The Irish Sangha Trust (IST) was established in 2011 to support and foster teaching and meditation practice in the Theravada Buddhist tradition in Ireland. The Irish Sangha Trust is non-profit Buddhist organization, entirely dependent on the generosity of the public for voluntary donations.
Our annual schedule includes regular workshops, retreats and meditation sittings. Events are open to everyone from beginners to experienced practitioners. We welcome you to join our spiritual friends network and experience the profound benefits of meditation practice.
Weekend Meditation Retreat "The Calm Amid the Storm" with Ajahn Dhammanando from Amaravati (UK)
Saturday, April 21st - Sunday, April 22nd, 2018
Our emotional life sometimes seems to be totally beyond our control. Trying, through will power, to exert control over powerful emotions does not guarantee success. In fact a hastily-constructed dam often bursts, with unpredictable results. Learning to access our inner stillness, offering a perspective from which to view disturbing emotions, can help to open up a path of practice, which in its fully developed form, offers us a route to transcendence.
This weekend retreat is suitable for both beginners and experienced practitioners.
Date: Saturday, April 21st - Sunday, April 22nd, 2018
Time: 9.00am (for 9:30am start) - 5.00pm
Fee: No fees - Anonymous donations only.
Suggested donation to IST: €30 for both days. Any donation made to the IST will be used to cover the cost of retreats and events that IST organizes throughout the year. The IST organizers are all volunteers and do not financially benefit from the IST funds.
Donations for the teacher. It is a Theravadan Buddhist practice that monks and nuns do not touch or use money. Any donation that we get for the teacher will be transferred to the English Sangha Trust.
Lunch: We will share a vegetarian lunch at about 12 noon on both days. Please bring some food to share if you wish to join in.
Registration: Please register here (or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Please note: it is not possible to register only for 1 or 1.5 day of this retreat. We kindly ask you to attend both days. When people drop out this negatively affects the dynamics of the group, the feeling of continuity and progress.
On the day:
(biography and picture from Amaravati Monastery's website)
Ajahn Dhammanando grew up in Carshalton, Surrey, a fairly typical South London suburb. He attended Mitcham Grammar School and went on to study English and History at Keele University in Staffordshire, at a time when the curriculum there was broad and multi-disciplinary.
He was aware internally of certain deep, barely articulated questions, but did not pursue a spiritual quest to find answers to them because to him the religions which he encountered in the UK appeared only marginally relevant. He was forced to the conclusion that other people must have similar questions but that everyone suppressed them. It was after graduation, on going to Thailand as a volunteer teacher for Voluntary Service Overseas that he found some initial signposts, although at that time he had almost no understanding of Buddhism. The Thai people lived in a different way and different values were in evidence; he found this inspiring.
The culture shock on his return to the UK was far worse than the initial shock in Thailand. He did his best to take up a career and do the conventional things, but that shock of return to the West only served to deepen his questionings. But when he first heard the Dhamma from Ajahn Sumedho at Hampstead in January 1982, having been invited to a ceremony there by a Thai student, he began to feel a resonance. A month later the Thai friend took him to visit Chithurst Monastery and at Easter that year he took part in a ten-day retreat during which both the teaching and the practice succeeded in unlocking doors and opening windows. For the first time ever, those deeper questions had begun to be addressed.
He continued his career as a lecturer in Industrial Language Training, but began to spend more time with the Sangha, usually going on brief retreats or giving lifts to monks. In 1984 he helped to establish a meditation group in Northampton, and he hosted those senior monks who came there to teach. In 1985 he took a year off work to spend time as an anagārika at Amaravati and Chithurst. This experiment finally extended to twenty months, and although he eventually returned to the lay life it was to a different job, teaching in a secondary school in Croydon.
During the next four and a half years he studied for an MA at Essex University, among other things. The realization gradually dawned that being ordained was what he really needed to do, and that his more worldly interests were of lesser importance. In 1991 he returned to Amaravati to re-ordain as an anagārika and was happy to spend two years in that role there and in two other monasteries.
In July 1993 he took upasampadā with Luang Por Sumedho at Chithurst and trained initially with Ajahn Sucitto as his acariya (instructor). Between 1997 and 2004 he went on to train in Switzerland, then Italy, followed by a return to Amaravati and then to Chithurst again, before going overseas to Australia and New Zealand. He spent time in different monasteries in Australia, before living for two years at Bodhinyanarama Monastery in Wellington.
He returned to the UK in May 2007 to be nearer his parents, and, since then, has been resident at Amaravati, but he has also made occasional trips abroad to teach in France, Slovenia and Hungary. He currently makes regular teaching visits to a local prison and assists in receiving school groups at the monastery. He often offers basic instruction in meditation at Amaravati on Saturday afternoons.
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