Monday, 29 December 2014

Review of the Year

Here are some of the stories that we covered in 2014...................

We "started" the year by wishing everyone A Happy 2014, 2556, 2557, 1435, etc. etc. etc.

In which we touched on the fact that not everyone uses the christian calendar.

Later in January we had the story of a certain Fat Figure NOT being the Buddha. This was linked to the broadcast of the BBC program, "The naked rambler", (that guy's face keeps reminding me of someone.....)

This was closely followed by the story of a teacher in Louisiana who told a Buddhist child that “You’re Stupid if You Don’t Believe in God.”

In February we featured the end of the world yet again. This time it was Ragnarok, the Viking apocalypse.

This was immediately followed by a piece on the five times the world really did nearly come to an end, the Big Five mass extinctions.

On to March and how China didn't react to Russia's re-absorbtion of Crimea into the motherland and how that related to Tibet.

In April the New York Times asked its readers to write haiku about the city. This one struck a note after the then recent floods here in the UK.............

Beware the puddle
of indeterminate depth
that swallows boots whole

I also liked,

Coffee by myself
The wind whispers names of friends
Yet alone I sit

At the end of the month we quoted Thich Nhat Hanh on is Mindfulness Being Corrupted?

May brought the news that when Ajahn Brahm, was invited to deliver a speech on Gender Equality at the UN Day of Vesak Convention in Vietnam his speech was banned by the conference organising committee the day before it was due to be given at the Convention.

In June we featured Liao Yiwu's Poem "Massacre" about the events in Tiananmen Square.

Also in June we reported on Isle of Wight filmmaker and teacher Joe Briscoe planning to raise money for the Tibet Relief Fund by swimming the solent on July 6th. He swam from Hurst Castle on the mainland to the West Wight!

In July we reported that former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan William does Buddhist Meditation.

On August the 4th, on the 100th anniversary  of the outbreak of the first World War we posted this picture Lest We Forget......

On Saturday, 6th of September, we celebrated the 4th International Bhikkhuni Day. Each year a women, or group of women are chosen to honour and discover more about. This year it was Yasodhara, the wife of Siddhartha Gautama.

The following day it was off to the Duver for the 17th Annual Isle of Wight Buddhist picnic.

This year the weather was much kinder to us and we had a glorious late Summer's day for it, consequently our numbers were up to 21 (including 2 children and a dog).

Not everyone is in this shot, some were exploring the Duver and others were "playing" footie (kicking a ball around for the children) and Alec was taking the photo!

In October we posted the item Buddhism and World Mental Health Day, drawing on "A Buddhist
perspective on mental health" by Caroline Brazier.

The Buddha’s teaching is all about the mind and how it leads us to suffering and the Buddhist practise of meditation allows us to focus on the workings of our mind and to peer beneath our conditioned behaviours and to see clearly what is actually going on. By settling our “monkey” mind our constant verbalisation and running self commentary are stilled and all of our “selves” can drop away. Put simply, Buddhist practice, drop by drop, changes the way our brains and thus our minds work – for the better.

We ended the month by presenting the first "half" of this Annual Review.....

For the West Wight Sangha the highlight of November was undoubtedly our visit to the Buddhist monastery at Chithurst.

Tragically, this was followed three days later with the sad news that Thich Nhat Hanh had suffered a severe brain hemorrhage.The latest bulletin, dated the 13th of December, states,

"In recent days Thay has been showing some indications of wakefulness, but he continues to remain in a coma. There have been times when Thay had his eyes open for more than two hours, and is responsive, but he is not yet showing clear signs of communication. The doctors remind us that it may be weeks or months before we can understand the damage caused by the hemorrhage and discover the extent of healing that may be possible."

At the beginning of December we critiqued Melvyn Bragg's Radio 4 program, "In Our Time" which was on the subject of Zen Buddhism. I expressed the opinion that if you had listened to the program you would "have learnt precious little about Zen or indeed Buddhism!"

Decide for yourself............

While on the subject of audio items, on the18th we featured Vishvapani's Response to the Peshawar Massacre.

Do have, whenever it arrives, a happy and peaceful 2557, 2558 or if wood sheep are your thing it will be 2142

Saturday, 20 December 2014

NEW MOON - Saturday 20th December 2014


The Buddha's perfection is complete; 
in him there is no craving that could drag him down. 
No measure is there for his wisdom; 
no limits are there to be found. 
In what way could he be distracted from truth?

