Satipatthana - the Way of Mindfulness - is a traditional Buddhist meditation training, also described as Skilful Means.
It is a way of cultivating an honest and clear awareness of who we are at a physical, emotional and mental level. Our tendencies and characteristics, our motives and intentions are identified as they arise and thus we see that we can choose to let go of our conditioned ways of reacting and relating.
Through this process we come gradually to operate and live from a whole place within. A place where there are no-needs: no-need to prove who we are, no-need to cling on to a particular sense of identity. A place of inner certainty and knowing, from which ease and contentment can flow into our daily life.
When one is truly relaxed, the mind finds its natural condition; empty, luminous and cognizant.
Skilful Means is a training of the Body and the Mind. It is uncomplicated, down to earth and direct. It is acutely relevant to everyday life, and to anyone who wants to investigate how to live with less friction and discomfort within his or her environment, occupation and relationships.
The practice of Skilful Means is the greatest act of kindness to oneself and others as we come to see and understand the true nature of suffering.
The format of the training consists of residential workshops. These are intended to be a support to one's life-process and change. They are tailored to give participants continuity and regularity of input, as well as personal guidance from Ad.
Wisdom and Loving-Kindness
Meditation Programme for 2017
with ad brugman
"Beyond the rightness and wrongness of things, there is a field. I will meet you there"
Reflecting on the un-avoidable reality of impermanence and the preciousness of the present moment, will turn the mind towards the dharma.
It was after having been confronted by illness, old age and death, that the Buddha started his quest for “the cessation of suffering”.
For our practice to make sense, we need to reflect on our motivation. Why are we doing this practice? Each time we embark on a formal practice session, each time we breath out we need to ask ourselves “what is my true aspiration, my true intention?”
The Buddha asks us to reflect on the effects of our actions of body, speech and mind, those of the past, present and future. Are they coming from a wholesome state of mind, are they leading to happiness, to ease of self and others?
Sati – Mindfulness is the indispensable factor for the development of wisdom and that of skilful means, i.e. the Four Brahma Viharas of Loving Kindness, Compassion, Sympathetic Joy and Equanimity.
“that which looks over the various factors which arise in meditation is “sati”, mindfulness. Sati is life. Whenever we don’t have sati, when we are heedless, it is as if we were dead. If we have no sati then our speech and actions have no meaning. Sati is simply presence of mind. It is a cause for arising of self-awareness and wisdom" (Ajahn Chah).
In the Satipatthana Sutta the Buddha addressed the bhikkhus as follows: "This is the only way, O bhikkhus, for the purification of beings, for the overcoming of sorrow and lamentation, for the destruction of suffering and grief, for reaching the right path, for the attainment of Nibbana, namely, the Four Foundations of Mindfulness”
Sati is a surrendering to and resting in the moment that presents itself at the time, fully and joyfully with lightness of heart and mind.
The practice of Sati - Mindfulness at The Orchard can be joined by whoever wishes to do so on their journey towards ease-fullness, joy and balance of mind and body
Retreats at the Orchard
Going for refuge in wisdom, compassion and non-clinging awareness
June 22nd (6pm) - 25th (4.30pm)
“Wanting to grasp the ungraspable you exhaust yourself in vain.
As soon as you relax this grasping, there is space
– open, inviting and comfortable” (Gendun Rinpoche)
The Buddha once told his followers “be islands unto yourselves, be your own refuge, having no other” and not to rely on the external world for their happiness and ease.
All too often do we take refuge in objects and people around us, in views and in thoughts about the past or the future.
Going for refuge means going to a place we can rely on, we can trust, a place of safety and protection. Through the practice of mindfulness we start to see the unreliability of an external refuge and experience the presence of an always available, true refuge within ourselves.
This retreat will focus on the skilful means of gentleness, generosity, patience and loving-kindness towards ourselves and others.
Cost: £ 145 for the 3 days
Cost includes accommodation. Participants need to bring food to share and dãna for the guidance and teachings.
Experienced practitioners can join for just the Saturday and Sunday as a practice weekend.
"As we inhabit our body with increasing sensitivity, we learn its unspoken language and patterns, which gives us tremendous freedom to make choices. The practice of cutting through thoughts and dispersing negative repetitive patterns can be simplified by attending to the patterns in the body first, before they begin to be spun around in the mind ". (Jill Satterfield, from Meditation in Motion").
