy to welcome them. Today Kaspa and I went to a wild, dry and beautiful park based around a golden Buddha. We had a messy picnic with semi liquid meals: sweet and sour vegetables served in cardboard boxes. We left the stray dogs to lick up the mess and ventured into the wilder side of the park. We watched parrots, chipmunks and an assortment of birds doing their thing. We also saw a family of cute monkeys, one destroyed a thick branch in the tree to let us know what it could do to a human arm if we got any closer. It was a glorious day and very different from the full lifestyle that we live when we are teaching. It seems like we start discussing the next lesson the moment we come back from the last one. We wouldn't want it any other way though and are incredibly happy that we are wanted - and hopefully useful. I led the women's group the other day for the first time without Sahishnu. I'm happy to say that there was much laughter, fun, and preposition revision. This group though declining slightly in numbers is still about ten strong and they are all enthusiastic and engaged. The women get a chance to converse in English and is a great way to learn about each otherâ€™s culture.
The outreach to children is still going extremely well and continues to grow every time we visit the various locations. We have been teaching 70 children and sometimes more on a regular basis. The outreaches are often punctuated with laughter and the children are constantly singing, moving, and thinking. It has proved a successful formula for yet another year. All other aspects of teaching including the adults at the other outreach projects are going well too. We are hoping to start an intermediate class and a men's group soon. Peace and love, James James is a volunteer with Amida Delhi
Just got back from a week in Delhi visiting our project there. The project is in its fourth year and offers English classes to some of the poorer communities in the East of the city. This year Amida chaplain, Sahishnu has two volunteers with her. Kaspalita and I travelled out on Monday a week ago. We spent most of our time visiting the different classes, held in different Buddhist temples around the area. Some were for children, some for young women, and others for mixed adults. They tended to be very interactive with lots of word games and singing. On Sunday the visit culminated with an Amida-shu admission ceremony for ten people in Shanti Nagar, a very poor district just over the border in Uttar Pradesh. This group has been meeting with Sahishnu for a couple of years to practice Buddhism and its members have become particularly interested in our form of Pureland and wanted to become part of our group. You can see photos of our visit on my facebook site:http://www.facebook.com/profile.php ?id=802855720. A big thank-you to everyone who sent stickers. These are very welcome - it is so encouraging for these youngsters who have so little to receive these stickers as encouragement for their work. Love, Prasada RT
Mudita Davies OAB
BABY JAKE JOSHUA DAVIES arrived two weeks late, and 2 hours shy of my own birthday. Jake carefully chose his time to enter the world. Even after being induced he didn't want to come out! But now that he's here, he loves it.
how does one be a parent from a Pureland perspective. So I look to the dharma.
Babies are a gift, and are made from pure other power. They choose their time to be conceived and, if left to their own devices, when to be born. I had a growing sense of this when I first felt him flutter inside. Yes, there really was a baby there and it was a miracle! I was now caught in an irreversible forward process. He got bigger, and bigger…then he arrived with a scream! New, pure, innocent. Something we all are before it is covered up through living in the saha world. He takes his first breath, completely reliant on an “other” to take care of everything, and what an honour to be that other. To be the one to feed him, to change his nappy, to bounce him, take him to the doctor, to sing to him, to show him love even when he's grumpy. He has no pretence, he just is. He needs love, food, warmth, and comfort. In return he gives pure love and joy without even trying.
Love your child. Tend to the relationship. Watch him, he can't speak yet, but he has needs, you'll figure them out. Make his environment beautiful. Show him the world is good. Keep him with you. Treat him tenderly. He is an honoured guest. His cry is Amida calling out. Don't ignore it.
Parenting books. I have a stack, including a Buddhist one. There are so many theories, and with them, so much advice. They are all getting a bit dusty now… mostly I've been wondering
What is Pureland about? Love, relationship,and hearing Amida's call.
