The last morning of the retreat found me with a mind full of reflections in the early morning double meditation, and a fair bit of energy released – I was dancing in my living room when I popped home for a few things after breakfast.
This was the day we’d been building up to – the day we met the Buddha! Ratnaguna introduced the Buddha Amitayus of the Guan Jing, the ‘Buddha beyond the Buddha’, the principle of Buddhahood which the Mahayana...
As Ratnaguna pointed out, dwelling in such an uncompromisingly bright land tends to invite one’s shadow. Every retreat brings a process for each of us, and today I knew the retreat was reaching something more in me when I found myself weeping in morning meditation. After last night’s talk, I was touching a deep grief for all the imperfection in me-and-my-sangha: the views I bring that make things hard for me; the ways interpersonal dynamics sometimes obscure our shared faith; the ways...
Today we focused on the very beautiful descriptions of the beings in the happy land of Sukhavati. In many ways these are my favourite sections of the sutra; I’ve spent happy meditations in the past basking in the golden light as I imagined being amidst great beings with “minds of equality, minds of loving-kindness, gentle minds, affectionate minds, diligent minds, clear minds, stable minds, unhindered minds, unshaken minds, unagitated minds, minds which practise the perfection of wisdom” who stroll around...
Another beautiful day in the pure land! On my way home, I sighed - “oh it’s all so lovely!”.
Today our sutra reading was sections of the text describing the land of Sukhavati, which is the Dharma aspect of the text. (Yesterday focused more on the Buddha - including beautiful descriptions of bodhisattva activity)
I found the description of the river particularly beguiling - the sound of the river is both soothing, and conveys the Dharma. It conveys the Dharma by murmuring the only,...
My day started with double meditation by our very golden shrine. I appreciated the time to just sit with some of the phrases which resonated with me from yesterday’s readings of the shorter Sukhavativuyha sutra. Sitting with “heartfelt desire”, exploring the associated sensations, and ‘objects’ of desire; and with a sense of “embraced by all the Buddhas”; and the connection between the two. It felt rich and fruitful.
Ratnaguna gave a fascinating talk, showing us resonances between the Sukhavativuyha sutras and two late Pali suttas...
We had a wonderful first day of our Order-Mitra ‘Rainy Season Retreat’ today, with Ratnaguna on fine form exploring everything from what we can learn from the language of the heptapods in the film ‘Arrival’, through the way the Mahayana expresses insight cosmically, suggestions on how to listen to the sutras, to why birds have to be magical apparitions in the pure land.
We listened to one of the sutras twice, and discussed our responses.
A day for the south-west region to celebrate our sangha in Bristol and worldwide.
10.00 doors open
10.30 Welcome & Dedication Ceremony & Triratna Metta Bhavana led by Jvalamalini
12.00 Four Gifts – short personal talks from Abhayamaitri, Satyalila, Bhadra and Ananda:
I come to you with four gifts. The first gift is a lotus-flower. Do you understand? My second gift is a golden net. Can you recognize it? My third gift is a shepherds’ round-dance. Do your feet know how to dance? My fourth gift
a 6 week course introducing Buddhism and meditation Wednesday evenings 7.30 – 10.00 from 14 September 2016
Want to explore your mind? Looking to make the most of your life? This six-week course introduces the core teachings of the Buddha and how you can use them to free up your energy, your imagination, and your perspective on the world. On this highly practical course you’ll get instruction in developing mindfulness and deep positive emotion through meditation, as well as key principles to take...