1st June 2022

All times in this Newsletter are Rome time zone



Geeta Chari: From Monday 6th June, I would like to offer Nembutsu every morning at 6:30 am Rome time. We begin to chant straightaway, without social talk, for 20 minutes, in chain-style. There is a bell rung at the end. People who wish to stay and talk afterwards are welcome to do so. Namo Amida Bu
Join Zoom Meeting


"Life is not measurable. Only non-life is measurable. In life, opposites enhance one another, they do not cancel out. Life has a different logic from non-life. Life is the logic of the immeasurable. The worldly way attempts to reduce life to non-life. Religion seeks to reverse this."
- D.J. Brazier, 2007, Who Loves Dies Well, O Books. p. 151.

Photo by David Brazier



8-12th August 2022
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
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. 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
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:
Info: Jisshas <>

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.




This past weekend we had a rather wonderful meeting of staff, students and others with talks, discussions, an experiential group, a therapy demonstration, and an excellent good-spirited coming together of people interested in Buddhist psychology as a path of professional development, an aid to everyday life and/or as a valuable skilful means of putting the Dharma into practice. 

Yaya de Andrade

On 21st May, Yaya de Andrade gave a talk organised by Heartland Sangha reflecting upon her rich experience. Originally from Brazil, Yaya has worked extensively with populations recovering from major disasters and traumatic events around the world.  In this talk she discusses how her Buddhist training and practice have supported her work as a therapist during her long career, and now as a volunteer with the Canadian Red Cross.





Il existe, à quelque 15 km de l’Oasis de Longue Vie, à Vernais, un jardin magique appelé « Jardin d’Elisée ». Sur un terrain jadis en friche, les propriétaires ont créé, au fil des ans,  un parc magnifiquement aménagé avec une pléthore de fleurs et de plantes, y compris un chêne vieux de 400 ans ! Comme nos visites dans le jardin d’Elisée sont fréquentes, les propriétaires offrent généreusement aux Oasiens(nes) la possibilité d’y faire  de temps à autre, une séance de Qi Gong ou une séance de méditation. Nul doute que ce lieu de toute beauté saura nous inspirer et nous inciter au recueillement !

About 15km from Oasis and a little less from Eleusis there is a charming garden or "parc floral" called Jardin d'Elisée. On what was once fallow land the proprietors have created, over the years, a wonderful park with many beds of flowers and ornamental plants. There is also a 400 year old oak tree. We often visit and buy plants, wander in the grounds, relax and enjoy the beauty. The owners have extended invitation to the Oasis community to hold sessions there for Qi Gong or meditation. A great spot for calm and contemplation.




A correspondent in Canada reports what happened last week: "Several tornadoes. 190- 200km winds at the centre. Took down several main hydro towers that were supposed to withstand high winds. Snapped telephone poles. No longer saying when the power will be back. Huge infrastructure damage… I have two trees down at the entrance.  One has fallen on the power line. It was evidently a tornado. 5-600,000 people without power in the region  Schools closed in the region.  Emergency shelters & charging stations to get water being set up in community centres. More damage than either the ice storm or the huge power outage that happened almost 20 years ago now. I drove into [the local town], there were lineups at the gas stations for petrol for people’s generators.  The two grocery shops in town were out of ice and water. I managed to buy ice at a sample convenience shop. My neighbour has offered me water. He will turn on his big generator for a couple of hours each day to get water for the horses, and for his family."



La sposa di Siddharta

by M. Paola Gragnani
a.l.a. LIBRI
Angela Romani: This book is actually a love story. The love between Yashodara and Prince Siddharta. It's a novel where Buddha's wife is recognised by her beauty and grace, as well as her virtues like humility and compassion.

The events narrated  are mostly taken from historical sources, but there are also some imaginary scenes. Through the story of Yashodara, the Buddha is delineated.

When queen Maya was giving birth to Siddharta, another queen, Pamita, in the realm of Koliya, gave birth to Yashodara. She was the cousin of Siddhartha, as Pamita was Suddodhana’s sister.

