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Kaspalita's Blog (109)

Guilt and morning meditation

I hadn’t been getting up for morning meditation for months.

This year we’ve had a meditation slot in the temple schedule from 7:30am to 8am. Satya and Jnanamati have been holding the space between them. In the spring time we decided to open up Thursday morning’s to members of the public, and occasionally someone would come along.

I made an effort to get up on Thursdays, when Jnanamati wasn’t here, so that Satya would have some support.

Then the summer came. Jnanamati…

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Added by Kaspalita on September 8, 2016 at 16:00 — 4 Comments

Radical acceptance = relaxation

This is from my writing blog - but I think the lessons apply more generally to life, as well

Deeply accepting yourself leads to relaxation, and better writing

A few days ago I helped my brother move house.

We…

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Added by Kaspalita on August 12, 2016 at 16:05 — No Comments

News from the temple in Malvern

The coach house renovation project has started. Yesterday, Richard, one of our local Sangha members, and Gordon, the builder, began clearing the site ready for work. Today they have been pulling down lime and horsehair plaster that may have been up for 200 years, removing old timber and generally getting on…

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Added by Kaspalita on June 7, 2016 at 14:00 — 1 Comment

News from Amida Mandala

I’ve just taken a stroll around the garden, enjoying a burst of sunshine in a day of mixed weather. A couple of hours ago a brief storm completely soaked Angie, who was busy working in the garden. Luckily David, who had also been busy in the garden, was inside during the wild weather.

Angie, who arrived this morning in her short green wellies, had been planting out the seedlings we’ve been growing on the table in front of the big windows in our flat: Foxglove, coreopsis, aquilegia,…

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Added by Kaspalita on May 18, 2016 at 16:00 — No Comments

The Buddha loves you just the right amount

Recently, I was asked to give a talk on death and dying. It made me recall a passage in the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying where Sogyal Rinpoche describes what faces you after death. From memory, I think he writes about first being faced with a bright white light. This is nirvana. If you can enter the light you can enter nirvana. If you can’t manage this, you are then faced with a soft blue light. This is the gateway to the Purelands. If you can’t face that, you are then presented with…

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Added by Kaspalita on May 11, 2016 at 12:00 — No Comments

News from Amida Mandala

We've just had a short burst of hail. As the hail came down, drumming against the windows and covering the garden in white, I could see the edge of the cloud moving away from us. Within a few moments peace returned, blue sky and sunshine appearing again.

Ten or so days ago, we spent Saturday chanting nembutsu for six hours, and in the evening had a sangha meal, cooked by a wonderful team in the kitchen. It's great to see people working together, offering help and accepting…

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Added by Kaspalita on April 26, 2016 at 11:30 — 1 Comment

My talk at the EBU conference

I had intended to record the talk, but I was so nervous I forgot how to work the recorder. Instead, I've written up this account.

Saturday night. The evening before I was due to give my talk at the European Buddhist Conference. I was starting to feel nervous. Whenever my mind drifted towards…

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Added by Kaspalita on April 12, 2016 at 11:30 — No Comments

Bending reality to our will

This morning the blue wooden bench next to our vegetable plot was bathed in sunshine. Satya and a friend were already sat there, enjoying the view and each others company, when I woke up.

As I drank my morning cup of tea (redbush - these days I avoid caffine, although I still enjoy the ritual of a morning brew) I looked forward to the day ahead. Monday is our rest day, but this week our Saturday had been appointment free, and I felt well rested. I thought I might do a few small…

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Added by Kaspalita on March 21, 2016 at 17:27 — No Comments

News from the temple - gardening :)

The sun is just starting to come through the ash-grey clouds. There is a brightening corner of the sky.

We have had a few beautiful days of sunshine here in Malvern. The air has been cold, cold enough to see my breath, but there has been such wonderful light. Sitting on the bench in the garden…

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Added by Kaspalita on March 16, 2016 at 11:21 — 2 Comments

News from the temple: happiness, chih quan, and getting rid of junk

Last weekend was a busy one here. On Saturday, Satya and I led a retreat day on happiness. We had eight attendees, six from our local community, and two new faces. We've just signed up to meetup.com, a website that lets people know about events they might be interested in, and…

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Added by Kaspalita on February 23, 2016 at 16:30 — 2 Comments

People coming and going - news from the temple

Last week and this week our residential community is in a time of change. Last week one of our youngest residents moved out, and within a couple of days someone had moved into his room. At the end of this week Brian is moving out to go and volunteer in the medium to long term at the refugee camp in Dunkirk, taking the bodhisattva spirit to where it is needed.

