Buddhism & Meditation
Afternoon sit in the Meditation Space | Image © Charlotte Baxter 2012
We have a Dharma Parlour Area with a programme of talks, formal debates, panel discussions, daily study sessions as well as stand-alone workshops and events. The Meditation Space has a daily programme of meditaion and devotional practice, and we have a set of inclusive Rituals throughout the Festival.
I value the connection with Buddhists from other traditions and the opportunity to attend workshops that explore the challenges facing Buddhists in the west.
Buddhism: The Dharma Parlour
Without the Buddha and his teachings there would not be a Buddhafield festival, and there certainly would not be a Dharma Parlour. But what exactly did the Buddha have to say and how do his teachings apply to us, in our time with its highly demanding conditions? The Dharma Parlour aims to offer answers to these questions in the context of a lively, varied and abundant programme of talks and events by experienced teachers from the Triratna Buddhist Order and other traditions.
Videos of the talks and photos can be accessed after the festival on Free Buddhist Audio where there are opportunities for dialogue, contributions and interaction.
This year’s programme is still in planning stages, so this is a summary of last year’s:
Dharma Doorways and Deadends with Lokabandhu. Not all that glitters is gold. Lokabandhu explores the fascinating Buddhist notion of ‘near enemies’, those seductive but misleading lookalikes to authentic spiritual qualities. Hear the talk on Free Buddhist Audio.
Living in an Illusion ... Dying to Escape with Khemasuri who will talk about everyday experience as virtual reality, focusing on death to turn towards the truth, and ‘thin moments’. Hear the talk on Free Buddhist Audio.
Breaking Down Barriers: Mind, Body and Environment with Mark Leonard. Mindfulness changes the way we experience mind and body. How might embodied experience affect our relationship to ourselves, others and our environment?
Sitting with Suffering: Relaxing with Reality with Kulamitra. We see joy and suffering around us. Narrow habitual reactions close us down. Learn how responding to Reality returns us to Life.
Embracing Love with Vajrasara who will explore the joys and challenges of love, empathy, passion and compassion on the spiritual journey. Hear the talk on Free Buddhist Audio.
Is Oneness the New Spiritual Ideology? Christopher Titmuss Is Oneness a solution to separation or a temporary spiritual experience that cannot last? If, so what is the solution to the pain of separation?
The Key is in the Door with Venerable Amaranatho who is a wandering Buddhist monk and will explore freedom and why most of the time we don't want it.
Living in Rental Accommodation: the reality of change with Yanai Postelnik. All conditioned things turn out to be unreliable. Recognising and accepting the truth of impermanence and insecurity allows us to let go into the vast truth of life, to live with an open heart amidst the unbounded nature of existence.
Doors to Freedom: the Buddha’s Psychology of Liberation with Dhivan, author of This Being, That Becomes: the Buddha's Teaching on Conditionality, will talk about some of the historical Buddha's ideas on how conscious awareness can influence unconscious patterns that keep us imprisoned in a fixed sense of self. Hear the talk on Free Buddhist Audio.
Will Buddhism survive? “This house believes Buddhism will not survive in the West, and furthermore, will never succeed breaking out of its present niche — ‘2nd generation hippieville’”.
Veganism “This house believes that a serious Buddhist is a Vegan Buddhist”.
Environmentalism “This house believes Buddhists may be the world’s worst environmentalists”.
Ask a Buddhist Q and A with members of the Triratna Buddhist Order.
Navigating the cultural shift: bridging the gap between science and the Dharma Cognitive science has made mindfulness accessible to mainstream society. How will this democratisation of the teachings affect institutions of power?
Small, led study groups for a maximum of 12 participants per session. Last year we had the following two groups:
Study with Dhivan Buddha’s Teaching on Conditionality: from Psychology to Liberation
Day 1: The Arrow Sutta
Day 2: The Honeyball Sutta
Day 3: Suttas on Liberation
Study with Mahabodhi
Day 1: The Bhayabherava Sutra and the Buddha's invention of skillfulness
Day 2: The Niramisa Sutra and the bliss of liberation
Day 3: The Satipatthana Sutta and the Three Marks of Conditioned Existence
Work that Reconnects with Dearbhaile Bradley and team
Four linked but free-standing workshops: Gratitude, Honouring Our Feelings for the World, Empowering through Connection, Taking Action. Includes participatory exercises, meditation and sharing circles.
