GLOBAL SANGHA NEWSLETTER 101 
2nd February 2022

PODCAST GS57
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 Photo by Helen Evanfé



NEW SEMESTER - NOT TOO LATE TO JOIN

The excitement at the moment is the beginning of the Buddhist Psychology Diploma Programme and the course on the History of Buddhism in China. Students are registering and starting the process of getting to know one another and learning familiarity with the necessary web sites and communication media for the courses.

If you are still thinking about joining either programme, do it now. It is not too late to join. Just go along to
and get your ticket.

Full details of the programmes are in previous issues of the Newsletter or from 

You can access recent past issues of the newsletter at
https://eleusis.ning.com/global-sangha-newsletters


STUDENT MEETINGS

If you are registered for the Diploma Programme in Buddhist Psychology (BP), there are initial meetings this Saturday at 11:00 and at 18:00 (Rome). Please get to both if you can. Time zones mean that not everybody will be able to do so, of course.

The first meeting for the Dharma Ocean (DO) course on Transmission of the Dharma in medieval China will be at 11:00 on Saturday 12th February.

Forward programme:
5th Feb: 11:00 & 18:00 BP: Introductory Meetings of Psychology Students
12th Feb*: 11:00 DO: Unit Five Seminar: Buddhism Arrives in China
26th Feb: 19:00 BP: Unit One Seminar: Buddhist Psychology as Learning Theory
19th Mar*: 10:00 BP: Unit One Seminar: Inter-personal Modelling & Influence
19th Mar*: 12:00 DO: Unit Five Seminar: Early Chinese Masters
2nd April: 19:00 BP: Unit Two Seminar: Psychotherapy without Self
9th April: 19:00 DO: Unit Six Seminar: Great Chinese
16th April*: 11:00 BP: Unit Two Seminar: Conditioned Mind

Items marked * coincide with Upasattha Sangha Days so may be attended by sangha members who are not (yet) enrolled on the programmes.

THIS WEEKEND

We have our regular meetings:

Saturday 14:00 Refuge Group
Codes separately circulated

Sunday 10:30 Interest Group
An informal meeting for all.
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88974912642?pwd=N2VyQnc0MUM4WUU0YTFTdCt0QWVmQT09
Meeting ID: 889 7491 2642  -:-  Passcode: 537296

Sunday 20:00,  GS Friendship Group
An informal meeting for all
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87394084532?pwd=eEY3eUhHcjN0b0xLanZXcTNqVmVzdz09
Meeting ID: 873 9408 4532  -:-  Passcode: 519784


LEARN ITALIAN ?

Starting on Tuesday 8th February and continuing every other week 17:00-18:00, Angela Romani is resuming giving Italian lessons.
https://bit.ly/3yxLd3Z  -:-  Meeting ID: 889 9850 0278  -:-  Passcode: 515887


Picture
“Your past does not define your future”  -:-  Photo by George Daly


JUSTICE DEFENDERS

George Daly: The JD project was started by a very remarkable young man called Alexander McLean. When he was a law student on his gap year, he volunteered for Hospice Africa in Uganda. He was sent to the maximum-security prison in Kampala to provide some food for prisoners wIth AIDS. What he saw there shocked him to the core and he was determined to do something about it. He started the African Prisons Project, which is now called Justice Defenders. I joined the project in 2013 when I returned from our school trip to Tanzania when we had some experience of the reality of violent crime in Africa.

One purpose of the project is to transform prison systems into institutions like schools where everyone can have worthwhile experiences. The Project therefore started providing lessons and libraries, singing and sports. We started teaching Law to the brightest prisoners using the London University Distance Learning Degree course and training prisoners to be paralegals so that they could advise and help their fellow prisoners with their cases. 

One spectacular example is Susan Kigula, who was sentenced to death when convicted of murdering her husband. From prison Susan obtained her law degree and then represented herself and over 400 fellow prisoners arguing that the mandatory death sentence for murder was unconstitutional. She won her case and all those sentenced to death in Uganda had to be reconsidered. Susan is now free and has spoken about Justice Defenders’ work to the UN.

During Covid we have been allowed to teach in many prisons using Zoom and we have also been able to conduct numerous cases using Digital Justice. We now have over 286 paralegals working in 26 prisons and last year over 5,000 people were released as a result of their work. 