The book starts with the episode of the rose apple tree. Siddharta had been very troubled by seeing how the ploughing, an important ceremony held every year, was very cruel, because many little animals that lived under the ground were destroyed, but at the same time birds found their food, and, sitting in meditation under the rose apple tree, he probably had the first jhana, touching the reality of life.

During his youth Siddharta used to meet Yashodara, his cousin, in a big field, open space. Both of them used to ride their horses, and they got on very well. In that place Yashodara took care of untouchable people, feeding them and providing for their urgent needs. The prince was very impressed by her compassion and humility. She used to dress in a very simple way. Yashodara fell in love with the prince very soon. The prince too was moved by her beauty and her noble soul.

According to the story, Siddhartha first saw the cremation pyre of a corpse when he was with Yashodara. He first saw an elder and sick woman when he was walking with her in Kapilavasthu as well. In both cases he was well supported by Yashodara, because she knew very well the suffering in the world, and probably she affected him with her humility and great compassion.

One day their parents organised a big competition where Siddharta participated just because the award would be delivered by Yashodara, while their parents would prepare the conditions for a wedding. The most formidable other contestant was Devadatta, who had his eye on Yashodara.

Of course Siddhartha won the competition, he was very good at martial arts as well as at cultural disciplines, so he received the award from Yashodara and also gave her a precious gift as a clear sign of asking for marriage.

The marriage was a great ceremony, Yashodara was as beautiful as a goddess. All was perfect and desirable, but a slight shadow was there in Prince Siddharta and Yashodara felt an inquietude about this, also because of the Asita prophecy. Asita predicted that the child would become a Buddha.

The couple were happy. They loved each other a lot, but the prince was often absent-minded and always keen on exploring the world outside. After seven years they had a child, Rahula, and there were celebrations for the great event. Yashodara felt very tired, not only for the childbirth, but because the sense of inquietude grew, even though she didn’t clearly know the reason.

As we know, one night Siddharta left the house and Yashodara was devastated by the pain. She asked his charioteer (Channa) to look for him and to convince him to come back, but the mission didn’t have the result she hoped. 

So, after Siddhartha's departure, the life in the house went on, even though the pain was still in the heart of the inhabitants. Rahula grew up, he was a lovely child, but, when he played with his friends sometimes he got dark, and the servant, Lalita, once asked him what was happening. The little Rahula answered: “ All my friends have got a father. I'm an orphan instead!”, and : “When he’ll come back I don’t want to see him”.

Yashodara’s servant Rohanna recommended going to a woman who knew all kinds of herbs, and who could make a potion for Siddharta to come back home.  Yashodara didn’t agree, she didn’t want him to come back without his will.  Finally, moved by the pain of her son, she went to the woman for the potion, and the woman said: “Sometimes there are big commitments to do in life, and one has to accept to sacrifice something. I wouldn’t give you any potion for a person that doesn’t love you”, so she prepared the potion for her.

After seven years away from home, Siddhartha came back to visit his family. Like a strong wind that brushes the field, the news that Siddhartha had become Buddha spread everywhere. He came with his disciples. His face was radiant, wearing an ochre cloth, and only a slight ripple on his forehead showed emotions. Yashodara came along, elegant  with simple dresses, regal in bearing. She was angry, saying to him: “How could you leave me and our infant, did you forget all the saptapadi vows?”

She told him all she had suffered in her heart, living alone and knowing that he was in the forest like an animal! She survived because a superior power supported her, she said. Siddharta listened to her very carefully, then he answered in a very kindly manner, saying that he has always loved her and he still loves her, but “another power” called him: he has to follow the path to liberate all sentient beings.

When he finished speaking Yashodara saw him enveloped in a violet light, and suddenly realized that the truth was inside him. Rahula, instead, was suspicious and surly towards his father. When Yashodhara, remembering the potion, gave it to her husband, he didn’t want to drink that nectar, leaving it to the son, who sipped it. The result was that the son clutched at his neck and didn’t want him to leave anymore. The Buddha told him that he would follow him in due course. When the Buddha left again, Yashodara said to her son that Buddha never goes away, he’s always with them. The child, surprised, thought he must have the sun in his eyes, because he saw a great halo of light around his mother. Even Devadatta changed his behaviour and was moved by the Buddha.
The story contains both love and dukkha. Dukkha of Yashodhara who loses her husband and dukkha of  Siddhartha who has to leave his beloved family, for something bigger. Yashodara affected Siddharta in many ways, showing him the reality of the world, always being beside him, as a support. She didn't surrender to other suitors. Yashodara, as a woman, has a close connection with the earth and with the phases of the moon. But the prince has to experience all that suffering, not only see it. Only after crossing the hell could he be enlightened.

