Alchemy of the Dharma

Workshops at the Triratna International Gathering 22-26 August

On Thu, 2 May, 2019 - 15:39
Development Team's picture
Development Team

The Dynamic Mandala - Meditation workshops run by the Vajraloka team on all 3 days

In Triratna, our system of practice is a dynamic mandala of five principles. We progressively integrate mind and body, samatha and vipassana, and discover the power of skilful and positive mental states. Then, directly penetrating and dispelling our delusions, we open ever-more to the wonder of what is. Thus, at last, we can wake up to and be who and what we truly are.

In these meditation workshops the Vajraloka team will be taking a “somatic” approach to these five principles - meaning one based in the living energy of our body and being. Through being open to the energy of the body, and by becoming attuned to its actual nature we’ll discover ways to “integrate” all five principles experientially into a single, embodied non-practice of ‘simply being’.

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The Buddhist Alchemy Of The Heart - Study group with Saccanama

Old age, sickness and death are the experiences most often referred to as dukkha in Buddhist tradition but for those who have experienced them, violence and betrayal of trust can be a much stronger cause of pain and distress. So what does Buddhism have to say about this? Can we really come to terms with such pain? And more importantly, can we find riches even within such difficult experiences? We will explore early Buddhist teachings on ahimsa (non-violence), including the famous verses from the first chapter of the Dhammapada on dealing with hatred and violence, as well as the Mind Training teachings on our enemies being our greatest friends. If we can learn to work with such teachings, wecan turn the base metal of our experience into something genuinely precious.

This is a closed study group for 8 participants (who have asked for ordination - 4 men/4 women) who are asked to sign up for all of the three afternoons of the Gathering to make for depth and continuity of discussion.

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Energy Is Eternal Delight - A workshop on Blake followed by 2 writing workshops, with Ratnaprabha & Satyalila

Bhante Sangharakshita was reading the English poet, artist & visionary William Blake from when he was about 14 years old – before he came across the Diamond Sutra and realised he was a Buddhist.  Blake’s influence on Bhante’s thought and presentation of the Dharma is profound. We’ll explore the relationship of Blake’s mythic world to the Dharma, and its resonances in Bhante’s teaching. The workshops will include presentations, reading, discussion, writing exercises and more.  The first day will be an introduction to Blake; on the second and third days we’ll explore some of the material in our own experience, through writing.

The workshops will last 2 hours for a maximum of 12 people.  (Minimum 4 people).
No previous experience of anything required – just a willingness to be receptive and take part.  Sharing of anything you write is entirely optional!

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Poetry and the art of seeing - with Ratnagarbha

In this workshop we will be looking at how appreciating poetry can alter our perception in an alchemical transmutation of our relationship to the world of natural forms. We will be focusing on poems by Edward Thomas and Alice Oswald, both of whom have a strong emphasis on the natural world.

Please bring pen and paper or a notebook.

Length of workshop: Two hours - Sunday only

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Towards a Western Buddhist Philosophy - Vidyaruchi is offering a series of interactive presentations, discussing the need for Buddhism to address philosophical issues that have arisen in Western thought, and suggesting some ways it can do so.

People might want to make notes. The presentation will be rather abstract and theoretical so people should be prepared for a brain stretch.

3 sessions of 1 ½ hour each

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Looking at nature and making pictures - arts workshop with Yashodeva

Choosing a spot in the garden and drawing and painting from nature.

Bring art materials of your choice. Perhaps bring a low camping chair to sit comfortably and have your paints at arms reach or bring an easel.

2 hours each day. If only a few people attend the workshop may be for one day only.

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Discussion groups - all three days

Saddhaloka, Chair of the Preceptors College, will lead a group on the 3 talks. Additional background material is available on the 4 Sangrahavastus and 6 Paramitas, these representing the Bodhisattva’s means of transformation.

Mahamati,  Public Preceptor and former international order convenor, is happy in this group to discuss any questions arising from the talks and to address any topics of interest to those attending. The content of the discussions will be guided by the interests of those who attend.

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Mindful Communication - with Jayaraja

Drawing on the principles of the Dharma, the work of Marshall Rosenberg and developments in psychotherapy and neuroscience we will look at how to communicate skillfully, how to listen empathically and express ourselves honestly and with kindness.

2-hour workshop - Friday and Sunday only - kids welcome

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T’ai Chi - with Abhayamati

Abhayamati has been practising Yang Style Tai Chi since 1997. In 2001, he gained teacher accreditation within the Taijiquan School of Central Equilibrium, and has been teaching Tai Chi at the Cambridge Buddhist Centre and elsewhere for the last eighteen years.

The workshops, which are open to everyone, including complete beginners, will help to give you a feel for the Tai Chi way, by focusing on the essential underlying principles of Tai Chi movement. The relaxed and fun atmosphere helps to develop ‘grounding’ - a deep sense of connection and support from and with the earth - and the gentle, slow movements loosen the unnecessary tension that we all hold, in body and mind, to help us feel more natural and balanced.

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Yoga - with Prabhakara

Prabhakara has been practicing Iyengar yoga for 30 years and teaching for 21 years, most of that time at the Birmingham Buddhist Centre. Ordained for 22 years he has seen yoga as a complement and a support to his Buddhist practice throughout that time. He currently teaches in Malvern, Hereford and Birmingham.

60-90 mins

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Guerrilla Haiku - with Subhadassi

Suitable for children and adults. We will brighten up Adhisthana with our haikus  written under the skilful guidance of Subhadassi.

2 hours [day to be determined]

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Responses

Christine's picture

Wow wow wow! So many wonderful things on offer!!