Christopher Titmuss Dharma Blog

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Twelve Points for the Sangha of Practitioners in Israel and elsewhere

I had a Skype meeting on Monday morning with Tamar Adelstein, 41, who is the new managing director for Tovana, Israel’s leading Dharma network.

Tamar has recently taken over from Ron Alon, who had 15 years of experience with the role. As well as teaching, he did a remarkable job supporting Israeli teachers, international teachers and Tovana’s vision.

With Tamar, he has a worthy successor. She has a wealth of international experience, studied law and gives support for those in need. Along with formal Dharma practice, she draws from her experience in Japan, Sri Lanka and Australia, as well as being a wife and mother of three children.

Tamar and I had a lengthy discussion via Skype. She had a variety of important questions knowing that I have 30 years of annual visits to Israel. Tovana’s senior and much loved teacher, Stephen Fulder is also reducing his time as the eldest administrator of Tovana after three decades in his role  with the Tovana board. Stephen has a new book out in English FIVE POWERS OF MIND. His transition also forms a feature of the evolution giving more responsibility to others.

After talking with Tamar, I wrote down a few points as loving reminders for Tovana and its extensive network. The points apply to Sanghas (Gatherings of Practitioners) , wherever the Dharma takes root.

Twelve Points for the Sangha of Practitioners in Israel and Elsewhere

1. Centres and practitioners must evolve or end up narrow minded and sectarian.
2. Tovana is in a major period of its evolution. You (Tamar) have joined at the right time, although challenging. There is extra stress for Sanghas/centres worldwide due to impact of Covid-19. We need to be patient with each other.
3. Personal retreats with a resident teacher is part of the evolution as use of the rented centre at Ein dor expands following a successful appeal for funds.
4. Teachers must exercise their authority in terms of length of time of stay of a solitary retreatant with regular inter-views with the teacher.
5. The biggest duality is between retreat and daily life. Teachers, managers and Dharma seniors need to co-operate to show the way to bridge this gap.
6. Retreats, techniques, methods can truly serve the practitioner; the practitioner does not become a canary in the cage of retreats.
7. Tovana has a foundation of ethics/mindfulness/meditation and heart/wisdom teachings for an awakened life. This is a core feature of Tovana and the Dharma.
8. Tovana offers teachings/practices without walls. Practitioners receive support and encouragement if they also explore yoga, psychotherapy, ordination, travel to the East, faith in God, pilgrimage and lifestyle. Non-violent politics support the poor and marginalised.  An engaged Sangha in Israel includes listening and responding to the plight of the people In Palestine – Gaza, West Bank and refugee camps in neighbouring countries.
9. Teachings include freedom to use the language of Buddha, Dharma and Sangha and freedom not to use the same language of the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. Know your audience. Know your readers.
10. Dharma/meditation/mindfulness in Asia can find itself a bit lost in Buddhism, temples and religious beliefs. Dharma in the West can find itself equally lost in Secularism, neuroscience, and psychology – at the expense of the spiritual, the sacred and enlightening realisations. This way of life supports non-violence, non-abuse and dwells respectful to people, animals and the environment/resources.
11. Dharma offers a free spirited way of life. This view applies whether a practitioner is single, in a relationship, has a family, ordained as a monk or nun, of any religious faith or none.
12. Liberals and Conservatives are welcome in Tovana. Liberals need to stay receptive to fresh ways of contemporary explorations and wise approaches. Conservatives need to keep a mindful eye on the best of the 2600-year-old Buddhist tradition and draw directly from the 10,000 discourses of the Buddha. One example: Every link in the Noble Eightfold Path matters equally rather than limiting the Dharma to mindfulness and meditation.
Finally, let us never forget, we, the servants of the Dharma, have a wide range of resources, within and outside the tradition, to support our capacity to abide in a fulfilled way of life. We set no limits to the inquiry into life. Liberation reveals the Limitless.

Continue reading 



India Time. Three -day Zoom Vipassana Retreat with Christopher and Suchitra. Thursday 17 June to Sunday 20 June 2021

Mindfulness, Insight Meditation (Vipassana) and Freedom to Be

Christopher and Suchitra Shenoy

Thursday 24 -Sunday morning 27 June, 2021. Continue reading 



A new 12 month Mindfulness Teacher Training Course (MTTC) starting in October 2021. Zoom plus Residential in Germany. A registration fee and invitation to donate to support teachers.

The course offers 12 month training to become a mindfulness teacher.
Teachers: Christopher Titmuss and Ulla Koenig.

Three previous MTTC for trainees have taken place since 2017with participants from more than 20 countries. Continue reading 



A 10-day Dharma-Yatra (Teachings-Pilgrimage) near Reutlingen, one hour from Stuttgart in southern Germany from 7 – 17 August 2021

We are sending you a heartfelt invitation to join us in this years Dharma Yatra in Germany. If the circumstances allow, we will offer another eco-pilgrimage from the 7 – 17 August 2021.

This Dharma Yatra will take place near the town of Reutlingen, an hour on the train from Stuttgart in south Germany. The teachers for the German Dharma Yatra will be Christopher Titmuss and Ulla Koenig.
We have places for a maximum of 60 adults and 10 children under the age of 16 years. The registration fee is €120.00 (€12.00 per day) for adults. This helps cover numerous costs.

We appeal for donations at the end of our eco-pilgrimage to cover costs including equipment, food, rent of vehicles to carry food, tents and backpacks and morel.

By early April, around 30 adults and children have registered.
You will find all the information on our website including what to bring, how to reach the first campsite and much more.

Our pilgrimage will explore ways to support participants to be Agents of Change in daily life. We offer teachings and practices on mindfulness, insight meditation, yoga, the heart, diet, eco-living and the climate emergency.
You can register on our website

https://www.dharmayatraworldwide.org/.

We look forward to seeing you. It is a wonderful event.

We have contact with the local authorities. We expect to know by 1 July 2021 whether government grants permission for our pilgrimage. An email will go to all those who have registered within a day or two of finding out whether the government grants confirmation or not. Refunds will be made or, if you wish, registration cost will be kept for the following year.



Timetable for international Zoom Retreats with Christopher Titmuss

I have prepared a timetable for the internationals attending any of my Zoom retreats.

Please make every effort to attend as many sessions as possible. Continue reading 




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