Tuesday, May 03, 2011

17 June - 1 July 2011
How ethical do you really think you are? Do you believe that the small things don't really matter? Why does skilful action lead to seeing reality as it really is? Doesn't ethical practice inhibit spontaneity? Doesn't confession lead to an experience of guilt? How can I stay conscious of my ethical practice?
If any of these questions have ever crossed your mind then our Ethics to Insight retreat is the place for you to explore, discuss and reflect on them. Sangharakshita says that Going for Refuge is the lifeblood of our practice and observing the precepts is that blood circulating around every fibre of our body. At ordination the taking of the Refuges and 10 precepts from our preceptor is the central part of the private ordination ceremony.
Come and study Sangharakshita's 'The Ten Pillars of Buddhism' with us and practice the precepts and confession amongst your Dharma sisters both in the Triratna Buddhist Order and those moving towards joining the Order.
We currently have 8 places still available on this retreat. Please book with the office at office@tiratanaloka.org or call 01874 676482. Send a £50 non-refundable deposit to Bookings, Tiratanaloka, Talybont-on-Usk, Brecon, Powys LD3 7YS.
Cost is £475(waged)/415(low-waged/part-time)/350(unwaged)

Monday, May 02, 2011

Spring update

A lot has happened since we last updated the blog. After the goodbyes to Vidyalila and Ratnadharini we had a team of 6 for a couple of months when we had some community time, looking at Bhante's 10 points from the re-imagining paper (called 'Buddhophany') and did a ritual to mark this new phase of the team. Then the retreat centre was quiet as we'd not planned any retreats then, hoping the new roof would be put on the conservatory, but this didn't happen as our builders got so behind with their contracts due to the terrible snow we had earlier in the year. Our architect found us a new builder who began the insulation work, but the conservatory roof is yet to be done. One week we were inundated with men; with builders (insulating the sloping roofs), window installers (we're completely double glazed now), plumbers (re-doing the hall shower room), an electrician and then some men cutting trees near the power lines in the back garden.

We had our yearly working retreat, with the germoline pink ceiling in the 1st floor ceiling vanishing, as well as the anaglyta wallpaper. Thank goodness that's gone!
A lot of work was also done in the garden and as ever we are really grateful for the hard work from everyone involved. Bit by bit the retreat centre is looking it's best.

Vajratara arrived during the working retreat and has been settling in here. The team did a puja together to mark her arrival and she was soon on retreat and is now recovering at her parents for a few days. We're happy to welcome her to the team. Candraprabha and Maitreyi have been away a fair bit looking after their mum's, whilst Amritamati went on a solitary and then to London to lead a day on faith at the LBC with Vajrasakhi. The two of them enjoy leading days together at different centres so do invite them if you'd like.

A few of us drove up to Scotland for the first womens National Order weekend north of the border. It was a long, but at times beautiful, drive and we appreciated meeting some dharmacharinis who don't tend to get to the Order weekends further south. We drove back minus Kalyanasri who spend a couple of weeks up there seeing friends.

We've just had our first young women's weekend here, with 18 women under the age of 40 coming, although Ratnadharini was also on the team and said she counts as two young people! Everyone seemed to enjoy it and would like us to offer a one week retreat next. We start planning our 2012 programme in July, so watch this space.

We look forward to sharing further sunny weather with some of you over the summer (it didn't rain hardly at all on the last retreat...honest). There are still places on the June Ethics to Insight retreat, so contact the office for details if you'd like to come at office@tiratanaloka.org or call 01874 676482..

Thursday, February 03, 2011

New Year, New Team!

January has seen the start of the team changes at Tiratanaloka, with Vidyalila leaving to move to Sheffield and Ratnadharini gradually moving her things to her new home not so far away. The eight of us (below) have lived and worked together for over two and a half years.

Vidyalila and Vajrasakhi drove a van up to Sheffield and back the same day a couple of weeks ago and the next day we waved Vidyalila off in her new car as she left Tiratanaloka after 10 years, first living in a nearby village and working here as a part of the support team and then moving to Tiratanaloka five years ago to lead and support retreats when the team became one. She is planning on spending a year dedicated to painting and living a relatively quiet life.
She has taken most of her paintings which hung in the retreat centre, which are missed by everyone, but we are fund-raising to buy one. So far we've been able to buy half of it from retreat dana, which the team are often given at the end of the retreats. We're now hoping to raise another £500. If you'd like to donate towards this please do so. The painting is hanging in the dining room for everyone to appreciate and enjoy, so you'll see where your money has gone when you are here. She'll be missed by both the community and those of you who come on retreat here, but we wish her well and look forward to seeing what direction her art takes her.

