Flash Mob Thursday 24th July It was a sunny, late afternoon. Briggate was busy with lots of people shopping or on their way home. Then, out of the blue, eight people simply sat down opposite Marks & Spencer and started to meditate. The effect was immediate. People stopped and stared. Some were clearly interested in what we were doing, others, perhaps, a little challenged by the sight of eight people sitting calmly on the pavement with their eyes closed. A good number took leaflets about our courses and drop-in sessions. One woman came across and thanked us for what we were doing: ‘I can feel it’, she said. Another man said ‘God Bless’ as he passed by, and a young woman promised to turn up at the following week’s drop-in class.   Sitting in a busy street felt better than most of us thought it would – and it was very interesting too. Lots of different sounds. Lots of activity around us. But it felt safe and, although we hadn’t planned this in advance, most of us meditated for a full hour. If nothing else we created a bit of a stir with our stillness and we certainly raised the profile of our Centre and of meditation as a means for positive change. It felt good to take the Dharma out into the world and, hopefully, to encourage a few people to reconsider their own hectic lifestyles. So it felt like a great thing to do – and we shall be doing it again. Contact the Centre for details. Maybe you’d like to join us next... Read more

Rejoicing in Merits

Contemplating skillful action during Buddhist Action Month, Giles was inspired to write the following piece on the enriching practice of rejoicing in merits… Rejoicing in Merits is a fantastic practice that can enrich both rejoicer and receiver. For me, it has enriched and grounded my metta bhavana practice. In fact, I think the qualities that get shared when a person rejoices in another’s merits is even transcendental. And so, I’d like to offer you my insights into this most delightful practice. ‘Rejoicing in Merits’ is simply voicing the positive qualities of an individual, perhaps on a one-to-one basis, but equally in a group setting. In particular, this takes place during mitra ceremonies and other special occasions. I began reflecting on this practice last summer when I had the privilege to lead the morning gatherings at Buddhafield North’s camping retreat. I led the rejoicingin merits of the longstanding members of the Buddhafield team. It was a lovely experience, and the beautiful atmosphere was real privilege to be a part of. I reasoned that when the qualities of the individual are highlighted, then this leaves them ‘glowing’. It’s not often that we are shown our qualities in this way, and we often take them for granted, or perhaps we have a tendency to focus on the difficult aspects of ourselves. Rejoicing in merits turns this on it’s head and leaves us with a heightened sense of our positive qualities. The positivity does not stop there, however. The folk listening to the merits of others being rejoiced in get to share the experience too. For example, somebody could be said to be... Read more

The Mystery

The Mystery is here. Now. Right this instant. Wherever you are, Whatever you are doing. It is witnessing Even the most ordinary things. Peeling a potato, Smelling the roses, Cleaning the car, Wondering what to cook for dinner. Saying goodbye to a friend. It is there watching As you open a door, Sneeze, Laugh, Or touch a stranger’s heart With the gift of a smile. Meanwhile, Every instant Of what has been Spins away behind. Seconds, hours, days, years, The whole of your life, Lost forever. Swallowed by the void. But everything is as it should be For, right here, right now, The Mystery that you are, And always have been, Is ever present, Silently witnessing Each unfolding moment Of your life.   Jenny... Read more

Seeing Through The Eyes Of Love 

All is love Love is all there is Nothing else is real It is why you are here It is who you are Therefore give yourself whole-heartedly to love Embrace it Wallow in it and you will never die For love is eternal It knows nothing of past, present or future It is not tense It is soft, warm and relaxed It sees no fault It seeks not to blame Fear is a stranger to love Lack is unknown Abundance is its view Forgive all that was not love It was never real anyway Do not carry the weight of history on your shoulders Who knows what will come to pass Only love. Kim... Read more

Welcome Sagarabala!

There was a very special Friends’ Night on Thursday 17th July to welcome our newest Order Member into the sangha. Sagarabala (meaning ‘she whose power is from the ocean’, pronounced with long first and last ‘a’). Sagarabala spent three months on retreat in Akashavana, Spain and was ordained on 2nd June. Sadhu! Sadhu!... Read more