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Our Bristol Rains Retreat 2019 had a rich first day with about 40 Order Members and Mitras taking part through the day. Vajradevi gave us a great overview of mindfulness and awareness and skilfully wove what she’s learned of the practice in Burma with Bhante Sangharakshita’s teachings on the five spiritual faculties (drawing on the Essential Sangharakshita, What is the Dharma? and A Survey of Buddhism.)
In the evening we had a 45-minute Mindfulness of Breathing followed by the Pali Canon seven-fold puja to the Buddha compiled by Maitrisiddhi from Taraloka. The strong, clear words powerfully evoked the Buddha for me and we had the earth-touching Shakyamuni on the shrine as an evocation of faith, as mentioned by Vajradevi in her talk during the afternoon.
We’re off to a good start.
The theme for the 2019 Bristol Buddhist Centre Rains Retreat is ‘Pathways to the Beautiful Mind’ which will be using the framework of the Satipatthana Sutta and the 5 spiritual faculties to cultivate receptivity to beauty and truth, while allowing the whole range of our experience to be known. The retreat is being led by Vajradevi, exploring the theme through the ‘pathways’ of meditation, reflection, input, discussion and ritual.
Check out Vajradevi’s blog, Uncontrived Mindfulness
Listen to the talks from the opening evening and the first full day on Soundcloud:
Introduction to the Bristol Buddhist Centre Rains Retreat 2019
Pathways to the Beautiful Mind: Intro to the Theme of the Bristol Buddhist Centre Rains Retreat
How to Work with Sati (mindfulness) & What Awareness Is
Recap On Sati (mindfulness) & Exploring the Faculty of Faith
Puja to the Buddha drawn from the Pali Canon