Lifestyle descriptions in the palace lead us to an imaginary stereotype, where material things and blindness of the suffering is supposed to be what we want, but a noble person wants the truth, and Buddhist psychology helps see the truth. I can see the different “sacrifices” they both gave for the same aim.

In Buddhist psychology we spoke about rituals, and this story started with one of the most ancient: the ploughing. The life of mankind has always been dependent upon mother earth. The ritual to propitiate was very important. After the ritual Siddhartha experiences birth and death going together for the first time, whereas Yashodara experienced that in her charity commitments towards untouchable people. At the end of the story we can see the importance of listening, and how love changed Yashodara's perception, so that she transformed anger into love, and in Rahula as well. When I read the book, I was very surprised about the episode of the potion, but now I see it as an alchemy, a transformation. 
 Photo by Nando Maril 


Angela Romani

Tuesday 17:00-18:00, 14th June & every two weeks  -:-  Meeting ID: 889 9850 0278  -:-  Passcode: 515887

Angela Romani

Tuesday 18:00-19:00, 7th June & every two weeks
Incontro di pratica e condivisione

Dettagli da Jisshas <>

Elena Cerruto and Tania Cristiani

At 20:00. Every Monday.

Ask for link: Elena Cerruto



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:

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:

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


At Kamo Su, Japan

Photo by David Brazier


David Brazier: Those who follow the Dharma seek rebirth in a better world, sometimes called Sukhavati - the "sweet land" - but, having this in mind, one is naturally concerned about the state of this samsaric realm where so much bitterness remains.

The Dharma offers a different attitude and a different approach, but the great majority of people are caught up in worldly ways and it is difficult to bring about real change. There is a growing awareness that human action has brought us all to the edge of catastrophe as we see increasing incidence of fire, flood, storm, drought, rising sea levels and extinction of species, but this has not yet sunk in sufficiently to bring about adequate reform. We are all caught up in materialism and consummerism and this trend has become more, not less, extensive during my lifetime. Nowadays, many areas such as education, medicare, and cultural pursuits are also caught up self-evaluation via the profit motive, whereas when I was young, "profit" was seen as an idea that was inimical to these areas of life.

Measuring everything in terms of money has squeezed out other forms of evaluation. Countries are judged by their "gross national product" irrespective of whether the content of that "product" is of any real value or usefulness. On this evaluation, the production of guns and bombs, of gambling schemes, tobacco and alcohol, the replacement of nature by human recreation or settlement, and the over-production of commodities that have no lasting value are all counted as "goods". Are they really so good? 

This approach has fed a system that has led to huge inequalities between countries and also between the rich and poor within countries. This is surely a great misfortune as well as a great misplacement of fortunes. 

Then this inequality, coupled with advances in transport and communication technology, has put us into a position were some small elites seek to dominate large populations and even to impose their value system and control upon the whole world. There have always been dominating groups, but now their reach is greater. This is surely unhealthy for us all and distracts a lot of energy from the more pressing issue of ecological danger. The amount of resources that are being put into the manufacture of weapons is increasing every year and this surely cannot be for the greater good.

