This year Vijayamala and I held a 3-month Order retreat in a rented hotel on the Gower Peninsula in South Wales. The retreat and venue worked very well, so we are now planning to hold another one, this time for 2 months, in Jan. and Feb. 2021. However, we are still looking for the best solution for the catering (see below). We are about to open bookings for the retreat. We already have a list of people interested from previous years, but there may be places available for others. If you want to know more, or wish to express interest in coming, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cooks/kitchen overseers needed. We are still looking for someone, or a couple of Order members, who would like to take on the catering. We have had some partial offers, but would like to throw it open to as wide an audience of Order members as possible, to see if there are others interested. The role would involve: 1. either overseeing the kitchen or doing some of the cooking yourself if you prefer, and 2. food ordering. There are likely to be 33 or 34 people to feed. We have menus and suppliers in place from the last retreat, but you can also come with your own ideas. We have had some offers of help, so you would be able to have regular days off over the 2 months. If necessary, we can give you £2000 in support for performing this role over the 2 months. If you’re interested, or know of someone else who we could ask, please email email@example.com.
There is a lot of audio material that you can listen to online from retreats that I’ve led over the last few years. That includes a set of 5 retreats I did at Adhisthana, exploring the different aspects of the mandala of practice that was outlined in his teaching by Sangharakshita. These are: integration, positive emotion, insight (or ‘spiritual death’), spiritual rebirth, and spiritual receptivity.
The recordings of all 5 retreats are all available on freebuddhistaudio. (The retreat on spiritual rebirth contains a lot of material on sadhana, and is restricted to Triratna Order members only.)
My friend Nagesvara has listened to the audio from all these 5 retreats and kindly put together a list of all the guided meditations from them. So if you don’t want to listen to the entire teaching, or you’re looking for a guided meditation on a particular topic, you can refer to his list.
With many thanks to Nagesvara for putting this together for us!
All good wishes,
I’ve now updated my teaching schedule with all the retreats of more than a weekend that I have planned for 2018.
As usual, most of what I do is for Order members. I feel sad that I’m not offering more for other people, but at the moment the Order is where I feel I can have the most beneficial effect. However, at least there is a week in June that I’m doing on the Heart Sutra, the classic Buddhist wisdom text, that is open to anyone with a reasonable amount of experience of meditation. Ambaranta and Nagadipa will be my team again for this retreat, and I hope that we shall see several of you who have been on these retreats before. That week will be followed immediately by an Order retreat on The Shepherd’s Search for Mind, a classic story from the life of Milarepa.
I’m pleased to be returning to Vajraloka in North Wales, after a few years’ absence, and excited to be exploring The Ocean of True Meaning. Written by the Ninth Karmapa, it’s my favourite meditation manual, a wonderful collection of advice for teachers and students, with some fantastic quotes from great meditators of the past. I plan to go in depth into the sections on calming the mind and insight — I suspect that it may take me a few years to do, but at least I can make a good start on exploring the text in February.
Once again, I’ll be doing three weeks at Adhisthana, which allows for large numbers. In particular, the retreats I’ve led on different aspects of the mandala of spiritual practice have been very popular. So in May I’ll do another one, exploring the insight aspect of practice. I’m also delighted to have the chance to team up with Saddhanandi in September, for a retreat exploring how dukkha can become a doorway to freedom. In November, I’ll be doing another sadhana retreat, this time on Vajrasattva, and am very pleased to be co-leading it with Punyamala.
In July, I’ll head for Sweden to lead another Nordic Order Retreat, the third one I’ll have attended in recent years. I’m very much looking forward to seeing my friends in that part of the world again. Vijayamala will be coming with me for this. The theme is yet to be decided; let’s see nearer the time what feels appropriate.
My plans for 2017 are now shaping up. I’ve been commissioned by Windhorse Publications to write a book about some aspects of meditation. Writing requires quite a bit of focus, so I’m reducing the number of retreats that I shall be leading next year. I’m only doing seven, but they include quite a variety of topics.
Sadly, as usual there are hardly any for non-Order members: just a week at Rivendell in June called Love Without Limits, and then a slightly longer retreat at Metta Vihara in Holland over Xmas/New Year. (I’m still mulling over a theme for that one; it isn’t always easy to choose over a year in advance.)
That leaves five retreats for Order members. Since Sangharakshita recently encouraged the Order to return to a focus on the sadhanas (visualization and mantra recitation practice of a buddha or bodhisattva figure) that he received from his teachers, I’m doing three retreats in that area:
- An Avalokiteshvara sadhana retreat with Parami and Saddhaloka at Adhisthana at the end of March;
- A Green Tara retreat with Khemasiri in October, also at Adhisthana;
- I’m pleased that I shall also be returning to Padmaloka to lead a general sadhana retreat for dharmacharis in October.
Probably the biggest gathering of the Order clans will be for a Just Sitting retreat that I shall be leading at Adhisthana in July/August. That will go back into the territory of, and hopefully go deeper than, a retreat in that area that I did there in 2014.
Lastly, I’m doing an Order retreat at Rivendell in June based on a very challenging and inspiring Mind Training text called Flattening All Concepts. It’s one of the texts that I studied on my long retreat in France, and I’ve never tried to share it before, so that should be interesting.
You will find dates and details of all these retreats here on my teaching programme page.