We Need a New Centre

We just got a letter from our landlord telling us we need to vacate our Inverness centre in June. We’ve managed to negotiate a “stay of execution” for a month or two, but we must start the process of looking for somewhere new.

There is no doubt at all that having the Centre has enabled us to reach out and support the local community in a way that we haven’t been able to before. We’ve run meditation classes, mindfulness classes, yoga classes, drop-in sessions, film nights, Buddhist practice days, group meetings, and more.

And we want to carry on. We’re just getting started!

Can you help?

Do you know of any properties to buy or rent in Inverness (or conveniently close by)? Ideally it will have space for groups of up to 30 people. Obviously we’d prefer the usual amenities, but if the place is a bit dilapidated that’s ok – Triratna has a long and happy history of renovating old properties.

If you do know of something could you click here to send us an email. OR call/text Andy on 07761 321449.

Thank you, thank you for any help you can give.

Metta is not just a meditation exercise – it’s a way of life

Positive emotion has been the topic for our last two Sangha Nights, and it is the second stage in the Triratna System of Practice, which manifests most obviously in the Metta Bhavana meditation practice.

This practice is revolutionary!

It helps us to develop metta for all beings, and as we realise that all beings desire to be happy, it eventually leads to Insight as we transcend subject-object duality. The main characteristic of metta is that it’s entirely without self-interest, and contrary to what we may think, it’s a choice, so not dependent on feelings which may be fleeting.

The Buddha had the same metta for everyone that he met – he was unconditionally willing and committed to helping each person evolve.
If you’re one of the people (and there are many), who struggle with the Metta Bhavana practice, you might like to listen to the talks in this series by Jnanavaca, Who Hates the Metta Bhavana

Remember, metta is a choice, not a feeling.

Parinirvana

Yesterday we commemorated the Parinirvana, or final passing of the Buddha. We listened to readings describing some of the last events in the Buddha’s life from the Mahaparinibbana Sutta. We also remembered our own loved ones who have died, and contemplated the last words of the Buddha:

“All conditioned things are of a nature to decay – strive on untiringly.”

Myke gave a short talk leading us in reflection on this theme:

Sailing the Worldly Winds

In the last four evenings at Sangha Night we’ve been using Vajragupta’s book of this name to consider the “winds” that constantly assail us: Loss & gain; infamy & fame; blame & praise; pain & pleasure. Every day they come and go – resulting in us being blown first in one direction, and then the other, completely at their mercy.

But it doesn’t have to be like this – we can learn to navigate our way through these winds, seeing them as opportunities for developing, for practising generosity, individuality, truthfulness and mindfulness. I like metaphors and a couple came to mind when reflecting on these worldly winds.

The first is “lean in” – as in you have to lean into the wind when walking otherwise you’ll get blown over. I think this has something to teach us about how we deal with the winds in our life. If we just try to escape in the opposite direction, we’ll then find ourselves buffeted by the opposite wind, and back where we started. So instead we need to “lean in” and see what we can learn from the situation.

The second metaphor is that of the technique of tacking when sailing. In order to sail upwind you have to tack back and forth across the headwind. It’s a very deliberate and conscious way of working with the wind, not allowing it to prevent you from getting to where you want to be. The sails have to be in the right place, and you have to have sufficient momentum. I think that’s telling us that in order to work with the winds we have to first create the right conditions, and that starts with everyday ethics and regular meditation practice.