Springtime Newsletter 2020
FIND A FOREST
We have arrived in Spring, a most wonderful season of the year that resonates and expresses so much of nature.
While the issues of men, women and humankind can be confusing and distressing; nature can express something perennial in its own cycles and seasons of ebb and flow.
This last season of Winter has been challenging for many, particularly psycho-emotionally in wintering through change and uncertainty.
However, Spring offers forth the blossoms and blessings of hope in the fruition and fruiting of what has been gone through.
Certainly, Spring appeals to our senses through the natural environment reminding us of possibilities.
Our Mindfulness and Wisdom based practices through Meditation and Contemplation can be a great support as we continue to work with and through the various challenges of our life.
Taking some time to connect into the natural environment at this time can be heartening and a pleasant respite to some of the mental angst that can seem so distracting and distressing.
Wherever you might be, find a tree, a garden, a park, a reserve, a forest, or even just a nature strip – to connect into nature with.
Come to your senses and be reminded of the inner sanctuary of a calm clear mind.
I hope my verse below inspires this possibility.
Find a forest- place to partake in;
Find a forest path to pursue;
Find a forest pond to pause at.
Find a forest tree to be present with;
Find a forest rock to sit and ponder upon;
Find a forest flower with fragrant perfume.
Find a forest valley, hill, mountain or glade to be grateful for;
Find a forest to lose yourself and find your self;
Find a forest to feel renewed anew, refined and re-found.
Find yourself a forest place to be a part of and take part in!
Retreat Event – Non-Residential Vassa (Rains) Vipassana Retreat
This Saturday just passed- 5th September we had the third of our four Meditation Day Sessions at Bodhi Tree Forest Monastery as part of the three month Non-Residential Vassa (Rains) Vipassana Retreat.
We had a smaller group this time due to the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, particularly regarding movement outside the ‘Border Bubble’ between Queensland and New South Wales.
However. our day again was a wonderful well spent time in retreating together to the beautiful environment of Bodhi Tree Forest Monastery.
We noted the change from last month in the forest with the now Spring blossoms on so many bushes and trees together with the increase in bird song.
Venerable Pannyavaro checked in on how we have been going with our Meditation Practice and also offered some explanations, inspiration and encouragement.
For this Third Retreat Day Session, Venerable offered extensive teachings on the Third Foundation of Mindfulness – Mindfulness of Mind / Mental State. He also shared teachings on the Five Hindrances that affect the quality of our mind particularly in Meditation.
This has followed on from our first Retreat Day with Mindfulness of the Body, then last session Mindfulness of Feelings.
Venerable pointed out how complex this Third Foundation of Mindfulness can be and that it requires constant and clear attention to see and know the changes in mental state that occurs for us. This is where our ongoing practice of Mindful Noticing and Mental Noting can help to increase our mental ability to have strong attention. Otherwise it is so easy to get caught up in identifying with – as and through the particular mental state or mental content (Fourth Foundation of Mindfulness).
For more information on upcoming events at the Bodhi Tree Forest Monastery & Retreat Centre go to www.bodhitreemonastery.org