To be with a baby is to be in the Pureland, a dance with other power. One enters a land of bliss, self is left behind, and ones own suffering seems so far a way when all is focused on this new human being. Try to make your own needs important and instantly you suffer. Let them go, and all is well. The baby smiles at you and you've never seen such beauty, ever. His eyes have all the wisdom in the world. Honest, innocent, bestowed upon whoever looks with no discrimination. And, when he looks over your right shoulder with that dreamy look, who is he looking at? Amida of course Namo Amida Bu
Haikus on Life at The Buddhist House end of summer garden fallen ripe red plums, fragrant squish underfoot, yuck! sleepless night restless morning star slides out of view, indigo to grey 18
just three cats lounging on the pavement twitching tails picking blackberries nettles stinging my ankles is the jam worth it?
a deluge of rain-golden buddha rupa smiles as we take refuge -Mudita
A SPECIAL DAY BY Kaspalita Thompson OAB
AS THE 6TH OF DECEMBER BECAME THE 7TH, I was writing and rewriting my personal vow. The Dharma hall had been made ready, rehearsals had finished, I had taken one piece of red cloth, cut it up in to many smaller pieces and then sewn it all back into one piece again, to make my robe, (complete with many mistakes, so as not to offend the gods by creating something perfect - not something I have to worry about really...). Ordination minus eight hours and counting. I woke up early the next day, and carried on rewording my vow, right until I heard the gong ringing. I had been through many waves of doubt before reaching this point, but now, finally, I had reached a place of peace and was sure that I was doing the right thing. Nervous, of course, that I might trip up during the ceremony, and about the unwritten future, and excited but the worry had passed. Now, as I remember waiting outside the hall, listening to the chanting of the congregation, those feelings return. I'm aware of massive potential within the Sangha, and that's exciting, and a little overwhelming especially when I contrast that with my ordinary mind, and behaviour. I feel like now is really the time for me to step up to the plate, and take a big swing but sometimes that seems like an impossible task. The first part of the ordination ceremony was to make offerings and prayers to my ancestors, and when I think of that now, my heart aches. I sent a prayer to my grandfather, to ask him to watch over me, and to give me his blessing for my vocation; the day after the ordination I attended a family funeral and was moved to hear a close friend of my grandfather say how proud he would have been of me.
After the prayers to my ancestors, the precepts. I returned to the main alter, barely aware of the hall around me, and kneeled. As Dharmavidya read the precepts my nerves left me. I knew what was coming here, we'd been through all the precepts earlier in the week, and there was little chance of making a mistake here, just say “I will” in all the right places. Now finally I was able to take in my surroundings, notice all the Sangha, and other friends, around me, and my mum (hiding behind a video camera), and how beautiful the hall had been made. And then, prostrations, incense offering to the preceptor, having the last of my hair shaved off and then my new name. Earlier in the year, months before the ordination I had a vivid dream, in which I heard one name repeated over and over again Uruvilva Kashyapa. Dharmavidya opened the envelope and read the name Amita Kaspalita, he then explained the different parts of the name, saying that Kas means light, “as in the name Kashyapa”, and that palita means protected by. My name means “protected by the light”. And then, with a little help, putting on the Robe and finally my personal vow: To lay myself at the feet of the Buddha And completely surrender to his light Open my heart to love & shame To not fear my bombu nature, but To take a great leap into this bombu world And to work creatively that all may hear the Name In myriad ways, and experience the land of bliss. Namo Amida Bu RT
NO OTHER Spiritual healing in the Buddhist tradition by Jim Pym
BUDDHISM HAS A LONG TRADITION of what we would now call spiritual or metaphysical healing, beginning with the Buddha himself. However, as the Dharma became more and more defined as a religion, this healing became lost, and the emphasis became focussed on rules of organisation and practice. What was forgotten is that the Buddha did not set out to become enlightened. He set out to discover a way out of sickness, old age and death. After many years of searching, he discovered the causes and the cure, and in the process became enlightened, a Buddha. When he began to teach the profound Dharma that he had discovered which was essentially beyond words he gave us various pointers which he thought might help. One of these was “The seven limbs of enlightenment”, a key through which the Buddha Nature and with it healing and wholeness could be revealed. It is recorded in the Pali Canon that once when the Venerable Kassapa was ill, and the Buddha
visited him. Kassapa asked the Buddha if he could help. The Buddha spoke of these seven limbs, saying, “Kassapa, these are the seven limbs of enlightenment which I have fully expounded and taught. Meditate and think on them, and they will lead to a full understanding, to Nirvana”. When Kassapa heard these words, he was immediately healed, and rose up and served the Buddha. Another time, when the Buddha himself was sick, he is recorded as asking one of his disciples to repeat the seven limbs to bring about healing. What are these seven limbs, and what is their power of healing? And how do they relate to the Pure Land Way? The actual list is mindfulness, profound inquiry [into the nature of Dharma], joy, vigour, tranquillity, deep meditation and equanimity. It will be clear that if anyone is able to experience all these qualities, they are seeing a different world to that in which most of us live. This world is the world of Nirvana, the Pure Land, and one of its qualities if we can accept it is that of healing and wholeness.
