LESS THAN A MONTH TO THE BODHI RETREAT
This Newsletter will come out roughly once in four days in the month up to the event.
To participate, get a ticket at
At the time of writing there are 50+ tickets issued and more than £1500 has been raised in donations - well done!
Tell everybody about it.
The programme is now on line and is up-dated regularly as new events are added or details are changed.
GLOBAL SANGHA VOW
Global sangha means universal goodwill. I invite you to come to the Global Sangha event, but also to embrace the ideal of Global Sangha for the year ahead. What can you do?
Satyavani is going to do a vigil, meditating for one hour every day in a prominent public place in her local town to bring attention to the climate crisis. What will you do?
Please think deeply about what you can do to spread Global Sangha by acts of universal goodwill. Choose something that you are going to do. It may be an extension of something you are already doing or it may be something new. Make your own Global Sangha Vow, then consolidate it by coming to the retreat and joining with others.
Global Sangha can save the world.
THE DAY OF AWAKENING
The retreat will begin at 11.00 Rome time on Tuesday 8th December which is Bodhi Day, the day that we celebrate the enlightenment of Siddhartha Gotama by which he became the Buddha, the "awakened one". He was thereafter known as Shakyamuni, the Shakyan sage.
After the awakening at Bodh Gaya, Shakyamuni travelled to Sarnath. On the journey he met two merchants, Tapussa and Bhalika. They took refuge in the Buddha and the Dharma and thus became the first Buddhists in the world. This is the origin of the nembutsu. You can join Tapussa and Bhalika by taking refuge at this retreat.
At Sarnath, Skakyamuni spoke the "Setting in Motion of the Wheel of the Dharma". Five renunciants were awakened and became bhikhus, to follow the Buddha's simple way of life and dedicate themselves to practising and spreading the teaching. Soon there were sixty arhat disciples. The Buddha sent them forth to benefit all sentient beings and this was the beginning of Global Sangha.
This retreat is, therefore, a good time for me to renew my vows and meet with all of you to make, renew and replenish our intention to bring universal goodwill, peace and compassion to this changing and changed world. Celebrate and learn, practise and be inspired.
There will be
- a session of 14 hours chanting overnight
- Dharma teachings
- personal sharings by remarkable people
- services and ceremonies
- seminars on important topics
- times to take vows and make commitments
- in depth discussions with other practitioners on important themes
- times to meet and make and deepen friendship
- the investing of a new Dharma teacher in the Amida order
More than sixty events over the six days. Truly a great Dharma feast.
If you are a presenter at the retreat and wish to write about what you intend to present, this material can be made available to attenders ahead of the retreat, either in this newsletter or in the virtual "conference pack" to be sent out just before the start. This could be an abstract, or it could be notes or web links or other material for people to see or read in order to prepare for your seminar, talk or event. Do send anything of that kind to me in good time.
SUNDAY MEETING WITH REVEREND TAIJUN KASAHARA
The Sunday meeting with Reverend Kasahara was a great success. You can see a video of his talk here:
On Saturday evening 7th November I participated in the on-line panel of the International Western Dharma Teacher Gathering entitled “Buddhism and Its Shadows”. An interesting experience. I was left with the impression that what are thought of as the “shadows” of Western Buddhism arise mostly from a lack of cultural and historical perspective. Society is changing but we do not need to make scapegoats in the process. Can we bring about improvements in society without pillorying those who do not update? Humankind cannot be perfected, but we bombu beings can, nonetheless, be channels for a greater kindness.
I have just heard that Anne Bancroft died earlier this year at the age of 97. I knew her many years ago and greatly enjoyed our connection. She was a Quaker Buddhist and thought that although there are similarities between Quakerism and Buddhism the differences between them ‘should not be papered over in a well-meant attempt at oneness … but should be looked at directly and celebrated as new insights, leading to a richer and fuller life.’
There is an obituary at
SATURDAY 14th November
in place of our usual events, we can join Birmingham Amida Sangha who are celebrating their tenth anniversary. The zoom link is https://zoom.us/j/508597486
On Sunday there will be our usual meetings
SUNDAY 15th November
Amida Shu Interest Group: Guest Speaker: Hojo San
Meeting ID: 810 7176 0746
One tap mobile local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kGnUllbc0
Namo Amida Bu