Mindfulness Day @ Cockburns Path: Living without stress or fear

On Saturday the 19th March our friends at the Bluebell sangha will be hosting a day of Mindfulness in the Village Hall, Cockburnspath, Berwickshire

The day will start at 9.30 and finish at 4. Lunch and beverages will be provided and there is no charge to attend but a suggested donation of 8 pounds to cover costs will be gratefully received. 

The theme of our day will be “Living without stress or fear” and will include mindful sitting, walking, movement, drinking tea/coffee, eating, listening and sharing and we will be taking advantage of our location surrounded by beautiful woods and birdlife with views of the sea. 

We will also be listening to extracts of dharma talks given by Thay. 

It promises to be a lovely day practicing and learning together.

To register interest in attending, please drop Peter and Elspeth Davey an email on: Peter.davey@btinternet.com

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Joyful 2016 Coming Up!

Our Thursday evening meetings will continue as usual from this Thursday (7th January) at 7:30 at St Marks.

Here are some of the other wonderful opportunities to deepen our practice in Scotland this year:

Thursday 4th to Sunday 7th February – Love, Joy, Compassion & Equanimity in a Fearful World. The Community of Interbeing Sanghas in the North of Scotland. North of Scotland 2016 Retreat Advert Application Form 2

Sunday 22nd to Wednesday 25th May – Non Residential Retreat with Sister Annabel and other monastics. Glasgow Sangha. Sister Annabel Info Sheet PDF.

Thursday 2nd to Monday 5th June – Retreat with Br. Phap Vu at Edzell in the Angus. Details to follow.

Thursday 9th to Monday 12th June – Retreat with Br. Phap Vu at Wiston Lodge in the Borders. Details to follow.

Sometime in November – Organised by Edinburgh Wild Geese with your help. There is a lot on at the beginning of the year so we thought we might organise something towards the end of the year. If you would like to come on retreat in the autumn please let one the facilitators know so we can get an idea of numbers.

Mindfulness Mornings – These proved very popular in 2015 and we hope to organise a few through the year. Details will be posted here. Again if you have any thoughts please let one of us know.


Remember The Sun?

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The Gift of Nonfear: Choosing Love and Joy in a Fearful World

A morning of Mindfulness led by Janelle Combelic on Saturday 12th December.

Nonfear is the basis of true happiness, and if you can offer nonfear to someone, you are giving that person the best kind of gift.

— Thich Nhat Hanh (2012)
Fear: Essential Wisdom for Getting Through the Storm

Fear separates us; love unites us. Dealing directly with our fears can open the doorway to love. Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh teaches us to use the energy of mindfulness to embrace our fear, the power of concentration to understand it, and the grace of insight to transform it. “Nonfear” does not mean that we’re not afraid; it means that we acknowledge our fear, calm it, and choose the way of compassion.

PV_2015-07-05-2We all face fear every day: fears big and small, individual and collective. Fear has been part of the human experience forever — fear is essential to survival and hard-wired into our brains. But in the 21st century it seems that a tidal wave of terror is sweeping over the earth. We live in a time of immense transition, when the old structures of society are crumbling and the new has yet to appear. As theologian Walter Wink wrote in The Powers That Be, we are coming to the end of a 10,000-year-old domination system and “we may be the first generation in the history of the world that can make a conscious choice between these world views” or in essence, to choose between fear and love.

During this half-day together we will study a teaching from Thich Nhat Hanh and then have a chance to look deeply at some of our own fears, calling on the power of mindfulness, concentration and insight to transmute fear into love and joy.

Love and fear form the great opposites of the world. Love can even transform the Earth into the substance of love. The whole evolution of the Earth and of human beings points in the direction of their fulfilment through this mighty force, the only force that can subdue the ravages of fear.

— Robert Sardello (2001)
Freeing the Soul from Fear

Janelle Combelic is a therapeutic storyteller, poet, and teacher trained in transpersonal psychology. In 2006 she was ordained by Thich Nhat Hanh into the Order of Interbeing and in 2010 she moved from Colorado to the Findhorn community in Scotland, where she has led workshops on women’s sexuality, storytelling, and forgiveness.

