GLOBAL SANGHA NEWSLETTER 113

27th April 2022

Para español - desplácese hacia abajo
PODCAST GS65


Progress in imitation of enlightenment is a long hard road.
Faith is a fast track.



UNITY & DIVERSITY IN EUROPEAN BUDDHISM

David Brazier: From Friday evening 22nd April until Sunday 24th, at Nantes in France, the European Buddhist Union sponsored a conference, which I attended. There were six speakers, in order: myself, then Lama Dondrup (Nyingmapa, Spain) spoke about decision making in our lives, Vassika (Triratna, English resident in France) talked about the history and approach of the Triratna Buddhist sangha, Ricardo Guerrero (Theravada, Spain) spoke about a project to create a Buddhist complex in a remote part of Spain, Lama Shenpen talked about karma and how to impove; and finally Claudine Carayol (Reiyukai, France) gave a rousing lecture to send us away full of enthusiasm for intersangha harmony and cooperation. There were many discussion groups and workshops. The event was well organised and we were entertained most royally with excellent catering, accommodation, and facilities.

The proceedings did manifest the theme in that there was unity around a spirit of amity among all the participants while there was also evident a great diversity of views, interpretations and understandings of the Buddhist path. Is Buddhism an arduous path that requires great effort or is it rather that the path is only made arduous when we rely upon out own effort?  Does the parable of the herbs in the Lotus Sutra mean that each individual has its own power to grow and become enlightened or does it mean that no such awakening can occur without the grace of the Buddha?  Is Buddhism a kind of self-development programme or is self-development a distraction from the spiritual life? Is it all a matter of understanding karma and learning how to improve one's karma until one day one's karma is so pure and positive that one attains Buddhahood, or is one's karmic condition completely irrelevant to spiritual awakening? Did Angulimala reform primarily because Buddha instructed him, or because Buddha accepted him? What is the role of ancestors and spirits in Buddhism? There was certainly much to reflect upon. There were also differences of practice - silent meditation and vigorous chanting being most in evidence.
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Jamie Cresswell, Ricardo Guerrero, Claudine Carayol, David Brazier, Lama Dondrup


In my own presentation as the first speaker I began by referring to my book The Dark Side of the Mirror as an example of cooperation, since it is a book by a Pureland author about the work of a Zen master and was published by the Triratna organisation. This enabled me to point out that there is no inherent barrier in Buddhism to cooperation between schools as there might be in more dogmatically based religions. Then I talked about how the Amida sangha has recently split into half a dozen sub-groups, which enabled me to point out that there is, within Buddhism, an inherent tendency to diversification since teachers tend to have a number of successors who go off in different directions. Then, thirdly, I spoke about the Oasis Project as a scheme with a prospect of developing in the future through harmony between members of different schools. I then spoke about the spirit of our times. Until recently, for several centuries, Europen culture has included a rather fundamental assumption of the inevitability of progress - the idea that our grandchildren are bound to live in a better world than we have done - and with this has gone a faith in finding techniques by means of which to make the world (and ourselves) better. Buddhism has largely been promoted in the West as a set of techniques of this kind. However, it may now be that this basic assumption no longer holds. Increasingly, people are doubtful that the world will get better. Recent shocks, such as the financial crisis and the pandemic have shaken optimism and, more fundamentally, the pressures caused by ecological degradation increasingly appear to be an insuperable challenge. Will this bring about a change in the spirit of our age? Are we on the cusp of a paradigm shift?. How will this affect our attitude to life and to Dharma practice? Most of the popular schools of Buddhism in the West are ones built upon a progress model whereas those that are widespread in the Far East were mostly conditioned by the idea of Mappo, "the Dharma Ending Age", the general degeneration of culture and civilisation. As the first speaker, I did not attempt to answer there questions, but left them hanging for reflection during the conference.

I was then asked to give a brief synopsis of my own school of Buddhism. As there were only four minutes remaining, this was, of necessity, very brief. I said that where many schools aim to train the practitioner to become Buddha, Pureland regards that idea as impractical and advances, rather, the principle of having a relationship with Buddha. When one engages seriously in such a relationship one becomes acutely aware of one's all-too-human nature - one's vulnerability, frailty, proneness to error, etc. One sees that one's own efforts are often counterproductive. This recognition of one's own condition then naturally leads to a sense of fellow-feeling and compassion for others, since we are all in the same boat, and one feels immense gratitude that one is accepted by the Buddhas even in one's human state. So the practice is not one of trying to achieve, but rather one of celebrating and expressing gratitude for what has already been received.

