Adelaide Sangha has been focusing on themes emphasised by George Monbiot in ‘Out of the wreckage’, such as knowing your values. We have shared actions that most of us already practice that take account of the wellbeing of other beings. For example, we looked at minimising plastic packaging, going 100% vegan, providing resources for refugee families and rewilding (or revegetating/replanting) land that has been given over to grazing. Returning native flora enables vulnerable fauna to be maintained or re-introduced and this is one way of responding with creative loving-kindness to our continent. This also enables us to regain and retain an aspect of our commons. We have encouraged deeper consideration of the values that underlie these actions – raising these to a conscious level rather than settling into habituation or complacent familiarity. In this way we can extend the actions we are taking by truly valuing our values.
This week we will review the values that underlie our actions and see how they may help us to broaden and deepen our compassionate action in all our interactions. This will be based on the relationship of compassion and ‘emptiness’ or selflessness, as an answer to the feeling of overwhelm that many discussed experiencing. ‘Compassion is the activity of emptiness, the expression of selflessness. The more we understand the selfless nature, the more compassionate we are. The more compassion we have, the less self-reference there is, so we understand the empty nature better. Then Dharma practice really begins to feel integrated. We can practice this compassionate emptiness’ (Joseph Goldstein 2009). From this basis we also build opportunities for creating a new story or adding to a burgeoning one, that connects to our deeper nature and to nature itself.
Amidst all of this, our sangha noted that BAM is held around the mid-summer solstice in Europe, and mid-winter in the southern hemisphere. Mid-winter is often experienced as a time for reflection and taking stock which for us makes it more of a ‘Buddhist Reflection Month’ than an ‘Action Month’ in these short, cold days. All of this we can take as refreshed actions into spring.
Originally posted by Keryn Walshe on thebuddhistcentre.com
Current Theme for Sangha Night
from Tuesday July 3rd
96 Halifax Street, Adelaide
The Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha are called the Three Jewels because they represent the highest spiritual values in Buddhism. The Buddha represents the Ideal of Enlightenment, the Dharma is the teachings and practices that lead us towards it and the Sangha is the community of friends, teachers and inspirational figures from Buddhist history who offer us support and guidance as we journey along together.
Over the course of ten weeks we will explore what it means to turn our hearts and minds towards these ideals opening up new possibilities for development, evolution, and progress.
Our founder Sangharakshita said that there are ‘no higher teachings, just deeper understandings’, so there is value even for experienced practitioners in reexamining how our commitment to these ideals plays out in our daily lives, but this Tuesday night theme is also an ideal opportunity for newcomers to Buddhism to join us in exploring these values.
Start time is 6.45pm every Tuesday evening at 96 Halifax St in the city with meditation practice (with or without guidance) in the first half of the evening and then talks and discussion in the second half, finishing at 9pm. All welcome.
The Alchemy of Love: entering the realms of the brahma viharas
This is our new theme for Sangha Nights, commencing next Tuesday 21st February. The four brahma viharas, or sublime abodes, are metta, karuna, mudita and upeksa, that is, loving kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy and equanimity. We are going to follow the threads of discussion and exploration that have been taking shape through the past weeks and encourage ourselves to go deeper with this revolutionary approach to meditation and living our lives. Alchemy – turning base metal into gold; this can be us, opening to the inner depths of our being, giving rise to beauty and kindness in the face of suffering and joy alike.
See you there on Tuesday evenings, 6.45pm at 96 Halifax St in the city; all welcome.
Please Note: a drop-in meditation class is available every week at the same place and time, 6.45pm, for those interested to learn about meditation or refresh their practice. There is no cost for these sessions, simply a contribution according to means, the Buddhist practice of dana or generosity.
Come and be gently led through a mindfulness and a cultivation of loving-kindness practice by ordained members of Adelaide’s Triratna Buddhist Community. No experience is necessary.
Mindfulness is a mental state cultivated by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations. It has been a main focus of Buddhist practice for 2,500 years and has recently been more widely adopted as a technique for reducing stress and anxiety and improving focus and clarity of mind.
