The Four Noble Truths – The Noble Eightfold Path

At the moment we are a couple of weeks into this series and a few people were asking about books so here is a link to the book that was mentioned last night which would be an excellent companion to our current evenings. We’ll also be publishing some notes in due course. There are also some existing notes in our resources section

The Buddha’s Noble Eightfold Path (previous editions entitled ‘Vision and Transformation’)

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If you haven’t been along recently, don’t worry, do come along and I sure that we can help you to catch up with where we are.

Hope to see you soon

Best wishes

David and Nandaketu

p.s. oh and this month’s mantra is that of Padmasambhava

oṃ āḥ hūṃ vajraguru padmasiddhi hūṃ

More information here and here 

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Celebrating the Buddha’s Enlightenment – Sat May 25th

Many thanks to all who came along yesterday to help celebrate this most auspicious of events! It was so lovely to see so many regulars and some newcomers too.

As planned, the day included meditation, a wonderful talk by Nandaketu and the group’s first Puja – a Buddhist ritual of reverence to the Three Jewels – the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha. The text of  this can be found here. Following the Puja a sumptuous vegetarian lunch was shared with plenty of time for conversation and getting to know each other a little better.

Once again, thank you for coming, for taking part and making the day a success, and for all of that delicious food

Best wishes

David and Nandaketu

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The Eight Wordly Winds

In lieu of Aryacitta’s notes on the subject of this evening’s talk here is a link to the scriptural source in the Pali Canon….

Lokavipatti Sutta

Differing translations use different terms for the pairs of forces that blow us this way and that, one form is…

Gain and Loss
Fame and infamy
Praise and Blame
Pleasure and Pain

With awareness, loving-kindness and an appreciation of the Buddha’s teaching of impermanence and conditionality we can in time become more equanimous, steady and creative when confronted with the changing fortunes of life.

Oh and the chant that we have been ending the classes this month is…

Sabbe Satta Sukhi Hontu – May all beings be happy (which would include well-being)

See you soon

Nandaketu and David with many thanks to Aryacitta

Celebrating the Buddha’s Enlightenment – Sat May 25th

Hi everyone, here is advance warning of a date for your diaries

On Saturday May 25th we’ll be celebrating the Buddha’s Enlightenment with a gathering to meditate, listen to a talk, conduct a Buddhist devotional ritual (puja) and an opportunity to share a leisurely lunch and get to know each other better. This will take place in our usual room 12 at the Fairkytes Arts Centre with the following programme…

10.30 arrival and welcome
10.45 meditation
11.30 tea break
12.00 talk and puja
1.15 lunch*
3.00 finish (approx)

* please bring vegetarian food to share – if the weather is good lunch may take the form of a picnic in Langtons’ gardens

Other points of note…

This coming week – April 29th – Aryacitta will visiting and talking about ‘How Not to be Blown Away by the Wordly Winds’. Aryacitta was ordained into the Triratna Buddhist Order in 1984 and has led the Southend group for many years.

There will be no classes on the Bank Holidays of May 6th and 27th as Fairkytes is closed giving the wonderful team there a much earned rest.

See you soon!

David and Nandaketu

Conditioned Arising

This being, that becomes
On the arising of this, that arises
This not being, that does not become
On the cessation of this, that ceases

This week we introduced the Buddhist teaching of conditionality, expressed variously in English as Conditioned Arising, Dependent Origination or Conditioned Co-Production but more consistently in Sanskrit as Pratitya Samutpada and Pali as Paticca Samuppada.

This is the profound truth underlying all of Buddhist teaching, that all phenomena, all things whatsoever arise in dependence upon a myriad of interconnecting conditions and pass away when those condition cease.

This applies to the physical universe at all levels of scale but also to our own experience wherein we can, with minds clarified through the practice of ethics and meditation, observe the arising and passing of thoughts and emotions –  joy, anger, craving, happiness, suffering, hatred and so on.

Through observing the truth of this teaching for ourselves, within our experience, we gain faith in the Dharma – the Buddha’s teaching – and begin to understand how, through its practise, we can transform and transcend our limiting views of self, becoming wiser and more compassionate to the benefit of ourselves and others.

Best wishes

David and Nandaketu

Green Tara

oṃ tāre tuttāre ture svāhā

The mantra we are chanting at end of the class at the moment is that of Green Tara.  This intimate, approachable, enchanting aspect of the compassion of the enlightened mind is traditionally visualised as a beautiful sixteen year old woman.  She is the colour of verdant vegetation and has long flowing blue-black hair.  Smiling down at us, the figure has her left foot drawn up in cross legged meditation posture and her right extended as if she is stepping down to help us.  Her right hand is making a gesture of giving. Her left is held in front of her heart, the fingers are positioned in a delicate mudra with the third finger and thumb touching.  The remaining fingers are straightened as a reminder of the the Three Jewels. Tara is often depicted as holding her emblem an exquisite blue lotus flower (Utpala). To see some of the ways Tara is depicted try an image search on Google.

Tara is often considered the most approachable of the Buddhist figures and traditionally is said to always respond to cries of help.  She is known as Samaya Tara because she is always faithful to the bond of those who call on her.  She is popular in Tibet (Dolma in Tibetan) where there are said to be other Tara’s. Another popular  figure is White Tara which we will look at on another occasion.

Here is a sound file of the Green Tara mantra.

Tara

Best wishes to you all

Nandaketu and David