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.

Love with your Head and your Heart

Love with your Head and your Heart was the theme of Sangha Night on 14th May led by Sangharuchi. 35 of us attended. Sangharuchi asked us to prepare by watching this talk by Alain de Botton provocatively entitled “Why You Will Marry the Wrong Person”. It is framed around romantic love but the principles are […]

The practice of gratitude 7th May

30 of us spent an evening reflecting on gratitude. Gratitude is a revolutionary act, we can always turn our mind to it no matter what is happening. The preparation for this evening was to hear from Shradhagita from the London Buddhist Centre who introduces the theme of gratitude here (listen from 0 mins to 19 […]

The significance of Dhardo Rimpoche

39 of us joined the Zoom Sangha Night on 30th April welcoming Mahamati who spoke about Dhardo Rimpoche’s life and work. You can read Mahamati’s introduction here. Before the call we watched a video of Dhardo Rimpoche speaking about the school he founded in 1954. Click here to watch 15 minute section 17 – 33 […]

Embracing our Responses to Uncertain Times

38 of us tuned in to Zoom Sangha Night to hear Balajit talk about how, at times of stress, we can easily fall into restricted states of fight, flight and freeze.  To prepare, we watched Balajit’s presentation beforehand (his youtube debut!) here and he invited us to notice what we find helpful when our threat […]

Do Buddhists pray? 16th April Sangha Night

There were 42 of us tonight! To warm us up to this topic, people watched a “thought for the day” by Lalitavira (an Order member based in Dublin) talking about how poems can be a kind of prayer here and we read Sangharakshita’s reflections on prayer in Buddhism here. People brought some poems which speak […]

Transformation through Sangha 10th April

The Sangha Night was a celebration of the founding 52 years ago of Triratna. Roz and Matty offered us delightful talks on their experiences and reflections on Sangha. Roz read a poem inspired by her first visit to the Centre in 2016. We then discussed two questions in groups – either talking about our own […]

Sangha Night 3rd April

The wonderful thing about a virtual Sangha is the way we can make the most of the breadth of the Triratna world. On 3rd April, Maitrisara and Nagadevi led an evening called Working with Anxiety and Fear attended by 38 people on Zoom.  People started at home watching a 20 minute talk given by the […]

First Sangha Night online

We held our first Sangha Night online on 26th March, 30 people joined the Zoom call. We have shortened the time we are online together as we have found that 90 mins is a maximum amount of time to spend in this medium before it all becomes a bit exhausting. So the idea was to […]

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