Sunday 21st July to Sunday 28th July 2019
We are pleased to announce that there will be a seven- day beginners Samatha meditation retreat in Sri Lanka from Sunday 21st July 2019 to Sunday 28th July taken by Keith Munnings. This event will take place at the Ambuluwawa Retreat Centre, (elevation ~1500’) Gampola, that belongs to Sri Subodharamaya in Kandy.This will be the ninth course of this kind run in Sri Lanka. The first of these was in 2011/12 taken by the late Lance Cousins.
There have been meditation practices for millennia and some of these were used and developed by the Buddha. In particular, he advocated the use of breathing mindfulness as a technique that is suitable for most people and which, when cultivated and developed, is of great benefit. It helps to bring about both calm (samatha) and insight (vipassanā) which, when combined together, bring about greater happiness and freedom and, ultimately, liberation. In this school of Samatha practice, the emphasis is primarily on developing ever-deeper states of calm through mindfulness of breathing so that insight might arise naturally. However, both calm and insight come into play and either may take precedence at any given time. So, in order to assist the development of the practice, meditators regularly report to a meditation teacher who can offer individual guidance. Alongside the practice of developing the sixteen stages of breathing mindfulness, meditators may also be encouraged to pursue other areas of development. These might include such things as chanting, walking practice, mindful work, physical activities, Dhamma discussion and periods of silence.
A prolonged period of learning meditation practice on a seven-day retreat gives meditators the opportunity to receive guidance and to gain experience of the deeper benefits of calm and insight meditation. Those attending the retreat will be offered written materials and regular contact through Skype reporting after the course is over, in order to sustain development of meditation practice in daily life.
Places are strictly limited to around 12 in total due to accommodation constraints. One or more external participants from abroad may join at the cost of £150, particularly to meet the teacher’s air-fare. The cost for locals or those from Myanmar would be RS12,800. Prices include the possibility of transport from and to Colombo.
There is a pleasant guest-house about 30 minutes from this centre, where familiar tourists could stay and may contribute by joining us for chanting etc with no formal charge in the context of the retreat. Apart from opportunities to explore Sri Lanka, flights can be booked locally to Asia often cheaper than from the UK. Those wishing to donate to support the teachers airfare are invited to do so. Applications, inquiries and donations, please contact Rajith: email@example.com.
About the teacher: Keith Munnings lives in Derbyshire, England. He has practised Samatha meditation since 1973 and has taught the practice for nearly forty years. This has included running a number of one-week residential practice weeks in mid-Wales and he has taught weekly Buddhist meditation classes and run study groups in Manchester, Bristol, Birmingham and Stockport. Keith was involved from the early days of developing the Samatha Association in the UK and took responsibility for running programmes of mindful work sessions as an adjunct to meditation practice and as a means of completing building work and decoration of the meditation centres in Manchester and mid-Wales.
In recent years he has been working in hospitals and universities as a Buddhist Chaplain and has been involved in developing training programmes to develop the pastoral skills of those interested in this work. Keith has a large family and enjoys life as a grand-parent.