Freedom: Now or Never
Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness. If, in our heart, we still cling to anything – anger, anxiety, or possessions – we cannot be free.
Thich Nhat Hanh.
The Wild Geese warmly invite you to join us on our Summer retreat from Thursday, 19th to Sunday, 22nd June, guided by Br Phap Vu of Blue Cliff Monastery USA.
Through the Buddha’s teachings we find that freedom is possible not in the future but in the present moment. “Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness. The only obstacle is our own mind. With the practice of mindfulness, concentration and insight we are empowered to choose which path we take – going along with the same old habit energy or the path that leads to liberation and freedom. In this retreat we will examine some of the basic teachings of the Buddha in order to transform our obstacles and go down the path of liberation. So what are you waiting for? It’s now or never.
Click here to download further details and the booking form.
For further information contact Bryan on 07736 889 165
Location of Wiston Lodge
The Peaceful Grounds at Wiston
The Border Collie Sangha invites you to join us at a Mindfulness day at wonderful Wiston Lodge on the theme of the importance of developing and nurturing your Sangha.
We will have guided and silent meditation, a teaching from Thay’s recordings and sharing time in the newly redecorated upstairs meditation room with its lovely warm wood stove, and walking meditation in the woods. The day will last from 10:30 until 4:00.
There will be a delicious and wholesome vegetarian lunch with homemade soup, home baked bread and dessert, and tea. (A small charge, about £5.00 will cover costs). We will have the opportunity to eat part of our meal in silence.
There will be the opportunity to stay overnight and have dinner for an additional charge. If you wish to do working meditation on Sunday, dinner and your accomodation will be without charge. There will be no working meditation on Saturday.
There is at least hourly bus and train service to Lanark from Edinburgh and Glasgow. Lifts will be available from Lanark to Wiston. Wiston is a 40-50 minute drive from Glasgow or Edinburgh.
If you are interested, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you more information on what to bring etc.
N.B. This is on the same day as the Mindful Sangha Gathering in Edinburgh so there are two opportunities to practice on this weekend!
Edinburgh Wild Geese Sangha
Mindful Sangha Gathering
Saturday 7th December 2013 9:30am to 1pm
St Mark’s Unitarian Church, 7 Castle Terrace, Edinburgh, EH1 2DP
This is an opportunity for all those who have been to a Thursday night practice or Mindfulness@Lunchtime on a Tuesday to come together and share their thoughts about what we do and what we might do in the coming year.
Please come along and share some peace and tranquility away from the Christmas rush. We will stick to the timing below. You are welcome to join us for the whole morning, just the practice or just the social.
Please bring some food to share.
- 09:00 – Setting up the hall
- 09:30 – Practice (guided meditation, walking, sitting, sharing on a theme of Sangha)
- 11:00 – Sharing food, tea, coffee and conversation
- 12:30 – Clearing up together.
Any questions please contact roger (email@example.com) 075 90 60 80 16
The North of Scotland sanghas will be hosting a retreat in Newbold House, Forres, Moray from 31st January to 2nd February 2014 on the theme of From Darkness into Light. They would welcome COI members from other sanghas join at that time.
Download the full advert and application form here for more details.
At the recent Facilitators Retreat at Kinnoull monastery Lindsay Lumsden lead a powerful Touching the Earth ceremony where she used a version of the land section she had written a few years ago with Margo Henderson & Hugh Green for a North of Scotland Sanghas Retreat. Several of us asked for a copy and I thought I’d share it here:
I see that I am whole, protected and nourished by this land and all of the living beings who have been here and made life easy and possible for me through all their efforts. I see the hard-working farmers and fishermen, miners, labourers and shipbuilders, and I see the women – the crofters who held the hearths, the fisher quines who followed the boats, the women waulkers who wove the cloth and the culture of the people into song, the wise women and healers. I see the close family bonds of the clans, and the traveller folk, the ‘summer walkers’ who lived close to the earth and followed the rhythms of the seasons. I see Maire Mhor nan Oran (Big Mary of the songs), Robert Burns, George Mackay Brown, and all the poets, artists and musicians who have contributed to the rich heritage of this country. I see James Keir Hardie, Ramsay MacDonald and John Smith – champions of social justice; I see Alexander Fleming and Joseph Lister, whose discoveries of penicillin and antiseptics continue to save so many lives; I see Andrew Carnegie, who used his great wealth to promote learning, literacy and peace; and Queen Margaret, who ruled with such compassion that she was made a saint. I see the conservationist John Muir, considered to be the father of the environmental movement. I feel the power of the sacred places in this land – the standing stones of our earliest ancestors; Holy Island, now a centre for world peace; Iona, home to early Celtic Christianity; Findhorn, beacon of light. I feel the energy of this land penetrating my body and soul, supporting and accepting me. I vow to cultivate and maintain this energy and transmit it to future generations. I vow to contribute my part in transforming the violence, hatred, and delusion that also still lie deep in the collective consciousness of this society so that future generations will have more safety, joy and peace. I ask this land for its protection and support.
I also produced a copy formatted to tuck inside my Plum Villiage Chanting book. You can download the PDF below. You just need to print it on A4 paper and trim two sides off.
I really like this version but I also want to add more people. I think it is a good exercise in generosity to think about who has made our land and society capable of supporting our happiness. It is also a good practice to come up with a list short enough to fit the ceremony!
Many thanks to Lindsay for sharing this.
Just by chance I had an audio recorder with me when we had some bell practice at the recent Facilitators Retreat at Kinnoull Monastery. The sound scape created with twenty or more people are in a room mindfully inviting bells to sound is incredible. I have over thirty minutes of recording but thought I’d include just over four minutes here incase you were interested.
The recording starts with people inviting a new bell they have just picked up and never sounded before it moves on to us inviting the bells to sound in order, firstly from high to low and then from low to high. I guess this is a peal of mindfulness bells. At the end there is a peal of laughter as Pete sounds the final, high bell and the focussed attention is released – very much the lightness one gets at the end of a good practice session.
The facilitators retreat, held at St Mary’s Kinnoull Monastery, has just ended with strong positive vibes from all concerned. More reports to follow …