Being Divine Online

Meditations on Love
Donate to support Home Retreats!

Being Divine Online

Meditations on Love
Donate to support Home Retreats!

Support the next Home Retreat!


We hope you found the Home Retreat helpful.
 As we all take care of each other through this extraordinary time we are committed to staying online with you for as long as it takes – and beyond.

Our next retreat, Turning Arrows Into Flowers, will begin on May 15.

If you can, donate and help us reach more people like you.

Make a regular gift and we can build a Toolkit Team for the future.

Thank you from our team and from the online community around the world!

May you be well!

Subscribe now to get the Dharma Toolkit Newsletter and we’ll keep you posted by email on new resources as they become available.

If you prefer to get your inspiration on social media, we’ll be there too: connect with us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr.

Support the next Home Retreat!

We hope you found the Home Retreat helpful. As we all take care of each other through this extraordinary time we are committed to staying online with you for as long as it takes – and beyond.

Our next retreat, Turning Arrows Into Flowers, will begin on May 15.

If you can, donate and help us reach more people like you.

Our next retreat, Turning Arrows Into Flowers, will begin on May 15.

Thank you from our team and from the online community around the world!

May you be well!

Subscribe now to get the Dharma Toolkit Newsletter and we’ll keep you posted by email on new resources as they become available.

If you prefer to get your inspiration on social media, we’ll be there too: connect with us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr.

Day 1    Day 2    Day 3    Day 4  

Day 5    Day 6    Day 7

Home Retreats can be tailored to your needs during the lockdown.

We provide:

  • Daily, specially recorded teachings
  • Related Dharma resources
  • Support, perspective and inspiration all week long from our team on the Community Toolkit.
  • And a chance to connect with the retreat leader to ask questions about your practice.

Whether you have the time to engage with a full-on, urban-retreat style week at home – or are super occupied already with kids or work and just want some useful structure to book-end your days with a little calm and inspiration: this is for you.

***

Loving Kindness (Metta)
Compassion (Karuna)
Joyful Resonance (Mudita)
Equanimity (Upekkha)


Welcome from Ratnavandana!
For me one of the most essential ingredients of living in the mandala of Buddhist practice is my conscious intention to develop in my life the four qualities listed above: the Brahma Viharas – literally ‘Divine Abodes.

I truly wish to be a channel for these qualities to manifest in the world. And my wish has become my compass, which continually lets me know whether I am on the right track. It generally guides and inspires me to keep trying.

I would like to encourage you to think about what this kind of intention would be for you as a way of helping you stay in the touch with your practice through the week, whatever your circumstances at home during the lockdown.

So, think about it: what is your wish for this retreat? It doesn’t have to be a big thing, it can be quite simple like ‘I want to be more friendly’ – but it needs to be remembered, brought to mind often and in different situations to assess where you are in relation to it. Letting it build up in terms of it’s meaning to you, and how to truly bring it into being through the cultivation of the Brahma Viharas.

Join us for meditation every week day

Connect with others taking part via the Community Toolkit!

Listen to Ratnavandana’s special Q & A on the Brahma Viharas

Home Retreats can be tailored to your needs during the lockdown.

We provide:

  • Daily, specially recorded teachings
  • Related Dharma resources
  • Support, perspective and inspiration all week long from our team on the Community Toolkit.
  • And a chance to connect with the retreat leader to ask questions about your practice.

Whether you have the time to engage with a full-on, urban-retreat style week at home – or are super occupied already with kids or work and just want some useful structure to book-end your days with a little calm and inspiration: this is for you.

***

Loving Kindness (Metta)
Compassion (Karuna)
Joyful Resonance (Mudita)
Equanimity (Upekkha)


Welcome from Ratnavandana!
For me one of the most essential ingredients of living in the mandala of Buddhist practice is my conscious intention to develop in my life the four qualities listed above: the Brahma Viharas – literally ‘Divine Abodes.

I truly wish to be a channel for these qualities to manifest in the world. And my wish has become my compass, which continually lets me know whether I am on the right track. It generally guides and inspires me to keep trying.

I would like to encourage you to think about what this kind of intention would be for you as a way of helping you stay in the touch with your practice through the week, whatever your circumstances at home during the lockdown.

So, think about it: what is your wish for this retreat? It doesn’t have to be a big thing, it can be quite simple like ‘I want to be more friendly’ – but it needs to be remembered, brought to mind often and in different situations to assess where you are in relation to it. Letting it build up in terms of it’s meaning to you, and how to truly bring it into being through the cultivation of the Brahma Viharas.