Ratnadharini is leaving next week after 14 years leading and teaching on retreats here. She is also planning on a quiet life for a while, following through on areas of interest she wishes to study, continuing with her public precepting work and her dancing. She has just finished her last two week retreat here, although is coming to teach on the Young Women's weekend later this year. We also wish her well in this new phase of her life.

We're having a few days of community time next week as the six of us come together as a new team for a couple of months until Vajratara joins us in April. We're going to be looking at Subhuti's paper 'Revering and Relying upon the Dharma', which is something we recommend people read. It's online at www.sangharakshita.org.

On Wednesday we have the local Women's Institute group coming for an evening for a talk on Buddhism and discussion. We're really looking forward to this as it's a chance to meet some local women and explain what we do here. We thought we'd better do some baking beforehand too! They asked us to talk about meditation, stupas, offerings, the place of men and women in Buddhism, what we do here and a general introduction too. I imagine it'll be a stimulating and enjoyable evening.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Christmas/New Year retreat

Christmas retreat at Tiratanaloka


20th December 2010 to 2nd January 2011

This two week retreat will take us from the solstice to the new year, and offers a chance to reflect and to deepen our understanding of this precious Order.

From the archetypal symbol of the Order – Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva of compassion, to the nitty gritty of spiritual friendship, we will explore what it means to be part of the Triratna Buddhist Order, why we need to join a group to support our practice of Buddhism, and looking at the significance of the private and public ordinations.

A place to share your dreams and develop your personal path with your ‘friends in the good life’, in the beautiful surroundings of the Brecon Beacons.

Ratnadharini, Maitreyi, Kalyanasri, Sridevi, and Vajrasakhi will be on the team for this retreat.

Cost: waged £475, low-waged £415, unwaged £350. Please book by sending a non-refundable deposit of £50 to Retreat Bookings, Tiratanaloka, Talybont-on-Usk, Brecon, Powys, LD3 7YS

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Is the start of a new year when you make resolutions to change the way you live your life, to put better conditions into place to support your practice?

What better way to begin a new year than to come on an Ethics to Insight retreat at Tiratanaloka, in such beautiful surroundings and with like-minded women, and explore how to radically change our lives and move towards more positivity and openness.

Bhante states that without the Ten Precepts the Dharma could not exist. Based on Sangharakshita’s “Ten Pillars of Buddhism”, we will be studying the subtleties of Buddhist ethics and how the practice of confession can open us to a world of sensitivity and beauty. Come and find out why Bhante says 'how profound is the significance, and how far-reaching the implications - both theoretical and practical - of each apparently simple precept.'

15th – 29th January 2011 (H111). Cost: waged £475 / low-waged £415 / unwaged £350

To book please send a non-refundable deposit of £50, payable to FWBO Sarana to Retreat Bookings, Tiratanaloka, Talybont-on-Usk, Brecon, Powys LD3 7YS.


Deepening our mediation practice is also a very important part of our practice. Bhante has given his support to the one month long total immersion retreat as there isn't another meditation retreat of this length for people in the ordination training process. Please remember to book through Buddhafield for this retreat, not through Tiratanaloka.

Total Immersion; Following the Buddha

a month long meditation retreat,

hosted by Buddhafield.

with Dhiramati and Paramananda

(and a woman teacher to be confirmed)

This is a rare opportunity to participate in a month long retreat in the ideal conditions for meditation. The retreat, supported by an experienced and committed Buddhafield team, offers the chance to practice in a manner close to that of the Buddha’s historical followers, with simplicity and close to nature.

The retreat will focus on the core meditations of the Triratna community along with space to pursue any personal practices.

In addition there will be yoga and ritual practices to support our meditation.

The retreat is suitable for those who wish to participate in a silent meditation retreat with a good deal of sitting. Our vision is to bring together 40 serious meditators who want to create a sense of community which will support us all to experience the transformative benefits of ethical and meditative practice.

book by contacting Buddhafield web page (www.buddhafield.com/retreats) the retreat is on a dana basis.