21st century bodhisattva
Parami - Parami has been a member of the Triratna Buddhist Order since 1980. In that time she has led retreats and workshops in many parts of the world. Her particular interest in the Bodhisattva Ideal has shown itself in many ways, most recently in her exploration of socially engaged Buddhism, on retreat and in training with Joanna Macy.
Currently she lives at Adhistana in Herefordshire and the rest of the time visits Triratna Centres in the UK and elsewhere. She is involved with Triratna activities around the world, especially in Spanish-speaking Centres. She has been a private preceptor for some years and became a public preceptor in 2005.
Smritiratna first took up Buddhist practice in 1977 at the age of 21 while studying Developmental Psychology at Sussex University. At 27, he began training in earnest with the FWBO and entered the Western Buddhist Order in 1991.
In 1996, he came to Scotland, joined the Dhanakosa project and spent five years on-site, teaching and house-keeping. In 2001, he gave up house-keeping to concentrate on study, contemplation and teaching. He now lives in a forest hut near Dhanakosa. He still leads Dhanakosa retreats and continues to delight in introducing meditation to newcomers.
Regulars - Triratna
These retreats are for people who are already practising within the context of the Triratna Buddhist Community. Previous experience of the Mindfulness of Breathing and Metta Bhavana meditations and of the Sevenfold Puja will be assumed.
Covid-19 update: At the current time we are expecting to be able to run this retreat with a maximum of 10 retreatants and 2 team members. We will be following physical distancing guidelines and have enhanced cleaning and hygiene measures in place.
Coming on retreat in this environment will feel different - we have put together a Covid-19 pre-retreat information sheet with more detail about what to expect, please read this before booking and in advance of coming on retreat.
This retreat combines talks and workshops, inspired by meditations and devotional practice, to take us on a path of transformation. This is Bodhisattva Training for the 21st Century. It resources us to rise together and face up to the challenges and stark choice of this planet time. This was the stark choice Sangharakshita presented in his famous 1971 lecture ‘Evolution or Extinction - a Buddhist View of Current World Problems’. Half a century later this choice stands out even more clearly. To avoid collective self-destruction we need to spiritually evolve, raising our level of consciousness in order to overcome the dangers we face. Together we can find ways to draw back from extinction and choose the path of spiritual evolution for the benefit of all. This retreat offers resources and opportunities to train.
We’ll be following a tried and trusted workshop sequence honed over four decades by American Buddhist Joanna Macy, her ‘Spiral of the Work That Reconnects’. Engaging with the suffering of the world can be distressing and we can turn away to avoid feeling powerless and despairing. Drawing on the Dharma, living systems theory, and deep ecology, The Work That Reconnects strengthens our capacity to give our best response to the global challenges confronting us. It involves a transformative journey around a spiral of four successive stages:-
i) When we come from gratitude and appreciation we become more present to the life around us and to the many gifts we receive. This calms the mind and opens the heart in preparation for wise and compassionate responses to suffering. Then we can:
ii) honour our pain for the world, by making space to hear our feelings in response to what is happening in our world. As we do so, profound caring and interconnectedness with all life are revealed. So then we begin to ...
iii) see with new eyes, with a deepening recognition of our mutual belonging in the living Earth. We also learn to understand the new kind of power this gives and the many ways we can apply this to a life-sustaining society. We can now get ready to ...
iv) go forth into the world with a fresh vision and practical steps.
What can I expect from this retreat?
We will have a varied and engaging programme, beginning each day with meditation. Later in the day there’ll be talks, discussions or workshop time. After lunch each day there’ll be time for resting or walking. In the evenings we’ll have time for a more mythic and devotional approach with talks and rituals. Weather permitting we can have outdoor events too.