Saraha speaks to several themes from the Sigalaka Sutta. Firstly, friends are helpful, stand by you, give you time. Secondly, those who serve and support society, do we treat them as real people? Do we (as a society) look after them when they are ill? Our Buddhist Centres are here to bring peace, love, and agency with the ability to hold suffering close to your heart. The Sigalaka Sutta guides us on how to treat our fellow human beings.
Instead of the traditional description of the Fourth Noble Truth - the Eightfold Path - Saccanama explores Sangha as a means to counter the individualism of our times. What exactly is the true meaning of Sangha? And how can the mysterious ‘third order of consciousness’ or Bodhicitta help us to transcend our preoccupation with ourselves? He looks at three stories from Buddhist tradition that explore the true meaning of Sangha - the Anuruddhas, the Pure Land and the...
Ratnavandana offers a personal sharing of her reflections on a six month solitary retreat where she was focussing on the Heart Sutra.
With Avalokitesvara as her guide, she was hoping to deepen her understanding of the emptiness of the five skandhas as well as exploring how to bring all the ordinary everyday activities of life into the realm of the sacred.
This excerpt includes a reading evocation on the Five Buddha Mandala.
Kalyana Mitrata is spiritual friendship, even ‘the lovely intimacy’, the need for close and supportive connections with others in treading the path. Ratnaprabha explores why the Buddha said spiritual friendship is ‘the whole of the Buddhist Life’. Is it as important now as it was in the Buddha’s time? Is a Kalyana Mitra the same thing as a guru or teacher? How can we make the intimate connections in our lives really stimulating and nourishing? How do we...
Here Padmasuri shares stories of friendship between the early Buddhist nuns and the Buddha. Featuring glimpses into the lives of Mahapajapati, Patajara, Dhammadinna, Kisagotami, Mitta, Queen Mallika. Many of these women would have gone forth for friendship, a sort of cradle of friendship, in which the truth teachings would be held and practiced. Just so then, so now.
Here Karunadhi introduces us to the Red Rite of Fascination. Friendship emerges from love for our friends, but also can evoke strong attachment. Communication and the samgrahavastu (means of unification) of loving speech are the antidote for grasping and projection.
Vajratara introduces the theme of spiritual friendship or kalyana mitrata. What is spiritual friendship? How is it distinguished from ordinary friendship? How can we make friends? What is the difference between vertical and horizontal friendship? Using stories, personal anecdotes and images she introduces the overall theme to prepare for more talks in this series, which focusses on the tantric rites and friendship.
Suryamati reminds us that the spiritual life is difficult to practice on one’s own. Here we here the story of Meghiya where the Buddha advises that spiritual friendship is needed for the heart’s release.
How do we be a sangha member? How do we help others in their practice of sangha?
Here, we get an introduction to the teaching on the Samgrahavastus, the four means of unification.
A very interesting introduction to the mandala here from Garava - the idea, the myth, the image, the symbol, the experience. His own practice as an artist affords him a respectful and generous perspective, from which we are able to simply sit back and learn.