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.

Letting go at the Buddhafield Green Earth Awakening Camp

Where better to be on a sunny bank holiday weekend at the end of May [23—27; Green Earth Awakening Camp 2013] than in a field in the Blackdown Hills near Taunton with Buddhafield? About 150 people gathered together to share skills and inspiration for living a greener, more connected and more satisfying life. The gathering coincided with Wesak, the celebration of the Buddha’s enlightenment and a glorious full moon over the beautiful tree-lined fields.

There was a spacious and varied programme of activities and workshops, meditation, ritual, talks, music, eating together, camp fire, sauna and sun bathing opportunities. From the many craft activities and workshops on offer I explored just a few. I was inspired by a talk on Permaculture, spent an absorbing morning carving a spoon from a beautiful piece of wood, then drew some energy from the earth to dance like a dakini. For me, one of the highlights was a talk by Akasati on The Wisdom of Letting Go Revealed in the Story of the Buddha’s Enlightenment. Akasati described how the soon-to-be Buddha, Gautama, had followed a path of deprivation and mortification of the body, before admitting that this approach was bringing him close to death rather than enlightenment. He let go of the status he had achieved amongst his fellow ascetics and instead sought another way. The story shows us, explained Akasati, that we too may do well to let go of ideas, attitudes or views of ourselves that no longer serve us well. This can be difficult, giving rise to fearfulness, but our practice can help us draw courage to change, and reinvent ourselves. Maybe I can start with letting go of small things in order to train myself for a larger letting go? Akasati explained that seeking awakening is about letting go of our experience of a divide between self and other.

Padmasambhava Rupa

The Manadala shrine featuring Padmasambhava

Lying on my back on the grass, gazing up at a blue sky, watching some birds high above, that divide dissolved away for a few moments. I can see the merit of living closer to the earth, away from the concrete and pavements of the city, enjoying the simple absorbing activity of shaping a piece of wood with a knife. Even if I haven’t let go enough yet to walk away from life and work in the city, I am deeply grateful to Buddhafield for giving me the experience of simple and connected living for a few days. This experience was even deeper for me on a Buddhafield retreat that I joined at the beginning of May, when we camped in the Ashdown forest in Sussex. After a week there I felt a strong connection with the trees and the many living beings in the forest, including my fellow retreatants and the ants.

Back home in Norwich, I’m now looking forward to my next Buddhafield experience — the Buddhafield Festival from 17 to 21 July. I hope to see some of you there!

Marisa Goulden, Norwich.

Summer Events at the EcoDharma Centre

The Eco Dharma Centre is Buddhafield’s cousin project in the Spanish Pyrenees.

Meeting The Wild

29th June to 13th July 2013

This is a retreat with an emphasis on meditatively inhabiting the wild landscape which surrounds the EcoDharma Centre. It is part of our Nature Based Practice and Learning series. It brings meditation and mindfulness into relationship with wilderness immersion.

Our deepest nature is untameable. Yet, spending so much time living in a world constructed in service of a humanity, this can be hard to remember. So step out of the narrow dusty world for a while and meet the wild. Immersing ourselves in direct contact with wild nature, and deepening that connection through meditation, mindfulness, and reflection, can heal the wounds of alienation that are so present in our times. This helps us to re-connect with deeper aspects of ourselves and the world we inhabit – in a way that is enriching, empowering and transformative.

Permaculture & Deep Ecology

20th to 27th July 2013

This course explores both the practical wisdom and the theoretical underpinnings of a shift to a life-sustaining future – set within a framework of nature and dharma based learning. It draws together the practical wisdom of permaculture design, experiential nature-based learning, and the theoretical foundations of deep & radical ecology. It weaves together study, meditation, and hands on learning.

More information, booking details and suggested donations/dana can be found on the EcoDharma website.