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Newsletters

2012

JULY

N° 28

Better than one hundred years
of unaware living
is a single day of mindful meditation.

Dhammapada verse : 110

Invitation to Dhamma

Our regular Dhamma programme in Budh Gaya for many years was to teach a free introductory course of Vipassana and loving Kindness meditaion at the Lotus Tank inside the main stupa, before encouraging the students who felt ready, to be part of our annual series of six ten day retreats at the International Meditation Centre. This was always a pleasure for Henry, my retreat manager, and myself and was always well recieved.
At the end of one of these introductory sessions an English woman approached me to offer a donation, say thank you and to ask her most important question,
‘Michael,’ she began, ‘ how can I get you to come and teach in my town in England ?’
‘Actually, ‘ I replied, ‘you just have to invite me and we see where we go from there.’
Sharing the Pure Dhamma has become the most important movement of my life and I put my hands together in anjali everyday to the Buddha and my own teachers for taking the time to support me as I trained in this exceptional and beautiful way of life.
Because we feel that we ourselves have received something precious, the loving, compassionate heart responds naturally by wanting to share that.
However, there is a condition. That sharing has to be invited.
This is not religion or politics, it is a way of being that demands more than just agreement or acceptance. The true Dhamma disciple must test the words of the teacher by applying them to life as it presents itself moment after moment. By being determined and resolute and going past the places in their own life where they usually stop. To put down what they carry and taste the true liberation.
Anyone can recite the scriptures and the words of the masters, but how many can truly say, ‘I know, I have tested the teachings and understood them intuitively?’
To arrive in this place we must invite the Dhamma into our life. It cannot be forced and we must see the need for it ourselves.
We cannot practice for another and we cannot realise liberation simply by thinking or talking about it. Reading about awareness is not being aware. Talking about love is not being loving. Thinking about practice is not the same thing as actually making the practice.
So, in the end we have to make our own effort and use the examples of those great beings who have gone before as our inspiration.
For myself, inspired by the conduct of all the masters and true disciples of Dhamma, I have committed my life to the pursuit of self realised truth, beyond religion and other group psychology, and complete liberation from the causes of suffering and unhappiness for more than forty years.
My life, of course is precarious depending as it does on the generosity of others, but it seems to me that when fear is finished, the universe provides.
From this place of love, compassion and joy of life, everything that the Buddha and my teachers proposed is possible and just waits to be realised.
Our Dhamma life is a personal life and it may begin when we invite the teacher to our town, but can only continue when we invite Dhamma into our hearts.

May all beings be happy.

*******
The ‘Being Awake’ Meditation Network

Inspired as always by my vist to India, and perhaps especially of my time in my spiritual home of Budh Gaya, I want to encourage even more strenously everyone I have contact with to make the best use of our limited lifetime and commit to a true and enthusisastic Dhamma practice for the benefit of all beings.
For this I offer myself completely and without reservation, and my wish is to be in close contact with those who truly want to serve the Pure Dhamma by making it available for others. As my teacher said when I originally declined his instruction to teach,
‘I don’t ask you for you, I ask you so that others might receive the Dhamma.’
My humble abition then, is to see group meetings in different towns and countries based around regular skype Dhamma Talks, to maintain the vital teacher/student relationship.
I was blessed with this relationship and it was a true gift in my life.
Without this support it is so easy to find ourselves lost, confused or simply uninspired to continue our practice. Awakening is the most important thing in life and if we have a true intention, it can be our own reality, but we need support. This is what Being Awake offers.
For myself my life is only about the Pure Dhamma, and my joy is to share it with as many people as possible so that they can be happy and radiate that happiness into the world.
I ask you to make this journey with me.
With enthusiasm and clear vision everything becomes possible.
‘In the end, you and I and everyone we know will die.
So how will we remember our own life?
Was it filled with missed moments, or with moments where we were able to see the reality?
That everything is arising and passing away, it's not me, it's not mine, it's not what I am.
I don't own anything. I don't control anything.
And once I am at peace with that then there is no stress, there is no suffering.
Ultimately there is no unhappiness: there is simply the beingness of each moment.’

May all beings be happy.

*******

Anjali with Michael
coming together in Dhamma

A new service for close disciples of Michael

Anjali is the Buddhist word for the hands coming together in front of the heart in an attitude of prayer. It signifies mutual respect, gratitude and humility, and this is where we meet you and I, on our Dhamma Path, in an environment of love and compassion.
It is not my place to tell you how to live, or what you should or should not do, but only to share with you the Pure Dhamma as my teacher shared it with me. This is the great and beautiful tradition of sharing the Truth. Not religion, not politics, not social adgenda, only mutual love, respect and above all, self responsibility.
Our intention here is to make close contact with the Master readily available so that a true and energetic Dhamma practice remains our priority, and that we don’t feel isolated or even abandoned, in our spiritual life.
Dhamma realisation brings peace, happiness and a depth of understanding that we cannot even begin to imagine before we have it. The reality is simple, when we are happy we will share that happiness with all beings, when we are confused we will share that confusion with all beings. Ultimately the whole world will benefit by you staying on the path of love and awareness. When the heart is open, the face smiles.
Anjali with Michael will take the form of the retreat private interview where you are free to ask questions about meditation practice or simply life itself. The time will be for you and with the free modern technology of Skype, vision and sound are available together. We will encourage you to make this committment for a private Dhamma session at least once a month.
Of course, we ask that a small fee is paid to support the life of the teacher and also because you as a disciple must show your intention to be serious about this relationship. Dhamma is the most important thing in life, please don’t miss the opportunity to be in the presence of someone who lives it moment to moment.
For details of this please contact us.

May all beings be happy

 

*******

   

Koan:
If a tree falls down in the forest and there is no-one there to hear it, does it make a sound?
Dhamma quotation:

The biggest obstacle to the teacher is the mind of the student.
The biggest obstacle to the student is also the mind of the student.
To meet the truth we must let go of our preconceived ideas as to what the truth really is. We must be empty of personal views and opinions and be ready to receive the beautiful ordinariness of reality.

From Buttons in the Dana box
Michael Kewley

Follow Michael on twitter @MichaelKewley
Next Pure Dhamma Newsletter, October 2012
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