Autumn rain on Still Waters: Contemplating the five Skandas
Nayaka came to Dhanakosa in 1996 after learning to meditate with the Newcastle Buddhist Centre. Drawn by the mountains, he quickly felt at home here and became increasingly involved in the running of the centre. He became part of the management team in 1999, was ordained into the Western Buddhist Order in 2001 and became Centre Director in 2006. He has a background in earth and life sciences, a long standing interest in natural history and a love of the wilderness. He lives at Dhanakosa with Dharmavasini and their 2 children.
Subhanaya works at Dhanakosa and was ordained in 2021. Time in nature is an important part of her spiritual and embodiment practice. Dance and movement has been a major part of her life and practice for 9 years, she is currently training to teach Open Floor movement practice, more here - www.subhanayadance.com
Regulars - Triratna
These retreats are for people who are currently 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.
The five skandhas are a description of human experience often evoked in both early and later Buddhism to point to the nature of reality through reflection. When tackled experientially this list, that at first glance seems rather dry and abstract, becomes rich and wondrous. And, has the power to lead us to deep transformation. On this retreat we will take a three levels of wisdom approach to the topic; using study to conceptually understand our topic just enough to support reflection, then diving into our direct experience we will familiarise ourselves sufficiently to support deeper meditation, enabling us to witness the unfolding of experience with a new sense of freedom.
The skandhas are of course a description of the whole of our experience so as well as a substantial amount of time in the shrine room we will be encouraging an integrated and holistic approach to practice, including periods of meditation and reflection outdoors where the sensuous experience of nature can gently lead us deeper. Optional movemement sessions will also support us to take our reflections more fully into our embodied experience.
For more information see the retreat information sheet. You could also check out a series of short youtube videos by Nayaka on each of the Skandas.