Meditation for Challenging Times
1.30-3.30pm Sunday 24th June 2018⊗
Living the Dhamma in the World – The Path of the Paramis 2:
Sila Ethics/Morality/Integrity – A Practice of Non-Harming
“The practice, in brief, is just morality, concentration, and wisdom, or in other words, the path. There is no other way.” Ajahn Chah
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
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 many challenges we face in our lives and as we seek to embody the Dhamma in the world. Each month we are contemplating one of the Perfections in depth. Each session stands on its own.
The Paramis can be understood as enduring qualities of the heart and mind that can be cultivated and practiced in everyday life. They are qualities of character that enable us to relate to ourselves and our world in ways that are rooted in heartfelt wisdom. Developing these qualities can help us respond to the emotions, thoughts and events that sometimes overwhelm us. They are considered to provide a firm and essential foundation for meditation practice.
This month we are looking at the second of the Paramis, Sila (variously translated as Morality, Ethics or Integrity), which is also considered to be the first pillar of the Threefold Training. We will be exploring Sila and the Precepts not from the perspective of rules that have to be followed, but as guidelines for developing an intimate and respectful relationship with ourselves and our world. One that honours our essential inter-relatedness and fosters non-harming action and attitudes. We will be attempting to make the Precepts our own, looking at how and where we develop or block these ways of behaving from being expressed in our personal and collective lives.
If you would like to engage with this month’s topic beforehand here are some links:
A link to the Five Precepts and also Higher Precepts
An article giving an overview of the Paramis
A link to the Insight Meditation Centre which offers articles and talks by Ajahn Sucitto and Gil Fronsdal. You can also get a free download copy of Ajahn Sucitto’s book on the Paramis.
Other very good sources are:
Ajahn Jayasaro (Theravadan Thai Forest School of Ajahn Chah) The Beauty of Sila: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3VBbQvM4CBY
Stephen Fulder (Founder of TovanaIsrael – Israel’s Insight Meditation Centre) Stephen looks at understanding Sila from three levels, the ordinary, the subtle and the Bodhisattva level:
Rupert Spira. A very short video on the non-dual understanding of Morality.
MFCT is 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. The group explores a different topic each month.
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. However as Aarti is away this month, we are being joined by Ann. From time to time we are also fortunate enough to host guest teachers.
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 practitioner influenced both by the Tibetan Mahayana philosophical path and Theravada practice.
Ann Wiame left a career working with international companies to become a life coach. She has been following a spiritual path for many years and is due to commence a training with Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach in 2019.
|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 Dhamma to guide their response.
MFCT 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 Dhamma.
Each session takes a different topic, however, at the moment, the overall theme we are exploring is the development of resilience or well-being in the face of difficulty.
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 and we look forward to exploring the Buddhadhamma with you. Meanwhile, please feel free to post any comments or reflections below. Also 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. You can email us directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org
‘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!