A Retreat to Dedicate the New “Blue Sky Refuge” Retreat Center

The weekend of October 20-22, ten of us came together for an inaugural retreat at Blue Sky Refuge, a new retreat center in Stockton, NJ that has been started by NYC Sangha members Padmadharini and Elaine Smith.

The retreat started with Vajramati leading a dedication ceremony of the new shrine. We considered the lessons of the Madhupindika Sutta, also known as the Honey Ball Sutta. Our focus was on papancha, or the seemingly endless mental proliferation that can result when faced with significant life challenges. We also dedicated the retreat center with a wonderful five Buddha mandala ceremony created by Ananta. We wandered through the woods at night to make offerings at unique shrines set up at the four compass points on the property, and in the centre, the shrine room. We wish Padhmadharini and Elaine the best of luck in their new endeavor.

 

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Statement on Buddhist violence in Burma/Myanmar

Munisha

Today on Triratna News:

1) A statement against Buddhist violence against the mostly Muslim Rohingya people in Burma/Myanmar, signed individually and personally by senior members of the Triratna Buddhist Order including Sangharakshita.

2) Vishvapani’s broadcast this morning on BBC Radio Four’s Thought for the Day: ‘Burmese atrocities: the problem with a Buddhist state”. (Text and audio)

We first published a statement on this topic in 2015. In view of the even worse violence and dispossession now being suffered by the Rohingya people, its signatories have reissued the same statement, affirming now, more than ever, the Buddhist values of non-violence and loving kindness.

You can also listen to Vishvapani’s broadcast on the BBC website.

Read more about the Rohingya people.

Read about the 2015 Statement and the considerations involved in making such a statement.

File Name Size
 Burma statement 2017 87.67 KB

 

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The Worldly Winds: Being with Uncertainty

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BOOK NOW

The Worldly Winds: Being with Uncertainty

Join us for a practice weekend that will explore the Worldly Winds and a deepening exploration of uncertainty and instability.

As dh.Vishvapani notes:
“Everything that happens to us is impermanent. Things always change. However hard we work to establish favourable conditions, many things in our lives are entirely beyond our control and they change all the time in ways we cannot possibly predict or influence. That’s why our lives can never be perfect.”

(The Worldly Winds and Wisdom, Posted by Vishvapani on Mon, 10 October, 2011, The Buddhist Centre).
We will have periods of meditation in addition to supported body postures. Please wear loose, comfortable cloths.
Lunch will be served.

Open to all

Lead by Alyssa

 

We try to make these days as affordable as possible so you pay depending on your means
Sunday $50 or $65 or $75

>>> Book Now

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This Buddhist monk’s plea may change the way you think and feel about animals.

Matthieu Ricard’s ‘A Plea For The Animals’ Is A Must Read:
A Wonderful Celebration Of World Animal Day 2016

From the huffingtonpost.com

Marc Bekoff
Professor emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado, Boulder; homepage: marcbekoff.com

A celebration of World Animal Day 2016: “It is too late to be pessimistic”

Animals are “in.” There is incredible global interest in the cognitive, emotional, and moral lives of animals and in how we choose to interact with them in a wide variety of venues.
When I previously read the manuscript for Matthieu Ricard’s latest book called ‘A Plea for the Animals: The Moral, Philosophical, and Evolutionary Imperative to Treat All Beings with Compassion’ I simply couldn’t put it down (please see Note 1 for a brief biographical sketch). And, now that I have the published book in hand, I still can’t put it down. When I have time I can’t wait to pick it up again.

‘A plea for the Animals is a gem. Ever single page has many words of wisdom and the overall message is one of unfettered optimism. It is a wonderful way to celebrate World Animal Day 2016.

“Every cow just wants to be happy. Every chicken just wants to be free. Every bear, dog, or mouse experiences sorrow and feels pain as intensely as any of us humans do.”

The description for ‘A Plea for the Animals reads:

A powerful and wide-ranging indictment of the treatment of animals by humans ― and an eloquent plea for animal rights.

Every cow just wants to be happy. Every chicken just wants to be free. Every bear, dog, or mouse experiences sorrow and feels pain as intensely as any of us humans do. In a compelling appeal to reason and human kindness, Matthieu Ricard here takes the arguments from his best-sellers Altruism and Happiness to their logical conclusion: that compassion toward all beings, including our fellow animals, is a moral obligation and the direction toward which any enlightened society must aspire. He chronicles the appalling sufferings of the animals we eat, wear, and use for adornment or “entertainment,” and submits every traditional justification for their exploitation to scientific evidence and moral scrutiny. What arises is an unambiguous and powerful ethical imperative for treating all of the animals with whom we share this planet with respect and compassion.matthieu-ricard

Read more in the Huffingtonpost

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New York Today: How to Meditate on Your Commute

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It doesn’t have to be so stressful. Credit Ángel Franco/The New York Times

 

Updated, 8:00 a.m.

Good morning on this flawless Friday.

As subways become increasingly overcrowded and delayed, we’re guessing that your daily commute is becoming a more stressful affair.

Well, dear reader, we wish you a peaceful and pleasurable trip to work this morning however you’re arriving, and here’s something that might help you achieve that: meditation.

According to research, meditation can help ease mental tension, and it might also improve sleep, fight depressionand illness, and reduce lower back pain.

A straightforward and accessible technique is mindfulness meditation, said David Gelles, a reporter at The Times who recently wrote a guide to meditation.

Full article New York Times

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What is depression? – Helen M. Farrell


Depression is the leading cause of disability in the world; in the United States, close to ten percent of adults struggle with the disease. But because it’s a mental illness, it can be a lot harder to understand than, say, high cholesterol. Helen M. Farrell examines the symptoms and treatments of depression, and gives some tips for how you might help a friend who is suffering.

TED-Ed Original lessons feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators.

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Sangha at the Lucid Body House

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On Friday, October 9, long-time Triratna NYC sangha member Fay Simpson held the inaugural Performance Salon at her recently renovated Lucid Body House in the Kip’s Bay neighborhood of Manhattan. An impressive coterie of artists, performers, and students made for a full house at what Fay hopes will become an ongoing, monthly event.

Fay performed in a dance piece she created, entitled, “Sharla’s Story”. Other sangha members joined her on stage. Josh Heath presented a selection of his paintings from a series called “The Apostles”, while Brian Waldbillig read from his original work, “On Compassion of the Tree”. The New York sangha had notable contingent in attendance: in addition to the performers, Sita Mani, Lara Nahas, Vajramati, and Brian’s dog Dante all showed up to offer support and encouragement.

To find out more about Fay’s work and to check out future events, go to www.lucidbody.com

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