The Buddha and the Goddess of the Earth —
How Buddhist Practice Enriches our Connection to the Natural World | April 21, 6pm to April 23, 2:30pm
Most stories about the Buddha take place outside. His Awakening took place beneath a tree, he walked everywhere, and many of his discourses were given in forest groves, gardens and on hillsides.
On this retreat, we will explore some of the mythic imagery and nature themes in the Buddha's story. We will look at how these themes unfold in his teaching, and explore their relevance to us now. These images and teachings are deeply connecting, and reveal a path that we can travel now to find our ground and explore our interconnectedness.
In particular, we will explore four mythic symbols/stories —
The Bodhi Tree — The Buddha’s quest for Enlightenment is fulfilled beneath what is just a tree, and also the tree. Here, the world above and the world below come together at the mythical center of the universe!
The Earth Goddess — She rises from the ground to bear witness to the Buddha’s merit and counter Mara’s challenge. Here we see a vast web of interconnectedness and the momentums of karma revealed.
The Dragon Prince — After Nirvana is attained, a great serpent shelters the Buddha from an unseasonable storm. The Buddha absorbs his transformation and the wisdom-treasures of the deep are revealed.
Brahma pays Homage — A great god descends from the heavens to request that the Buddha teach to help ‘those with but little dust on their eyes.’
We will listen to these great stories and discuss their implications. We will explore how the natural world and the mythic elements of the Buddha’s story occupy and enrich our inner world. The program will include meditation, yoga, ritual & chanting, and reflection in nature. Aryaloka’s forest, gardens, wildlife and river will provide a direct experience of mindful and heartfelt connection.
This retreat is suitable for all levels of experience, and will be a good retreat for anyone who has never been on retreat before. Beginners are welcome, as well as anyone looking to take their appreciation of Buddhist teaching deeper.
Led By —
Dh. Singhaśūrī (FKA Lona Kovacs), certified yoga instructor and herbalist, has been a yoga and meditation practitioner and teacher for over 30 years. Still in her forties, Singhasuri has recovered from a total hip replacement. She is passionate about teaching restorative yoga, therapeutic yoga, yoga for meditation, and the breath and movement practice that has guided her recovery.
Dh. Śuddhāyu has been teaching meditation and Buddhism and leading retreats since 1998. He has a deep love of the processes of meditation practice, as well as poetry, myth and creative ritual. He currently works full-time for Dharma initiatives as Chair at the Portsmouth Buddhist Center and Manager of Aryaloka.
A Culture of Generosity and Support
In the tradition of passing on the Dharma freely, our Dharma retreat and workshop facilitators offer their work without charge and are not paid. We recognize the value in what they do and want to thank them for their time, energy and wisdom. A financial gift can help support our facilitators to afford them the opportunity to lead. Please consider making a donation towards their support.
There is often a cash collection and a thank you card that is passed on the retreat, though one can also make a donation directly to facilitators with a check, and some use money transfer services such as PayPal or Venmo.
Thank you for considering this.
How are we coming together safely?
- Please take a Covid-19 rapid test on the day of the event (Aryaloka does not provide this test). A negative rapid test is required for entry; please take a photo of your test results and present at the door.
- If you know you have been exposed to Covid-19 within a five day period of the event’s start-time, we ask that you not attend in-person.* Stay up-to-date with exposure guidelines here.
- Masks are optional unless otherwise stated. Masks are required indoors for anyone testing negative of Covid-19 within days 6-10 of post-covid exposure without infection.
- If you have recently recovered from Covid-19, stay up-to-date with CDC guidance here as to when you’re clear to be back in public.*
- If you have cold or flu symptoms, we ask that you do not attend in-person.*
- All participants will be asked to sign a waiver of liability in relation to Covid-19.
- We have installed new air purifiers with virus-destroying technology!
- There are new cleaning and sanitation protocols.
*Zoom options are available for many events. Transfer of fees or refunds are also available for illness or illness-preventative related absence.
Please email email@example.com if you have any questions about our safety protocols. Aryaloka may adjust these policies in relation to current, local infection rates, and will keep retreatants posted on such changes
At Aryaloka, we strive to make our programs available to everyone regardless of their financial circumstances. Our fee structure allows you to pay according to your means.
The Event Rate is our actual fee for the event. It is for people paying their rent or mortgage, and who can afford occasional or regular leisure expenses such as dining out. Any payment above the advertised fee is a tax-deductible donation.
The Mid-Level Reduced Rate is for those who are paying their mortgage or rent, though experience a consistent tightness in budget that makes extras like leisure activities or unexpected expenses difficult or impossible.
The Base-Level Reduced Rate is for those without an income or with an income low enough that making ends meet is a challenge.
Those whose circumstances are not included above can email the office to make other arrangements. firstname.lastname@example.org
14 Heartwood Circle
Newmarket, NH 03857
|Sliding Scale 1||$320.00|
|Sliding Scale 2||$260.00|
|Sliding Scale 3||$200.00|