We welcome you to enjoy a weekend retreat with the Hertford Buddhist Group in Burwell. This weekend is for all levels of experience including complete beginners.
Khemananda, Mangala, Nandaketu, Padmajata and Suvarnagarbha have provisionally agreed to all come and lead this together. Hopefully they can all make it.
It is a chance for you to get to know everybody a lot better, and to go a lot deeper into the meditative experience. They are a lot of fun.
Each day of the retreat has a structured programme with some meditation, talks and discussion groups, as well as a lot of breaks and free time to relax, have a chat over some tea and biscuits, or to go for a walk.
Awareness – We recommend that, if you can, you try to give yourself a break from using electronic devices including phones during the retreat. This will make the retreat more powerful for you, as it is about giving you an opportunity to really get away from everything for a couple of days. If there is an emergency, your friends and family can call an emergency contact number, and we will pass the message on to you.
These weekends fill up very quickly, so do book early to avoid disappointment.
Venue: Burwell House, Silver St, Burwell, Cambridge CB25 0EF
This retreats is for adults only (i.e. over 18)
Car parking is available
Arrival – Please arrive between 5pm and 6pm on the first day of your retreat. Retreats start with a supper at about 6pm. If you are arriving late, that is OK, but please let us know so that we can keep you some supper!
Accommodation – Is in single-sex bedrooms shared with other retreatants. Please contact us at the time of your booking to discuss your needs, if this is an issue for you. If you are coming with a friend
and wish to be accommodated in the same shared bedroom as them, please inform us when booking.
Food – Is healthy, tasty and vegan / vegetarian and is prepared together. Cows’ milk is available. Tea and coffee is available at anytime. There is a small amount of fridge space if you need to bring food for special dietary requirements.
Restricted diets – Can be provided, please let us know when you first book. To help our volunteer cooks, please keep dietary requests to absolutely essential medical requirements only. Thank you
Helping out – You will be asked to help with domestic tasks: washing up, etc. and a clear up at the end of the retreat.
Cancellation – Please let us know as soon as possible if you need to cancel, as there may be other people waiting for a place on the retreat to become available.
Confirmation – No booking is final until payment is received in full.
Cost of retreat: (accommodation and food included): £120 .
Concessionary rate (low waged) of £90
and rate if broke of £60
So when you fill in the form to book the retreat, you can just select the rate that is most appropriate for your situation.
This is a lot cheaper than other locations, eg the London Buddhist Centre weekend retreats at Vajrasana cost £190!
If would like to come, but cannot afford the full price, then please ask, as it may be possible to give a bursary for some of the cost from our bursary fund.
If you have any questions at all, please ask or message us.
To book, please fill in the form at https://hertfordbuddhistgroup.co.uk/booking1 and transfer your payment. (Payment details are on that page).
Look forward to seeing you there. It will be amazing!!
You are warmly invited to come to a six-week course for anyone wanting to learn how to meditate or find out about Buddhism or who wants to deepen their knowledge or practice.
He really enjoyed meeting us, and will hopefully come again. He sent an email saying “I really enjoyed visiting the group… a great bunch!”
He lead the metta bhavana meditation using a very powerful method using the breath that I had not come across before.
I asked him where he got it from, and he told it was from chapter 4 of the book “Mindful Emotion – a short course in kindness” by Dr Paramandhu Groves and Dr Jed Shamel. There is a 20 minute guided meditation you can listen along to at https://kindnessbehaviourtraining.com/downloads-chapter-4/ . This book goes through different methods of doing the metta bhavana, so it might be of interest if you wanted to deepen your practice of this, or were having difficulties with it.
It was a very inspiring evening. Vajragupta talked about his love for solitary retreats especially in wild places and promoted his new book Wild Awake https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wild-Awake-Alone-Offl…/…/ref=sr_1_1
This is who is leading the classes up until the end of March:
Tuesday nights (drop in, everyone welcome)
27/2 – Helen and Rob
6/3 – Vajragupta
13/3 – Leah
20/3 – Nandaketu
27/3 – Mangala
Also, advanced notice that the next introductory 6 week course in meditation and Buddhism starts on 17th April. It will be different content from the other courses, so come along even if you have done previous courses. And of course, no need to wait till then. Just drop in before that.
Thursday nights (regulars’ night)
For people who can sit silently for thirty minutes without instruction, and you want to explore more advanced teachings.
The last 3 of the 6 Paramitas (perfections)
1/3 – Rob – Virya (energy)
8/3 – Padmajata – Samadhi – (meditative absorbption)
15/3 – Mangala – Prajna (wisdom)
then the Four Reminders
22/3 – Leah – First Reminder – “The preciousness of human life”
29/3 – not sure yet who is leading – “The impermanence of the body.”
Here is some more info about Vajragupta’s visit on the 6th March:
The very highly regarded Buddhist author Vajragupta is coming to lead the class on the evening of the 6th March. Newcomers and everyone else are all very welcome.
He was director of the Birmingham Buddhist Centre from 1997 to 2005, and teaches Buddhism and meditation at classes and retreats in many different locations. He was also Director of the Triratna Development Team from 2006 to 2013 which supports groups such as ours across Europe.