Insight through mindfulness
Two two-week retreats
11th (6pm) - 25th (2pm) May
7th (6pm) - 21st (2pm) September
These two-week long retreats offer an opportunity for sustained and continuous practice based on the Buddha’s Four Foundations of Mindfulness as taught in the Satipatthana Sutta. The emphasis will be on the insight aspect within the practice of mindfulness deepening the paramis of concentration, wisdom and loving kindness. Ultimately, these are the only reliable refuges.
We aim to create a supportive space as possible enabling participants to fully engage with the practice without having other responsibilities, providing the following structure:
Jane and John will be available throughout offering practical support and guaranteeing a smooth running of the event. They will also take care of buying in the food and doing the cooking. The course fee will therefore also include food.
Retreatants will have one hour a day of karma yoga and silence will be observed throughout the two weeks.
Regular bodywork sessions will be included in the programme.
You can attend for shorter periods but to keep disruption to a minimum, you will have to join at the beginning of the retreat. Only in exceptional cases may experienced practitioners join halfway.
Participants need to have previous experience with the practice of mindfulness and be familiar with silence.
For the full two weeks: £ 545
For shorter stays: 3 days: £ 165 ; 5 days: £ 260 ; above 5 days: £ 42 pd
Fee includes accommodation and food. The teaching is given on the basis of dãna.
A reduced fee, for the full two weeks only, of £ 495 , will be available for students who will not be able to afford the full rate. Please, apply beforehand if you wish to make use of that as it will only be available for a limited number of students.
New Year retreat
The sanctuary of wisdom and loving-kindness
29th (6pm) December 2017 - 4th (2pm) January 2018
Cost: £ 35 per night. Bring food to share and dãna for the guidance and teachings.
“Be mindful and let things take their natural course. Then your mind will become still like a clear forest pool. All kinds of wonderful, rare animals will come to drink at the pool and you will clearly see the nature of all things. You will see many strange and wonderful things come and go, but you will be still. This is the happiness of the Buddha”. (Ajahn Chah)
Wisdom and loving-kindness provide a stable and reliable ground from which we can respond skilfully to the many challenges that we are all facing.
This short retreat over the New Year period offers a time of quietness and meditation to reconnect with our inner sanctuary of wisdom and loving-kindness, two positive forces that will spontaneously radiate outwards for the benefit all beings.
This is the most precious gift that we can offer to a world that seems so full of greed, hatred, anxiety and fear.
Our practice will follow the path of mindfulness as taught by the Buddha in the Satipatthana Sutta. The programme will include some Dharma talks on mindfulness and insight, guided meditations on LK, time for questions related to the practice and relaxation in nature.
You are welcome to join for a shorter period in case you are not able to attend the full length of the retreat.
Practice days and weekends at The Orchard
Monthly practice weekends in 2017
March 25th - 26th, April 29th - 30th,
June 24th - 25th (see also the Going for Refuge retreat),
July 22nd - 23rd, Oct. 21st - 22nd, Nov. 25th - 26th
Happiness cannot be found through
great effort and willpower, but is already there, in relaxation
and letting-go. (Ven.Gendun Rinpoche)
Each weekend offers an integrated whole of insight through mindfulness practice and the skilful means of the Brahma Viharas of loving-kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy and equanimity.
The Brahma Viharas are a natural manifestation of wisdom, while their cultivation is also a path leading to wisdom.
There will be teaching sessions and guided meditations related to the Brahma Viharas.
Each weekend starts at 9.30 am on the Saturdays and finishes at 4.30 pm on the Sundays.
Cost: £ 30 for overnight stays. Bring food to share plus dãna for the teaching and guidance.
It will also be possible to combine these weekends with some extra days of personal practice time.
This is a time to be on one's own and to give oneself the conditions and permission to take refuge in the Practice in an uninterrupted way so that when it is time to "go back into the world", we will act in a more compassionate and skilful manner.
"A time of gentle watchfulness from the Sanctuary of "where we are coming from", a time to bow to the Here and the Now".
We'll also explore and experience the support and importance of the Sangha, the community of meditators practising together.
You can arrange any length of time for retreat, but minimum stay is 3 days. A personal programme will be discussed with you on arrival.
£25 per day for stays up to and including 7 days;
£20 per day from 8 up to 14 days
£15 per day from 15 days onwards
Special arrangements can be made for stays of a month or longer
Bring your own food and dãna for guidance by the teacher.
To book for a personal retreat, contact Ad at The Orchard
Reflections on Private Retreat, Amarana, Aug. '05
"After the outbreath a space opened. And the next inbreath comes out
of that space, without any thoughts. When we meet ourselves in that space
we can meet ourselves truly with openness.
