By jvalamalini on Wed, 18 Mar, 2015 - 18:58We’ve had a wonderful sunny spring day today in Bristol, perfect for us to dwell in what Sangharakshita has described as the bright dancing colours of mudita.
Ratnavandana talked about mudita as a natural response that happens often, but which we don’t always recognise. She suggested consciously appreciating moments of gladness in our lives, particularly when it connects us to others - for example she enjoyed seeing three small girls with mother’s day bouquets in the street at the...
By jvalamalini on Tue, 17 Mar, 2015 - 14:57After days of gloom outside it’s wonderful to have spring sunshine today as we move into contemplating karuna - which Sangharakshita has described as like metta with a shadow over it.
Ratnavandana says: It is good to reflect on our attitudes to suffering, whether it’s physical or emotional. I know for a long time I had this a sense that somehow suffering was wrong, that I shouldn’t be suffering, so there was a feeling of failure there which was...
By jvalamalini on Mon, 16 Mar, 2015 - 13:59A damp grey Monday morning outside and the warmth of the Sangha and colour of the mandala in our shrine room.
Today we’re exploring metta in the brahma vihara realm and allowing Aksobhya’s qualities to draw us.
We did metta exercises in pairs, looking at each other with metta, and describing ourselves as our best friend would, then Ratnavandana gave a lovely short introduction to the metta bhavana which she led. She talked about not ‘doing’ the practice...
By jvalamalini on Sun, 15 Mar, 2015 - 09:59What is your wish for this retreat?
Spend time forming a clear, simple wish – eg “I’d like to be more friendly”, “I’d like to stay more soft and open”, “I’d like to be emotionally honest with myself”
The essence of practice is to remember this wish, and to ‘stop and real-ise’ – connect – with your body, with what’s going round your head, with your heart. Where are you in relation to your wish? Where are you in relation to
By jvalamalini on Sat, 14 Mar, 2015 - 15:31It was so gorgeous coming back into our mandala early this morning, and lighting our aspiration candles. Meditating, I could sense the immense beauty we were sitting in and creating together, and how we’re opening to the world with this, influencing the world. It was like something full of colour and light, and at the same time vast and open, white and spacious. And powerful…. I don’t usually think of beauty as powerful!
By jvalamalini on Sat, 14 Mar, 2015 - 10:03I and all else that moves, until awakening, Take the Triple Gem as refuge. In order to gain perfect Buddhahood for others’ sake We practise the Four Immeasurables - Whereby may sentient beings Gain happiness with its causes; Be parted from all grief with its causes; Not become parted from the happiness wherein no grief is And dwell in the condition of equanimity
Refuges and Precepts
Namo Tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammasambuddhassa Namo Tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammasambuddhassa Namo Tassa...
By jvalamalini on Fri, 13 Mar, 2015 - 22:59OMAKSOBHYAHUM By the power of your Samaya Deliver us from the hells By purifying the demons of hatred and aversion And transforming them into the Mirrorlike Wisdom The deep blue, imperturbable Buddha Aksobhya
OMRATNASAMBHAVAHUM By the power of your Samaya Deliver us from the human realm By purifying the demons of pride and conceit And transforming them into the Wisdom of Equality The golden yellow, jewel born, Buddha Ratnasambhava ...
By jvalamalini on Fri, 13 Mar, 2015 - 22:47This afternoon the spaces in Bristol Buddhist Centre were transformed - what used to be a shop at the front of the building is now a food preparation and dining room, and the shrine room has become a wonderful five Buddha mandala. Kumuda’s wonderful paintings of the Jinas fill the walls and we have a beautiful 5 Buddha shrine in the centre of the room.
As Alyson reminded me as people arrived - this is magic!
By jvalamalini on Wed, 11 Mar, 2015 - 16:59It’s pretty damp in Bristol today, and last year our rainy season retreat happened in a very wet month with flooding over much of the UK. But that isn’t why it’s called a rainy season retreat (though people did joke about us invoking rain gods last year)
We’re actually referring to the times when the Buddha and his followers shetered from the monsoon.
As you know, the Buddha and his followers had a wandering lifestyle. But every...