The wider purpose of the project is to provide an inspiration and model for transforming all the world’s justice systems. Last year Anderson Cooper and Christiane Amanpour did documentaries about the project on US prime time television which meant that millions of people saw what was happening in the lives of these African prisoners. This has resulted in a substantial upsurge in interest and support. We also received several awards, including the World Justice Project’s first prize for Access to Justice. 

There are several YouTube videos about the African Prions Project, including one by Vice Sports entitled Prison Soccer in Uganda.

People have always behaved badly, and we all react. The challenge is to find the most constructive and humane response. Everyone, criminal or not, receives Amida’s unconditional love. The prisoners I meet are nothing like the stereotype of evil vicious killers. We are all in the same boat and all part of the same family. Their capacity for courage, resilience and compassion is admirable. The story of Siddhartha’s relationship with Angulimala is a constant inspiration to us all. 

You can see all about the Project at https://www.justice-defenders.org



A FILM TO WATCH

I recently watched "The Priest" a Russian film with English sub-titles that is deeply affecting. It gives insight into a period of history but also is a very human document. Don't watch it if you are of a fragile disposition.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zghBLMX972U&t=5291s



PRAY FOR THE THIEF: A POST I RECEIVED RECENTLY

Such a meaningful post you sent me a few days ago! As always pointing beyond predictably received wisdom. What do I take from  what you wrote? That is very hard to pin down. Probably numerous implications. The one that comes to mind is that we over-emphasise law making as a basis for judgement in our Western modern supposedly sophisticated ways. What of those born in poverty who may have little choice other than to indulge in petty crime? Would I be so moral if I were in their place? (I must emphasise that I do respect the law and see the need for restraint for everyday life to go ahead.) And in a way all this  comes as something of a relief. Someone snatches my bag and takes 200 euros. This happened in Italy to me a few years ago. I feel outraged, sickened, furious (understandably). I guess.I am anything but  phlegmatic. However,on reflection can I honestly say that I might never have dreamed of doing something like that if I were in the shoes of the thief? Perhaps not! Unfortunately! Thus the anger lessens a little.

Why? I dont take it too personally. I cannot condemn the thief outright. He/she  probably has good qualities also. A certain tolerance arises. A little fellow-feeling arises. Even a little humour, thank Goodness. I am still a little bit angry with his character. But not as much as before. And significantly the anger does not turn into cold icy hatred.
Thanks once again, sir.

Comment: It is good to pray for one's friends, but also for those who have used one badly. Probably they have, by their mistakes, set up some bad karma for themselves. Yet who is really to say - who can be a judge of another? Things happen and people respond in a way that seems to them good at the time. As a society, trying to be democratic, we generate many rules - many "shoulds" - and we build expectations of one another and while these rules do serve to make much of social life flow more easily, they also become irksome in their quantity and petty details and no rule can cater for every case. We talk a lot these days about "justice" but does anybody really know what that is? Most cases can readily be argued more than one way. I have been robbed three times in my life. Twice my car was broken into. I was fortunate enough to have a car. Perhaps the robber was less fortunate. Was it justice that I had a car and he didn't? What is justice? The third time my luggage was stolen at an airport. The things that I lost that touched my feelings most were not the expensive ones, but the things that had sentimental value that I knew would mean nothing to the thief. It would be nice if we were all kind and sensitive and honest, but things happen and one must accept. Possessions come and go. We ourselves are only here for a short time. Whatever we are attached to - you cannot take it with you. "Our last garment is made without pockets" - as they say in Italy. Only, Namo Amida Bu.


a77ca62b-3314-11eb-a3d0-06b4694bee2a%2F1643227368251-08_002-web-ps.jpeg
From the series "Sacred World" 
Artwork by Robert Joshin Althouse
https://www.althouse-art.com/


WHO IS?
ANIRUDDHA

Aniruddha is one of the ten great disciples of Shakyamuni. His name means "one without craving" - and, therefore, contented. He is the son of the Buddha's uncle, Sukkodana. He has a full brother,Mahanama, and a sister, Rohini. His half-brother (by a different mother) is Ananda. It seems that he grows up in an extreme of luxury. There is a story of him playing marbles with other boys, wagering rice cakes on the result. Aniruddha keeps losing and sends to his mother each time for more cakes. Finally she sends a message that there a no more cakes. Aniruddha has never heard of there being no more of anything so assumes that 'no-more" is a kind of cake. He sends the servant to get the "no-more" cakes. The servant returns with an empty box, but Aniruddha's past karma is so good that on the way the gods fill the box with celestial cakes. Aniruddha never lacked for anything.

