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News & Events

The 2nd Year Interfaith mindfulness day

Sunday, 12th May 2019

The second year successful Interfaith mindfulness day at the Varapunya Meditation Centre on Saturday the 11th May 2019. There were about 30 people from different faiths Brahmakumaris, Buddhists, Church of Scotland, Hindu, Unitarian church, Jews, Muslim, Pagan, Quaker and on their interested one. we were delighted to have meditation and reflection on the theme of Trees.

The day began with introduction to mindful walk by Ajahn Sujan and led the silent mindful walk in the woodland for an hour as a part of well-being activity. It was good that the event fell just as Mental Health week in Grampian. It was a wonderful mindful walk that connects to the nature and trees. There was a moment of reflection at the half way and everyone was invited to share thoughts and friendly conversation.

Everyone had an opportunity to take part in the traditional food offering to the Buddhist monks that involves chanting, offering, blessing and reflection moments. Tree plays very essential part in the Buddhist practice, said Ajahn. He further said that the Buddha was born under the tree in Lumbini despite of being a prince. He was enlightened under the tree at the age of 35, which was the beginning of Buddhism. He gave his first discourse under the tree and passed away under the tree.

Buddhism is like a tree. It has roots, trunk, branches and leafs. Our life also similar to tree. The Buddha talks three root causes that are subject to our birth and death. If we understood the root properly we can make huge different to life. Similar to trees, good root brings good tree. Ajahn further said that tree grows depending on condition so our life. There is no different between tree and ourself.

Members of centre prepared delicious varieties of foods for all, which everyone enjoyed. In the afternoon session, Different faith representatives gave the reflection and guided meditation. Kathrine from Brahmakumaris reflects the greatness of earth and uniqueness of tree that gives life and keep environmentally safe. Nigel gave his experience of his grand daughter being sad to see tree being cut as a sign of caring heart of his grand daughter. Along with that he gave few insights from Quaker believe. The chairperson of Interfaith ABERDEEN told story of The three trees whose dream changes from one thing to very special relating to the life of Jesus. Suki from Sikh spoke the importance of tree and the Ecosikh project to celebrate 550 years of Gurunanak’s birthday. The project intends to plant million trees around the world. Caroline from Unitarian church guided us a meditation with the tree. Putting feet comfortably as the tree and extending your feet as though growing roots firmly into the ground. Extending energy from the ground to the whole of the body and feel the connection. Bruce introduced his reflection from Pegan and Buddhism point of view by saying that every small seed possesses a massive tree and the nature is such that it will die one day. As the tree grows moves around along with the wind simply means standing alive in the midst of difficulties and becoming more stronger. Our life is also similar to the tree that we have to go through such difficulties many time to be stronger and stronger. David from Varapunya meditation centre led the loving kindness meditation to end the session and everyone took part of planting trees in the woodland, which everyone thoroughlyenjoyed.

We had a soft music from melting pot group Aberdeen, which gave extra flavour to the day.

on behalf of the centre express your thanks and appreciation to you all for your participation. I also extend heartfelt thanks to the members of the centre who kindly prepared place, food and given warmth and first class hospitality.

ขออนุโมทนาบุญกับทุกท่านที่ช่วยกันทำให้งานสำเร็จไปด้วยดี สาธุ


‘I have been feeling replenished and restored since leaving the temple, and mind heart has been even more full of love for the wonderful trees. We are so blessed to have growing all around us..’ – Caroline

‘A great day. Thanks for such a wonderful hospitality.’

Community tree planting 31 March 2019

Tuesday, 26th March 2019

You are you invited to participate the second year community tree planting at the Varapunya meditation centre On Sunday 31 March at 1 pm. We are planning to plant possibly over a hundred plants in our field.

ขอเชิญร่วมงานการปลูกต้นไม้ครั้งที่สองวันอาทิตย์ที่ ๓๑ มีนาคมนี้ ณทวัดวรปุญญะ สำนักวิปัสสนากรรมฐาน เมืองอเบอร์ดีน

VBS News (Sep 2018- Feb 2019)

Wednesday, 6th March 2019

This article will cover following points:

  • Activities
  • Outreach
  • Development at the centre
  • Kathina
  • Dates for you

The centre was busy with different activities at the centre and outreach during autumn. One of the objectives of the centre is to provide an opportunity to learn and explore Buddhism and Buddhist teaching and practice at the centre. Thus, every year the centre held temporary novice ordination and retreat for people who are interested to experienced monastic life. This year, Norman and Lucy took the ordination on 15 August for two weeks. The day was very especial with the presence of the Most Venerable Phra Rajwithetpanyakhun or Dr Laow came up to centre to ordain them. Their daily program was morning chanting at 6 am, studying Buddhist scriptures, practice of meditation and going to almround. It was an opportunity for lay community to offer daana and join the meritorious activities at the centre.