It's wonderful that the people moving from here are going on to better things, and it's very pleasing to me that we have a warm…

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Added by Kaspalita on February 16, 2016 at 9:28 — 3 Comments

Talk by Satya - How to Love

On Saturday night Satya spoke about how to love. She talked about the difficulties with letting love flow through us, and what we can do about it. (Just in time for St. Valentine's Day.)…
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Added by Kaspalita on February 9, 2016 at 14:38 — No Comments

News from the temple: rainy days and duvet days

Satya is singing hymns in her office. Jim the gas-man is repairing a gas fire. I have just hung out a load of sheets and put another on to wash.

Monday is officially a day of rest in the temple. Prajna, in Ontario, told us that she takes one day to 'walk, read, and pray' and our day off is inspired by this. Although, personally, I don't always meet the aspiration for my day off to be a retreat day. Today I woke up feeling grumpy and eventually went back to bed. My mind and body were…

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Added by Kaspalita on February 8, 2016 at 16:30 — 1 Comment

Latest from Dharmavidya

Dharmavidya's children Mike and Emma will be arriving in France this weekend. Adam is also travelling there to provide some long-term support for Dharmavidya in his recovery. Acharya Susthama plans to visit soon, as well.

Yesterday Dharmavidya was diagnosed with arthritis in both of his hip joints, this is what was causing his hip pain. He also reacted badly to the medication so the Doctors are changing that to Warfarin.

He has been supported by Elja through this…

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Added by Kaspalita on February 5, 2016 at 17:41 — 1 Comment

News from Dharmavidya

On the Eleusis site Dharmavidya has written an update himself. It sounds like he'll be living a more settled life for a while. I've copied his update below. Or you can read it on the Eleusis site.

.............................

So here I am, in hospital. It is not so different from being in a monastery. There is a routine, even ascetic…

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Added by Kaspalita on February 2, 2016 at 18:56 — No Comments

News from Amida Mandala

I spent a couple of hours in the garden this afternoon. It's been a warm, wet, winter, and the weeds have already started growing. It was good to get back in touch with the earth again.

Whilst weeding I discovered several meters of passion flower had been growing along the ground, tangled up with the weeds. I untangled it and used some old nails and twine to stretch it against the brick wall. It will be wonderful when the deep purple flowers open. Isn't it amazing what grows out of…

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Added by Kaspalita on February 1, 2016 at 16:00 — No Comments

Prayer for Dharmavidya

Some of you will know that Dharmavidya is in hospital near his home in France, recovering from a pulmonary embolism. He's getting treatment but they aren't sure how long he'll need to stay in at the moment.

I wanted to share the prayer for long life that Ananda wrote. Here it is.

Dharmavidya, founder of the Amida Order

Who turns the wheel of Dharma in the West and reveals the Nembutsu Vehicle

So that all may be reborn in Amida's Land of Love and Bliss

May…

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Added by Kaspalita on January 30, 2016 at 9:00 — 11 Comments

This Week in Amida Mandala

This Week in Amida Mandala we had the first hard frost in the garden. Mid-week and we woke up to a white world. The ice stayed for the whole day. It’s warmer again today, and has been a warm winter in general. A mixed blessing – our 200 year old temple can be a…

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Added by Kaspalita on January 23, 2016 at 19:30 — No Comments

Listen to 'Freedom' by Acharya Modgala

Last Saturday evening Acharya Modgala delivered a lovely talk on Freedom. The talk was about facing your fears and Acharya Modgala used examples from her own life, including reading an extract from her up coming book. The recording of the talk includes a question and answer session at the end.

 

You can listen to the talk online here: Freedom (mp3).I have also updated the list of audio talks on the Friends of…

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Added by Kaspalita on September 8, 2015 at 10:24 — No Comments

Latest Amida Mandala Newsletter

Dear Dharma friend,



We've got two special events coming up, a talk by senior order member Acharya Modgala on Freedom this Saturday evening, and a retreat day in a couple of weeks on 'making friends with yourself'. Details…

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Added by Kaspalita on September 1, 2015 at 17:50 — No Comments

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