When Buddha visits Kapilavastu, many people are inspired by his teachings and some become bhikshus. Aniruddha and his brother Mahanana discuss whether somebody from their family should go and join the sangha. Mahanama says that either he himself or his brother should go. At first Aniruddha is frightened of the challenge of living without the luxury that he has been used to. However, he knows that when he becomes fully an adult he will have to work as a farmer and they talk about how the work of a farmer is unending and goes on throughout this life and then for life after life. This gives Aniruddha a profound sense of the futility of the conventional life and he decides that he will join the sangha. He goes to tell his mother and she refuses to let him go. They have an intense discussion and she finally says that he can only go if Prince Bhaddiya would go with him. She is probably convinced that Bhaddiya would never renounce his prospect of becoming a Shaklyan chieftain. Aniruddha goes to Bhaddiya and another intense discussion ensues. Bhaddiya is very reluctant, but eventually agrees. With this example before them, four other young Sakyan nobles also join and the six princes go to the Buddha, taking Upali with them to cut their hair. They give their finery to Upali, but he puts it in a bundle and leaves it hanging on a tree and follows them. The Buddha ordains Upali immediately and the princes seven days later.

Aniruddha becomes enlightened within a year of being ordained. There are many stories about his special powers. It is said that he sees beings in all the six realms and for this he is called foremost in vision. However, his very ability to see the inner light and supra-mundane forms became an obstacle for him, becoming a cause of conceit and worry and he then receives further teachings, both from Shakyamuni and from Shariputra, that bring him to arhatship. The divine eye is the capacity to see the passage of beings from life to life and is a function of mastery of the dhyanas and the four satipatthanas, in which Aniruddha is expert. He teaches that through satipatthana one acquires equanimity, having the power to see the repulsive as non-repulsive and the non-repulsive as repulsive. When he was ill the other monks were surprised by his equanimity in bearing pain and he attributed this to satipatthana.

Aniruddha prefers solitude to company and is not centrally involved in the life of the sangha, but he is not a complete recluse and has some disciples. From time to time he has discussions with other disciples and with devout laypeople and some of these are recorded in the sutras. Often he spends periods in retirement in the forest with his companions Nandiya and Kimbila.

When Buddha dies Aniruddha ascends to heaven to tell Mahamaya, the Buddha's mother. Then, when the Mallas try to light the funeral pyre and find that it will not light, Aniruddha says that the gods have told him that Buddha is waiting for the arrival of Kashyapa. Aniruddha outlives the Buddha by many years and plays a part in the spread of the Dharma after the death of the great sage.


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Photo by Carol English

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DIARY  
All times are Rome time zone


Tuesday 15:30, 15th February & every two weeks
Satsang
- Dharmavidya
A time to be together and explore Dharma questions & practice
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89970875848  -:-  Meeting ID: 899 7087 5848

Tuesday 17:00-18:00, every two weeks starting 8th February.
Italian Class
- Angela Romani
https://bit.ly/3yxLd3Z  -:-  Meeting ID: 889 9850 0278  -:-  Passcode: 515887

Tuesday 18:00-19:00, 15th February & every two weeks
Italian Meeting - Incontro Italiano
- Angela Romani
Incontro di pratica e condivisione
Dettagli da Jisshas <[email protected]>

Wednesday  21:00, 9th & 23rd Feb & every two weeks
Dharma Bud: Peer learning and Dharma discussion
- Geeta Chari
https://bit.ly/3i5PhTS  -:-  Meeting ID: 858 9773 3604  -:-  Passcode: 108108 

Thursdays 16:30,
Readings from the Commentary on the Summary of Faith & Practice
- Dharmavidya & Priti Vaishnav
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86563620686?pwd=OUh4L25zbHl6SEpFWW9LT3o5YnVVZz09
Meeting ID: 865 6362 0686  -:-  Passcode: 274590

Thursday  14:30, 10th February & every two weeks
IBAP Group
Codes separately notified

Thursday  19:00-20:30, 17th Feb & every two weeks
ITZI Supervision Group
- Iris Dotan Katz
For presentation, review and discussion of counselling/psychotherapy casework from a Buddhist psychology perspective.
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81888100021?pwd=b1JNbUhuekNRMWZoMEdUdEUyRFppdz09
Meeting ID: 818 8810 0021  -:-  Passcode: 153110

Fridays  19:30
Amitabha Service For the West 
- Vajrapala & Angela Romani
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89480699209?pwd=enBHS3RYWVZxN1FyUGthZ1o0cVdFZz09
Meeting ID: 894 8069 9209   -:-   Passcode: 137836

Saturday 14:00, 5th & 19th February
Refuge Group
A group for those who have taken refuge. To join, please enquire via jisshas.
Codes separately notified.