When: Saturday 12th December 2015 9:30am to 1:30pm
Where: Salisbury Centre,  2 Salisbury Rd, Edinburgh EH16 5AB. Just opposite the Commonwealth Pool. See map below.
Booking: Just turn up. (Say you are coming on FaceBook if you like)
Cost: By donation. Suggested £5/£10 but more or less is fine (we don’t look at what people put in!)
Small amount of vegetarian food to share at lunch. Cushions, mats and chairs are supplied but if you have a meditation cushion or stool you like to use please bring it along.
Questions: Please contact us through the form.

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Climate March 28th November 2015

PV_2015-07-09-5Key to our practice of Interbeing is respect and love for mother earth.

Climate change, caused by our actions, is doing great damage to the planet and is threatening the lives and well-being of many species as well as the poor and marginalised of our own species.  We need to learn ways to live in greater harmony.

An important meeting of world leaders is taking place in Paris over the first few weeks of December. Plum Village has suggested that we take action. As part of this a few of us will be attending the Scotland’s Climate March on 28th November. This is a family friendly march from the Meadows in Edinburgh (meet at Middle Meadow Walk) down to the Ross Bandstand in Princes Street Gardens. There will be a church service beforehand and a banner/music making then entertainment in Princes Street gardens. It will be over by 3pm. See the Stop Climate Chaos site for more info or the associated FaceBook event page.

This event is supported by many organisations such as Oxfam, the Scottish Episcopalians, Church of Scotland, Eco-Congregation, Quakers, etc.

We haven’t organised anything formal yet we just hope to go along and add some peaceful solidarity. If you’d like to be sure to meet up in a possibly very large crowd we could arrange something at our next Thursday night or through our FaceBook page.


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Call to Action: People’s Climate Prayer

Thầy Pháp Dung has put out a call to action on behalf of the International Plum Village Community over the up coming the Paris Climate Summit. You can read the full text below or on the Plum Village website here. This, along with the recent tragic events in France, mean that Paris is likely to be at the forefront of our thoughts and practice over the next few weeks.

There is a climate march in Edinburgh on Saturday 28th November (not 29th as suggested below) which some of us are intending to go on. If we organise anything more formal as a group then details will appear here.

The day after the climate talks (Saturday 12th December) we have one of our regular mindfulness mornings. Details will appear here shortly.

Plum Village Call to Action

To All Plum Village Practice Centers,
To All Order of Interbeing Members,
To All Our Sanghas World-wide,
To Our Dear Beloved Friends,

To support the upcoming Paris Climate Summit (COP21) and in solidarity with the Global Buddhist Climate Change CollectiveOne Earth SanghaPlum Village Earth Holder Sangha, and faith communities around the world, we are calling on the International Plum Village Community to gather and send our spiritual energy to Mother Earth and to international political leaders, so that they may have the courage, clarity, and compassion to come to a wise and responsible agreement.

As a global community we have the technology, we have the opportunity, and what we need now is the political and collective will and spiritual courage to act decisively to change course.

We invite our Sanghas to come together to breathe, sit, and walk mindfully for the Earth, and generate a powerful collective energy of mindfulness and compassion. This powerful collective energy is our spiritual offering to the Paris Climate Summit and the highest form of prayer for our precious planet.

Here are actions we can take as a community:

1. Join a March: On Sunday November 29th we invite you to gather as a Sangha and join a Global Climate March in a town or city near you. We can contribute to the Climate March our collective energy of peace and stillness, enjoying every step with freedom and deep connection to the Earth. You can find a march near you or create an event of your own.

2. Fast from meat and dairy for two weeks: For the duration of the Paris Climate Summit, from November 30th to December 11th, we invite you to fast from meat and dairy products. You can come together as a sangha to eat a vegan meal “potluck-style” or as a family in your home. Eating in this way nourishes our energy of compassion, and we can send this energy to support the Paris negotiations. As we eat our meal, we may enjoy moments of silence to cherish the food and nourish our gratitude and appreciation for the Earth. You may like to practice The Five Contemplations.

3. Wear a Green Ribbon: For these two weeks, from November 30th to December 11th, we invite you to wear a green ribbon in order to raise awareness, amongst those around you, of our collective practice of mindfulness and compassion in solidarity with the Earth during this time.

