A message from the centre Chair…..
It was a delight to welcome Peter and Jenny into the mitra sangha last Sunday as we celebrated the Buddha’s enlightenment on our Buddha Day festival. We also marked the beginning of a year dedicated to Amoghasiddhi, the archetypal green Buddha. Amoghasiddhi is particularly associated with action, confidence and fearlessness, qualities we can all benefit from as we cope with the challenge and change around us, intensified by the the global Covid -19 pandemic and its consequences. In the UK, following the government’s ‘roadmap’, we are beginning to move out of our third period of lockdown. I thought I would take the opportunity to share with you the West London Buddhist Centre’s ‘roadmap’ for the rest of this year.
From mid June until the end of July we will begin to offer a few classes at the centre – weekly lunchtime meditations on Tuesdays and Thursdays and on 3 Saturdays there will be a going deeper meditation class in the morning and a sesshin in the afternoon. (A sesshin is a period of silent practice alternating short sits with walking meditation). Due to Covid restrictions all these classes will operate under social distancing rules and so there will only be places for 12 people (who will need to wear masks) and the class leader. Next week we will introduce a booking system for these classes and provide full details of our Covid-19 safety procedures.
In August the centre will close for 3 weeks from 4-25 August and there will be no classes either online or in person during this period. On 26 August our online events will resume and there will be a weekend online retreat from 27-30 August. Then from September we will introduce a reduced programme of in person classes and events at the centre. This will include weekly lunchtime meditations on Tuesdays and Thursdays, the Saturday morning meditation class and the afternoon sesshin. On Sundays there will be a mix of monthly events including introductory meditation days, going deeper day retreats, meditation club, workshops and festivals.
There will be some courses offered in person and some online (we will continue our rolling programme of Wednesday night online courses). We have another week long online meditation retreat in September and have booked a weekend retreat at Vajrasana in November. By then we hope that the social distancing rules will have eased and that many sangha members will be able to join us on this ‘live’ retreat. However, initially places will be limited until these rules change.
Most of our current online classes will continue as before with the exception of the monthly ritual night and Meditation Club which from September will be monthly classes at the centre. (Please note that Meditation Club is taking a break from this week until September as Paramananda is leading retreats in June and July and the centre will be closed during August).
So that’s the plan, which as everything else is subject to conditions, in this case Government guidelines. We will keep you informed of any changes along the way.
Meanwhile I am thinking of you all with much metta,