Saturday 11:00 & 18:00, 5th February
Introductory Meetings of Buddhist Psychology Students
Codes separately notified

Saturday 11:00-21:00, 12th February 
Uposattha Sangha Day
Including 11:00 Dharma Ocean Seminar
Sangha meetings, readings, sharing, puja, meditation & chanting
Tickets <https://www.tickettailor.com/events/globalsangha>
Free to students on BP & DO courses.

Saturday 19:00, 26th February
Buddhist Psychology Seminar "Buddhist Psychology as Learning theory"
For students on BP course: codes separately notified

New code
Sundays 10:30,
Global Sangha Interest Group
- Liz Allmark
An informal meeting for all.
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88974912642?pwd=N2VyQnc0MUM4WUU0YTFTdCt0QWVmQT09
Meeting ID: 889 7491 2642  -:-  Passcode: 537296

Sundays 20:00
GS Friendship Group
An informal meeting for all
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87394084532?pwd=eEY3eUhHcjN0b0xLanZXcTNqVmVzdz09
Meeting ID: 873 9408 4532  -:-  Passcode: 519784


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GENERAL

Jisshas <[email protected]> - for all general enquiries
Tickets <https://www.tickettailor.com/events/globalsangha> - to book courses


DONATE

If you would like to support my work of facilitating the sangha and especially of assisting people to come to Eleusis in France for teachings,  the simplest way is to make a donation via Ko-Fi https://ko-fi.com/feelingbuddha
You will also find a wealth of interesting articles there curated by Geeta Chari.


USEFUL LINKS

Global Sangha Web Site: https://www.globalsangha.net/
Recent Audio Podcasts: https://eleusis.ning.com/notes/LATEST_PODCAST_AUDIO 
Dharma Ocean Buddhist Studies Programme <[email protected]>,
The Feeling Buddha on KoFi: https://ko-fi.com/feelingbuddha
Tickets for Events: https://www.tickettailor.com/events/globalsangha

IBAP & Buddhist Psychology Programme
(English) Dharmavidya <dharmavidya&fastmail.fm>,
(Español) Nati Menendez <[email protected]>,
ITZI: https://zen-therapy.org/

GS on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/710544479619937
GS at Eleusis: https://eleusis.ning.com/group/global-sangha
Dharmavidya: [email protected]
Dharmavidya on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/davidbrazierauthor/
Dharmavidya website: http://eleusis.ning.com
Zen & Now - the musical https://www.zenow.net/Donations: https://ko-fi.com/feelingbuddha


GLOBAL SANGHA CONTACT PEOPLE BY REGION

Worldwide: Jisshas <[email protected]>,  
United Kingdom: Geeta Chari <[email protected]>,
France: Dharmavidya <[email protected]>,
Spain Pais Vasco: Ganendra <[email protected]>,
Spain Pais Vasco: Sonia Gobbato <[email protected]>
Spain: Nati Menendez <[email protected]>,
Italy: Angela Romani <[email protected]>
Latin America: Maya Choi <[email protected]>,
USA: Carol Corey <[email protected]>
Africa: Juline Smit <[email protected]>,
Israel: Iris Dotan Katz <[email protected]>,
India: Priti Vaishnav <[email protected]>,
Hong Kong: Nando Maril <[email protected]>,
Japan: Nita Kimiko <[email protected]>,


You can see other Global Sangha materials, past podcasts and articles via : https://eleusis.ning.com/notes/GLOBAL_SANGHA_INDEX

You received this mail as you were previously in receipt of Global Sangha Newsletters or David's podcasts  or you bought a ticket for a GS event  or you are subscribed to the Eleusis website.  If you do not wish to receive these newsletters in the future please unsubscribe from the Octopus list (below).  Thank you.

Thank you very much
Namo Amida Bu
Global Sangha at Eleusis
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4 La Ville au Roi
Bessais le Fromental
Cher
18210
France
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