Who are we? What are the Skandhas? With Khemasuri. Begin to unravel the Skandhas, the process that we call self. A workshop involving small stones and Goethean Observation.
Sex, Drugs and Sausage Rolls — Contentment, Awareness and Non-harm with Dharmashalin. What brings happiness and fulfilment? How do we live our lives most fully? Should we be dancing or meditating? Explore, discuss, unfold.
Sustaining Resistance Empowering Renewal Kathryn Tulip.
•Workshop 1 The personal dimension: How we can stay sustainable and effective in our work for the world? We will look at the symptoms of burnout, some of the underlying causes and conditions that can lead to burnout and some personal tools that can help us stay inspired and engaged for the long haul..
•Workshop 2 The interpersonal dimension: Overwork, unskilful communication, unresolved resentments and conflict — sound familiar? How can we work to prevent collective burnout in our groups and move towards sustainable working practices?
Dharma Inquiry Chistopher Titmuss
A dialogue between a listener and Christopher on any experience, concern, practice, or on a dharma approach to any issues, personal or global. The intention is to contribute to insight and understanding for one and all. Saturday 4 — 6pm.
Meditation for parents, with Upayavira children welcome.
Poetry and Storytelling evenings around the fire in the Dharma Parlour.
Organisations around the Dharma Parlour
The Karuna Trust Change India, Change Yourself! By engaging in a unique and effective spiritual practice, Karuna Fundraisers are helping Dalit people in India break free from caste. Find us at the festival.
The Ecodharma Centre is a project based in the Catalan Pyrenees exploring the interplay of radical ecology and radical dharma. EcoDharma facilitates the Sila Network — a new initiative to support Triratna bring the power of the Dharma into effective relationship with society.
Centre for Applied Buddhism (CfAB) The new and innovative Centre for Applied Buddhism will focus on how Buddhist ideas can be applied to contemporary life and society.
Tariki Trust. Psychotherapy training in Other Centred approach, Ecotherapy, Buddhist Psychology, Socially Engaged Buddhism, Chaplaincy and Pureland Buddhism and the Arts.
Come and learn to meditate! It could just change your life. Meditation can help us relax and unwind, but it is much more than this: it can lead to radical transformation of our whole being and of our world.
Through increasing awareness of what is really going on in our minds, meditation brings insight into what truly matters to us. We also become far more aware of, and engaged with, the world around us: other people, the environment, and ultimately, the nature of reality itself. Through meditation we can come to know more and more deeply that we are not separate but interconnected with all life.
Following the success our much loved Pujas, we will be extending our tent this year. We are also very much hoping to have a large 'Stupa' as part of the Meditation Space, which has been made by the team. A 'Stupa' is a symbol of enlightenment and also the '6 Elements'. These holy monuments are the oldest and most widespread forms of Buddhist architecture and were designed to be deeply symbolic, using sacred geometry in order to contain Buddhist relics of great teachers, and other holy objects.
We would like to inaugurate the Stupa with a special ceremony, along with performing ritual around it during the festival including silent walking and a Fire Ceremony. Please see boards for more details.
Main Shrine Space
Early morning: 7.30 and 8.20am: Open meditation sessions (no teaching, just bells) with a chance to sit on afterwards until 9.45am.
Late morning sessions: 10am, 11.15am, 12.30am. Teaching sessions for Mindfulness of Breathing and Metta Bhavana (loving kindness meditation).
Mid-afternoon: 4.30pm. Meditation workshop to help deepen your practice, suitable both for beginners and those with more experience.
We also hope to include one session for children, facilitate 'Questions and Answers', and explore 'What is a Stupa?'.
Afternoons. (See notice board for times and places).
Small Meditation Space (near the Dharma Parlour)
Open space to meditate and do your own practice (no teaching).
Buddhafield pujas are renowned!
Please come to the rituals in the Ritual Space, next to the Dharma Parlour, Owl Field. They are a chance for us to all come together as one big community, to explore the festival theme and express our shared values.
- Opening Ceremony, Wednesday, 5.30 — 6.45pm
- Saturday Night Ritual (see the Notice Boards at Info Point)
- Closing Ceremony, Sunday, 2 — 3.15pm
During some of the rituals we’ll use mantras. A mantra is a chant which is a meditation in sound, expressing a particular spiritual quality.