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Meditation for Challenging Times

1.30-3.30pm Sunday 8th October, 2017
@ the little Bangkok Meditation Centre, Ekkamai


 Overview:

Topic: Finding Refuge in Times of Uncertainty – Taking Refuge in the Buddha

This is the sixth meeting in this format and topic. The first ones have gone well, with group discussion deepening our understanding of the role of our practice during challenging times ….

A regular group for meditators who want to use their practice and understanding of the Dharma to help them respond wisely to the many challenges – personal, political, environmental and social, currently confronting us. Facilitated by Buddhist psychotherapist Mary Pipes and Denise Tomecko, yoga teacher and long-time Tibetan Buddhist practitioner in the Mahamudra/Dzogchen traditions. The group explores a different topic at each meeting.

1:30-3:30pm @ the little Bangkok Meditation Center, Ekkamai. Arrive from 1pm onward for refreshments.
 The session starts at 1.30pm,
 Free of charge and no need to book in advance 

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Sunday October 8th

As Buddhist practitioners we take refuge in the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. But what do we understand by this and in what ways can we seek refuge in them in dark and difficult times?

Are the Refuges helping us, as we are confronted by uncertainty at every level? Can they provide a reliable framework to live well within regardless of what is happening? Do they continue to stand firm when the world we thought we knew, seems to be falling away? 

We have already explored the themes of Sangha and Dhamma, so this time we will be looking at what we understand by taking refuge in the Buddha and asking how this can enable us to relate skillfully to the times of deep uncertainty in which we are living. You do not have to have attended previous meetings to join this one.

Some of the areas we are hoping to explore are:

  • What does taking refuge in the Buddha mean for us? How do we understand it individually? And how do our individual understandings shape how we are impacted by, and respond to, what is going on in the world right now?
  • Can we take refuge in the historical Buddha – in his life story? Is there something to be learned from the actions he took in the world? For example, in his rejection of the class system and his attempts to prevent warring factions from slaughtering each other. What were these actions based on?

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Schedule:

Arrive from 1pm onwards for a 1.30pm start.

  • 1.30 pm Welcome and Introduction to the theme of the afternoon
  • 1.45 pm Tonglen Meditation. Each meeting we deepen further into the Tibetan Buddhist practice of “sending and receiving.” A practice that works directly with difficulty and transforms it into spacious compassion and kindness.
  • 2.15 pm Questions and feedback
  • 2.30 pm Theme of the Meeting. This varies from meeting to meeting. The topic of one meeting may lead on to the next, or group members may make suggestions. It always involves the shared exploration of a topic.
  • 3.30 pm Tea and cakes.  Please bring some to share. It’s very important we take care of ourselves at all levels.

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Facilitation

Our regular facilitators are Mary and Denise. But other group members and teachers with particular expertise, knowledge and leadership also contribute.

Mary Pipes has worked as a counsellor and psychotherapist, supervisor and trainer for twenty years in Asia and the UK. For over half of this time, she worked in a Buddhist-based psychotherapy tradition in the UK. For the last five years she has been living in Bangkok.

Denise Tomecko is a yoga teacher who has also trained in several healing modalities. She is the author of two books and a long-time Tibetan Buddhist practitioner in the Mahamudra/Dzogchen traditions.  She took refuge with HH the 16th Karmapa and was the student of HE 3rd Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche, as well as Ven Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche.  She has lived in Bangkok for over twelve years.

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About Meditation for Challenging Times:
 This group grew out of the concerns of members of the Little Bangkok Sangha who found themselves feeling angry, overwhelmed, scared, sad, grieving and hopeless in the face of what is happening in the world and wanted to use the Dharma to guide their response. 

It provides an opportunity for meditators to come together and to enquire how their practice and understanding of the Dharma can help them to respond, both internally and practically to the challenges of the current times with wisdom and compassion.

Our intention is to practice with what disturbs us, so that rather than let it divide us, it becomes a bridge that unites us – with ourselves, with others, with the world and with the Dharma. Although the focus of each meeting will be different, our overall aim is to take steps towards:

  • Using the events of the current time as an encouragement to deepen our practice;
  • Heal inner divisions by owning, welcoming and holding disturbance with compassionate wisdom;
  • Increase our ability to be with what feels hard and thereby reduce our tendency to blame and project our distress on to others;
  • Acknowledge the universal nature of both suffering and the enlightened mind;
  • Support each other;
  • Discuss ways we might engage constructively at a practical level.

We don’t expect these meetings to provide instant solutions. However, we hope that by practicing together and sharing with friends, we’ll develop a trustworthy and reliable place from which we can respond to the world around us, and help lessen any contributions we might make towards the destructive forces currently being unleashed.

Participation

Everyone who has meditated before is very welcome. If you have any short teachings that are relevant and that you would like to share, please bring them along. They don’t need to be Buddhist or “spiritual” – just wise. Also if there are any topics you would like to explore or to lead, please let us know. 

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Location

‘APARTMENTS’ Meditation Centre

The center is a 4 minute walk from Ekkamai BTS Station.

We are 9/37 Thana Aket, Ekkamai Sukhumvit 63.

Enter Ekkamai (Sukhumvit Soi 63). Turn left into the second soi (lane). Bourbon street restaurant is on the corner. We’re the third building on the right, in the ‘APARTMENTS‘ building. Go up to the top floor. See the excellent map – it is very precise!little-bangkok-meditation-center-ekkamai


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