Tuesday 26 November 2019

Sangha celebration this Thursday!

Hi all.

This week is our sangha review and celebration. We'll do a shorter meditation than normal, then have a chat about next year, and then eat, drink and be merry. The rave party may or may not emerge :)

Anyone who's come along at all this year is very welcome to join us. If you do, please bring some food to share and something to drink. We're going to see if we can go all vegan this year in line with the principle of non-harm. But if vegan is too much of a stretch, then at least veggo please.

Looking forward to seeing you all!

Tuesday 15 October 2019

This month @ Beaches - Buddha Nature, Mara Nature

Hi all.

This month at Beaches Sangha we're going to have a discussion about Stephen Batchelor's talk: "Buddha Nature, Mara Nature".  I've often heard people talk about Buddha Nature as if it's some kind of "thing" inside of us, or our "true nature" that's just there waiting to be uncovered....almost like the Buddhist substitute for a soul. 

This is a mis-understanding. In fact "Buddha Nature" appears nowhere in the early texts and is arguably a significant mis-translation of the idea it did come from.

Batchelor's talk is an hour long and it's really rich, so you may want to listen more than once. So I thought I'd put up this post about it a bit earlier than normal so that you have plenty of time to listen and note down your thoughts, questions, and things to discuss.

Here's the link to listen or download it.

I hope to see you on Thursday 31st October for our last content session. 


P.S. We'll be having our end of year get together at the end of November.

Tuesday 24 September 2019

This week @ Beaches - the last sutta for the year!

Hi all.

This week at Beaches Sangha we are looking at the last sutta in our book - the (Great) Satipatthana Sutta. Gotama referred to this one as the 'direct path to awakening' and it describes how to live as a Buddha. 

It's not as long as last month's sutta but it's still a good 15-20 min read including the notes at the back, so if you haven't read it yet....giddyup.

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday 4 June 2019

This week @ Beaches Sangha: Sutta #14

So, if the 'fabricated' refers to anything that arises, changes while it's present and then disintegrates, then the 'unfabricated' must be anything that doesn't right? On the surface, it would seem so. But Wallis' guidance points us in a practical direction with this sutta, not a philosophical one. 

Hope to see you Thursday night.

Monday 13 May 2019

This week @ Beaches Sangha: Sutta #13

It's Beaches Sangha week this week, and we are up to sutta#13 titled: Signs of the Fabricated. It's short but profound, so we'll spend most of the session discussing it and integrating it into life.

Hope to see you there.

Sunday 5 May 2019

Beaches Sangha meeting is on 16 May

Hi all.

Just a quick note in case you were planning on coming to Sangha this week. We have changed the date for May to the 16th. Hope to see you there Thursday week.


Monday 15 April 2019

This week @ Beaches Sangha

This week @ Beaches Sangha we are looking at sutta #12, titled 'Quenched". We are now in the section of the book looking at the destination for all this practice. How is life different when we engage in it this way?

As always, if you can have read the sutta and corresponding notes (in the second half of the book), we'll all get the most out of the session. And as you ponder it, perhaps prepare your answer to our regular debrief questions to start the session:

1) What is the text about? If you had to say in one word or phrase, what would it be?

2) With what major theme/s is it concerned?

Hope to see you Thursday.

Friday 12 April 2019

A rare opportunity this December

Hi all.

This is a special post to let you know about an opportunity to attend a retreat led by Gregory Kramer at the end of the year. I've mentioned Greg many times at Beaches Sangha as the leader of the first retreat I ever did, but more importantly, as the creator and teacher of Insight Dialogue. 

ID is a method of bringing conversation with others under the umbrella of dharma practice. The method is profound and Gregory is an excellent teacher. It's only a 4 day retreat, and will be held on the Central Coast, so logistically isn't too difficult. 

Greg comes to Australia rarely these days, so if you're interested, I'd suggest putting a deposit down on a place sooner rather than later.

Click here for more information.

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