Introducing the Brahma Viharas

In July we’re going deeper into meditation by exploring the Brahma Viharas. On this first evening Dharmashalin set the scene and talked about the near and far enemies. A useful model to get a sense of how the less desired aspects of our emotions can show up in mediation.

Summer Sangha Gathering

Marking the equinox we gathered online to meditate together and connect with other folk who come to Centre. Singhamati invited us to share something about our shrine or another significant object. A lovely evening connecting with our appreciation of the Centre and the community around it.

To be able to bear suffering in the world, you need to get involved in ending it

In June we are marking Buddhist Action month and Maitrīsārā will be interviewing Akuppa, author of ‘Saving the Earth’ and chair of Newcastle Buddhist Centre. How do we as Buddhists respond to a suffering world?

Hyper-availability with Prajnaketu and Shantiprabha

“Never before has there been such a wealth of high-quality
information, teachings, and connection available to us. At times it
can be a baffling buffet of choice. So what do we do about this? How
do we learn to choose what to pay attention to, or not? And how do we
go beyond merely accumulating information to the kind of depth that
Buddhism says is possible? Prajnaketu and Shantiprabha explored
this and other topics at the crossroads where Buddhist ethics meets
the digital age.”

Full moon Puja with Ryokan.

Sagarasri led our first online Puja with poetry from Ryokan. Ryokan’s poems seem especially appropriate at this time, with his awareness of the natural world combined with his self-awareness and sense of deep stillness. It was a lovely evening of simple beauty and quiet connection.

The mystery of the Walled Garden

Shuddhakirti evoked the Buddha’s use of natural imagery and shared his reflections on gardening as a spiritual practice. Unfortunately the sound quality wasn’t very good. If you’d like to read through the material see the transcript here.

Exploring the Senses

We had a simple evening of meditation looking a bit closer at our 5 senses. Dharmashalin suggested three reasons we might do this. Firstly as a strategy to draw our attention away from obsessive or compulsive thoughts. Secondly as a route to finding more subtle and self-sustaining sources of pleasure. Thirdly as a stepping stone to wisdom. By being more curious and intimate with our senses we step away from simply labeling them and open into a more mysterious unfolding opening experience.

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