From the garden at Eleusis -:- Photo by David Brazier
Reprinted from: Alliance for Bhikkunis
Are you curious about the practice of observing Uposatha days? Did you know observing Uposatha isn't just for monastics? In this newsletter, we'll share some of the ways modern lay Buddhists incorporate observing the Uposatha into their practice.
Uposatha days are regular times each month where Theravāda Buddhist monastics and laypeople commit themselves to intensive Dhamma practice. Uposatha days are observed based on the lunar calendar—depending on the local tradition, the Uposatha is observed at the full moon and the new moon each month, and sometimes also at the quarter moons—so the exact dates can frequently vary from one Buddhist community to the next. For monastics these are often days of more intensive reflection and meditation. In many monasteries, physical labour is curtailed. On New Moon and Full Moon days, the fortnightly confession and recitation of the monastic rules takes place.
Many lay Buddhists will observe the Uposatha at the same time as their nearest monastery, or they may observe based on a published calendar or together with an online community. While there are some particularly significant Uposatha days usually tied to the full moon (Vesak is a notable example), what's primarily important as a layperson is to use these days to reinvigorate one's practice and commitment to the Dhamma, so finding a good time to dedicate oneself to sincere observance can often be more significant than getting the dates exactly right.
For laypeople, the typical way of observing the Uposatha involves undertaking Eight Precepts, rather than the usual Five. The Eight Precepts include all Five Precepts, along with expanding the Third Precept to abstaining from all sexual activity and adding three precepts that are particularly conducive to renunciation of worldly distractions in order to focus more deeply on meditation.The Eight Precepts:
- Refrain from killing or harming other living beings.
- Refrain from taking that which is not given (i.e. stealing).
- Refrain from all sexual activity.
- Refrain from incorrect speech (e.g. lying, harsh or insulting language, idle chatter, gossip).
- Refrain from consuming intoxicating drinks and drugs.
- Refrain from eating after noon.
- Refrain from entertainment (e.g. dancing, singing, music, television and movies,
- video games) and adorning the body (e.g. perfumes and cosmetics, revealing clothing, fancy jewelry).
- Refrain from lying on a high or luxurious sleeping place (often interpreted to
- mean avoiding sleeping excessively).
So if laypeople are refraining from all these things, what are they doing during the Uposatha? Laypeople will often make a formal declaration of their commitment to observe the Eight Precepts for the duration of the Uposatha, either by requesting to undertake the Eight Precepts from a monastic, or simply by reciting them aloud at home. Many laypeople who live close to a monastery will visit to make special offerings and listen to Dhamma talks by the monastics. But even if one is not located close to a monastery, the Uposatha can be observed at home, perhaps by listening to a recorded Dhamma talk and setting aside additional time for meditation and Dhamma study. There are also often opportunities to participate in community Uposatha observances online.
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8-12th August 2022
POETIC WEEK IN FRANCE
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
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. Nembutsu; 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.
23rd August to 2nd September
BUDDHIST PSYCHOLOGY SUPERVISION
Following on from the Summer School, this is a period for those who wish to stay on, in which to deepen understanding by further practice and supervision. Ticketing is not needed. Simply inform of your intention to stay longer when you receive confirmation of booking for the Summer School.
22-23rd October 2022
"ENCOUNTER & PATH"
BUDDHIST PSYCHOLOGY WEEKEND
Therapy as a Spiritual Path for Client & for Therapist. A presentation of the application of Buddhist psychology in a number of dimensions; a forum in which to reflect upon the spiritual path from a psychological point of view and the psychological work from a spiritual perspective.
talks, seminars, master class demonstration, groupwork, "Dharma à Deux", case
presentation and discussion. Theoretical material will be presented and there will also be experiential workshops so participants should be willing to
share material about personal life and agree to respect the
confidentiality of others.
Suitable for: The weekend is open to anybody interested both in understanding their own life and relationships better and in the therapeutic process and how this relates to the spiritual path in a Buddhist approach.
8-11th December 2022
"HEALING THE HEART"
SHAKYAMUNI ENLIGHTENMENT RETREAT
On 8th December we celebrate the enlightenment of Shakyamuni Buddha. On the three days following we shall have periods of practice and presentations of applications of Dharma faith and practice. The theme of "Healing the Heart" invites us to consider both the transformation of the practitioner on the bodhisattva path and also the need for healing of our world and our planet.
21-22nd January 2023
BUDDHIST PSYCHOLOGY WEEKEND
Details to be announced. A good preparation for new students planning to join the Buddhist Psychology Diploma programme on 1st February and a valuable experience for students already on the programme. Also open to all.
BUDDHIST PSYCHOLOGY DIPLOMA
REGISTRATION FOR 2023
The next intake is for 1st February 2023. You can register now.
1st February 2023 to 30th April 2025
“DIPLOMA IN BUDDHIST PSYCHOLOGY”
A FOUR SEMESTER PROGRAMME
A unique and in many cases life changing opportunity to work with a highly talented team, to develop skills and knowledge and to contribute to the on-going development of applied Buddhist psychology.
Theme: Dharma as therapy and therapy as a spiritual path for client & for therapist. This unusual programme, that has been run in Korean, Spanish and English, based primarily upon the work of Dr. David Brazier, has been developing over three decades. The programme is continuously revised and updated in the light of changing circumstances (covid, etc.), student experience, and new research and studies. The programme presents Buddhist teachings as a psychological medium. This is not a course on using Buddhist methods in a framework of Western values, but rather an in-depth examination of Buddhist wisdom applied as psychology: the spiritual path from a psychological point of view and psychological work from a spiritual perspective.
Format: The programme consists of
study material: each semester includes twelve lessons grouped into four study units, presented on dedicated web pages with associated experiential exercises for students to perform and report back on
co-operative learning - students see and comment on each other's work.
seminars by zoom every two or three weeks led by staff with time for student inter-action.
individual tutorial sessions.
peer learning and practice groups and pairings.
three on-line weekend workshops per year with lectures, case presentation, experiential groupwork and topic discussions.
The study materials introduce the major Buddhist teachings common to most schools of Buddhism presented as psychology, showing their applications in personal practice, interpersonal work, psychotherapy and society. The material is quite extensive and requires a minimum of three hours per week.
Suitable for: This is a programme for therapists who want to deepen their understanding of the Buddhist perspective, for Buddhist practitioners wishing to learn a therapeutic and inter-personal way of applying the Buddhist teachings, and for all wishing to deepen their insight into their own lives and relationships with others.Staff
Dr David Brazier, psychotherapist and Buddhist teacher, author/editor of a 14 books including Zen Therapy and many other writings. Co-editor of the Oxford Manual of Meditation. English living in France.
Dr. Iris Dotan Katz, clinical psychologist with a private practice in Tel Aviv has many years of experience in Zen and Pureland Buddhism and in socially engaged action and peacemaking.Dr. Yaya de Andrade
, retired psychologist now with the Red Cross, with special interest working with indigenous, refugees, and other groups. She has worked extensively with populations recovering from major disasters around the world.
Kimiko Nita, clinical psychologist, specialises in work with children and young adults, has a private practice for adult clients in Tokyo, and a special interest in Naikan therapy. Dr. Priti Vaishnav
, from India, who has extensive experience in working in areas of social distress around the world, will participate and also offer administrative support
Fees: In line with Buddhist principles of dana all the staff give their time and expertise freely and voluntarily. Funds raised are used to support Buddhist inspired projects. The suggested contribution is £200 per semester. Other donations are gratefully accepted.