Meditation for Challenging Times
Living the Dhamma in the World
1.30-3:30pm Sunday April 22nd 2018
Living the Dhamma in the World – The Path of the Paramis – 1. Generosity (Dana)
This year, Meditation for Challenging Times is following the Path of the Paramis or Ten Perfections. We hope this journey will help us build the resilience we need to meet and engage with the multiplicity of challenges that face us and enable us toembody the Dhamma in the world.
The Paramis can be understood as enduring qualities of the heart that can be cultivated and practiced in everyday life. They can also be seen as qualities of character that help us respond to theemotions, thoughts and events that sometimes overwhelm us.They are considered to provide a firm and essential foundation for meditation practice.
Each month we are contemplating one of the ten Paramis or Perfections in depth. This includes deepening into what we understand that perfection to be, looking at how and where we develop or block that quality from flowing in our personal and collective lives, and understanding some of the pitfalls that can be encountered when seeking to embody it. Each session stands on its own.
Meditation for Challenging Times is a monthly group for meditators who want to use their practice and understanding of the Dhamma to help them respond wisely to the many challenges – personal, political, environmental and social, currently confronting us. Facilitated by Buddhist psychotherapist Mary Pipes and Aarti Kapoor, a Buddhist practitioner and director of international human rights consultancy, Embode.
1:30-3:30pm @ The Little Bangkok Meditation Center, Ekkamai.
Arrive from 1pm onwards.
The session starts at 1.30pm,
Free of charge and no need to book in advance
Bring snacks to share afterwards
The Parami of Generosity
These three ways lead to the heavens:
asserting the truth,
not yielding to anger, and giving,
even if you have only a little to share
(Dhammapada V 224)
Dana or Generosity is the very first of the Paramis, both in the Theravada and Mahayana texts.It refers to a giving that is free from attachment to outcome – giving without expectation of reward or return. In the teaching of the Buddha the practice of giving claims a place of particular importance as being the foundation and seed of spiritual development.
In the moment of giving freely we move beyond a constricted and isolated sense of self into one that experiences relationship and interconnectedness. When we give there is no greed, no hatred and no delusion. It is an opportunity to let go, to relinquish, to share our abundance and to open to the joy and happiness inherent in giving. Generosity is a bridge between the experience of separateness and connectedness, between giver and receiver. In its purist expressionit can take us to an embodied experience of one-ness, where there is neither giver nor receiver – just generosity.
It is a powerful practice that challenges our conditioned tendencies around lack, holding on, ownership, wanting, and hoarding.
We all “know” what generosity is and most of us practice it everyday without even being aware of it. But we can also get into tangles around giving and become confusedabout what is skillful and what isn’t.We may be generous in some areas and with some things, such as our money, and less generous with other areas, such as our time (or vice versa). There are also times when we find our impulses towards giving shutting down.
In this session, we hope to explore all of these aspects of the practice as well as those that arise in the course of discussion.
There are many sources of information online about the Paramis (Pali) or Paramitas (Sanskrit). Here are just two of them. The second is for the Insight Meditation Centre which includes links to articles and talks by AjahnSucitto and Gil Fronsdal. Links to a free download copy of AjahnSucitto’s book on the Paramis can be found there.
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.
Our regular facilitators are Mary and Aarti (when she is in Bangkok). But other group members and teachers with particular expertise, knowledge and leadership also contribute.
Mary Pipes has worked as a counsellor, 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. The BuddhaDhamma has been a guiding influence in her life for twenty years.
Aarti Kapoor is the managing director and lead consultant for Embode, an agency dedicated to human rights, corporate responsibility and organisational analysis. Aarti is an experienced group facilitator and a Buddhist practitioners influenced both by the Tibetan Mahayana philosophical path and Theravada practice.
|About Meditation for Challenging Times:|
|This group grew out of the concerns of members of the Little Bangkok Sangha who found themselves feeling shocked, outraged, scared, overwhelmed, 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 Dhamma 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:
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.
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.
‘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!