Newsletter, 3rd August 2020
You are invited to join us for
A SPECIAL EVENT
On Saturday 8th August
at 2pm Rome Time/ 1pm British Summer Time
Guest Speaker: Yaya de Andrade
"Present Reality in Layers:
Being Far Yet Staying Present"
Dharmavidya writes: Dr Andrade, a long-time friend of mine, is a Brazilian psychologist, resident in Canada, who had a distinguished career specialising in the care of people in post-traumatic situations - war and other disasters. She travelled to many of the world's hot spots to carry out this work. She will talk about her experience, methods, and ideas and there will be discussion and time for questions.
If you would like details of how to join this Zoom Meeting,
send a request :: here
Invite your friends.
During the Sunday morning Amida Shu Interest Group a week ago there arose a discussion about ethics. Paul subsequently wrote a response to this discussion to which Dharmavidya replied. You can find this exchange :: here
Go to the page and scroll down to the “Comment Wall”. If you are a member of the site, you can add your own comment or response.
These are the Amida groups meeting regularly with Dharmavidya on Zoom:
for people who have taken the fivefold refuge (Saturdays)
Amida Shu Interest Group
discussing topics often related to the podcasts (Sunday Mornings)
Amida Shu Friendship Group
for conversation between Amida friends on Sunday evening
Zen Therapy Basic Principles Group
Seminars on introductory Zen Therapy (Saturday mornings, fortnightly)
Zen Therapy Webinars
Seminars on topics related to the distance learning programme in Buddhist psychology. (Saturday evenings fortnightly)
To express interest in joining any of these groups or to receive the podcasts, contact Dharmavidya :: here
Further Amida on-line events
can be found :: here
Satya: Here at Amida Mandala we have emerged out of complete lock-down into semi-lockdown - holding Saturday services in the temple garden, broadcasting our Zoom from the shrine room on Wednesday evenings, and sharing a meal every Friday with the templemates again. Personally we have both been very busy with various projects - Kaspa is working with the NBO and has designed a website for the Extinction Rebellion Buddhists, Satya is organising some events looking at race within Buddhism, and an inter-faith vigil for the September rebellion in London (:: link). We're still being entertained by our new dog Ralph and his best friend Aiko. Love to all.
Sangeetashraddha: A Quaker friend in Bournville told us how before this international health crisis, her social connections were mainly around circle dancing, playing in an instrumental ensemble and singing in choirs. All of these are no longer allowed due to their health risks at this time. So her big learning in this time has been of acceptance. I feel there has been much of the same in my own experience. For me, not being able to travel very much has made a big impact on my activities. My own key activities were the choir and Malvern Temple, my work in Leicester, my spiritual practice, mostly during my long train journeys, my visiting Dad three counties away. All these have gone or are very changed. I really don't get on with the Internet at the moment so putting my previous activities online has not been a viable option for me. So my life has become quite monastic as a result and personal spiritual practice has become my main focus. As this time has gone on my practice has changed to suit my situation. My days are focused on simple, repeating patterns of tasks and two parallel strands have emerged, informing each other. One, I might call, the four noble truths - as this is the touch stone I keep coming back to; the other, I might call, the Lord's prayer - as this is the other touch stone I keep coming back to. They have aligned for me like two patterns which at first seemed contrasting but now seem more and more to reinforce and inform each other. Focusing on the here and now, for me it has become important to not focus on what I would like to be doing or what I imagine myself doing in a non-crisis future but to accept the situation of right here in this geographical place, right now at this unmediated time, and try and make it really count for me as a valuable thing to be engaging with in its own right, without any reference to favourable outcomes from it in an imagined future.
Namo Amida Bu
Like Amida’s light the garden is always there offering wisdom, comfort and shining light on the way. For the garden to thrive, we must create the conditions for growth, providing the right help in the right time and place. When something thrives, when blooms appear, we rejoice the incredible effort and exuberance. But our efforts are not always enough. We are only one element in the dance of life. Sometimes a struggling plant dies before it has even begun and we accept that as the workings of fate, knowing that the plant had paid its life forward and rejoice for it, as well as its gift to the future.
I have two vases of flowers that cycle through my living space. Most times there are flowers that are freshly beginning the march of death with those who yet endure. Their beauty is in the whole diversity of textures, colors, age. I observe as they move through phases of life and have their own unique beauty. The darkening hues and changing forms creating a new ensemble. Then finally, it is their turn to lay their weary heads upon the pile and dream of future blossoms.