Weekly Meeting and Retreats

WEEKLY MEETING:

We meet in a central location (Dublin 8, near St. James's Hospital)  on Tuesday evenings, 6.30 – 8.30pm. Guidance is available for beginners. We practice vipassana and metta meditations for a period, then have a cup of tea and read from a meditation text and discuss this. Donation to cover costs welcome. For more information email: noirinsheahan@gmail.com

RETREATS:

Retreats are organised by the group throughout the year. These can include one-day, weekend and, occasionally a ten-day retreat. We hold the retreats in a number of venues including An Tobar in Navan and Seraph in Heytesbury St, Dublin. It is usually possible to come for part of a retreat. See below for more details about what to expect on a retreat.

What to expect on a retreat: Day retreats usually start at 9.30am and the opening meditation is usually at 10am. Weekend/10-day retreats start in the evening normally. The teacher(s) organises the retreat schedule and the routine will involve periods of sitting and walking meditation, talks and question and answer sessions. Day retreats usually end at 4.30-5pm.

Noble Silence: The teacher leading the retreat gives meditation instruction. While there is usually an opportunity to ask questions about meditation practice, retreatants are asked to otherwise maintain ‘noble silence’. This is not engaging in any talk with each other unless it is really necessary.

What to Bring? Loose-fitting comfortable clothing, sitting cushion or stool (although a limited number may be provided), a blanket or shawl, rain gear and boots, for walking outdoors in winter months

What to leave behind? Distractions of all kinds – books, writing materials, music players, mobile phones.

WEEKEND RETREATS 2017

September 29th – October 1st 2017 with Bhante Bodhidhamma

Outline: Training in Insight (Vipassana) Meditation and Buddhist Teachings. This retreat teaches Insight Meditation according to the method developed by the Mahasi Sayadaw of Burma.

Date: Friday September 29th 6pm to Sunday October 1st 4pm

Venue: Dominican Retreat Centre, Tallaght, D 24.

Cost: €165 residential Friday-Sunday;

         €70 per day non-residential (Non residential Places Limited)

         €65 deposit to secure place. Early booking advisable.

This retreat is suitable for beginners and more experienced meditators

The cost covers food, accommodation, etc. It does not include the teachings which are freely given. There will be an opportunity at the end of the retreat to make a donation to the teacher if you wish to do so (see dana/support below).

 
Information and Booking: Margaret Groome 01-2828199 or make a booking by email here

Bhante Bodhidhamma is a monk of over 20 years standing in the Theravada Buddhist tradition and has been teaching in Ireland for the past 18 years. He is the spiritual director of the Satipanya Buddhist Retreat Centre in the UK.

 

THE GIFT OF DHAMMA EXCELS ALL GIFTS

Dana – Support

•Supporting another person’s spiritual aspiration is a universal religious practice.

•Compassion is the desire to help someone be free of suffering.

•Selfless giving unburdens the heart of attachment and possessiveness.

•Generosity brings joy to the heart.

•To give of time and wealth without conditions is itself a path to liberation.

 

Generosity

by Bhante Bodhidhamma

Generosity, the Buddha says is the easiest of the Perfections, the Virtues, to practice. You don’t even have to have good morality. After all even a thief can be generous.

There are those who are generous with their wealth, but not with their time. There are those who are generous with their time, but not with their wealth. There are those few who are generous with both time and wealth and there are those unfortunates who find it difficult to give anything at all. Why unfortunates?

There are two sides to generosity – the negative and the positive. On the negative side we practice Renunciation, another of the Perfections. Do not confuse Renunciation with Self-mortification. We are not meant to whip ourselves. Heavens, do we not suffer enough! The purpose of Renunciation is to see where our attachments lie. It’s when we give something up or at worse have something taken from us that we come to realise how we have become emotionally dependent on it, or worse identified with it. Therefore generosity is not true generosity unless it tweaks a little. Should the hand tremble as you write your cheque then maybe you are giving too much. But perhaps it should twitch!

The positive side is compassion. Our hearts are called to give when there is a desire to alleviate suffering. The Buddha tells us that there is no greater gift than the gift of Dhamma. To give with thought of repayment for something given, is poor generosity. Or to give with hope of return. Both turns generosity into a business deal. That in itself may not be unwholesome. We can be generous in the service we offer others through our work and still be entitled to a good wage.

There is also social generosity. Tokens of friendship and kinsmanship. Christmas presents are such. Birthday presents are such. They re-establish connections. And that’s wonderful! But it’s not spiritual generosity. It’s not the generosity that inclines to liberation. Consider, if you sent your bottle of wine (non-alcoholic, of course), but your parents, brother, sister or friend failed to send you the customary lump of cheese!

And then, of course, there is that sweetest of emotions – gratitude. A heart pained with the desire to express indebtedness and yet knowing a gift received from the heart of generosity cannot by definition be repaid.

Yet offerings we must make as expression of not simply of our appreciation but also our heartfelt thankfulness.

How then to give with a pure heart?

Determining how much we wish to give, fill the heart with just that desire to give for the benefits of all beings. Then put the donation in the box. Here, by way of intention, will and action we are creating a skilful and wholesome kamma.

Then of course the voices come. ‘Oh what a wonderful person you are!’, ‘you should have given more you stingy, disgusting miser!’ ‘Too much, you fool, take some back!’

But we smile upon those voices. Nothing so disarms Mara and his myriad sons and daughters than to look upon them with knowing smile. ‘I see you, Mara. But I have not pleased you. I have not developed those old conditions of greed and miserliness. On the contrary, I have developed their opposites.’

Last but by means least, the development of Generosity is itself a path to liberation. For through Renunciation we develop detachment and by giving through compassion and gratitude we come not simply to understand, but to experience interdependence.

So by the very development of Dana, Generosity, we can come to arrive at the desire-less place of pure contentment wherein the heart can blossom its deepest desires for happy joy and warm peace.