Dhammapada v. 180

A clear vision of perfection leads to confidence. If the vision is in harmony with truth, our life will be oriented towards genuine wisdom and compassion. If the vision is a fabrication, perhaps containing partial truths, it could still give us confidence, but at the expense of well-being; our own and that of others. The vision of perfection recommended by the Buddha encourages inquiry into our here-and-now experience. It is not just pointing to another condition in which we should believe, but to an unshakeable reality which he himself realized and then invited us to realize. He called this perfection the unconditioned. It can’t be owned or interfered with. It’s what manifests when all clinging to conditions, the wonderful and the threatening, have been released. That is why it is a reliable goal.

With Metta, Bhikkhu Munindo

Thursday, 18 December 2014

A Buddhist Response to the Peshawar Massacre

I wondered whether or not to respond to the mass slaughter of children in Peshawar and indeed how to without engendering even more reactivity but then I listened to Vishvapani's Thought for the day on the BBC this morning. He said it so much better than I could so here is what he had to say............

Of all the horrors we’ve seen in the international conflict with radical Islam, Wednesday’s massacre at the army school in Peshawar must be among the most ghastly. When defenceless women and children are targeted on this scale, we’ve reached a new level of barbarism.

How did we get here? Without detracting from the attack’s distinctive horror, it stems from a spiral of violence and escalating conflict. When did it all start: the Pakistani army’s campaign against the Taliban? The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq? 9/11? The legacy of occupation and empire that stretches back over centuries? The causes are endless: perhaps that’s the nature of conflicts. And the solutions are doubtful. The Pakistani army may be victorious, but at what cost, and with what consequences? Perhaps this war will spread, or merge into the region’s other conflicts; or perhaps the barbarism will just continue to escalate.

Reflecting on the conflicts of his own time, the Buddha alighted on a singular term for what he observed: proliferation. Causes multiply into diverse effects, especially when ideology and beliefs magnify them. He made sense of this by noting the parallel with what happens in our minds: one irritable thought begets another, which becomes a compelling narrative about what’s happening; and, soon enough, we act.

This psychological approach led the Buddha to locate the ultimate causes of war and conflict in the minds of individual human beings. We’ll do anything to banish unpleasant feelings and put things right when we feel they’re wrong, even if that leads us to act in ways we’d otherwise condemn. That’s how otherwise decent people come to justify the use of torture. 

In the Buddhist view, nothing good can result when we’re driven by hatred, anger and the desire for revenge. Blood will have blood. This doesn’t mean that force should never be used or that wars are never justified; but it’s a strong caution to check the impulse to act out of anger, to note the moral distortion that rigid ideology can bring, and to allow space for other wiser responses that come when we put anger aside. 

Proliferation ends, the Buddha suggested, when we learn to tolerate pain, rather than reacting to it, and when patience and forgiveness give us the mental space to act with love. For me, that’s the ultimate challenge of the barbarity in Pakistan. The world is good at creating warmongers. Peacemakers have to make themselves. 

(You can listen to Vishvapani's talk and download it HERE)

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Doing Without an Army

I'm not a huge fan of Facebook or indeed social media in general but I will concede that it's a way of keeping track of what old friends are up to. Having, over the years, reconnected with old classmates at school reunions I was interested in a posting by one friend on the subject of not having an army.

Graham, who is a Quaker, wrote, "Just discovered that on 1st December 1948 Costa Rica abolished its military! What a great thing! And when I researched it further I found there are 21 countries that have done the same thing. Lietchenstein abolished its army in 1869 because it was too expensive. If one can do, so can all! Imagine the good that could be done in the world with all the money we spend on armed forces!"

In fact fifteen countries have no armed forces:-

Costa Rica
Marshall Islands
Federated States of Micronesia
Saint Lucia
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Solomon Islands
Vatican City

While six nations have no standing army, but do have limited military forces. They are:-


Saturday, 6 December 2014

FULL MOON – Saturday 6th December, 2014


If you perform an evil act, 
then do not repeat it. 
Avoid finding pleasure in its memory. 
The aftermath of evil-doing is painful.

Dhammapada v.117

Overwhelm is what happens when we lose touch with our refuge: we become absorbed in the activity of the mind and lose perspective. Our refuge is well developed mindfulness, embodied mindfulness, tried and tested through sitting, standing, walking and lying down. If a foundation of right mindfulness is not firmly established, habits tend to take hold; habits like the mind dwelling unskilfully in the past. If we make a mistake, practice means holding the memory in awareness just long enough to learn what we need to learn, then dropping it, letting go and beginning again. The momentum of negative emotions swamps us usually when mindfulness is not strong. Consciously, regularly, redetermining our commitment to our refuge is one way of protecting ourselves from overwhelm.

