Triratna News

Turning Arrows into Flowers: The International Practice Week 2018

On Wed, 1 August, 2018 - 12:06
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The International Practice week will take place from the 22nd to 29th September. It will be a world-wide practice week, including all Centres and Triratna Practice Groups wherever they are, on the theme of ‘Turning Arrows into Flowers’, inspired by Subhuti’s teaching on the 2017 Order retreat at Bodhgaya.

The image that sums up and symbolises the theme of this urban retreat is that of the Buddha on the cusp of his Enlightenment, at the point when Mara attacks him with all he’s got …… but the Buddha does not react with anger, hatred, defensiveness but instead with sits in complete peace and openness: the arrows, abuse and weapons hurled at him drift down around him as soft and harmless flower petals.

In essence, the message to be communicated is: this is what we need to do all the time. The constant practice is:-

  • No blame, or defence, or reactivity, complaining;
  • Turning towards whatever the challenge is with openness, interest and kind awareness;
  • Developing the attitude when faced with challenges “great – here’s is an opportunity for practice!”.

The Dharmic teaching underpinning this are The Seven Mind Training verses as laid out by Atisha; ‘taking adversity onto the path’.

Since this theme for the International Practice Week was suggested and agreed in 2017, the Eight Verses for Training the Mind have of course been popping up everywhere! Including as study material for the International Council Meeting in February and the European Chairs Meeting in July. 

Other Practices will include  - the Metta Bhavana, readings from Shantideva’s Bodhicaryavatara, Sevenfold Puja, and ways to allow the Bodhicitta to arise.

Resources and support 

Yashobodhi is recording 7 short talks especially for this occasion; these will be available in due course.  In the meantime, you can listen to a number of talks related to the theme:

Dhammadinna on the Seven Point Mind Training

Yashobodhi on Training the Mind in Bodhicitta

Subhuti on Eight Verses for Training the Mind (with transcripts).

Parami’s series on the Eight Mind Turning Verses (in Spanish) - Versos para entrenar la mente - Versos 1 & 2, Versos 3, 4, 5 & 6, Versos 7 & 8.

There is also a Guide on ‘How to Run an Urban Retreat’ in your Centre or Triratna group - with suggestions for first and last day retreat, etc.

Find out more about the International Practice Week

+Follow the International Practice Week space to stay updated

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