We have chosen his excellent book “Buddhism: Tools for Living Your Life” https://www.amazon.co.uk/Buddhism-Tools-Living-Your-Life/dp/1899579745/ref=la_B0034OB71K_1_1 to study together for the past two years because it has incredible depth, but also presents the ideas in very simple language. Also it does it in a way which facilitates us exploring the path together, and discovering the truth for ourselves rather than having it rammed down our throats.
Anyone who has read or studied part of this book probably feels that they already know him a bit, having engaged with his very warm and creative heart and mind, so it is a great opportunity to meet him in the flesh.
He has also written several other excellent books: “Sailing the Worldly Winds”, “The Triratna Story” and has just released a new one “Wild Awake” about his experiences on solitary retreat.
His visit is probably a one off. I have been personally inviting him for about two years, and his schedule has thankfully finally made it possible.
So I will hopefully see you at some of the above
Just to let you know what is going on in February (and a bit of March)
Exciting news. Our friend Vajragupta (who wrote the book we study sometimes) has said he will probably be able to visit us – probably in February and March.
I don’t know yet exactly when he will be able to visit but I will send out another email when I know. But it will be a one off, so try and come if you can!
Tuesday nights (drop in, everyone including beginners welcome and full meditation instruction given)
6/2 – week 5 of the course lead by Keith and Leah
13/2 – week 6 of the course lead by Keith and Mangala
20/2 – lead by Keith. Vajragupta’s book – Buddhism: Tools for living your life
27/2 – lead by Rob, studying Vajragupta’s book- Buddhism: Tools for living your life
Thursday nights (regulars’ night, everyone is welcome but there is no meditation instruction, and the teaching can go a bit deeper)
8/2 Rob will lead an evening celebrating the parinirvana of the Buddha (i.e. when he died)
15/2 Padmajata will lead a talk about the perfection of ksanti (patience)
22/2 Keith is leading a puja (devotional ritual)
1/3 Rob will lead. Topic is perfection of virya (energy)
8/3 Samadhi (meditative absorption)
15/3 Prajna (wisdom)
I hope to see you at some of these
I hope that you had a very pleasant and relaxing Christmas break.
This is what is going on in January at the Hertford Buddhist Group.
Please note that we have changed the course from Thursday nights to Tuesday nights
Introductory course on meditation and Buddhism for every Tuesday evening from 9th Jan until 13th Feb (inclusive). We will recap and also be using different material in this course from the one in September, so if you went to any of those evenings, please come again to this course.
And if you didn’t come to any, and if you have never been before, and don’t know anything about Buddhism or meditation, then please come to our course. It is designed as the best way to learn how to meditate, and about Buddhism as a way of life.
It is designed to be useful to both complete beginners and also experienced meditators. It assumes no prior knowledge. For more information, please look on:
our Meetup page https://www.meetup.com/Hertford-Buddhist-Meditation/events/kwrzcpyxcbmb/
Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/events/1251420695003490/ and/or
They all pretty much say the same thing.
Thursday nights – regulars’ class for people who already know how to meditate:
4th – Review of the six marks, and moods of the Mahayana; the fantastic, the elusive, the contemplative and the devotional.
11th – introduction to the Vimilakirti Nirdesa
18th – meditation and seven fold puja
25th – guest leader probably Nandaketu
I hope to see you at some of these.
And of course…
Happy New Year, and all the very best for 2018!
Just a quick email to let you know what is coming up at the Hertford Buddhist Group.
The most important points are:
1) No classes for Christmas week (26th and 28th Dec), and classes resume as normal on 2nd Jan
2) Introductory course on meditation and Buddhism.for every Tuesday evenings from 9th Jan until 13th Feb (inclusive). We will recap and also be using different material in this course from the one in September, so if you went to any of those evenings, please come again to this course.
And if you didn’t come to any, and if you have never been before, then please come to our course. It is totally designed as the best way to learn how to meditate, and find out about our group.
It is designed to be useful to both complete beginners and also experienced meditators. It assumes no prior knowledge. For more information, please look on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/events/1251420695003490/ or blog http://hertfordbuddhistgroup.co.uk/6-week-course-introduction-meditation-buddhism-6-thursday-evenings-starting-11th-jan-2018-ending-15th-feb/
Tuesday nights (drop in)
12th Dec – Padmajata leading the class on the Four Dimensions of Awareness (ie self others environment and reality)
19th Dec Khemananda is leading the class. Probably will be a meditation workshop.
26th Dec – NO CLASS
2nd Jan – Drop in class. Probably Keith is leading the class.
9th Jan – Introductory course on meditation and Buddhism.for every Tuesday evening until 13th Feb (inclusive).
14th Dec Sanghaketu is coming to talk about Confession in Buddhism
21st Dec – the last meeting of 2017, and we are going to celebrate mid- winter day with a meditation and Yule themed Green Tara puja. Please bring evergreen leaves and twigs of holly, ivy, laurel, pine, cedar, cypress, and the magical ash to add to the shrine.
28th Dec – NO CLASS
4th Jan – Regulars’ class.
11th Jan (and all future Thursdays) -Regulars’ class.
That is all for now
Have a great Christmas and New Year, and hope to see you at one of the classes