With Metta, Bhikkhu Munindo

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Zen "In Our Time"

Some of you may have heard Melvyn Bragg's Radio 4 program, "In Our Time" this morning in which the subject discussed was Zen Buddhism. If you did you will have learnt precious little about Zen or indeed Buddhism!

The whole program was a bit of a mishmash not helped by the fact that Bragg was obviously suffering from a ferocious cold. The guests, Tim Barrett, Emeritus Professor in the Department of the Study of Religions at SOAS, University of London, Lucia Dolce, Numata Reader in Japanese Buddhism at SOAS, University of London and Eric Greene, Lecturer in East Asian Religions at the University of Bristol failed to get over some key points. The most central one being the nature of Zen meditation, Zazen. Constantly reiterating that it meant "just" sitting was singularly uninformative so I'm quoting from the "Rules for Meditation" from the Soto Zen tradition...........

"You should meditate in a quiet room, eat and drink moderately, cut all ties, give up everything, think of neither good nor evil, consider neither right nor wrong. Control mind function, will, consciousness, memory, perception and understanding; you must not strive thus to become Buddha. Cling to neither sitting nor lying down. When meditating, do not wear tight clothing. Rest the left hand in the palm of the right hand with the thumbs touching lightly; sit upright, leaning neither to left nor right, backwards nor forwards. The ears must be in line with the shoulders and the nose in line with the navel; the tongue must be held lightly against the back of the top teeth with the lips and teeth closed. Keep the eyes open, breathe in quickly, settle the body comfortably and breathe out sharply. Sway the body left and right then sit steadily, neither trying to think nor trying not to think; just sitting, with no deliberate thought, is the important aspect of serene reflection meditation."

As you can see there is a little more to it than "just sitting" but as always I'll let you listen and decide for yourselves.................

I have also placed this on the Miscellaneous page of our Audio section where you can download it.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Buddhist monks attended a mass alms-offering ceremony in Bangkok's shopping district on Sunday.

According to organisers over 10,000 Buddhist monks from 323 temples attended the event.

Food and funding received from the event was given to monks in the four southern provinces of Thailand.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Buddha, The Unwanted Visitor

While I was trawling the net for a suitable picture to use in the previous post I came across this one by chance...........................

Visiting the hosting page, a photo blog by Marwan Tahtah, I found the story of how six years ago film director Silvio Tabet had imported the statue of the Buddha and had erected it on his own private land, high up in Baskinta in the mountains of the Metn, northeast of Beirut.

As you can see this does not seem to have gone down well with the locals in this Lebanese Christian area. The statue is about 100 meters away from the historic Mar Youssef Church and the world’s tallest lit cross which attracts believers and tourists from around the world.

Friday, 21 November 2014

NEW MOON - Friday 21st November 2014


Having found no companion
who has travelled at least as far as ourselves,
it is better to go alone than to accompany those 
who remain irresolute. 

Dhammapada v. 61

Until we have looked closely into the actual experience of loneliness, this painful feeling always appears as an enemy, showing us up as a failure. From the perspective of unawareness this life-denying sensation seems only to indicate how far we have gone wrong. From the perspective of wise reflection however, this very same experience lights up the direction we need to go if we want freedom. Suffering is a message; it is not an indictment against us. The feeling of loneliness is like a narrow doorway that we must go through to be free of the confines of the prison of self obsession. It is for paying attention to, not for running away from.

With Metta, Bhikkhu Munindo

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Thich Nhat Hahn Gravely Ill

Plum Village, November 12, 2014

To all Plum Village Practice Centers,
To all Practice Centers and Sanghas World Wide,
To our Dear Beloved Friends,

With a deep mindful breath we announce to the world the news that yesterday, the 11th of November 2014 Thay, Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, experienced a severe brain hemorrhage. Thay is receiving 24 hour intensive care from specialist doctors, nurses and from his monastic disciples.

At present, Thay is still very responsive and shows every indication of being aware of the presence of those around him. He is able to move his feet, hands and eyes. There are signs that a full recovery may be possible.

