Friday, 23 February 2018

Woops



Ok, first of all, sorry you didn't receive an update last week. I did actually do a post (see below), but last night I discovered no-one had received it. I've just figured out what I did wrong - I accidentally published it on the Secular Buddhism Australia web site, instead of our sangha web site. The two look exactly the same from the back end, and I didn't realise I was in the wrong one. Sorry about that.

Anyhoo...we had a lovely night of Noble Silence. For some people it was their first taste of it, and for some of us it was just the first time in this setting. We debriefed at the end, and while we did miss our little tea-time chats, we all agreed there was something very spacious about not needing to talk, and something very warm and supportive about being there together in silence. Having two meditations was also really nice and for many of us, the second meditation started much more calmly than the first. 

If you would have liked to join in but missed out because you didn't know it was on, there are three things I can offer:

1) If, in any week you don't receive the weekly blog post from me (I do miss one occasionally), you can see what's on by looking at the 'Whats On' page on the Beaches Sangha web site. The schedule for the whole year is there, so maybe add it to your 'favorites' on your browser.
2) Let us know you'd like to do it, and we can schedule another night of Noble Silence. We thought we might like to do it again some time anyway, so if we know people would like it, we'll schedule it in.
3) Come to sangha regardless of what's on. Just stick it in your diary as a weekly event and come. This is in fact the best way to ensure that sangha stays vibrant and alive, that you learn, and that your practice progresses.

Also a warm welcome back to Mick who joined us last night for the first time in a couple of years!

I promise I'll go back to posting on the right web site next week :).

Warm regards
Lenore



Hi all.

Okay, this week at sangha we've got our Wild Card night. And this month our Wild Card is a taste of what it's like to observe 'noble silence'. Almost all Buddhist retreats have this as one of the ground rules. It basically means...no talking. 

We know there are quite a few people who come to sangha who've never been on a retreat, so we thought we'd have a Thursday night session where you can see what it's like. For those of you who've done retreats...you know the drill.... and it'll be interesting to see how it feels using this practice at our Thursday sessions which are usually quite sociable.

The format of the night will be a little different. We'll have two meditations rather than one, they'll be a bit shorter than usual, and we'll finish off by ending noble silence and discussing how you found the experience. Hope to see you there.

Also, next week is Sutta Study, so don't forget to read Sutta #1 - The Hawk, and the commentary on it that follows.

LL

Monday, 12 February 2018

This week @ Beaches Sangha + some resources for you



Hi all.

This week @ Beaches
This week @ Beaches we have our monthly Open Discussion. These sessions are really valuable for applying the dharma (Buddha's teachings) to our daily life. As discussed last week, the dharma is a set of four 'great tasks' rather than philosophical musings. So it's important to look at the situations we face in life, and how the dharma can help us respond to them.

Sutta Study podcasts
Also, for those who can't get to the Sutta Study sessions, I'm going to be posting podcasts of our sessions on the Secular Buddhism Australia web site as a resource (note: this is not on the 'sutta central' page yet, it has it's own page for the moment). It was fabulous to have so many people attend our first Sutta Study session and the podcasts are definitely not intended as a substitute for coming along. Like everything, our sangha is a dependent arising - that is, it only exists when people come and participate. Think about it...if the convenience of staying at home and listening to a podcast leads to people not attending, we won't have any sessions to record and share! The questions and conversation of the group are important. It's our whole group that's creating this resource for those who aren't as lucky as we are, to have their own sangha.

Resources
I realised many of you aren't aware of this, but I also run a web site called Secular Buddhism Australia. I haven't added much to it over the last couple of years, but there are some good resources there. For example there's a podcast by Winton Higgins called 'From Plato to Nato' which gives an overview of the development of Buddhism. I've also just uploaded a podcast I recorded ages ago, giving an overview of meditation and the different approaches (both are on the 'podcasts' page). There are some self study worksheets on a few suttas from Stephen Batchelor's selection, a glossary of terms, and more. Go check it out! I hope to give this site some more love this year than it's had in recent times.

Monday, 5 February 2018

This week @ Beaches Sangha - One Page Dharma



Hi all.

This week @ Beaches Sangha I'll be giving my annual rendition of 'One Page Dharma' where we'll take a sprint through the Buddha's teachings to give you the big picture. 

This is a good talk for those who are new to the dharma, as we'll cover the key concepts in the 'Four Great Tasks' (traditionally called the Four Noble Truths). You'll even get a one page summary to take home. 

And because repetition is an important part of learning, it's also a good refresher for those who might have been around the dharmic traps for a while.

Hope to see you there.
Lenorë

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash