Mindfulness and Race – A Day for People of Colour/BAME 25th November 2018

Mindfulness and Race, a day for People of Colour / BAME with Salma Darling of Brighton Insight Meditation: Community Base, 113 Queens Road, Brighton BN1 3XG (near Brighton Station) on 25th November 2018

We will be creating a supportive sanctuary for People of Colour to explore mindfulness in the context of the Buddha’s teachings.

Through sitting and walking meditation, guided instructions, dharma talks and discussion, we will explore experientially how best we can access, and keep exploring, what it is to be present with ourselves and others.

We’ll also be turning towards the issues of race in dharma and mindfulness practice and communities, and exploring racial bias. What is the impact of race in our bodies, minds and practice? How can practicing mindfulness in a Buddhist context explore and work with racial bias? What are the teachings that help support our understanding and waking up? How might neuroscience help us in understanding of unconscious bias? What common learnings and wisdom can we share together to serve each of us to wake up personally, and with and for our world?

This day will focus on the practical application of teachings in our everyday lives, and is suitable for beginners as well as those with more experience.

BOOKING AND PAYMENT
This day is organised by the Bodhi Tree Brighton, Booking is via the Bodhi Tree website and offered on a dana/ donation basis http://www.bodhitreebrighton.org.uk/events/.

Booking fees go towards room hire and the essential costs of putting on an event.
Cash and cheque donations will also be invited for the teacher, during the day.
If you will not be attending but would like to support by donation dharma teaching for POC’s, you can donate via paypal: paypal.me/SalmaDarling

WHAT DEFINES A PERSON OF COLOUR (POC)?
The term “person of color” sometimes abbreviated POC, is used primarily in the United States to describe any person who is not white. The term encompasses all non-white people, emphasizing common experiences of systemic racism. I have also sat in POC groups with people who appear white, but are mixed race, latinos and from a variety of backgrounds and experience racial bias. You can self-identify as POC. POC is growing in usage in the UK as the common term in the UK ‘BAME (Black and Minority Ethnic)’ is often considered diminutive.

COMMON QUESTIONS. . .
Why a day only for People of Colour? Isn’t that exclusive? Aren’t we practicing for unification rather than separation?
Many POC’s value POC spaces to explore issues of what it is to practice as a POC without needing to engage with a strong level of unconscious racial bias in the room. Similar to women’s groups, some issues need space and sanctuary and common understanding to unfold to allow freedom, and for us as community or sangha, to support each other and grow in strength together.

SALMA DARLING
I’m recommended to teach dharma and mentored by Ajaan Amaro the Abbot of Amaravati Buddhist Monastery in Hertfordshire. Primarily my practice has been in the Buddhist Theravada ‘vipassana’ or Insight tradition with particular interest in early buddhist teachings, including meditation practice of deep absorptions (jhanas). I’ve spent extended periods in Thai Forest monasteries and retreat centres since 1998, undertaking a number of silent retreats up to 6 months duration. In the way of Burmese monk Sayadaw U Tejaniya my approach to practice is practical and relaxed. I’ve been practicing meditation since 1989 and teaching meditation and mindfulness since 2002 including in NHS mental health. I’m a visiting dharma teacher at Heartcamp, San Francisco and a mentor on Insight Meditation Center’s online dharma course based in Redwood City, California.
I’ve been a Roehampton-trained body-oriented psychotherapist for over 20 years. I trained in MBSR at University of Massachusettes and in MBCT at Bangor University, have taught at London Mindful, University College London and currently am a mindfulness consultant for a mindfulness and cognitive therapy ap for Meru Health, Finland.

DONATION / DANA
The teachings are offered in the traditional ‘dana’ basis. This means that you give how much you feel moved to give with respect to your circumstance and how much you value the teachings and this way of freely offering.
When you give dana you are supporting the teacher to continue to work in this way, and are paying for future people to benefit from the teaching. No-one is turned away for lack of funds.

www.mindfulnessconsultancy.com

This item was posted on October 11, 2018.

Oxford Insight Meditation Bookings manager – volunteer needed

We run a very popular and appreciated programme of meditation day-retreats and, to support this, the role of bookings manager is crucial.

In order to allow some of our volunteers to take on new administrative roles within the Oxford Insight Meditation charitable group, we are seeking a new volunteer to take on the role of bookings manager.

What does the booking manager do?

We receive bookings primary through an online account with the service Eventbrite (https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/), which is linked to Paypal to process payments. The main role of the bookings manager is to monitor the Eventbrite account for activity that needs action – for example, refund requests, cancellations, and to pay monthly fees that are due to Eventbrite by transferring money from the linked Paypal account.

The bookings manager also receives, by post, a small number of cash or cheque bookings, and enters these bookings manually into the Eventbrite system. Cash and the cheques are then posted or handed on to another committee member to be deposited.

Finally, the booking manager is responsible for sending some emails to attendees via the Eventbrite account, and preparing the list of attendees on the day before a retreat.

How much time does it take?

In the average week, this role requires less than 30 minutes. In the week prior to a retreat the workload is higher, closer to one hour in total. This is because (i) in those weeks there are often more cancellations and re-bookings, (ii) the bookings manager sends out an email to all attendees via the Eventbrite system, reminding them that they have booked a place on that retreat, and (iii) on the Friday before a retreat the bookings manager would usually generate the list of people who are attending, and either bring it to the retreat or email it to one of the other committee members.

Once a year, the bookings manager creates a new Eventbrite page for the upcoming year’s retreats. This task can take a couple of hours to complete, but is made easier by the fact that Eventbrite allows you to copy and then revise previous events, so much of this work is already done.

What skills are needed?

Intermediate level of computer literacy (e.g. can work with very simple spreadsheets, comfortable with user-friendly online software, emailing)

Good eye for detail

Good interpersonal skills

An interest in supporting our work organising meditation retreats!

What support is available?

Most of the tasks associated with bookings management are well supported by the services provided by Eventbrite and Paypal.  For example, it usually only takes a few clicks to issue a refund through the Paypal system, or pay the monthly Eventbrite fees. Both systems are easy to use and the previous bookings manager (Amy) can answer questions.

And what’s it like, to be in this role?

The efficiency of the systems and processes makes the role satisfying and it is not laborious. It’s also a rewarding role, because of the contact with retreat attendees, which is often enjoyable and gives a sense of really contributing to the retreats. People express a great deal of gratitude for our work.

 

This item was posted on September 6, 2018.

Ajahn Brahm Dhamma Talk – The Happiness of Peace

The Buddha said that the highest happiness is the happiness of peace, which far surpasses the happiness of sensual pleasure.

In this Dhamma Talk, Ajahn Brahm differentiates between worldly happiness that depends on things going just to plan and deep inner happiness that supports us through all the vicissitudes of life.

This evening programme will begin with a short guided meditation, followed by a Dhamma talk from Ajahn Brahm. After the talk there will be an opportunity to ask questions.

All proceeds of this special benefit event will go towards developing a nun’s monastery in England.

Tickets £15. To register please click here

Date/Time
Date(s) – 07 Dec 2018
7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Please aim to arrive at 6.15pm in order to register and settle in quietly.

Location
Leonard Wolfson Auditorium, Wolfson College
Linton Road
Oxford
OX2 6UD
United Kingdom

This item was posted on August 20, 2018.

Latest news on Gaia House’s Building Appeal

As many of you know, Gaia House launched a Building Appeal last year, and in March this year Chris Cullen generously invited those attending his day retreat in Oxford to give dana to the Appeal, instead of to him.

For the latest news please Click here for the latest news on the Gaia House Building Appeal

For general information on Gaia House Building Appeal please see the Gaia House website which also has a video regarding the renovations and more information on how to donate

This item was posted on August 13, 2018.

Humanity in Action: Supporting a Safe Haven with Help Refugees; Calais, France

According to the United Nations, there are currently 22.5 million refugees worldwide. 22.5 million human beings who have fled their homes in the face of war, persecution and the devastating effects of global climate change.

As a response to this complex and painful situation SanghaSeva is offering the Humanity in Action retreat for the second time. We will be bringing our meditation practice into action by working alongside grassroots organisations supporting refugees in Calais, France. In turn we will support each other as we open ourselves to engage directly with the refugee crisis, fulfilling our hearts natural wish to respond with humanity when confronted with that which seems so inhumane.

18 – 24 May, 2018
18 – 21 May; meditation in action retreat facilitated by SanghaSeva co-founder Nathan Glyde
21 – 24 May; peer led Sangha volunteer period

We hope you can join us on the upcoming Humanity in Action retreat. For more information please see the website: https://www.sanghaseva.org/#haven

Or find it on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/2021765138103930/

This item was posted on February 8, 2018.