For the last two months, Thay’s health had already been fragile due to his advance age. He was hospitalized in Bordeaux on the 1st of November. He was gaining strength day by day until this sudden and unexpected change in his condition.

Monday, 10 November 2014

A Great Day at Chithurst Buddhist Monastery

Yesterday we got together with the Newport Soto Zen group for a day out at Cittaviveka, the Thereavada Buddhist Monastery at Chithurst over on the North island.

We seem to have left the rain behind on the island and enjoyed a beautiful, bright sunny day only catching the rain when we came back home! The monastery was an oasis of calm and peace with the only sounds those of bird song and the occasional high flying aircraft.

We had a very good turnout from the West Wight and it was a real pleasure to see how much those Sangha members who had not been before enjoyed the experience. 

Thursday, 6 November 2014

FULL MOON – Thursday 6th November, 2014

Truly Beneficial

It is easy to do that which is 
of no real benefit to oneself, 
but it is difficult indeed to do that 
which is truly beneficial and good.

Dhammapada v. 163

There are times when it is right to cultivate ‘going with the flow’. At other times going against the flow is more beneficial. The momentum of our habits easily propels us into actions of body, speech and mind that undermine our efforts to deepen in practice. If we find we keep making the same mistake over and again, something needs to change, but how do we bring about that change? To see beyond the way things appear to be – to the way things actually are – takes energy. Mindful restraint, or going against the flow, is one way of generating that energy. Contrary to the values of popular culture it is O.K. to frustrate our preferences. Always doing what feels good might be ‘my’ way, but maybe not the Buddha’s.

With Metta, Bhikkhu Munindo

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Review of the Year............ sort of

Regular visitors to this site may be wondering what has happened to our traditional Review of the Year which should have appeared in June. Well I missed the deadline for a whole raft of reasons and then got paralysed by the usual "well I can't do it now, it's too late" syndrome.

However, on reflection I think that it is an ideal opportunity to bring the review in line with the actual year so what follows is a review of our postings from July of last year to the end of 2013. We will then have a "conventional" review of this year in early January 2015.... just like everyone else!

We started July with the story of "A Buddhist Shanty Town?"

and then continued the theme of Buddhist buildings with the news that the Tassajara Zen Mountain Centre Escapes Fire.

And then into August with the story of Ayya Khema and the Coincidence. This was followed with a reminder of the upcoming annual Buddhist picnic and then into September for the event itself..............

"It's becoming a tradition that it pours down for the annual Buddhist picnic and this year was no different.....",
"However for those few brave souls who made it to the Duver in St. Helens there was a clear (ish) slot in the weather for us to enjoy the event."

On the 23rd we had the story of Giel, the Belgium boy who the authorities banned from travelling to India to become a Buddhist monk.

The month ended with the news that the long awaited film "The Buddha’s Forgotten Nuns" had finally been released.

We had originally reported on this back in January 2011 when the working title was "Bhikkhuni: Revival of the Women's Order". We purchased the film from Vimeo and have shared it with other Buddhist groups on the island.

On the 7th of October we had the great pleasure of a visit by Bhante Bodhidhamma to the West Wight Sangha.

Also in October we reported that with Armistice Day only being a fortnight away (as it is now) that you may like to consider also wearing a Purple Poppy this year to commemorate all of the animals killed in war. The poppies can be obtained from the Animal Aid website with profits going to support the charity's work.

In November we reported how Chinese Buddhist frescoes had been overpainted a'la the Spanish church masterpiece that was so widely reported.

This was shortly followed on the 14th with the news that Giel had been given permission to leave for India!

On the full moon of the17th we featured our regular Dhammapada reflection from Ajahn Munindo. The subject for this one was Endearment and I came across this amazingly moving picture of a sculpture of the dying mother Theresa.

Talking of amazing photographs, that post was immediately followed by a piece on the work of American Buddhist monk Nicholas Vreeland.....................

And there's more......................

23rd of November.... Regular readers will know that we have been committed supporters of full female ordination within all Buddhist traditions and have had a particular interest in supporting full Bhikkhuni ordination within the Thai forest tradition of Ajahn Chah.

I received an email from the Alliance for Bhikkhunis on their site they catalogue all the Nunneries for fully ordained Bhikkhuni that are now available since that first "controversial" ordination in Perth. It has become an impressive list so I've reproduced it here.............................

We ended the month with the "News" that the Buddha's birth was earlier than previously thought. This however remains a controversial finding and we will report on any definitive conclusions as and when they arise.