The conference was a great success in  strengthening bonds of friendship between practitioners in different schools and one went away inspired to continue to cultivate this goodwill by a variety of means. 

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Picture
Photo by Sunsook Park

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SUMMER SCHOOL IN FRANCE

8-12th August 2022
POETIC WEEK
At Eleusis, Central France  -  In person only

As last summer, a time for relaxed living in good company, sharing poems and other writings over brunch, Dharma discussions, going for walks, good conversation, community, communing with nature in the adjoining 35 acres of meadow and woodland where we hope, eventually, to establish the Oasis 2 Project. A chance to unwind in good company and tranquil surroundings well off the beaten track.

Full board: 30€ per day, lower rate if you stay longer.


13-14th August 2022
OBON: CELEBRATION OF FAMILY & ANCESTORS
At Eleusis, Central France  -  In person & Online

Obon, tamburo
Chiamo gli antenati
Apro le danze!
 - Obon haiku by Angela Romani

This year Global Sangha will celebrate Obon on the second weekend of August, which is also full moon, so this will incorporate the August Upavastha. Some of the event will be online. A more full and comprehensive event will take place at Eleusis, including a visit to the nearby community at Oasis. Nambutsu; chanting; readings; meditation; offerings to the ancestors and spirits; odori dancing and other celebratory activities. In person participants may stay longer if they wish to have some time for relaxation and to enjoy the area.

Full board: 30€ per day
Online: 25€ for the event


15-20th August 2022
BUDDHIST PSYCHOLOGY SUMMER SCHOOL
At Eleusis, Central France  -  In person only

Of particular interest to those already on or hoping in the future to join the Buddhist Psychology Diploma Programme, but open to all who are interested, the Summer School will include seminars, workshops, experiential groups, demonstrations and discussions. There is no better way to deepen one's understanding and learn and refine skills. The event will be at David Brazier's house in France. Accommodation is limited so this will be a first come, first served, booking. This course is almost full.
 
Full board: 30€ per day
Book now: https://www.tickettailor.com/events/globalsangha/677962/
Info: Jisshas <[email protected]>

Please note that Eleusis France has limited accommodation space: Eight people maximum including host. There is, however, plenty of outdoor space if you prefer to camp. Life here is simple and rustic.
Informal visits may also be possible at some other times than for the scheduled programmes.


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BUDDHIST PSYCHOTHERAPY

Liz Allmark: I feel that where Buddhist Psychology can be most influential and effective is in its approach to ego. Whereas traditional forms of therapy encourage development of the ego, Buddhist Psychology encouages a wider point of view which accompanies the client through a gentle journey to understand a broader horizon. This, in turn,  goes beyod the ego demands and gently suggests a more holistic approach to life where the ego is not the centre of the universe. In looking at the conditions which have arisen in the client's life and gaining understanding and compassion in why the ego reacted in the way that it did and the ensuing habits which have formed, it is possible to see life through a larger lens which can encompass the whole of life and one's attitute to this. To me the fact that Buddhist Psychology brings a spiritual as well as a psychological approach to therapy is where it is most effective in being able to meet the client at all levels of being and therefore truly accompany a client on their therapeutic journed in whatever manner works best for them.

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ELEUSIS / OASIS NEWS

Annette Tamily Jung: Le printemps bat son plein à l'Oasis. Les iris autour du stoupa sont prêts à fleurir.  Marie C. a finalisé le plan de sa maison et les travaux devraient commencer bientôt. Nous nous réjouissons de voir l'Oasis se développer et prospérer. Pour ceux et celles qui seraient intéressés, n'oubliez pas qu'un projet de deuxième Oasis est en cours ...

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Photo by Helen Evanfé

DHARMA OCEAN COURSE

A small group are studying the history of the tradition. Last autumn we  studied the transmission in India in the early centuries following the life of the Buddha. In the spring semester there are study units covering the transmission of the  teaching  in China from the beginning of the common era up to the medieval period (13th century). This is a good course for gaining a deeper understanding of the way that the Dharma has spread and adapted to changing historical and social conditions. You can still join this course:


PURE LAND BUDDHIST HISTORY IN USA

Therre is an interesting short article about Jodoshin Shu in America in the latest issue of Lion's Roar
https://www.lionsroar.com/the-pure-land-is-in-the-west/ 


LA SANGHA EN ESPAÑA

Ganendra Oscar Martinez: Hola, esperamos que te encuentres bien. Te escribimos para informarte de las actividades que hemos programado para los próximos meses.

