Rains Retreat – Weekly Puja
12 Weekly Pujas
Every Thursday Evening
17th July-2nd October
@ Ariyasom Villa
* For 3 months from the 12th July, it is the official Rains Retreat period – this is the traditional Buddhist retreat period, where monks and nuns vow to stay each night in the same place, and intensify their meditation and study.
* It is also common to take a special vow of abstinence over this period, such as quitting drinking or doing extra meditation.
* Each week here in Bangkok we’ll be holding a short and simple ‘Puja’ and meditation.
* 6:30-8:30pm at Ariyasom Villa, Sukhumvit Soi 1,Bangkok, Thailand
* There’s no charge, no need to book, and you you don’t need to know the proceedings in advance – you are welcome to just observe and join the meditation.
* Open to everyone, though beginners might want to join the weekly dhamma talk on Monday evenings through August and September instead.
Mindfulness meditation (vipassana) is gaining a lot of ground in recent years, due mostly to consistent research that shows numerous benefits including stress and pain management, health issues and more.
But really, we needn’t list ‘benefits’ like some kind of purchase deal – meditate for the simple joy of stillness and clarity of the mind. It takes time, it takes some effort. So be very patient with it, and enjoy.
If you have done meditation on a fairly regular basis, you know that it is tricky – you have to find ways to keep it up, and keep progressing. The most universal way of doing this across all meditative traditions, is by an ‘observance’.
Meditation seeks to develop spiritual qualities, but these are very abstract in quality. What does Mindfulness look like? What colour is Compassion? How many sides does Patience have?
To make the abstract into something more concrete, something that we can relate to more easily, we use Puja. Lighting candles, a few bows, a short chant – these kind of things are a physical, embodied way to commit to the development of the spiritual qualities. If we can relate to the aspiration to mindfulness in a more concrete way, we will be more able to absorb into our sitting meditation practise.
We will be keeping it really short and simple. And you are very welcome to just watch, and join the meditation. You don’t need to be a ‘Buddhist’ (or anything at all!)
We’ll light the candles, and pay respects to the three qualities – Buddha (the quality of wakefulness) Dhamma (the teaching, natural laws) Sangha (community of people aspiring to spiritual qualities).
There will be a couple minutes reflection about meditation, and a few minutes meditation instructions for anyone new. We meditate together silently for about 35 minutes, before changing to a ‘sharing of merits’ meditation such as Metta (loving kindness). This is to recollect that we do meditation not just for ourselves, but for the sake of all world beings. We will always finish by 8:00 pm so you can get home or go out on the town.
Our venue is the very lovely Ariyasom Villa Boutique Hotel on Sukhumvit Soi 1. We meet in the Library for coffee and refreshments around 6:30pm (there’s always a few of us there by 6 if you’d like to stop by early and chat). Then we head up to the meditation room.
After the event, if you have earned enough Karma credits, you might want to look in at the really very fabulous Vegetarian restaurant. The homemade desserts are especially wonderful.
Ariyasom is at the end of Sukhumvit Soi 1. You can walk from Ploen Chit or Nana BTS station. From Phloen Chit take exit 3. Go down Sukhumvit Soi 1 to the end of the road – takes about 8 minutes. Or you can take a motorcycle which takes 2 minutes to get there and 6 months off your life expectancy.