Tuesday, 12 March 2019

This week @ Beaches - sutta #11

Hi all.

Wow! Three weeks in a row! We've had a couple of great sessions in the past couple of weeks, and because of my travels (I have World Masters Athletics Indoor Championships in Poland later this month), we have brought our regular sutta study forward a couple of weeks. April and May are also likely to be brought forward due to my competition schedule - I'll update you on that soon.

So this is just a quick note to remind all intending sutta studiers that this week at Beaches Sangha we are exploring sutta#11 of Basic Teachings of the Buddha, titled "Destination". As always, best if you can have read the sutta and accompanying notes in the second half of the book, and have your answers to the debrief questions at the ready (see post from two weeks back).

Hope to see y'all there!

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

This week @ Beaches - One Page Dharma

Hi all.

Sorry for the late reminder (I'm out of the habit of weekly posts!!), but this Thursday night (7 March) we have our special session at Beaches Sangha called One Page Dharma. This is where I attempt to summarise the core teachings of the Buddha in one session. I have a one paged handout that I give to everyone, hence the name of the talk.

For those who are newer to the dharma, this is a great way to get a sense of the overall architecture of the teachings, so that you can orient yourself with new things that you read or hear. For those who've been around the dharma traps for a while, repetition is an important part of learning, so there's value for you too. All questions and confusions are welcome, no matter how basic!

Hope to see you there.

Monday, 25 February 2019

This week @ Beaches Sangha - sutta 10 - Gotama's Discourse

Hi all.

This week at Beaches Sangha we are studying sutta #10 titled Gotama's Discourse. As always, if you can have read both the sutta, and the chapter in the 2nd half of the book that pertains to it, you'll get the most from the session. 

Each month we start our session with the following questions from the introduction, so you might want to have your answers ready:

  1. What is the text about? If I had to say in one word or phrase, would it be?
  2. What is the major theme or themes with which it's concerned?
  3. Which of these dimensions is the text concerned: doctrinal, ethical, experiential, mythological, ritual, lirurgical, social, institutional, other?
And don't forget we have an extra session next week also, which is an overview of the Buddha's Teachings: One Page Dharma.

Hope to see you on Thursday.


Monday, 18 February 2019

Special session: One Page Dharma

Hi all.

Because we have a couple of people in the dharma study group who are newer to the dharma, I've offered to give a special session to help orient them with the teachings. So on Thursday 7th March, I'll be giving my dharma talk called "One Page Dharma" which is an attempt to summarise the core teachings of the Buddha in one session. I have a one-page hand-out that I give to participants summarising the key points, hence the name of the talk.

Some of you might have attended this before, but repetition is an important part of learning, so you might want to come again. And for those who are newer to the dharma (teachings of the Buddha), it's a great way to get a feel for the overall architecture of the teachings, and some of the common lists and terms, explained in a secular, practical way. 

I'll try and remember to post about it early that week, but I thought I'd tell you about it now so that you can put it in your diary if you'd like to come.

Warm regards

Monday, 28 January 2019

Beaches Sangha study group this Thursday

A quick reminder that our new-format Beaches Sangha study group begins this Thursday 31st January. We're doing sutta #9 from Glenn Wallis' book, The Basic Teachings of the Buddha. 

I've updated the web site with info about the new Sangha arrangements, and last week's post has a summary too.

Looking forward to seeing all sutta studiers on Thursday.


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.