The USA is currently the world "super power" and one can see from the following 2020 figures how dominant it is. There are 193 countries in the world, but roughly a third of all money spent on military in the whole world is spent by the USA. How come the USA is so frightened of the other 192 countries? This situation surely gives a bad example to everybody else as well as meaning that people in USA are deprived of the social benefits that other countries get from spending the money on welfare, and we also see how some other countries, like China, are struggling to catch up - but this is hardly a good thing to be catching up with.
  1. The United States — $778 billion
  2. China — $252 billion [estimated]
  3. India — $72.9 billion
  4. Russia — $61.7 billion
  5. United Kingdom — $59.2 billion
  6. Saudi Arabia — $57.5 billion [estimated]
  7. Germany — $52.8 billion
  8. France — $52.7 billion
  9. Japan — $49.1 billion
  10. South Korea — $45.7 billion
However, in USA, policy is based on the principle of "American exceptionalism", Are Americans really so different from everybody else? Also, military power tends to translate into economic power. The USA largely controls the world financial system and thus trade. We should not see this situation as a special sin of the USA - it simply happens to be in that position at the moment. Perhaps, at sometime in the future, China or India might take that seat, but the problems would be just the same unless we change our ways.

One cannot help thinking, however, that the present dispensation is an unstable situation that cannot go on indefinitely. On the one hand, as American power in the world increases, problems within the USA seem to multiply. On the other hand, as one country becomes more and more dominant in the world, it also becomes more vulnerable. The international opinion of USA these days is nowhere near as positive as it was in my young days. American dominance in the wake of WWII benefited many countries, but the world situation is now very different from what it was in 1945.

With the USA as the model to emulate, are we not all, like lemmings, heading for the cliff edge? There simply aren't enough resources for us all to live in that way. Yet, the countries that continue to oppose American domination understandably tend to drift towards autocracy, which is also not a happy circumstance. They organise themselves like an army. Countries naturally become autocratic when they feel threatened. Even leading democratic countries become more autocratic in wartime. This is quite understandable from a Dharma perspective. When the world is ruled by greed and hate, it is unsafe, and when one is unsafe one keeps tight control. Yet, this can easily spill over into warfare with all its terrible consequences. If we want a world in which people live with open hearts, in friendship with one another, then we have to reduce the tension, not spend more and more on bombs. You cannot bomb people into loving one another. If you growl at others, they are likely to bite back. We have to find ways to create a peace that has dignity for all parties.

In the present war in Ukraine all of this folly seems to come together into one huge disaster. It could all have been avoided by a bit more mutual understanding and compromise. In the Dharma we know that situations arise in dependence upon conditions, but are not actually caused by them. For too long we have been creating conditions conducive to this disaster. Yet, even at the last minute it could surely still have been avoided. Blaming this or that individual is not good enough. We have all played a part in creating a greedy, rivalrous world. When will we learn?

When will we see the ecological danger clearly enough to change our ways? When will we see how nationalistic rivalries pushed to an extreme do not serve the good of the human race? When will we abandon the pursuit of limitless profit and power? When will we change values so that we no longer evaluate everything in terms of monetary gain?  When will we change them so that inequality does not become so very extreme? When will we start to accept that people in far away countries do not necessarily want to live like we do? When will we recognise that the way that we do is unsustainable without keeping half the world subordinate, often in poverty? When will we reduce the amount that we spend on killing one another? These questions are heavy on the heart. We pray for a better world, but not just in the life to come.

In the face of all this one can easily feel dismayed and helpless. What can one person do? Certainly, one cannot make the whole world change by magic. Perhaps the future does not look so bright. However, we can follow a better way individually and in our networks and communities. Perhaps we shall be able to demonstrate alternatives. Perhaps we can show that mutual trust and "sweetness" are possible, even between people from distant lands. Perhaps the power of that sweetness will spread. By living with faith in the Dharma, let us together plant the seeds of Sukhavati wherever we go, then we shall not have lived in vain. 

Ven. Pomnyun Sunim: Fundamentally, I think the biggest challenge is consumerism. People mistakenly believe that excessive production and excessive consumption equate to more wealth. This has led to climate change and environmental issues. It has widened the wealth gap and caused economic disparities. And it has caused incessant suffering, even though in many cases we already have enough to make ends meet. What is realistically important is to address polarization.

First of all, economic polarization; the gap between wealthy and poor nations. And then within each country, there’s a gulf between wealthy and the poor citizens. And that gap is widening. It used to be that this wealth separation was about 80:20, which then shrunk to 90:10, and now further to 99:1. With this widening gulf, it’s inevitable that some societies are going to spiral into chaos and confusion. 

