Dear <<First Name>>,
We are living in extraordinary times.
As we are in our various phases of unlocking lock-down, depending on our geographical location and personal situation, we are also entering the fourth week of the largest anti-racist movement in living memory. Large and overwhelmingly peaceful demonstrations are happening across three continents, in the wake of the tragic murder of George Floyd ~ and hopes run high for systemic change. Whether we are involved in activism, policy change, anti-racism training or examination of our personal relationship with racism and race, a capacity to listen to ourselves and each other with a patient, open heart seems key to lasting change.
A recent article in Tricycle Magazine
notes that the Buddha was adept at using skillful and persistent questioning to address and unravel the wrong views underlying prejudice and supremacist ideology. In the Assalayana Sutta
(M.N. 93), the Buddha brings about a change in a brahmin student through activating that student's own capacity for intelligent reflection.
When young Assalayana declares to the Buddha
: "Brahmins are the highest caste, those of any other caste are inferior; brahmins are the fairest, those of any other are dark; only brahmins are purified, not non-brahmins...
," the Buddha counter questions him incisively and with great humour, pointing (out among many things) that people from all castes are born in the same way, bathe and get clean the same way (!) experience the same kammic results of ethical action, and have the capacity to develop the immeasurable liberation of mind through loving kindness.
a black bhikkhuni ordained in the Theravada and Chan traditions, gave one of the most healing, inspiring and deeply compassionate talks I have heard on the need for self-honesty as a starting point in the conversation around race and unity in this outstanding Dhamma talk
hosted by the Tilorien Sangha on June 19th. In it she says:
"It doesn't matter if you don't like where you are, what's rising up in you,or what you see ~ it takes a radical kind of honesty to find yourself. Every time I'm looking at someone else, pointing my finger, I'm seeing where (in some ways) I'm just like them. In some ways I'm thinking certain thoughts that are unreasonable, that are hostile, that are cruel; that don't speak for what I say I believe in and I embrace....It's not about "Who are they?" ~ it's about "Who am I?" What do I bring to this pivotal moment in time? What wisdom can I share [and embody] from the Dhamma that will elevate and lift us; that will point us where we want to be as a society, as a people, as a species? That is the question. Who do I choose to be in this world?"
You can read more about this incredible bhikkhuni here
So, with this for your reflection, I hope you enjoy this last pre-rains newsletter!
We have planned a plethora of new events (and uploaded many recent talks) to shower you with Dhamma before bidding a temporary farewell. In addition to our last three Zoomi Bhikkhuni events, Ayya Santacitta Bhikkhuni, Ajahn Brahm and I
will offer extra teachings and opportunities for clarifying points of Dhamma, the details of which (and more) can be found below.
Ayya Santacitta: "What I Learned From My Teachers"
Friday 26th June, 6 p.m. - 7.30 p.m. BST via Zoomi Bhikkhuni
We are delighted to welcome the wisdom of Ayya Santacitta, who will share her journey into the teachings of the Buddha, which started in the late eighties. She met and benefited from some of the great teachers of our time, in Thailand, England, Nepal and the U.S., where she currently lives and teaches. The evening will begin with a chanting of the Recollection of the Foremost Arahant Bhikkhunis (chanted here by Mel Zeki with harmonium) and follow with a guided meditation, Dhamma Talk and Q&A.
About Ayya Santacitta:
Santacitta Bhikkhuni was born in Austria and did her graduate studies in Cultural Anthropology, focusing on dance, theatre and ritual. She also worked in avant-garde dance theatre as a performer and costume designer. In 1988 she met Ajahn Buddhadasa in southern Thailand, who sparked her interest in Buddhist monastic life. She has trained as a nun in both the East and West since 1993, primarily in the lineage of Ajahn Chah, and has practiced meditation for over 30 years. Since 2002, she has also received teachings in the lineage of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.
Santacitta Bhikkhuni co-founded Aloka Vihara Forest Monastery in 2009 and received Bhikkhuni Ordination in 2011. Since moving to the U.S., she has also greatly benefited from Bhikkhu Analayo’s teachings on Early Buddhism and from the guidance of Khenmo Konchog Nyima Drolma. She is particularly interested in creating sanctuary close to nature, living in community and bringing wisdom traditions to the environmental movement.
- For this session, you will need to download Zoom in advance onto your device.
- All participants are required to be signed in to their personal Zoom account
- All meetings are password protected and will have a waiting room, from where we will admit you.
Although there is no need to register, we are limited to 100 places, so please arrive early (from 5.45 pm BST on 26th June) to secure your place and settle comfortably in.
Meeting link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87841972028
Meeting ID: 878 4197 2028
Please do not share this link on social media, but you can direct people to www.anukampaproject.org/events
~For those who would like to follow the chanting, enjoy chanting at home, or just listen and be inspired, here are the words in both Pali and English :-)
Ajahn Brahm: "Hard Questions To A Soft Teacher"
Saturday 27th June, 12 - 2 p.m. BST via Zoomi Bhikkhuni
This Dhamma event provides an unprecedented opportunity to ask your deep (or so-called "silly") questions to a Meditation Master renowned for his kindness, humour, wisdom and warmth!
