Rohatsu Sesshin, December 6-8

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To celebrate the Buddha’s enlightenment, we will be offering a two-day residential sesshin during the weekend of December 6 to December 8 at lovely Benburb Priory. The sesshin will be co-led by Djinn Gallagher and visiting teacher Heather Iarusso, and the schedule will be spacious and easy-going, encouraging silence and stillness, with lots of time for rest and long walks. During the night of December 7, it will be possible to sit all night without interruption.

The sesshin begins at 5 pm on Friday and ends after lunch on Sunday. Everyone will have a single room, and vegetarian meals are provided (if you have specific dietary requirements, let us know). The suggested donation to help us cover our costs is £120, and we will be delighted with whatever you can offer.

If you would like to attend, please email us here.

Full Moon Ceremony, Saturday, December 14

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Photo by Sergiu Vălenaș

Saturday, December 14, 10 am – 11 am

Traditionally, Buddhists celebrate the full moon by renewing our vows with the ancient Bodhisattva Full Moon Precept Ceremony. On Saturday, December 14, after one period of zazen, we will celebrate the December full moon. This ceremony marks a public renewal of our commitment to the ethical practices known as the 16 Bodhisattva Precepts. These guiding principles for our daily conduct in the world are:

  • The Three Refuges (refuge in Buddha, the fully awakened and compassionate nature of mind; refuge in Dharma, the flawless truth of interdependence and selflessness; refuge in Sangha, the community of those who practise the Buddhadharma together).
  • The Three Collective Pure Precepts (embracing and sustaining standards of conduct, embracing and sustaining good qualities, embracing and sustaining living beings).
  • The Ten Major Precepts (not killing life, taking what is not given, misusing sexuality, speaking falsely, clouding the mind, speaking of others’ faults, praising self at the expense of others, being possessive, indulging anger, disparaging the Three Treasures – Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha).

This ceremony is a ritual begun by the Buddha himself, where we renew our commitment to practising this way of life, in harmony with all beings.

Sunday Morning Programme for Beginners

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Starting November 24, we will be offering a newcomers’ programme on Sunday morning once a month. From January 2020, it will usually be the second Sunday of the month, unless there’s a sesshin or other event happening – January 12 will be the first beginners’ Sunday of 2020.

(We invite experienced practitioners to come along as allies to support and give a friendly welcome to newcomers!)

The Sunday Beginners Schedule:

  • 9:45 am  – Doors Open
  • 10:00 am  – Meditation Instruction
  • 11:00 am – Break
  • 11:20 am – Meditation
  • 11:40 am – Talk with Questions and Responses
  • 12:00 pm – Tea and biscuits with the community