The second issue is ideological conflicts. People tend to lack a complete understanding of others because they are exposed to one-sided information from social media and other online content. Yet even within a single social group, we can see conflicts caused by a widening generation gap. And within the borders of a single country, we see friction and conflict between conservatives and progressives. It’s not merely a competitive relationship, I think it’s fair to say it has become a hostile, confrontational relationship. 

These intensifying conflicts are a global problem that is leading to situations of extremist and exclusionist elements. This is also resulting in intense jingoism and in some cases risks leading to all-out war. The ongoing Ukraine crisis, for example, is just the beginning; I anticipate more such conflicts emerging. In that sense, the risk of war on the Korean Peninsula has also increased.
[quoted from Buddhist Door Global]



Another poetry dialogue.

Liz Allmark sent three haiku

Despite the grey fog

The sound of blackbird singing

Is very cheering

Precision swallows

Flying at enormous speed

With accurate grace.

Supposedly May

Grey clouds descend earthbound

Yet the trees are green.

I had fun turning them into tanka

Despite the grey fog

The sound of blackbird singing

Is very cheering

What is he trying to say?

Just Namo Amida Bu !

Precision swallows

Flying at enormous speed

With accurate grace.

How do they never collide,

whereas I am so clumsy?

Supposedly May

Grey clouds descend earthbound

Yet the trees are green:

Life triumphs despite the cold

and, quietly, I grow old.

So we decided to put them in the Newsletter. I hope it encourages you to compose and exchange poems.


All times are Rome time zone

Tuesday 17:00-18:00, 14th June & every two weeks
Italian Class
- Angela Romani  -:-  Meeting ID: 889 9850 0278  -:-  Passcode: 515887

Tuesday 18:00-19:00, 7th June & every two weeks
Italian Meeting - Incontro Italiano
- Angela Romani
Incontro di pratica e condivisione
Dettagli da Jisshas <>

Thursdays 16:30
Readings from the Commentary on the Summary of Faith & Practice
- Dharmavidya & Priti Vaishnav
Meeting ID: 865 6362 0686  -:-  Passcode: 274590

Thursday  14:30, 2nd June & every two weeks
IBAP Group / BP Diploma Tutors Meeting *

Thursday  19:00-20:30, 9th June & 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
Meeting ID: 894 8069 9209   -:-   Passcode: 137836

Saturday 10:00 & 20:00, 18th June
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 11th June
Upavastha: Full Moon Sangha Day
11:00 Dharma Ocean Seminar
14:30 Programme of puja, readings, meditation, & chanting until evening
This full moon day is associated with the Buddha's first teaching: The Setting in Motion of the Wheel of the Dharma.  -:-  Meeting ID: 879 5343 9118  -:-  Passcode: 804176

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

Guiado por Ganendra.
Por zoom.
Para asistir, escribir por whatsapp a +34 620265962.

Sundays 10:30,
Global Sangha Interest Group
Next meeting theme: Buddhism & Ecology
- Liz Allmark
An informal meeting for all.
Meeting ID: 889 7491 2642  -:-  Passcode: 537296

Sunday 5th June 12:30
Golden Chain Meeting *

Sundays 20:00
GS Friendship Group
An informal meeting for all
Meeting ID: 873 9408 4532  -:-  Passcode: 519784

Weekend 22-23 October
"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 <>


Jisshas <> - for all general enquiries
Tickets <> - to book courses


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
You will also find a wealth of interesting articles there curated by Geeta Chari.


Global Sangha Web Site:
Recent Audio Podcasts: 
Dharma Ocean Buddhist Studies Programme <>,
The Feeling Buddha on KoFi:
Tickets for Events:
Spain: Ahora, Centro de Psicologia y Consciencia Plena: Teléfono: 945120948 y 620265962

IBAP & Buddhist Psychology Programme
(English) Dharmavidya <dharmavidya&>,
(Español) Nati Menendez <>,

GS on Facebook:
GS at Eleusis:
Dharmavidya on Facebook:
Dharmavidya website:
Zen & Now - the musical


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

You can see other Global Sangha materials, past podcasts and articles via :

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