Currently the centre has two toilets, up stair one and in the living room another. It is always uncomfortable, and toilet is one of the best needs at the moment. Therefore, the centre organised Phapah Fund raising ceremony on 2 September along with celebrating 2nd anniversary of new place. With the general support and help from different parts of the UK, Thailand, Austria, Jersey and Ireland we had a successful fundraising ceremony. We were able to raise £24,000 for this cause. On behalf of the centre special thanks to Ajahn Wichian from Thailand and thank you everyone and all support to the centre. Now we are on the process of construction.

The centre offers mindfulness sessions in different places. Every last Monday of the months the centre in collaboration with Multicultural health and well-being and Aberdeen Health Village is offering lunch time Monday mindfulness sessions for general public for an hour and for the staffs another hour since 2017. Which led us to develop 6 weeks course and successfully run two sessions at the Credo. The course led by David under guidance of Ajahn. Second session was successfully ended on 28 October at the centre with meditation and discussion in the centre’s environment.

Meanwhile, the centre also offers mindfulness sessions on demand. On 3 September David went to led mindfulness meditation at Len Ironsides centre. On 1st October, Bruce volunteered to guide mindfulness meditation at City Hospital for staffs. These are some of the main sessions the members of community went to guide on behalf of the centre for the benefit of many.

The centre also works with other organisations in the area and other parts of the country. Apart from being actively involve with local Aberdeen interfaith and other religious groups the centre extends its relationship with other Buddhist groups in the UK. On 28-30 September under the leadership of Ajahn Sujan 5 members of community went to Staffordshire to attend and support the interfaith conference at Wat Mahathat UK temple. On that tour, members visited Wat PhraSing in Runcorn, Wat Phrasiratanaram Manchester and Dhamma talaria peace Pagoda in Birmingham too.

On 20 October Ajahn Sujan attended human library event at Aberdeen Centre Library. The Human Library was organised by Aberdeen Interfaith Group.

Kathina ceremony is a traditional festival of offering a robe to the venerable monks, which is one of the only events that the monastic and lay community work together. Rest of other monastic rituals, lay people are not allowed to attend the ceremony. This ceremony also demonstrates a communal event and communal appreciation. The annual Kathina at the centre was on Sunday 28 October. The main Kathina Robe was sponsored by David and Lena Briggs along with Jackie. It was a successful event with chanting at 10am and followed by guided meditation for half an hour. It led to offering almsround and lunch. There was informal talk and blessings chantings at 1pm before officially offering the Robe. The ceremony ended by guided meditation and practice of loving kindness. Around 60 people attended the day. Similarly, on 1 November Monks went to London to attend first ever Kathina ceremony at London Mindfulness Meditation Centre.

The month of November, everyone is welcome to attend the evening and weekend sessions but unlikely there will be guidance or teaching. It would be mostly group sitting. In December, monks are on retreat. So, the centre is closed to public apart from weekend morning practice session. You are invited to join the group sittings in the weekend.

The New Year Eve evening service at the centre started at 9pm that lasted until 1 am. Members of the centre joined the chanting, meditation and listened reflection talks. On the first of January, lay members joined blessing chanting and alms-offering as a part of blessing for good new year. It was a busy day as members visited the centre for the New Year Blessing.

Ajahn Sujan attended New Year event on Sunday the 6th January in Basildon Essex, which was organised by Nibbanaram Buddhist Community Group. Ajahn Sujan is its patron and advisor.

On 13 January, we had annual Remembrance Day service at the centre. The day began with chanting, meditation and alms offering. In the afternoon, there was a ceremony dedicating merits to our departed loved ones. Members brought pictures of their loved ones who passed away. This ceremony will take place every second Sunday of January.

Mindfulness Mondays at Aberdeen Health Village have been booked for whole year. It’s last Monday of the months from 11 am to 1pm. Please contact to Health Village for more information and booking your place.

Similarly, 3rd session of 6 weeks Mindfulness course at Credo has been started mid-February with 20 people taking part. This course is also free but your generous donation will help us to continue this service. We are planning to run 4th session in Summer and 5th session in Autumn. If you are interested, please contact the centre.

We were very honoured to be nominated for Aberdeen City Health and Social Care partnership award ‘Heart Award’ on 1st of March. The centre did not win the award but privileged to be nominated for our Mindfulness services around the city supporting people suffering from different physical and mental health issues.

These are some of the main dates and upcoming events at the centre.

Dates for 2019:

➢ 11th May – Interfaith mindful walk

➢ 19th May – Vesak Celebration

➢ 24th to 26th May – Ajahn in London

➢ 16th July – Rains Retreat starts & possible arrival of visiting monks

➢ 22 June : attend Buddhist conference in Birmingham

➢ 13th October – end of rains retreat

➢ 27th October Kathina Ceremony

➢ One Day retreat Every 1st Sunday of the months from 8 – 5

Residential Retreats

➢ April 12-14 (Thai)

➢ June 28-30 (English)

➢ July 20-21 (English)

➢ August 9-11 (English)

Chanting and meditation practice

➢ Every Saturday morning 8am to 11am

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