These are some photos taken at Sangha Day at Cambridge Buddhist Centre a couple of weeks ago. They show our new mitras with the rest of our sangha who had gone to Cambridge to support them, and also by themselves.
We have three more Tuesday night classes before we take take a couple of weeks break. There is no class on the 24th Dec or 31st Dec.
If you want to do some meditation over this period, then consider the London Buddhist Centre. They have classes most days and they also have day retreats on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day – https://www.lbc.org.uk/event-details/-1312 .
We will start next year with a visit by Jnanavaca followed by the start of an 8 week practical mindfulness course based on the book https://www.amazon.co.uk/Life-Full-Attention-Practical-Mindfulness/dp/1899579982
As always newcomers and total beginners are always welcome, and everything is free of charge (although you are invited to leave a donation if you would like to).
This is what is coming up in our last 3 classes of the year and also next year:
03 December 2019 Khemananda
10 December 2019 Leah
17 December 2019 Keith and talks by 3 people on why they became a mitra
24 December 2019 no class
31 December 2019 no class
07 January 2020 Jnanavaca (ex chair of London Buddhist Centre and President of Cambridge Buddhist Centre)
14 January 2020 8 Week Mindfulness Course starts “Life with Full Attention”
Also, here are the festival dates for the Cambridge Buddhist Centre for 2020, so get these into your diaries now if you enjoy going to festivals:
Parinirvana day 16 Feb
Buddha day 3rd May
Dharma day.12th July
Padmasambhava day 27th Sept.
Sangha day 29th Nov
Just in case you are interested, I also wanted to mention that Maitreyabandhu (who wrote the book on mindfulness mentioned above) also organises poetry evenings at the London Buddhist Centre – https://www.facebook.com/PoetryEastLondon/ https://www.meetup.com/Poetry-East/ . The next event is on December 7th with Kei Miller.
That is all for now.
I hope you have a lovely Christmas and New Year.
All the best
p.s. Here is an excerpt from Vajragupta’s book “Buddhism: Tools for living your life”, which we recommend to people new to Buddhism (as well as more experienced people)
Mindfulness in daily life
When we start to notice how our meditation is affected by the thoughts and concerns of our everyday activity, we are led to an important realization. Mindfulness is a quality that we need to practise all the time, from moment to moment.
There is a two-way relationship at work here.
First, the mindfulness we cultivate in our meditation will permeate our daily lives. After we’ve been meditating for a while we may well notice that we are a bit calmer and more aware as we go about our everyday business. The spaciousness of meditation flavours the rest of our experience.
Secondly, the mindfulness we cultivate from day to day makes our meditation practice more fruitful. If mindfulness is about knowing ourselves better, then we need to attend to what happens in every moment. In meditation we can watch the mind directly, but there is just as much to be learned about ourselves through our daily experience. The way to see ourselves really clearly is often through our interactions with others. Away from it all, in the quiet of our meditation, it might be easy to kid ourselves, but in the thick of daily life, with demands and pressures on us, we can see what our real strengths and weaknesses are. This creates the raw material for our meditation.
exercise – mindfulness moments
Practising mindfulness in everyday life is not easy – there can besom much information to process, so much to distract us. But there are techniques we can use to help us.8
For example, we may use something as a cue to re-establish mindfulness. Every time the phone rings, or each time we make a cup of tea, we try to remember to come back to ourselves. We can just stop and breathe deeply a few times, and then continue with what we were doing, but with renewed attentiveness and presence.
Or we might make sure there are at least a few short, but empty, spaces in our day when we can recollect ourselves.
Choose one such method and try it for a week.
What do you notice about your quality of mind in those spaces of awareness? Does the effect of ‘mindfulness moments’ spill out into the rest of your day? Do you find it easy to remember to be mindful, or difficult?
© Windhorse Publications