West London Buddhist Centre

Online Retreat: Our Breathing Body

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Online Retreat: Our Breathing Body

Monday 3 May

‘Breathing in and breathing out makes you part of the world.’



Salute to the Three Jewels
Refuges from the Avatamsaka Sutra 
Unled meditation with bells to mark 5 stages


Refuges from the Avatamsaka Sutra

I take my Refuge in the Buddha
And pray that with all beings
I may understand the Great Way
Whereby the Buddha-seed may forever thrive.
I take my Refuge in the Dharma
And pray that with all beings
I may enter deeply into the Sutra-Treasure
Whereby our wisdom may become vast as the ocean.
I take my Refuge in the Sangha
And pray that with all beings
I may be brought together in Great Harmony
And have nothing to check the unimpeded progress of Truth.





Walk Slowly

It only takes a reminder to breathe,
a moment to be still, and just like that,
something in me settles, softens, makes
space for imperfection. The harsh voice
of judgment drops to a whisper and I
remember again that life isn’t a relay
race; that we will all cross the finish
line; that waking up to life is what we
were born for. As many times as I
forget, catch myself charging forward
without even knowing where I’m going,
that many times I can make the choice
to stop, to breathe, and be, and walk
slowly into the mystery.

Danna Faulds

Monday 10.30am

Talk by Paramananda
Meditation led by Paramananda
Lying down with drumming
Meditation (mostly unled)



Before you know what kindness really is

you must lose things,

feel the future dissolve in a moment

like salt in a weakened broth.

what you held in your hand,

what you counted and carefully saved,

all this must go so you know

how desolate the landscape can be

between the regions of kindness.

How you ride and ride

thinking the bus will never stop,

the passengers eating maize and chicken

will stare out the window forever.

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,

you must travel where the Indian in the white poncho

lies dead by the side of the road.

You must see how this could be you,

how he too was someone

who journeyed through the night with plans

and the simple breath

that kept him alive.

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,

you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.

You must wake up with sorrow.

You must speak to it till your voice

catches the thread of all sorrows

and you see the size of the cloth.

Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,

only kindness that ties your shoes

and sends you out into the day to mail letters and purchase bread,

only kindness that raises its head

from the crowd of the world to say,

It is I you have been looking for,

and then goes with you everywhere

like a shadow or a friend.

                     Naomi Shihab Nye

Monday 4pm

Mindful listening to the sounds of the singing bowl
Q&A with Paramananda and Bodhilila




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