del 24 al 26 de junio
Retiro residencial de Mindfulness y Compasión.
"Vivir con corazón en un mundo incierto".Guiado por Óscar Martinez Zulueta y Patricia de la Fuente. El retiro se celebrará en Haro, La Rioja. 
Mas información: https://mcusercontent.com/2f8659c863da279c8963fff07/files/97300ce0-632a-d239-a763-af25e7a4794e/retiro_de_mindfulness_y_compasio_n.pdf

del 22 al 25 de julio
una nueva edición del programa Mindfulness y Auto-Compasión (MSC) en formato intensivo, en Bilbao.Esta es una gran oportunidad de aprender a a tratarnos con consciencia y amabilidad. 
Mas información: https://mcusercontent.com/2f8659c863da279c8963fff07/files/0cf398bf-613b-a12f-7363-d6eeb731304f/MSC_Bilbao_julio_22.02.pdf

Información e inscripciones: Ahora Centro de Psicologia y Consciencia Plena,
Teléfono: 945 12 09 48 y 620 265 962.
Correo electrónico: [email protected]


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Ruby Lee: Not just a good read, a great read and an enlightening one.

Tony Head: Ruby, you are so right. This is an amazing, wonderful book. I equally recommend its follow-up work by Brazier, "Not Everything is Impermanent." More than most current authors on Buddhism, Brazier is brilliant at making the complex understandable and acceptable to a wide range of readers.


JOINING THE SANGHA

Global Sangha is a Buddhist Dharma Sangha. Therefore, joining the sangha is a matter of taking refuge and doing the practice. We take refuge in Amida Tathagata, Shakyamuni Buddha, the Dharma, the Sangha and the Pure Land. These are the five channels by which the Dharma enters one's life. The practice is nembutsu, which literally means "keeping Buddha in mind". Nem is mindfulness and butsu is Buddha. So nembutsu is a reaffirmation of refuge and a calling to Buddha. So the essence of our practice is the relationship of an ordinary unenlightened person with the fully enlightened Buddha Tathagata. The word Buddha means one who is awakened. The word tathagata means that he comes to us to help us on our spiritual journey. So we take refuge in all the Buddhas, we follow the Dharma, we participate in the Sangha and we transfer the merit so that all beings can enter the Pure Land.


CREATIVE WRITING

The Importance of Connection - Liz Allmark
How we miss something
Once it has gone.
Something which we
Unconsciously relied upon
Was part of our lives
Taken for granted.
Then it was gone
People were isolated
Set apart
Afraid to connect
Withdrawn in on themselves
Often without resources
And we survived like this
It became the new normal
For many months.
But then . . .
Connection was gradually restored 
People could meet in person again
With care
Libraries opened again
Events happened
Performances occurred
Reminding us all of the
Importance of connection
How it enlivens us all
Brings us joy and inspiration
So vital to the human experience
And without which we become
Less, deprived.

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DIARY  
All times are Rome time zone


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

Tuesday 18:00-19:00, 10th May & every two weeks
Italian Meeting - Incontro Italiano
- Angela Romani
Incontro di pratica e condivisione
Dettagli da Jisshas <[email protected]>

Wednesday  21:00, 4th May & 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, 5th May & every two weeks
IBAP Group / BP Diploma Tutors Meeting *

Thursday  19:00-20:30, 28th May & every two weeks
ITZI Supervision Group **
- Iris Dotan Katz
For presentation, review and discussion of counselling/psychotherapy casework from a Buddhist psychology perspective.

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 10:00 & 20:00, 7th May
Buddhist Psychology Seminars *
For students on BP course

Saturdays 14:00
Refuge Group *
A group for those who have taken refuge**.
Puja, Dharma Talk, Sharing, Discussion,

Saturday 14th May
Upavastha: Full Moon Sangha Day
https://bit.ly/3rQMToL  -:-  Meeting ID: 879 5343 9118  -:-  Passcode: 804176

Sabado 16:30
Encuentro de la Sangha en español y servicio.

Guiado por Ganendra.
Por zoom. https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81138990223?pwd=dmNZU3VmRTRhUjBobVdnMjhuV3NYUT09
Para asistir, escribir por whatsapp a +34 620265962.

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

Weekend 28-29 May
"Encounter & Path" 
A weekend of Buddhist Psychology

David Brazier, Iris Dotan Katz, Kimiko Nita, Yaya de Andrade & Natividad Menendez 


* Codes separately notified
** Details from Jisshas <[email protected]>

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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
Spain: Ahora, Centro de Psicologia y Consciencia Plena: [email protected] Teléfono: 945120948 y 620265962

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
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