Join us for meditation every week day

Connect with others taking part via the Community Toolkit!

Listen to Ratnavandana’s special Q & A on the Brahma Viharas


Day 1: Reflections to help us live in the mandala

Introducing today's practice and further resources

A beautiful introduction by Ratnavandana to the Brahma Viharas as an integrated set of practices flowing from metta – loving kindness. Her central image is that of a tree, deep rooted and spreading its canopy wide as she evokes a profound, personal connection to the cultivation of the ‘sublime abodes’: loving kindness, compassion, joy with others, and equanimity.

Throughout the week, Ratnavandana sets the Brahma Viharas in the context of the Mandala of the Five Buddhas – an evocation of the different qualities of awakening in mythic form. Get up to speed on this beautiful setting for the practice with Taranita’s excellent, short talk on the Five Buddhas and what they represent.

Further resources
Read ‘Welcome to the Home Retreat’


Day 1: Reflections to help us live in the mandala

Introducing today's practice and further resources (tap to read)

A beautiful introduction by Ratnavandana to the Brahma Viharas as an integrated set of practices flowing from metta – loving kindness. Her central image is that of a tree, deep rooted and spreading its canopy wide as she evokes a profound, personal connection to the cultivation of the ‘sublime abodes’: loving kindness, compassion, joy with others, and equanimity.

Throughout the week, Ratnavandana sets the Brahma Viharas in the context of the Mandala of the Five Buddhas – an evocation of the different qualities of awakening in mythic form. Get up to speed on this beautiful setting for the practice with Taranita’s excellent, short talk on the Five Buddhas and what they represent.

Further resources
Read ‘Welcome to the Home Retreat’


Day 2: Loving Kindness (MettA)

Introducing today's practice and further resources

Today Ratnavandana embarks on a personal sharing of how her life has been transformed by deciding to go and live in the mandala of the Brahma Viharas and the Five Buddhas (Jinas) themselves. Her deep love of the practices represents both an inspired and eminently practical vision of how to orientate yourself on the great map of the way.

Ratnavandana leads us through a meditation where we just try to be present with our experience in the context of the mandala of the Five archetypal Buddhas. Today we are invited to sit in the “heart’s natural state” of metta (loving kindness) and to visualise the great tree of the Brahma Viharas.

We also hear the mantra of Akshobhya, the blue Buddha of the east as we enter the mandala.

Further resources
Read ‘Metta Like the Sun’

Watch ‘Reflections on Metta’

Listen to ‘Metta and Akshobhya’

Watch ‘Beauties and Downfalls: Structure and the Metta Bhavana’


Day 2: Loving Kindness (MettA)

Introducing today's practice and further resources (tap to read)

Today Ratnavandana embarks on a personal sharing of how her life has been transformed by deciding to go and live in the mandala of the Brahma Viharas and the Five Buddhas (Jinas) themselves. Her deep love of the practices represents both an inspired and eminently practical vision of how to orientate yourself on the great map of the way.

Ratnavandana leads us through a meditation where we just try to be present with our experience in the context of the mandala of the Five archetypal Buddhas. Today we are invited to sit in the “heart’s natural state” of metta (loving kindness) and to visualise the great tree of the Brahma Viharas.

We also hear the mantra of Akshobhya, the blue Buddha of the east as we enter the mandala.

Further resources
Read ‘Metta Like the Sun’

Watch ‘Reflections on Metta’

Listen to ‘Metta and Akshobhya’

Watch ‘Beauties and Downfalls: Structure and the Metta Bhavana’


Day 3: Compassion (Karuna)

Introducing today's practice and further resources

Ratnavandana leads a full practice of the second of the Brahma Viharas, the Cultivation of Compassion (Karuna Bhavana) in the face of suffering. Strong, necessary medicine for the heart and mind…

Today we hear the mantra of Amitabha, the great red Buddha of love, light and compassion in the West.

Further resources
Read ‘A Temptation to Fix Suffering’

Watch ‘Reflections on Karuna’

Listen to Ratnavandana’s Q & A


Day 3: Compassion (Karuna)

Introducing today's practice and further resources (tap to read)

Ratnavandana leads a full practice of the second of the Brahma Viharas, the Cultivation of Compassion (Karuna Bhavana) in the face of suffering. Strong, necessary medicine for the heart and mind…

Today we hear the mantra of Amitabha, the great red Buddha of love, light and compassion in the West.

