"Every time you talk to another person you are entering another Buddha realm"
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There is a transcription at https://bit.ly/2WeVvFq
============ ARTICLE https://bit.ly/3oJlD7s
AFTER AWAKENING: Faith, practice, and enlightenment in Zen master Dogen’s Genjokoan - Adapted from a talk by Robert Joshin Althouse, Tricycle magazine winter 2020
============ THE BODHI RETREAT
The pandemic situation forced us to put this year's Bodhi retreat on line. We missed the hugs and physical presence and had to devise methods by which to do important ceremonies in virtual space. Nonetheless, this has resulted in the best ever attended Bodhi Retreat with more diversity of input - over 30 contributors - and a great depth of practice and strength of communion making the spirit of global sangha a palpable reality.
Some 80+ people were in attendance at one time or another through the six days and about 30 were present for the majority of events. A most wonderful spirit prevailed throughout. There was a daily in-conference newsletter and events followed in quick succession filling each day with twelve or more hours of seminars, talks, ceremonies and practice sessions.
We heard Dharma talks from
and most of these will be available in due course on video as will be announced in this newsletter.
Many people took further steps in Dharma commitment: taking refuge, taking the ten Mahayana precepts, the bodhisattva vow, and/or the global sangha vow.
- We undertake together to uphold the spirit of global sangha
- We undertake together to make the spirit of global sangha manifest in this world
- We undertake to assist one another in practical and spiritual ways upon this path
We witnessed the ordination of
- Vajrapala becoming an amitarya,
- Ganendra becoming a minister and
- Andrew Nichols becoming a gankonin and receiving the name Karmadeva.
Tineke Osterloh, who has been teaching the Dharma for more than twenty years was recognised as an acharya in a ceremony on the final day. Several of her disciples attended.
We heard about the sustaining power of faith through chronic illness and family tragedy and also in working with traumatised populations in world trouble spots and danger zones. There were many presentations on socially engaged action.
- Assisting and educating prisoners in prisons in Africa
- Peace making in the Phillipines
- Fair trade assistance to local communities growing coffee in Peru
- Living by the Dharma in the midst of the Israel Palestine conflict situation
- Peace making in Afghanistan https://youtu.be/3p2DTR9auEY
- Current Amida work in India
We also heard about
- What can be learnt by making a musical about the life of Siddhartha Gotama
- What is known about meditation and its effects - not always what you might expect https://youtu.be/kSahterBrCQ
- About Buddhist psychology, ITZI, IBAP and the distance learning programme. You can see the discussion here https://youtu.be/wow5EgSuZFc
- About what was experienced on and learnt from 108 days of solitude https://youtu.be/6D9ormhrCSU
- Current thinking about how to train a global sangha
- Altars and associated ritual
- Translating as a spiritual practice
- Creative writing
And, of course we did a lot of practice. There were services led by Dharmavidya & Angela, https://youtu.be/FdSV7gRy154
and Susthama, Vajrapala, Sanghamitra, Dayavati, Karmadeva, and Koteswara Rao.
- chanted through the night: a deeply moving experience
- practised Qi Gong
- did "heart to heart practice free of screens"
- listened to the Smaller Pure Land Sutra: Amida Kyo
- practised Naikan (Japanese style) & Nei Quan Chih Quan (Amida style)
- sang songs of refuge in many styles
Jimena's personal experience https://youtu.be/3OauQZKjGrM
Sanghamitra https://youtu.be/tcieMTsJncI LETTERS
-- "Now I am feeling so happy that I am in right Sangha where I can develop love and share it to all with my amida practice. Missing all of our Sangha brothers and sisters. Bodhi retreat gave so much inspiration and real meaning of life. I am thinking to work for amida. Looking forward to join in many activities."
-- "Thank you very much for all the hard work you had to organize the Global Sangha... all the programs I participated gave me lots of inspirations. I had good times to reflect my work, too."
-- "This retreat...oh...it opened a new door for me to step in."
-- "The presentations about Peacemaking, Reflecting on solitude and the Experience with Naikan and the way people practice Pure Land Buddhism in daily life made this retreat so special. I was touched by the way people talked so open and honestly about their practice. This morning I managed to join a service. I am glad I did, the nenbutsu, the chanting, the praying and the dharmatalk spoke to my heart, I felt connected with everything."
--"It’s great to meet and learn from people all over the world. I am so grateful to all the presenters for amazing presentations... Although we were so many different t people there but the presence of the Buddha was so unifying... this retreat gave me lot of strength and new perspective towards my life. LINKS
============ WHAT NEXT?
All times are Rome time zone WEDNESDAYS 11am On-line Chanting Service
continues throughout 2020; Contact
Lut Moerman <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
for entry codes. 2021
Here are some possibilities for consideration based on suggestions made in the later sessions of the retreat: WEEKEND MEETINGS
Refuge Group, Interest Group and Friendship Group
will resume from the first week of January STUDY GROUP
One or more study groups organised by Priti, Liz and others. JANUARY FULL MOON UPAVASTHA
Thursday-Friday 28-29 January 2021
An on-line retreat consisting of (with approximate start times - Rome time zone)
- 16.00 Assemble
- 16.30 Nembutsu & Vajrasattva puja (service) with short Dharma talk and Confession of faults
- 18.00 Chanting to Quan Shi Yin into the night until 2am
- 10.00 Gathering for sharing
Upavastha signifies the full moon time when the gods come to visit one's home. In Buddhism this is traditionally the time for confession, contrition and renewal. This retreat is offered as an experiment. If it is popular it can be repeated on other full moon nights.
2-5 April 2021 EASTER RETREAT
We are tentatively thinking about the possibility of a four day on-line event over easter weekend.
To stay informed or sign up for any of the above: email@example.com
A friend of mine has just published a historical novel. You can get it at https://bit.ly/3gM5BqE
Used in her Dharma talk by Acharya Tineke
FOR HACHISUKE, AN UNTOUCHABLE
Gold and silver, status and power, all return to heaven and earth.
Profit and loss, having and lacking, are all essentially empty.
Aristocrats and peasants, saints and sinners, end up the same.
We are bound by fate to the whirl of existence.
How lamentable, the Beggar of Ryógohn Bridge
Who perished in a dreadful flood.
If you ask me his whereabouts, I’ll reply:
“In the heart of the moon’s reflection on the waves!”
“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”
- Rainer Maria Rilke
Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.
Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.
Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.
Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to gaze at bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
It is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you everywhere
like a shadow or a friend.
- Naomi Shihab Nye - 1952-
To myriad tathagatas
Their offerings they make
Bowing, rejoicing and returning to
The land of peace and nurturence
You can see back issues of Global Sangha Newsletter as well as other relevant articles via : https://eleusis.ning.com/notes/GLOBAL_SANGHA_INDEX
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Thank you very much
Namo Amida Bu