Meditation for Challenging Times
1.30-3.30pm Sunday 28 May, 2017
@ the little Bangkok Meditation Centre, Ekkamai
Third meeting in this format and topic. The first ones went well, with group discussion leading to practical means to keeping a practice going during challenging times – political, personal, physical …
For meditators interested in coming together to consciously use their practice to help them learn from, and respond wisely to, the rapidly changing world in which we now find ourselves living. With former Buddhist psychotherapist Mary Pipes, and yoga teacher, healer and long-term student of Tibetan Buddhism Denise Tomecko.
- 1:30-3:30pm @ the little Bangkok Meditation Center, Ekkamai
- free of charge and no need to book in advance
This Month’s Topic:
Finding Refuge in Times of Uncertainty – where can we place our faith, hope and trust?
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 practical framework to live well within regardless of what is happening? Do they continue to stand firm when the world as we thought we knew it seems to be falling away?
For the next three sessions we’re going to be taking one of the refuges each session and exploring what it means to us at this moment in time.
We’ll be starting with Sangha, and considering it through contemporary, as well as traditional, lenses, seeing it as wise fellowship and community. As a place where we meet, often very much in our separate-self mind states, to support each other, not only to progress in our meditation practice, but to engage with our world with wisdom.
Some of the things we’ll be asking are: What is sangha for us? What makes a sangha? What does taking refuge in the sangha mean to us? Why is this important? What can it create? What role can sangha play at the current time?
Arrive from 1pm onwards for a 1.30pm start.
- 1.30pm Welcome and Introduction to the theme of the afternoon
- 1.45pm 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.
- 2.15pm 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.
- 3.30pm Tea and cakes. Please bring some to share. It’s very important we take care of ourselves at all levels.
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.
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.
Our regular facilitators are Mary and Denise. But other group members and teachers with particular expertise, knowledge and leadership will 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.
‘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!