April Newsletter

Just 7 Weeks To Go Until Our Green Earth Awakening Camp!

Thursday 21 — Monday 25 May 2015. More information and booking on the website, but check out the workshop line up so far:

* Jamie Catto * The Mindfulness Exchange * The Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research * Landworkers Alliance * The Permaculture Association * Schumacher College * Tinkers Bubble * Landmatters * The RSPB * The Woodland Trust * The Really Wild Forest School.

* Peg Loom Weaving * Wayne’s Woods Spoon Carving * Wood Turning * Blacksmithing * Basket Weaving * Willow Domes * Drop Spindle * Felt Making * Clay Play, Pottery & Pit Firing * Primitive Crafts * Rocket Stoves.

* Earth Dances with Denise Rowe * Contact Improvisation Dance * Qi Gong * Partner Yoga * Rhythms & Body Percussion * Harmony Singing * Mbira * Storytelling * Rumi Poetry * Nature Writing * Focusing.

* Permaculture Design with Aranya * The No-Dig Allotment * Orchard Management * Forest Gardening * Foraging * Planning for Low Impact Development * Harvesting & Preserving * Skills for Setting Up Co-ops, CLTs & Land Projects * Mac Macartney of Embercombe.

* The work That Reconnects * Nature Connection * Growing Self Love * Compassionate Communication * Eco-Feminism * Art and Activism.

Phew! All this in 5 days … plus a daily timetable of meditation, Buddhist teachings, body work and healing area. And don’t forget to unwind in the wood fired sauna, hot tub and hot showers. Oh, and of course there is the fantastic collection of acoustic musicians and storytellers that will be gathered by the fire every evening. And the solar cinema showing inspiring films for our current times. Plus delicious organic food from the Buddhafield Café, The Outer Regions Café and The Peasants Lunch Box Café

Total Immersion: Meditating With The Trees

Paramananda & Maitridevi; Monday 7 September — Saturday 3 October 2015 (first two weeks Monday 7 September — Saturday 19 September). More information and booking.

A retreat for lovers of meditation, and for those who want to learn to love meditation. We invite you to join us in creating a silent meditation community in the magical meadows & woods of Easterbrook, Devon.

This month-long retreat is a unique opportunity to deepen practice intimate with the beauty and teachings of the natural world.

Living a life stripped down to its essentials we become sensitive again to the language of the birds. As our inner chatter falls away, our minds and hearts open to each other.

Paramananda has been leading retreats for thirty years and has a distinctive style that stresses body and heart as keys to opening to the nature of reality. He is the author of several books on meditation.

Maitridevi has spent 20 years living communities & working in team-based right livelihoods She has a love of meditating in nature, and of engaging the imagination through myth & ritual.

Dharmamrta will be teaching Scaravelli yoga. The ethos of this way of working is to soften and open into a greater sense of relaxation and ease.

Women’s Retreat: Eyes Of Love

Dayajoti, Maitridevi & Sukkhasiddhi; Friday 5 June — Friday 12 June 2015. More information and booking.

How we regard ourselves and the world determines what we see. Looking with eyes of love we can live with a sense of connection, openness and clarity. The programme for this retreat will be full of exploration through meditation, ritual, movement, myth and storytelling as we seek to bring the insight of love into our gaze. There will be plenty of silence too.

We will be holding this retreat in the magical woods of Broadhembury, where we will be living, practising, and working together as a community. (This site does need a level of fitness that can cope with uphill walks to the shrine area).

Two New Events In Sussex

Buddhism and the Path of Parenting

Weekend 5 — 7 June, open to adults and children at Spoods Farm, Sussex. With Ketuhridaya, Tejomala and team. More information and booking.

Join us in the beautiful fields and woodland of Sussex for a Buddhafield family weekend retreat. We will explore and celebrate the path of practising Buddhism and parenting. We will engage in Dharma practice, talks, and discussion as well as physical games for all ages, green craft with woodwork and other activities. This gathering offers a real opportunity for us to connect with the beauty of the land and each other practising together with our families.

The Mandala of Deep Purpose

Week 8 — 14 June 2015, open to all adults at Spoods Farm, Sussex. With Indrabodhi, Sagaravajra, Panya and team. More information and booking.

Direct experience leads us to encounter life in its fullness. When experience is filtered through personal ‘stories’ rooted in fear, anxiety and resistance we are no longer alive to the present moment. When our decisions come from an awakened awareness we begin to live a life that aligns with our ‘deep purpose. ’ Come and join us as we turn towards our experience through meditation and a symbolic journey to the centre of our personal mandala, supported by spiritual friends and the healing power of nature.

What Women do for Women — Opinions of Single Sex Activities

Over the weekend I came to think about what being a woman is and what having a held space for women means to me. It almost feels wrong to say that woman’s roles are a new discovery for me. I have always known what these consist of but it is only recently that I have been told, learnt and experienced these roles with a positive and realistic view instead of the derogatory portrayal of housewifery and associated tasks.

I have started to look at housewifery, nurturing, sewing and cooking as much more than a stereotypical role, but as a natural role that women have undertaken across the ages. My renewed passion in these tasks has made me feel more secure as a woman, which has enabled me to open up to new passions, such as that of wood working, something I was frightened to pursue in school because it meant that I would be in a room full of boys. I wish I had the strength of mind and confidence that I have now back then as I would have taken that step, no questions asked. I can do the common masculine ‘powerhouse’ jobs-heavy lifting, chopping wood, digging holes, because of good techniques and strength in my core. I also know when my body needs a rest. I am not a believer in ‘everything you can do, I can do better’ which I believe many feminists these days to believe in. Men can cook, I can chop wood (and enjoy it) but I also believe that there is a division and it is worth being respectful of it. When I am pregnant I don’t want to have to chop wood but I’ll happily darn or weave or weed.

In a spiritual sense, the female space is also a new discovery, having never fully looked closely at myself spiritually. This comes from a fear of looking too deeply at things that scare or repulse me. This fear has always been at the back of my mind and making myself known to me and to others is much easier in the supportive and nurturing space of a room full of females. The instincts in a woman of care and compassion are clear to feel when discussing everything, from the universe to the acorns, the childhood bullying to pregnancy. It is more free with no men around. Men are sometimes too quick to joke. I feel stronger when surrounded by women and more able to be heard.

This is not to say that sharing my world with just women is how I feel my life should evolve. I strongly believe in the gentle interplay between the genders in all things as being a powerful tool in learning about myself and my position in the planets ecosystems, but having a separate organised space really helps to focus your attentions on gender specific intentions and issues.

Ruth: I really appreciate the chance to be in a single sex environment, as growing up, both at school and at home, I never spent much time in one. It is a very new experience for me to be part of such a close knit group of women and feel completely trusting and comfortable around them. Over this first season that I have spent with Buddhafield I have been through some really difficult circumstances and had to face a lot of things about myself and my relationships with others that were very hard to admit to.  Had it not been for the support of so many women within the cafe team, and also from the retreats team, I think I wouldn’t have been able to make the changes I have, and understand the whys and hows of the situations I found myself in.

I have always found it difficult to make and maintain female friendships, but it is something that I am realising is really important to me, both personally and spiritually, and that the more I open up and give, the easier creating and maintaining friendships with women is. I feel as if an aspect of me which I never gave much thought to before is being nourished and being brought out of me. The areas of Buddhafield I have experienced, the cafe, festival and Trevince House, all have an enriching female aspect alongside an equal, yet not necessarily the same, enriching male aspect. This serves to create a really held, supportive, open space, in which I feel I have been able to explore myself and start to understand myself, in ways that, within a mixed environment, it is harder to do.