The session will start with a brief introduction and Dhamma Reflection, followed by Q&A, a short meditation in the middle and further Q&A in the second half.
N.B. Unfortunately, due to a continued large number of no-shows at our registered events, we have made a decision to overbook by 20%, so precious places are not wasted. This means that only the first 100 people will be admitted ~ including Ajahn Brahm! So even if you have registered, it will be down to good luck on the day.
- For this session you will need to register in advance.
- If your registration is approved, you will receive a confirmation email, containing a meeting link and password. You will then be admitted on a first come first served basis on the day.
- If you do not receive a confirmation email this means you are on our waiting list. Please do not contact us, as we have no capacity to respond individually. We will confirm you if someone cancels, or if there are no shows on the day.
- If you find you are not longer able to attend, to avoid disappointment to others, we request that you cancel your place, using the link at the very bottom of your confirmation email.
- Please keep your confirmation email safe, as we are not able to resend it to individuals.
Click here to register!
Bonus Session: "Around The Hearth"
~ Evening Tea With Ven Canda, Fri 3rd July, 7.30 - 9 p.m. BST
Ven Canda warmly invites you to hang out and chat over a last cuppa, before she enters her three month silent and solitary retreat (vassa).
As the Zoomi Bhikkhuni sessions come to close for this period, you may wish to hear more about Anukampa and our next steps, clarify points of Dhamma practice in meditation or daily life, or get inspired to do your own home retreats!
Make sure you brew a nice cup of tea and come along ready to relax!
Meeting ID: 892 8370 2719
The usual Zoomi Bhikkhuni sign-in guidelines are here.
Ajahn Brahm's November Tour Postponed...
~ a note from our Trustees
After much deliberation the Anukampa Trustees have regretfully decided to postpone Ajahn Brahm's teaching tour this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
We feel a great sense of responsibility towards potential attendees, not only in terms of the virus but also that in holding the event we may create anxiety around whether or not to make a booking.
Given the current and future uncertainty around virus spread and possible travel restrictions and quarantine we feel our best course of action is to wait until we can safely and confidently hold the tour.
With all best wishes,
The ABP Trustees :-)
Good things are worth waiting for... our December 2018 Ajahn Brahm retreat!
Latest Talks From Anukampa Youtube
We hope you enjoy these gifts of Dhamma!
Subscribe to our YouTube channel so you are first to be informed of new teachings.
- Oxford Insight Day Retreat: Loving Kindness (three sessions)
- Ajahn Brahmali: Are You Ready To Die?
- Ven Canda's Zoomi Bhikkhuni Talks: Healing With Self Compassion, Breathing With Compassion (Meditation), Deep Listening, Wise To The World Of Feeling.
- Ayya Anandabodhi: Poems Of The Early Buddhist Nuns
- Ven Canda: "My Life As An British Buddhist Nun"
~The Dhamma is priceless therefore comes without a price tag. Please contribute what you feel able, to support our ongoing work of sharing Dhamma!
Zoomi Bhikkhuni ~ Last Talks Before Vassa!
With the rains retreat fast approaching, these are our last online meetings until October. The space we have collectively created together has been a haven of spiritual friendship and inspiration and I have thoroughly appreciated the opportunity to share whatever I am learning in the hope it may be of benefit to others. I greatly look forward to re-grouping in October, to share my experience and hear how you have been. Remember to practice "Bear Awareness" in the meantime, adding gentle soothing kindness to the way you are aware!
For those not yet familiar with joining us, our Zoomi Bhikkhuni sign-in guidelines are here.
Sunday 28th June: 7.30 pm - 9 pm "Delving Deeply Into Dhamma"
Meeting ID: 896 8825 8572
Wednesday 1st July: 5 pm - 5..30 pm "Chanting & Blessings Group"
Meeting ID: 884 1048 1720
Saturday 4th July: 9 am- 10 am "Guided Metta Meditation and Sharing Group"
Meeting ID: 825 3314 5821
~A poem to end, by Mark Arthur
My tender heart trembles,
the mind spins
this way and that...
Looking for escape.
I cannot accept this.
I can't breathe....
This is the legacy of suffering
The wisdom, as always,
is about turning towards this pain.
A deep, deep wound.
Admit it's there
Feel the feelings in this heart
Don't look away
This is compassion for oneself.
with the steadiness
that comes from unflinching,
Speak and act from the heart.
Let it be known
Protect and Serve
Don't look away
This is compassion for the world.
A radical acceptance.
That sacred space between the in breath
and the out breath...
Death and Rebirth
This is a prayer for all beings
With this beautiful prayer, the team and I bid you farewell and look forward to meeting in whichever way possible in the Autumn. May all beings be free from greed, hatred, delusion and fear ~ and may forgiveness, respect, love and peace prevail.
With loving kindness and solidarity,
Ven Canda and the Anukampa Team
~We greatly welcome your support during the rains retreat period, whether through
- making a donation of any amount towards our rental costs and other requisites,
- offering food vouchers that can be redeemed online, or by
- checking our needed items list here. Thank you!