4. Get Together: We encourage you to attend a sangha gathering near you, and to read from Thầy’s books Love Letter to the Earth and The World We Have. Raising awareness in our sanghas promotes collective awakening in society. You may also like to join gatherings and vigils organised by our brothers and sisters in other faith traditions and climate action groups, and offer your presence, peace, compassion and support.

5. Make a Commitment: We encourage you to reflect on your lifestyle and consider making a personal commitment with concrete actions to reduce your environmental impact. Tell those you live with or your local sangha what you plan to do (or refrain from doing), and ask for their support.

When we meditate together and walk mindfully together, we amplify the power of our mindfulness, concentration and compassion. This strong energy of collective awareness will be felt in the world. It has the power to re-establish the Earth’s equilibrium and restore balance, since we are nothing less than Mother Earth herself. Our actions will lead to collective insight, collective awakening, and collective change.

We do not know what the outcome of the Summit will be. But we determine our future by the way we live the present moment, and the way we live our daily life. Our awareness and compassion, and our love for the Earth will extend far beyond December’s Summit.

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Mindfulness Morning Saturday 24th October 2015 – Morningside United Church

PV_2015-07-09-7We will be holding another morning of mindfulness at the Morningside United Church on Saturday 24th October 2015 from 9:30 to 13:00. This time Suzanne will be facilitating.

This is an opportunity to deepen our practice together in the tradition of the Community of Interbeing. 

Some cushions and mats will be provided but if you have your own you may like to bring them. There will be chairs to sit on too. Tea will be provided but please bring a little vegetarian food to share for lunch.

Morningside United Church is easy to find and get to. It is at “Holy Corner” where Bruntsfield Place, Morningside Road, Chamberlain Road and Colinton Road meet. It is across the road for the Eric Liddell Centre and diagonally opposite Costa Coffee. See map below. Busses include 11, 15, 16, 23, 36, 45, 101 and 102.

Any questions? Please contact us through the form.

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The Heart of Creativity: Mindfulness and the Arts, 26-27 September 2015

Facilitators: Susanne Olbrich and Suzanne Dance.
Venue: Skye Room, Gillis Centre, 100 Strathearn Road, Edinburgh, EH9 1BB.
Dates: Saturday 26 – Sunday 27 September 2015.
Time: Registration: 9.30am-10am. Retreat Days: 10am-5pm.

This is a weekend of meditation, creative deepening and community building for all who work in the field of creativity – as creators, performers, educators or therapists. Mindfulness practice has the capacity to renew body and mind and to nourish the heart. Through mindful sitting, walking and eating together, we will slow down and reconnect with the source of peace and joy inside. The retreat includes creative explorations across art forms (weather permitting outdoors), as well as time for reflection and for networking. Suitable for those new to mindfulness meditation as well as for experienced practitioners.

Susanne Olbrich has been engaged in mindfulness practice since 1996. A lay member of Thich Nhat Hanh’s Order of Interbeing, she also studied Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR) with Bangor University. Susanne’s work as a pianist and composer embraces classical, jazz, folk and world music as well as a love for experiment. She has been offering creative music workshops in Scotland and Germany, collaborating with music schools, the NHS, adult education providers and community groups. In 2012 she co-founded the Mindful Artists Network (www.mindful-artists.org). Susanne lives in the Findhorn community. http://www.susanneolbrich.net

Suzanne Dance has 20 years of experience of  mindfulness practice. She is a facilitator of the Edinburgh Wild Geese Sangha, with the Community of Interbeing. Suzanne is an actor trained at RSAMD, with extensive experience in theatre, film and television in Scotland. Recent work includes: ‘Mary Magdalene’, a self-created dance and text based piece, and ‘Leave to Remain’, an exploration of grief, loss and death. Suzanne also works with ACTive INquiry, a Theatre of the Oppressed Company that seeks to address issues of social justice. This year she has worked with Shakti Womens Aid on the theme of personal and community resilience. Suzanne is also a teacher of well-being, mindfulness and relaxation to a wide variety of groups.

Further details see the EICSP site or contact  Neill Walker, mesp2015@hotmail.com, 0131 331 4469.

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