Working Towards A Sustainable Future – A Spring Retreat at CAT

A unique opportunity has arisen to combine meditation, inquiry and reflection with working together outdoors in this Spring Work Retreat at the ecological flagship of Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) in Powys, Wales. The retreat is open to all, those new to meditation as well as those with experience.

For more information please go either to www.sanghaseva.org or to the DANCE Dharma Action Network for Climate Engagement www.thedancewebsite.org.

This item was posted on January 9, 2018.

Sunday Sangha Meetings

Sunday Sangha Meetings

Sunday 24th June   -St Margaret’s Institute 30 Polstead Rd, Oxford OX2 6TN
Sunday 15th July    – St Margaret’s Institute
Sunday 9th Sept    – Florence Park Community Centre, Cornwallis Road, Oxford OX4 3NH
Sunday 7th Oct      – Florence Park Community Centre
Sunday 11th Nov   – Florence Park Community Centre
Sunday 9th Dec     – Florence Park Community Centre

It would be helpful if you could arrive between 11am and 11.15am. If you arrive before that, you can wait in the lobby or outside.
Entrance fee: £5 (£3 concessions)

Sangha is the Pali word for community. These meetings will be an opportunity to practise together, to discuss the teachings of the Buddha, to share food and to get to know each other. Please bring vegetarian food to share. Family members, including children, are welcome to join us, either for the whole session or for the lunch only. The sessions will be suitable for both beginners and experienced meditators.

The meetings will consist of a practice session usually comprising meditation, a recorded talk and a discussion. Lunch will start at 1pm.

The practice session will begin at 11.15. If you arrive after the meditation has started, we ask you to sit on one of the chairs at the back of the room, to avoid disturbing the meditation. You can come forward when it’s finished.

At 12.50, partners and children can come into the hall and join us for lunch.

Most of these meetings will be peer-led and will make use of recorded talks given by experienced Dharma teachers.

Venues

From January, we expect to be trying out a few different venues, until we find one that really suits us. Keep looking at this site for further information.

Updated May 2018

This item was posted on November 29, 2017.

Earth Care Day – June 3rd 2017

In case you haven’t heard, Saturday 3 June is Earth Care Day, and June is also Buddhist Action Month with the theme `Connecting for Change’?

Many people around the world will be coming together in various ways to express and celebrate our care for the earth and all its life forms. If you would like to be a part of this, there is an opportunity in Oxford to meet on 3 June, between 10.15 and 12.30, for a contemplative litter pick on an area of land not far from the train station. The morning is being organised and facilitated by Ally Stott, for many years one of the Oxford Gaia House day retreat co-ordinators.

Ally writes: `The intention is simple, to pay attention to our experience as we gather together (a little like the wombles with a contemplative twist!). Let’s be curious about our embodied experience of being here as a diverse unity of existence. We will have some time for silence and some time for sharing.’

If you would like to be part of this gathering email Ally at Allysoilandsoul@gmail.com.

 

 

This item was posted on May 16, 2017.

Humanity in Action: Supporting a Safe Haven with Help Refugees; Calais, France 15 – 18 August, 2017

Humanity in Action: Supporting a Safe Haven with Help Refugees; Calais, France
15 – 18 August, 2017
“Refugees are going to continue to come, and the only question is what we are going to do to help them.”
– Davan Yahya Khalil
An opportunity to embody our humane response to crisis, and take the chance to care for others.
To embrace our shared humanity and see the person beyond the label ‘refugee’.
To open to this painful reality and make a difference by helping create a safe haven for those who have seen the worst of humanity.

For more information on this unique experience see https://www.sanghaseva.org/comingup.html#haven

This item was posted on April 15, 2017.

Midsummer Work Retreat 18-23 June 2017 at The Centre for Alternative Technology

A unique opportunity has arisen to combine meditation, inquiry and reflection with working together outdoors in this Midsummer Work Retreat at the ecological flagship of Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) in Powys, Wales.

For more information please go either to www.sanghaseva.org or to the DANCE Dharma Action Network for Climate Engagement www.thedancewebsite.org.

 

cat-retreat-2017

Midsummer Work Retreat 18-23 June 2017

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This item was posted on October 31, 2016.