December started with the news that the Bible was being sold as fiction, in the United States!!!

And we finish our roundup with the news that a new Dictionary of Buddhism had been published.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

NEW MOON - Wednesday 22nd October 2014


Having empathy for others
one sees that all beings are afraid
of harm and death. 
Knowing this, one does not kill 
or cause to be killed. 

Dhammapada v. 129

Empathy is the essence of harmony. Throughout our lives we depend to varying degrees on others. If we forget that we all long for happiness and fear harm, we risk being dominated by self-centred concerns, but we can learn to recognize that which we all share. Empathy supports insight into selflessness. Through empathy we see that like us, others too hope not to be disappointed, and others too fear losing the things they hold dear. Even the wish to cause harm to another is a form of suffering we share with others. All those whose sense of identity comes from attaching to their body/mind are obliged to endure disharmony and the distorted thoughts and feelings which arise as a consequence. Letting go of attachment to this body/mind and recognizing our identity in understanding, means disharmony simply won’t arise.

With Metta, Bhikkhu Munindo

Monday, 20 October 2014

Our Autumn Retreat

Yesterday we held our Autumn meditation retreat here at the West Wight Sangha. We hold quarterly "Seasonal" retreats, Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter (there's a film title in there somewhere) to which we invite participants from the other Buddhist Sanghas on the island.

This time we were joined by members of the Newport Soto Zen group and the Isle of Wight Sangha of the Community of Interbeing from Lake.

As part of our day we used a guided meditation on emptiness led by Ajahn Punnadhammo. This proved to be very popular so I'm posting it here for you all to enjoy. One little caveat, at the end he says that he will ring the bell twice - he doesn't or it's not on the recording, the second one never comes so just end your meditation naturally in your own time.


Friday, 10 October 2014

Buddhism and World Mental Health Day

Today is World Mental Health Day, the annual global celebration of mental health education,
awareness and advocacy. Every year the focus is on a particular aspect of mental illness and for 2014 the theme is "Living with Schizophrenia".

Now if there is one area where Buddhism really connects in a relevant, dynamic and contemporarily meaningful way with the modern world it is in the field of mental health.

The Buddha’s teaching is all about the mind and how it leads us to suffering and the Buddhist practise of meditation allows us to focus on the workings of our mind and to peer beneath our conditioned behaviours and to see clearly what is actually going on. By settling our “monkey” mind our constant verbalisation and running self commentary are stilled and all of our “selves” can drop away. Put simply, Buddhist practice, drop by drop, changes the way our brains and thus our minds work – for the better.

“What Buddhists contribute is a richness of direct observation of mental process and an ethical underpinning which concurs in most ways with the broader ethical views of society. Beyond its obvious contribution of methodologies for calming and focusing the mind, it offers an understanding that whilst critiquing some Western attitudes to the self, increasingly aligns with practical approaches being offered by secular agencies in the treatment of ill health. Most importantly, though, it is grounded in a view of compassion and wisdom as the cornerstones of human improvement. Such basic commodities as must indeed underpin whatever attempt we make to be of service to others.”


Wednesday, 8 October 2014

FULL MOON – Wednesday 8th October, 2014

Frame of Reference

Passed down by the wise is the knowledge that,
though what is externally impressive loses its splendour, 
and though our bodies will decay, 
the truth itself outlasts all degeneration. 

Dhammapada v.151

Not only our bodies, but all material objects are subject to the law of impermanence; as are social structures, institutions, relationships, and organisations. Everything around us and within us is in a state of perpetual flux. As children, for the sake of balanced development, it is necessary to be somewhat protected from this fact. We are not for instance repeatedly instructing children regarding Mum and Dad’s mortality. Yet as we grow up, sooner or later, we must admit that this really is how it is. Indeed, more than admit it we need to embrace this truth, if we wish to accord wisely with changing conditions. The Buddha identified the law of impermanence as something beyond degeneration; something stable and secure; a Truth we can turn to, to find a frame of reference.

With Metta, Bhikkhu Munindo

Friday, 3 October 2014

China Throws its Weight Around, Again

The World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, which was supposed to happen in Cape Town, has been cancelled after the South African government refused a visa to the Dalai Lama.

South Africa denied Tibet's exiled spiritual leader permission to attend the summit to avoid angering China, which regards the Buddhist monk as a "splitist" who wants Tibet to secede from China.

When the Dalai Lama announced he could not attend the meeting, six fellow laureates said they would boycott the summit in protest.