In the loving-kindness practice we are working with our emotions, learning to enter more fully into positive and enjoyable mental states as well as cultivating a more kindly attitude towards others, which in turn enables us to live more harmoniously with those around us.
There is no fee for these one hour events, but donations are welcome.
Anthroposophical Society, 96 Halifax Street, Adelaide 5000
22 Feb 6pm, 25 Feb 11am, 2 Mar 6pm, 5 Mar 11am
8 Mar 6pm, 11 Mar 11am, 16 Mar 6pm, 19 Mar 11am
On Sangha Night next Tuesday 30th August, we will be taking our next steps beyond becoming incorporated and inviting people to share in creating a collective endeavour to move us more and more in the direction of a true sangha in the making.
Following our meditation, the second part of the evening will start with a pithy half hour talk by an Order member at the San Fransisco Buddhist Centre, about the individual, the group and the spiritual community. This will serve to remind us what we have been exploring over the winter about the true nature of sangha and the individual. It will also lay the foundation for Rich and Tash to share a vision for Adelaide Triratna growing into the future and invite each one of us to reflect on what we may be able to offer to the development of our sangha.
Bring along, in hard copy, your favourite photos of Adelaide Triratna events and activities from the past three years. We will rejoice together at the end of the evening with our Three-Fold Puja, as a celebration of sangha and Bhante Sangharakshita, the founder of our movement and Order, whose 91st birthday is 26th August.
“Imagine a world without colour, beauty, poetry, myth, celebration, or ritual. Such a world would be a very dull, drab, dead world indeed. Such experiences are essential to human life; they cultivate our emotions, refine our senses, and enrich our imaginations.” (quoted from the Introduction to our Puja book, written by Dhammadinna)
Inspired by last week’s True Individual retreat, next Tuesday 16th we will celebrate the full moon with a ‘compilation’ puja full of colour and poetry, so come along and join us for this joyous occasion, starting promptly at 6.45pm.
Please note we will start with the puja, to be followed by a period of meditation, with delicious vegan refreshments as our closure to the evening.
There will be no Drop-In meditation on this night.
Tuesday 19th July
6.45pm at 96 Halifax St
Adelaide Triratna will celebrate this auspicious occasion in the Buddhist calendar at our Sangha Night next week with meditation and a Sevenfold Puja. Around the full moon in July we gather to rejoice in the gift of the Buddha’s teaching. We bring to mind the historical meeting in the deer park at Sarnath, between the Buddha and his former disciples, when he shared with them his experiences of Awakening and showed them the way to Enlightenment.
Join us for this memorable evening, everyone is welcome.
This will be our new theme on Sangha Nights (commencing 31st May) when we gather weekly on Tuesday evenings, 6.45pm start-time, at 96 Halifax St in the city.
The individuals who make up the Adelaide Triratna sangha will take turns in sharing Sangharakshita’s passionate commitment to the ideal of Sangha, one of the three highest ideals of Buddhism. In these teachings, Sangharakshita presents the ideal Sangha as a free association between developing individuals. An exploration of the nature of spiritual community will be balanced by reflections on individuality and what it truly means to be human.
Everyone is welcome to join us for these enlivening gatherings, transforming Sangha from an idea to an inspiring and practical ideal.
The Drop-In meditation will be happening at the same start-time of 6.45pm, followed by a tea-break and then the talks and discussion. The evening finishes at 9.15pm.
The Bodhisattva of Compassion
When he meditated deeply
Saw the emptiness of all five skandhas
And sundered the bonds that caused him suffering.
So what are these skandhas and how can we sunder the bonds that cause us suffering? The Heart Sutra is so called because it constitutes the heart of the Buddha’s Teaching as communicated to us in the Prajnaparamita, the Perfection of Wisdom sutras. As Sangharakshita has said “If we really know the Heart Sutra, we know – in a sense – everything.”
This is our new theme for Sangha Nights in April… and maybe beyond… as we try to deepen our understanding of this ancient text through the traditional three levels of wisdom, listening, reflecting and meditating upon the heart of the teachings.
Join us on Tuesday nights at 96 Halifax St in the city, meditation begins promptly at 6.45pm.