The inbreath, if not coming from that wide-open empty space, can be dangerous as it then feeds the thinking mind.
We students are here at The Orchard in order to allow our "ego" - the opinion that we have of ourselves - to dissolve, to free ourselves from it so that the wide-open empty space can show itself to us and we can come to meet everything in a wholesome way.
We students are here at The Orchard to learn, to stand on our own feet, to become "MATURE".
You, Sonia, supports us with your strength and the clarity of knowledge of the liberating wholesome path".
The way of mindfulness - weekly classes
with Jane Sethi
Introductory sessions to mindfulness of the body and breathing through gentle body movement, walking and sitting meditation are held weekly on Wednesdays from 5 – 6.30pm at the Orchard. Cost: £5 per session.
Please contact Jane on firstname.lastname@example.org or 07949 432555 for more information
Mindfulness is a way of being, a way of taking care of ourselves.
By gently bringing our awareness to the simplicity of the present moment, we can come to a place of stillness that can support us in our daily life.
Jane began practising meditation in 2000 when she first came to the Orchard and met Sonia Moriceau who became her meditation teacher. Over the years she has become increasingly involved at the Orchard, attending and supporting retreats, and has been resident there for the past few years. Last year she began to teach a weekly mindfulness class, deepening her own practice, and will continue to offer them in 2015.
The union of study and practice
Ven. Ringu Tulku Rinpoche
The Ven. Ringu Tulku Rinpoche has generously offered to give a Dharma talk on the union of study and practice.
We have also asked him if he could address the practice of compassion in terms of "with all our beautiful intentions, how not to be discouraged when faced with our shortcomings in the application of compassion in daily life"
Many of you will have heard of him and I don't think there is much need to say how very special and unique such a visit is. His visit is a true honour to be received. We hope many of you will be able to join.
Rinpoche is known for his clarity, wisdom, compassion and lighthearted approach in his teachings.
Practice in the morning, preparing for his visit in the afternoon.
If you are coming just for the talk, please arrive not any later than 3pm
Attendance is on the basis of Dãna.
To help us organise this event smoothly, please let us know beforehand of your visit by contacting Ad by email: email@example.com
For those of you who are interested in receiving further teachings from Rinpoche he will continue his journey to Brynmawr (30 min. drive from the Orchard).
Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th June: Teachings at Palpung Changchub Dargyeling Centre, Brynmawr. For details of that weekend in Brynmawr visit the Palpung website: www.palpung.org.uk
The art of listening - a yoga of sound
with Tim Jones
17th - 18th September
We are not all singers or musicians, but music and song belong to all our lives. What is happening as we listen, or sing?
What is the effect on our being? And how does this move us or make us move?
Listening can be a language that acts as a veil to our experience, echoing voices and patterns of a learned listening that can be inhibiting. Listening can also be part of our way of communicating more deeply with our surroundings, a listening that speaks our being. At its finest level it is an aspect of pure consciousness.
Of course, there is no right or wrong. In the art of listening we learn to discriminate a difference, recognizing our limitations, vulnerabilities and potential with honesty and compassion. Then we can stay, move, rest, as we like, open new possibilities, hear afresh.
In The Nature of Sound the singing voice is the primary vehicle for this inquiry.
The Art of Listening - A Yoga of Sound has 2 approaches:
- formal - hearing and developing the harmonic richness of the voice. Allied to breathing, a facility for tuning develops that is reflected in a tuning of the body/mind.
- free - accepting the potentials and the limitations of our bodies and voices helps us develop a new inner attitude towards our life and its situations. This allows us to rest - the steps of our normal and individual soundings: sighs, cries, yawns, laughter, become the source of our song.
The Art of Listening becomes holistic in the interplay and balance of these two approaches
Song, as you teach it, is not desire, not
a wooing of something that's finally attained;
song is existence....
learn to forget how you sang....
Real singing is a different kind of breath.
A nothing breath. A ripple in the god. A wind.
- RAINER MARIA RILKE 'Sonnets to Orpheus'
Booking: Please contact Jane Sethi – email: firstname.lastname@example.org
with Sarah Hill, assisted by Jane Sethi and John Burgess
23rd - 27th July
Cultivating dialogue with mindful presence can enable us to generate sensitive, compassionate and purposeful actions in our relationships with others. During this workshop we will draw on the practice of Insight Dialogue and explore what happens when we interweave sincere generative conversation with silent meditation and loving kindness practices.
Cost: £145 plus dãna for the teaching
For more information and how to book: Please contact Margaret Williamson - email@example.com