Sangha Weekend Retreat

          from 6pm Friday 12th April to 4pm Sunday 14th April 2019 The Leeds Buddhist Centre Sangha Retreat is held twice each year. This spring we’re going to the Beamsley Project again which is in a quiet rural location, near Bolton Abbey in Wharfedale. It’s a chance to practice with old friends and to make new friends. The programme includes meditation, workshops and ritual, and there is also time to enjoy the beautiful surroundings. Where physically possible all retreatants are asked to help out with cooking and washing-up etc. All meals are vegan and sleeping accommodation is provided (shared rooms, but if you need a single room for medical reasons, please ask). Please bring your own towels and toiletries. All bed linen is provided. Everyone who is familiar with our meditation practices is welcome, and in fact, this is a perfect weekend for those who have not been on retreat before. It is friendly, easy going and fun – with lots of meditation and Dharma practice. TO BOOK: Please complete a form and enclose a non-returnable deposit of £75 to cover the basic costs. N.B. Early booking is essential as the retreat is often oversubscribed. The Mandala of Generosity The balance is payable on the retreat itself (by cash or cheque): Our aim is to inspire a culture of generosity in the way we share Buddhist Teachings so, once the deposit has been paid, it is up to you how much more you pay. We suggest an additional donation (over and above the deposit) of between £15 and £65. We leave the exact amount for you to decide, depending on your... Read more

Transforming World ideas

Equality Friendships and People important (not profit) so we are all truly connected Happy Contented Reasonable Health Clean Green spaces/areas for nature Smaller gap between rich and poor Tolerant Fair – including participation for vulnerable/disadvantaged groups More selfless and co-operative Where things are done for ‘good’ not just money, land etc. The preciousness of human life is recognised as of infinite value over profit A dilution of only acknowledging success based on material, financial, power gain and intellectual achievements Emotional, communal, individual and creative achievements to be equally acknowledged Children are educated in a life enhancing way, developing curiosity, empathy, joy, not being turned out as cogs in the system Oceans full of seabirds Solidarity – friendship Prosperity Enough food for us all, so that no-one goes hungry Greener and simpler living for all equally Resources used in a way that doesn’t cause harm to others, the planet and future generations A world of children who can live without fear, with joy and freedom to play A secure and safe place to live, free from threat…for everybody A global reconnection (particularly in Westernised society) with the inevitable and very precious process of birth, life and death. Along with the wonders each stage can bring. Freedom Justice A vision of happiness that doesn’t depend on consuming and that gives back to the earth Abundant Love for all life and this beautiful planet leading to less waste and veganism and respect and peace Clean air, clean water Less people (without catastrophe), more trees Societies arranged to support interconnection, overcome loneliness Should be truthful Love and compassion, empathy towards each other Searching... 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

Remembering Dhardo Rimpoche

Rimpoche first spotted a yellow-robed Sangharakshita from a distance in 1949, exclaiming to his attendant ‘Look! The Dharma has gone as far as the West!’  On the façade of a school in northern India, two deer are depicted holding the Buddha’s Wheel of Truth. The motto of the school is ‘Cherish the Doctrine – Live United – Radiate Love’. This was the message of the school’s founder – Dhardo Rimpoche – who was born in Tibet in 1918 and recognised as the thirteenth incarnation of the Dhardo Tulku. He would later move to India and form a strong friendship with Sangharakshita. As the latter emphasised in 1991 during a talk to mark the first anniversary of Dhardo Rimpoche’s death, ‘Cherish the Doctrine – Live United – Radiate Love’ was not just something he said, it was something he lived by. The present month marks the twenty-third anniversary of Dhardo Rimpoche’s passing, time then to look back at the life of a unique individual and reflect on the ways he embodied his message. Cherishing the Doctrine From an early age, Dhardo Rimpoche devoted himself to studying and practising the Dharma. As a four-year old living at the Nam Chod Gompa monastery in Tibet, he would rise at four o’clock in the morning to memorise and recite lines of verse. Over the course of the next two decades, he acquired a detailed knowledge of the sutras, commentaries and classical texts of Indo-Tibetan Buddhism and was awarded a geshe degree (with distinction) in 1944. Further studies were cut short by illness in 1947 and Dhardo Rimpoche travelled to northern India seeking medical assistance. He... Read more