Join us for our Unlimited Heart Course

Hi everyone,

I have recently returned from a lovely week long solitary retreat in a cabin at Vajrasana (our retreat centre near Bury St. Edmunds). It was really lovely just to drink tea, gaze at the beautiful trees and shrubs out of my window, and listen to the birdsong that went on all day. I also read Nagabodhi’s excellent new biography of Bhante (our founder).

Our Unlimited Heart course is continuing in full swing. We are all finding it a very useful way of approaching the metta bhavana (loving kindness) meditation.

This is an extremely powerful and joyful practice, but some of us find it a bit challenging at times.

Our course emphasizes that the first step is to relax and be receptively aware of whatever is happening within us, without judgment. From this foundation of mindful awareness, we can then gently invite metta to arise naturally.

Yesterday we were invited to be particularly aware of our self critic that may decide what we “should” be feeling, and we were also encouraged to keep a gratitude diary as this can be a doorway to metta.

It’s important to note that metta is primarily an intention or volition rather than just a feeling. We can cultivate metta even when we’re not feeling particularly happy or well. The practice is about developing a genuine wish for well-being, both for ourselves and others.

Each week of the course is self-contained and begins with a recap, so don’t worry if you’ve missed previous sessions or if it’s your first time joining us. I would encourage you to attend, as this is the first time we’re covering this material, and it may be a while before we offer it again. The course continues for the next four weeks until the end of July. On August 6th, Padmajata will be leading the class.

Another thing that is happening this month is Dharma Day. This is the anniversary of the Buddha giving his first teaching two months after his enlightenment. He walked 160 miles to seek out his five former companions to a deer park in Sarnath near Varanasi and communicate to them his enlightenment experience. This started a flow of teaching, wisdom, spiritual practice and friendship that continues to this day. There will be a festival at Cambridge Buddhist Centre to celebrate this on Sunday 21st July.

That is all for now. Have a great July!

warm wishes