 “The venue of the summit has been shifted out of South Africa,” Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jody Williams, one of the boycotters, said to American reporters today. Williams was speaking from Dharamsala, India, where she was visiting the Dalai Lama to celebrate his Nobel silver jubilee anniversary celebrations yesterday.

Nobel peace laureate Desmond Tutu has lashed out at his government for "kowtowing" to China by barring the Dalai Lama from attending the global summit in Cape Town.

 Mr Tutu said the move sullies the memory of Nelson Mandela, who would not bend to the will of powerful states in his time as president. "When the Americans told him he couldn't continue his friendship with presidents Gaddafi and Castro, he told them to go and jump in the lake," Mr Tutu said.

Mr Mandela's heirs in the ruling African National Congress party under president Jacob Zuma had now "spat in Mandela's face", Mr Tutu said in a statement.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

NEW MOON - Tuesday 23rd September 2014

Pursuing Happiness

You will not succeed in your pursuit of happiness
if it is at the expense of others' well-being. 
The snare of ill-will can still entangle you.

Dhammapada v.291

Happiness is like food; it nourishes us. For it to be wholesome and genuinely sustaining however, our efforts must come with empathy. Striving to be happy, but lacking awareness of how we affect others is short-sighted. We may think we are generating causes for well-being, but in our hearts be harbouring jealousy or enmity.

With Metta, Bhikkhu Munindo

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Pic of the Picnic

I've just received pictures of last Sunday's annual Buddhist picnic. This year the weather was much kinder to us and we had a glorious late Summer's day for it, consequently our numbers were up to 21 (including 2 children and a dog).

Not everyone is in this shot, some were exploring the Duver and others were "playing" footie (kicking a ball around for the children) and Alec was taking the photo!

Monday, 8 September 2014

FULL MOON – Monday 8th September, 2014


Distorted views,
which give rise to seeing right as wrong
and wrong as right, 
are the cause for beings to disintegrate.

Dhammapada v. 318

We sometimes need reminding that the causes of suffering – our own and that of the world – are complex. Often it is not what is happening in the outer world that leads to our struggles, but how we view things. Assuming the validity of views and opinions just because they are commonly held is not wise. Convenient perhaps, but that is not a good reason to invest in them. It is simplistic to collude with collective thinking without looking into the consequences. Having preferences is natural, but clinging to them and finding identity by holding to them, leads to prejudice and disintegration – inwardly and outwardly.

With Metta, Bhikkhu Munindo

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Today is the 4th International Bhikkhuni Day

Since 2011 the Alliance for Bhikkhunis (AfB) has been holding an International Bhikkhuni Day to learn about, celebrate and pay respect to the Bhikkhuni Sangha, honouring their essential role in preserving the Dhamma.

Each year AfB has chosen a women, or group of women to honour and discover more about.
This year it's Yasodhara, the wife of Siddhartha Gautama.

The first year the Alliance was surprised at how many sanghas and viharas participated, mostly in California, forwarded it to AfB so that they can continue to support the bhikkhuni sangha.
but also two here in the UK, one in Canada and one in Australia. Each year more groups have participated Last year they had 15 groups including several in Asia and South America! And each year more and more generous donors have filled dana baskets at their events, donated the dana to their local bhikkhunis or

Sunday, 31 August 2014

One Week to the Picnic

It’s now just a week to go to the 17th Annual Buddhist Picnic! This year we will be back to the tradition venue of the Duver at St. Helens on Sunday 7th of September, 12:30 onwards. For those of you who have not been before , our picnic site is the other side of the road from the National Trust car park. Take the right hand turning by the signs showing the Duver and long stay beach front car parks,

carry on a few hundred metres and the National Trust car park is on the left then just look for some Buddhists sitting under a very small oak tree!

Family, friends, children and dogs welcome. Bring vegetarian food to share (don’t forget the fruit juices).

Sunday, 24 August 2014

NEW MOON - Sunday 24th August 2014

Gentle Strength

Those who speak truth 
and give gentle encouragement, 
contending with no-one, 
these do I call great beings.

Dhammapada v. 408

There are times when we need to be assertive. As our body’s immune system is assertive when dealing with disease. But let’s not make assertiveness our only way of being. It can appear strong and impressive, it gets results, but it has limitations. There are times when gentleness is what is called for. Gentle speech which is true and encouraging, also produces results.

With Metta, Bhikkhu Munindo