Six of us have just returned from a fantastic weekend in the countryside on retreat. I would definitely recommend it. Not only did we get a lot deeper into the meditations, it was just so nice to spend time with such great people – making new friends, and deepening older connections. There is so much magic that happens on a retreat, that it is hard to put into words.
If you would like to go on one, then you can checkout https://www.londonbuddhistcentre.com/retreats . There is a retreat of some kind almost every weekend of the year. Also why not try a longer one?
Also post in our Facebook Group that you have booked, as that will encourage others to book on the same one.
Coming up in Hertford we have:
14 Mar 2023 Kuladipa
21 Mar 2023 Rob
28 Mar 2023 Samudraghosha
04 Apr 2023 Keith
11 Apr 2023 Padmajata
18 Apr 2023 Keith – Week 1 of Course
25 Apr 2023 Helen – Week 2 of Course
Here are some dates for your diary for Festival days at Cambridge Buddhist Centre:
Buddha Day – Sunday 30th April
Dharma Day – Sunday 9th July
Padmasambhava Day – Sunday 24th September
Sangha Day – Sunday 26th November
Also, you may be interested in a couple of practice days that Padmajata will be leading at the CBC over the Easter holiday (8th & 9th April)
Please note that with the Cambridge Buddhist Centre retreats, some of them we are very welcome to go on. We had one last weekend, and another in Dec like that. They love us joining them for these retreats.
Also there are other retreats that they like to restrict to people who regularly go to the Cambridge Centre, so you should not book for those. It is normally clear from the description of the retreat on their website. In particular, these retreats: “Sangha weekend retreat at Vajrasana in May” and “Five day retreat at Vajrasana in June” are only for the Cambridge Sangha.
So that is why if you feel like going on retreat this Spring or Summer, it is best to book one from the London Buddhist Centre website or another centre where the retreat is open to all. Note that the North London Centre have a retreat at Vajrasana open to all 28th April to 30th April, and at least one person from Hertford is already booked for that.
That is all for now.
Hopefully see you at one of our Tuesday classes. Just drop in whenever you feel like it 🙂
p.s. Excerpt from one of my favourite books: “Buddhism: Tools for Living Your Life” by Vajragupta © Windhorse Publications
Here, we’ll look at basic elements of right livelihood. These are suggested areas with which to consider to what extent our working life constitutes right livelihood. Does our work give us what we need under each of these headings?
supportive of our practice
Thirdly, for a job to constitute right livelihood, it needs to be part of, and support, our spiritual practice. As my Buddhist teacher once said, ‘Unless your work is your meditation, your meditation is not meditation.’ Whatever your job, it will contain opportunities to cultivate more mindfulness, chances to develop loving-kindness, ways of interacting with others more ethically. This is what is meant by making your work your meditation. Issues will arise that pose spiritual challenges for us: how can we respond to that awkward colleague with loving-kindness? What do we do if our boss has asked us to conceal something from a customer? These may not be easy issues, but they are the stuff of the real spiritual life.
It might be easy to find ways of making our work part of our practice. Or it may be that we decide that circumstances at work are too stressful, or the people we work with unsupportive, and we consider a change to work that will be more conducive to our practice.
Some Buddhists have approached this issue by establishing businesses or ventures in which they can work together as a team. The hope is that they can then really explore what it means for work to be a spiritual practice, together with others who are committed to the same ideals. This can bring about a strong sense of shared purpose, communication, and co-operation.
Work (along with meditation and friendship) can be used as one of the most powerful tools for changing ourselves. Because it demands our energy and skill, it can draw us out and transform us. We learn about our limitations, are spurred to develop new abilities, and can then grow in confidence. This is my experience of work. I’m lucky to work at a Buddhist centre; my work is very much intertwined with my ideals and practice. But my job there has been a crucial part of that practice. Most of what I’ve learned and changed about myself has been through work. For example, I’ve had to learn to think much more for myself, to respond with equanimity to criticism or blame, to deal with difficulties in communication, and to develop more confidence in my own vision.