Further resources
Read ‘A Temptation to Fix Suffering’

Watch ‘Reflections on Karuna’

Listen to Ratnavandana’s Q & A


Day 4: Joyful Resonance (Mudita)

Introducing today's practice and further resources

Today we hear an inspiring take on the third Brahma Viharamudita (sympathetic joy), which Ratnavandana renders as a “joyful resonance”. Her central image is of the lark ascending, the music of its song, and the possibilities for joy within us if we choose them…

Today we’re bearing in mind Amoghasiddhi, the fearless green Buddha of the North!

Further resources
Read ‘A Day so Happy’

Watch ‘Reflections on Mudita’

Listen to ‘Mudita and Amoghasiddhi’s All-Encompassing Wisdom’


Day 4: Joyful Resonance (Mudita)

Introducing today's practice and further resources (tap to read)

Today we hear an inspiring take on the third Brahma Viharamudita (sympathetic joy), which Ratnavandana renders as a “joyful resonance”. Her central image is of the lark ascending, the music of its song, and the possibilities for joy within us if we choose them…

Today we’re bearing in mind Amoghasiddhi, the fearless green Buddha of the North!

Further resources
Read ‘A Day so Happy’

Watch ‘Reflections on Mudita’

Listen to ‘Mudita and Amoghasiddhi’s All-Encompassing Wisdom’


Day 5: Equanimity (Upekkha)

Introducing today's practice and further resources

Ratnavandana introduces and guides us through the practice of cultivating equanimity. Not a cool, detached state but a deep warm engagement with the practice of love, compassion and joy held in the perspective of the Buddha’s insights into the nature of reality itself.

Today we’re sitting with the great golden Buddha of the South, Ratnasambhava, archetypal Buddha of abundance and spiritual richness.

Further resources
Read ‘Ever Greater Wholeheartedness’

Watch ‘Reflections on Upekkha’


Day 5: Equanimity (Upekkha)

Introducing today's practice and further resources (tap to read)

Ratnavandana introduces and guides us through the practice of cultivating equanimity. Not a cool, detached state but a deep warm engagement with the practice of love, compassion and joy held in the perspective of the Buddha’s insights into the nature of reality itself.

Today we’re sitting with the great golden Buddha of the South, Ratnasambhava, archetypal Buddha of abundance and spiritual richness.

Further resources
Read ‘Ever Greater Wholeheartedness’

Watch ‘Reflections on Upekkha’


Day 6: Where are we in the mandala?

Introducing today's practice and further resources

A day for taking stock and establishing where we are on the map of the Brahma Viharas. We hear about each of the practices and their near enemies and how to work with the mandala, wherever we find ourselves.

Includes a guided meditation practice to help you find your feet wherever you are.

Further Resources
Read ‘Navigating the Brahma Viharas’


Day 6: Where are we in the mandala?

Introducing today's practice and further resources (tap to read)

A day for taking stock and establishing where we are on the map of the Brahma Viharas. We hear about each of the practices and their near enemies and how to work with the mandala, wherever we find ourselves.

Includes a guided meditation practice to help you find your feet wherever you are.

Further Resources
Read ‘Navigating the Brahma Viharas’

Day 6 - Guided Meditation: Where Are You on the Map of the Brahma Viharas? by Ratnavandana (20 mins)


Day 7: All four brahma viharas

Introducing today's practice and further resources

Ratnavandana introduces and guides us through a composite practice of all four Brahma Viharas at once – loving kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy, equanimity.

We hear the mantra of Vairocana, the White Buddha, the Illuminator at the centre of the mandala.

Further Resources
Listen to ‘Reflections from Ratnavandana’

Listen to ‘Song of the Brahma Viharas’

Read ‘A Sustaining Community of Meditators: Reflections from Cambridge’

Read ‘Closing the Home Retreat’


Day 7: All four brahma viharas

Introducing today's practice and further resources (tap to read)

Ratnavandana introduces and guides us through a composite practice of all four Brahma Viharas at once – loving kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy, equanimity.

We hear the mantra of Vairocana, the White Buddha, the Illuminator at the centre of the mandala.

Further Resources
Listen to ‘Reflections from Ratnavandana’

Listen to ‘Song of the Brahma Viharas’

Read ‘A Sustaining Community of Meditators: Reflections from Cambridge’

Read ‘Closing the Home Retreat’

With deep thanks to Ratnavandana for her generosity in providing the resources for this course. And to Taranita for his talk on the Five Buddha Mandala.

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