Christopher Titmuss Dharma Blog

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Retreat Environments

35th Year of Teaching in Bodh Gaya

Extracts from a report to teachers, managers and co-ordinators.

India (spiritual, not economic India) continues to act as a major turning point in people’s lives. Travellers living out of a backpack, attending retreats, Dharma Gatherings can experience profound shifts in consciousness that have a lifelong influence. Dharma teachers, managers and co-ordinators contribute to the process of change. We have a fine network of people involved in our programmes in India quietly determined to stay true to deep values, sustainable lifestyles, love and a liberated way of life. Continue reading 



At the foot of Arunachala …

Tiruvannamalai. On the edge of this modest sized Indian town in the state of Tamil Nadu, South India, about five hours on the local bus from Chennai, stands the renowned ashram of Sri Ramana Maharshi, the much loved teacher of Liberation, who has been adopted as the patron saint by the Western Advaita (non-dual) tradition, even though the saintly Ramana never referred himself as belonging to the Advaita tradition and dismissed advaita and vaita as relative concepts. Continue reading 



A Dying and Death Yatra along the Ganges

The Bodhi Tree in Bodh Gaya desperately needs care and attention. The 60 metre Maha Bodhi Stupa immediately behind the tree forces the tree to grow in unnatural directions. The tree shows a sick appearance. It is in desperate need of pruning, and needs watering in the heat of the summer. Branches are lopsided and cracked, the leaves appear dry and dull and the level of pollution in the village affects the tree. The situation isn’t helped with the fears in the village. There is the possibility of the police taking action if anybody prunes a single branch. Is the intention to sell the branch to corrupt businessmen? Will one make bad karma by cutting limbs off the tree and so get sent to the hell realms? Continue reading 



The Hammer and Chisel Buddha Statue

In a generation, the Lord Abbot of the Thai Monastery in Sarnath has transformed the monastery into a beautiful garden of trees, flowers, shrubs and pathways. There is a lovely, quiet meditation centre at the back of the monastery and ample area for our dharma discussion groups to meet in the shade of the temple or under trees. The Abbot of the Thai Monastery in Bodh Gaya shares the same dedication. Continue reading 



The Rise and Fall of US Citizens in Bodh Gaya

In January 2007, I was speaking to Chad, our Bodh Gaya manager, about the shortage of participants in the Bodh Gaya retreat of US citizens.

If we had 120 on a retreat, we would have very roughly 40% from Europe and Israel, 35% from the USA and the 25% from the rest of the world – Australia, Canada, South America, India, Thailand, New Zealand etc. That would mean around 35 to 40 US citizens. Continue reading 




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