From the Buddhist perspective, all suffering - and this includes sickness - is the result of our wrong view of this world. This view is maya or illusion. But the Pure Land is right here and now, if only we can come to see it. If we can see the world of the seven limbs, we experience the Pure Land, and then we know that all is subject to change and that there is no abiding self to experience it.
the name of this Buddha attunes us to the Infinite and the eternal. This is the essential simplicity of what we call Spiritual Healing. It is found within all the great religious and mystical traditions of the world. Some call this Reality 'Buddha', some 'God' (by one of his/her/its many names) some 'Christ', and some just think of 'Infinite Goodness' or 'Unconditional Love'. The Name does not matter, but the experience does.
The problem, of course, is that we do not live in a world of enlightenment and we do have separate selves (or think we have). From the viewpoint of these selves we see sickness, suffering, old age and death all around. So how can we even think about spiritual healing?
In this sense, Buddhist spiritual healing is no different from everyday practice, except in one way. This is to trust that in the Infinite there are no limitations, that anything is possible because it already is. In the Oneness of reciting the Name, there is truly no self and no other. Though I, Jim, may never be able to see it with my human senses (Maya, the gateways to the false world of self) when I affirm that it is the Truth - as my good teachers have told me - this Truth is able to manifest as healing and wholeness. All I can do is to wonder, and give thanks.
At this stage, I need to make it clear that I too live in this separated world, that I imagine there is a self called “Jim”, and that I experience sickness, old age and death. However, I do have one small secret to share with all my fellow sufferers, not through any self-claimed virtue, but through the kindness of the many good teachers - both Buddhist and otherwise - from whom I have been privileged to learn. This secret is that the Reality of our Buddha-nature actually exists right now. We call it Amida, Infinite Light and Eternal Life.
Why not try it for yourself? Namo Amida Butsu
If this is the Truth, then it is the truth about the seven limbs, about the causes and way out from sickness, old age and death. It is the truth about the self I call “Jim”, and about all the other assumed separate selves, namely, that they have no independent reality. I do have to trust my good teachers, but even my own reason tells me that if the Reality is Infinite Light, there can be no other light, and no darkness. If the Reality is Eternal Life, there can be no time, and no Life apart from Eternal Life. One way of attuning to this Reality is to use our reason in this way, to affirm the Essential Truth given in the Seven Limbs or in Amida's Pure Land, and then to recite Amida Buddha's Name in gratitude for this Truth. Reciting
Jim Pym is a priest in the Pure Land tradition, and has been involved in the spiritual healing ministry for some 40 years. He is currently living in Edinburgh, and leads retreats and workshops based on meditation and healing. His book on Buddhism, ' You Dont Have to Sit on the Floor', is currently only available in the US edition.
THE 5th LIVING BUDDHISM CONFERENCE May 1-4 2008
BREAKING THE MOULD Buddhism Comes West and gets engaged NARBOROUGH, Leicestershire UK Turn the page for more information RT
Date and Banana Cake by Sue King MAS
6â€? round cake Pre-heat oven 163c/325f/GM3 300g Wholewheat flour/spelt flour 1tbs of baking powder 200g of dates (chopped) 3 large very ripe bananas (mashed) 3 tsp of vanilla essence 125ml soya milk 125g margarine Mix flour and baking powder together in a bowl. Add the chopped dates. Put the bananas, vanilla essence, and soya milk in another bowl and mix well. Melt the margarine in a small pan over a low heat, then stir into flour. Add the mashed banana, and combine the two mixtures thoroughly. Pour mixture into a small greased cake tin, and bake for about 1 hour. Check to see if it is cooked with a skewer. Allow to cool before removing from the tin. Cut here BOOKING FORM Send to 12 Coventry Rd. Narborough, Leicestershire, LE19 2GR, UK You are also invited to offer a workshop, paper, or other presentation
Name: Address: Phone: E-mail: URL/Blog: I wish to reserve ........ places at the Conference and enclose non-returnable deposit of ÂŁ40/person. I hope also to attend the following (This is not your last chance to book/unbook these events. If you are uncertain, please indicate what is likely)
Pre-Conference Gathering 26-27 April Post-Conference Group 5 May
I would like to offer a workshop paper Title: ......................................................... I would be interested in convening a special interest group before / at / after the conference Subject: ................................................... My accommodation requirement is Twin Dorm Non-resident Other information: 22
THE FIFTH LIVING BUDDHISM CONFERENCE
BREAKING THE MOULD Buddhism Comes West and Gets Engaged NARBOROUGH UK May 1-4 2008
A rich conference that will bring together the creative, the spiritual and the mind.
