Monday, 14 January 2019

Beaches Sangha resuming next week

Hi all and happy new year!

Beaches Sangha will be resuming its meetings next week (Thu 31 Jan). Just a reminder that we are now meeting monthly (not weekly) for meditation and dharma study. The schedule up until September is now on the web site here.

Next week we'll be looking at sutta#9: Turning the Wheel of the Teaching (in the book shown above). It's best if you have read it and had some time to think about it before our session...which is why I thought I'd post this with plenty of notice.

Also a reminder that casual attendance is still welcome ($15), but if you'd like to join in for the year's program, let me know (either in person, or using the Contact Form on the web site) and we can include you in the annual fee arrangement.

Warm regards

Monday, 17 December 2018

This week @ Beaches - Celebration

Hi all.

This week @ Beaches Sangha, we are having a celebration for two reasons. First, to mark the end of our 2018 Sangha year. And secondly, to mark the end of the weekly meeting format as we've known it for the last 10 years.

Last week, those of us who felt moved to ensure the Sangha continued, met and discussed some ideas. We decided that Beaches Sangha will become a monthly dharma study group, meeting on the last Thursday of each month from January to November. Initially we'll work through the second half of the book we are currently studying: The Basic Teachings of the Buddha by Glenn Wallis. I'll continue to lead these sessions.

At the start of next year, those of us who plan on participating regularly will be contributing $130 to cover our attendance for the full year. This way the Sangha's viablility (cost-wise) is assured and not dependent on fluctuating numbers of attendees. If you'd like to participate on a casual basis that's still fine too. The cost for ad hoc attendance will be $15 + dana. 

This is a significant change to the shape of our Sangha. Some sadness arises for me, knowing that I won't have my weekly re-set of a few hours with my dharma friends. But I personally have some other dharma projects that I want to bring to life and part of that for me, is letting go of the weekly responsibility for Sangha. I'll keep you posted about those projects, and I'd love you to be a part of them. 

I'm also deeply glad that Sangha is continuing in some form, and that form will deepen our knowledge and practice of the dharma.

Thank you for your contribution to Beaches Sangha over the last decade - for attending and engaging with the material and our discussions, for sharing your experiences and your friendship. And a special and very heart-felt thank you to those who have been, at any time, a SOGgie (Sangha Organising Group). Your generosity of time and care has been so valuable. The group would not have lasted this long without you. Thank you so much!!! 

If you've ever been a member of Beaches Sangha - whether that's as a regular, a semi-regular, a once-was-regular, or a casual member, we'd love to see you this week to celebrate the 10 years of spiritual friendship and learning that we've had together. Bring along some food to share, something to drink, and a plate or bowl to eat from. We'll have a 15 minute meditation, then spend the rest of the evening sharing food, each other's company, and celebrating the group that has been a very positive part of many of our lives.

One last time...I hope you can make it.

P.S. If you were unable to attend the meeting but would like to join in with the regular dharma study group, please let me know either in person this week, or by using the Contact Form on the right of the home page of the web site. 

Monday, 10 December 2018

This week - important Sangha meeting

Five years ago we celebrated Beaches Sangha's 5th birthday. We got creative and painted rocks from the Peace Park to symbolise what Sangha meant to us. It was marvellous that our group had continued to arise for five whole years, given there is nothing locking people in to coming, not even obligation, just the desire to be part of the group and to learn and practice the dharma. 

Sangha has now arisen every year for 10 years - dependent on the help and care of many. Personally, it's been my "re-set button", a source of great learning, friendship, grounding and connection. I cherish the very real conversations and explorations we have together about this human experience. 

We now need to decide what happens next. I'm ready to relinquish the role of central organiser, so as a group we will determine the next chapter. Maybe someone will be happy to take on that role? Or maybe we'll transform into a once-a-month sutta study group? Or someone might have other ideas? Or maybe the necessary conditions won't be present for Sangha to continue at all. We will find out this week.

If you'd like our sangha to continue in any way, it's really important that you come along this Thursday and be a part of the discussion. Your interest and energy are among the conditions needed for sangha to continue.

Whatever the outcome, Thursday next week will then be our last meeting for 2018, and our tradition is to have a short meditation and an end-of-year celebration where we bring some food and drink to share.

I hope to see you on Thursday.

Monday, 3 December 2018

This week @ Beaches - last sutta study for the year

Hi all.

This week at Beaches Sangha we have our last sutta study session for the year, which marks the half way point in the book. It's another short one, and another one looking at our constructed self - this time as a burden that we can put down. I hope you can make it.

Also, a reminder that next week is a very important meeting for Beaches Sangha where we'll decide if and how our sangha continues to arise in 2019. If you value Beaches Sangha, please make sure you come along and be part of the discussion.

See you Thursday.

Monday, 26 November 2018

This week @ Beaches

Hi all.

This week we have our last talk from Gawaine Powell-Davies for the year. I haven't had time to procure from him his topic, but his talks are always thought provoking if not lyrical as well. I can't make it this week so I'm hoping you'll come along and make him welcome.

Next week we have our last sutta study for the year.

Hope you can make it on Thursday.

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

This week @ Beaches - "not-self"

Hi all. 

This week's theme is "Buddhist Basics" - talks that address some of the key concepts in the dharma. I'll be running a practical session on the important concept of 'not-self' (anatta in Pali). When I was first learning the dharma I found this the concept that was most confusing, so I wrestled with it, asked questions on retreats, read about it, and badgered teachers about it until I understood it. So this week I'm going to share that understanding with you so that you have a good grasp too.

Also, another reminder to diarise 13th December to come and decide whether and how Beaches Sangha will continue next year (see my post from 29 October for more info). If the Sangha is important to you, it's important that you come along and be part of that discussion.

I hope to see you on Thursday.


P.S. I've swapped a couple of talks on the schedule - next week will be a talk by Gawaine, and the week after will be our last sutta study for the year.

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

This week @ Beaches - humming meditation

Hi all.

This week we're going to try something a little different. Kate is going to lead us through some humming meditation practices. If we think of meditation as a practice that places our awareness onto our current experience with curiosity and kindess, pretty much anything can serve as meditation. Kate's experienced humming in other forums like yoga and volunteered to share it with us. 

I hope you can come along and join in.

See you Thursday.