SPEAKERS WILL INCLUDE: Dialogue with leading speakers on Jim Pym, contemporary Buddhist Pure Land Buddhist Fellowship * SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT * SPIRITUALITY * Wendy Dossett, PSYCHOLOGY * CHAPLAINCY * AID * COMMUNITY * ORGANISATION * ARTS * University of Wales RESEARCH * PRACTICE * Kazuo Yamashita, Japan, Shin-shu Counselling This conference, hosted by Amida Trust, is David Dharmavidya Brazier, at the crest of the wave of Buddhism’s Amida-shu adaptation to the cultural context of the Alan Oliver, USA, Ashoka contemporary world, encountering other faiths, benefitting society, working for Network, Buddhist Economics peace, breaking ground in arts, psychology Caroline Prasada Brazier, and practical spirituality. Amida-shu Dennis Oliver, Christian Buddhist 26-27 April: Pre-Conference Gathering Parami McMillan, Western Buddhist Order 28-30 April: Pre-Conference Events: "Buddhism & Arts", "Amida Around the World", "Buddhism in a Multi-Faith World", Alex Barr "Buddhist Education". Samatha 1-4 May Living Buddhism Conference: Nigel Northcott BREAKING THE MOULD Buddhist chaplain, 5 May: Post Conference Meeting: HM Prison Service "Buddhism in Organisation Development" Patricia Obregon Pranic Healing Full Board Attendance and accommodation: Claire Hershman Twin £185; Dorm £155 Gina Sundari Clayton Full Attendance Non-residential £145 Mike Bhaktika Fitter Day rate (doesn’t include accommodation) £55 Modgala Duguid, Tony Danford, firstname.lastname@example.org +44 (0)116 286 7476 and more Amida Trust 12 Coventry Road, Narborough LE19 2 GR, UK
Spirituality in Culture and Arts A Series of Workshops The Maitri Project
£10 per workshop Registration Required
10 Bishop Street, Leicester To book email: email@example.com
0116 286 7476
A DAY OF SONG & CHANTS We will be sharing songs & chants drawn from many of the world’s spiritual traditions. You don’t need to read music, or 10-5pm - SAT 15 MARCH Willow and Rowan Songsmith even to have a ‘singing’ voice to take part. ‘Come, Come, Whoever you are’ – Join your voices and just enjoy the day!
This workshop will be a chance to explore our experience and express our feelings about life and spirituality through 10-5pm - SAT 12 APRIL relaxation and body awareness exercises. It will help us to Caroline Prasada Brazier open ourselves to the creative and the devotional aspects of life.
EMBODYING THE SPIRIT
PANDRAMATICS 10-5pm - SAT 24 MAY David Dharmavidya Brazier
THE SPIRIT OF PAINTING 10-5pm - SAT 14 JUNE Susthama
Come and experiment with drama improvisation. Explore spontaneity and cooperation using personal, social and spiritual themes. No special ability needed.
Come and spend the day painting and/or drawing the spiritual world that you perceive. Experiment with a range of rich colours, brushes, and material.
The Maitri Project is a multi-faith pastoral care programme run by volunteers for people of all faiths, and no faith. For info ring 0116 286 7476. In co-operation with Amida Trust, registered charity #1060589: http://amidatrust.typepad.com/maitri/
Winter Issue of The Running Tide - News and articles about the Dharma, Buddhist practice and training