SAT CHIT ANAND

- DECEMBER 2006 NEWSLETTER -

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Another year draws to a close. The Centre will be closed for several months - we need a well-deserved rest! I will be going to Bodhgaya, India, for further study and practice, including a one-month silent Vipassana and Mahamudra Meditation Retreat (deep looking / insight meditation into Ultimate Reality / Emptiness). Bodhgaya is the place where the Buddha attained enlightenment under the sacred Bodhi tree. It is a pilgrimage place with very powerful energy. Although i have been to India about 6 times, i have never been to Bodhgaya, so am very much looking forward to it ... and you will hear more about it in our next newsletter, which will be in March 2007. 

 

The Centre has been in existence since early 2000. We opened our doors and in the beginning only two people came to weekly teachings. The numbers have steadily increased, and several hundred people have passed through our Centre over the years. Last year, we started doing weekend retreats, which many people benefited from attending. The below are unsolicited extracts from cards, letters and emails received from people who attended our retreats. We have also received many emails from around the world in response to our monthly newsletters, and we thank everyone for their positive support.

 

May you all have a relaxing end of year, and wishing you all things wonderful in the new year. Love Leela and Maurice xxx

“What a memorable couple of days I have spent with Geshe Phende, and your good selves ... Thank you for all your hard work.” [Clare from Plett, retreat with Geshe Phende, March 2005]

 

“Thanks so much for the newsletter and photos. I have had an inspiring week thanks to Geshe and you for all the organising and making it all possible. Thank you. I seemed to learn such a lot in a short time - now to practice. Look forward to a follow up retreat. Love and light in Dharma.” [Jane from Knysna, retreat with Geshe Phende, March 2005]

 

“Thank you for the newsletter - such a special momento of a special weekend. You really went out of your way to make it a positive experience - a very positive experience for me.” [Julia from Knysna, retreat with Geshe Phende, March 2005]

 

 

“Thanks so very much for the retreat. I now have a better understanding of the way to perfect understanding. I have learnt so much from you. My life is certainly changing for the better and I feel myself growing from strength to strength, thanks to your teachings, and the experience I had at the retreat.” [Elvinia from Knysna, retreat with Leela, May 2005]

 

“Thank you both so much for a wonderful retreat and all your teachings and loving-kindness. It is very meaningful for me to have found you and the good things you bring to my life. Thank you too for the beautiful newsletter which I have shared with friends.” [Julia from Knysna, retreat with Leela, May 2005]

 

 

“Thank you soooo much for the lovely retreat.” [Liza from Knysna, retreat with Shenpen, July 2005]

 

“Thank you so much - I really had a wonderful weekend.” [Ria from George, retreat with Shenpen, July 2005]

 

 

“Absolutely loved your Rev Pannasekara, will always remember his beautiful presence.” [Marie from Plett, retreat with Rev Pannasekara, August 2005]

 

“I loved the retreat and it was just what I needed to quietly focus me. But then I have enjoyed and gained from all your retreats. I thank you both and Sat Chit Anand for offering such a valuable spiritual home. You mean a lot to mean a lot to me and have added immeasurable richness to my life. Take care and love to you both.” [Julia from Knysna, retreat with Rev Pannasekara, August 2005]

 

 

“A very big thank you for a most wonderful retreat. I was most impressed by everything. Isn’t Jennifer an inspirational teacher? I feel that I learned a great deal, which I must now put into practice. How I am missing your fantastic healthy meals! Thank you for all your kindness.” [Carole from Cape Town, retreat with Jennifer, September 2005]

 

“Thanks for a great weekend, I think about it constantly, it was wonderful.” [Lisl from Knysna, retreat with Jennifer, September 2005]

 

“Thanks very much - I didn't realise how much I benefited from the retreat until afterwards. I understand things now that I did not previously understand. Had a most wonderful weekend at your Pure Land!” [Jerry from George, retreat with Jennifer, September 2005]

 

“I had the most glorious time with you this past weekend. Thank you so much for your many kindnesses, too numerous to mention - but mostly for the deepest generosity of all, which was the warmth and genuineness with which you opened both your home and your hearts to me. I left feeling thoroughly appreciated, supported and befriended. Thank you again for every thoughtful gesture, large and small. May I have the good fortune to witness, at close hand, the fruition of all your aspirations.” [Jennifer from Cape Town, retreat with Jennifer, September 2005] 

 

“I am only able to receive these teachings because of your kindness, which I appreciate more than you can imagine.” [Carol from Port Elizabeth, retreat with Geshe Phende, March 2006]

 

“Thank you so much. I had a wonderful time at the retreat and am so glad I came. I learnt a tremendous amount about Buddhism and will be back for more.” [Michelle from Knysna, retreat with Geshe Phende, March 2006]

 

“Many thanks for being such wonderful hosts and co-ordinating all the arrangements ... I know how much work it involves, but I'm sure you enjoy every minute of it! Take good care and thanks again for your dedicated hard work.” [Elizabeth from Durban, retreat with Geshe Phende, March 2006] 

 

“A little poem I've just written in the collection which I'm sending as a tribute to you: Beneath this tree I sit. From here the new moon comes up from the east and the full moon lights the glade. Here the first sun warms the bones, and the last sun calms the soul. In the branches live the loeries and the passing dreams of men. Here smiling lizards sleep.” [Peter from Plett, retreat with Leela, April 2006]

 

“We would like to thank both of you for a most enlightening and enjoyable weekend. We wish both of you, all that you wish yourselves.” [Ken and Yvonne from George, retreat with Leela, April 2006]

 

“Thank you for all the blessings I received while staying with you. Warm regards.” [Gabriela from George, retreat with Leela, April 2006]

 

“We so enjoyed the weekend with you both and thanks for the lovely way it was handled.” [Lilli from George, retreat with Leela, April 2006]

 

 

“Once again, my sincere thanks for a superbly run weekend retreat. Thank you so much for what you do for the Dharma. Dharma blessings.” [Gerry from Wilderness, retreat with Heila and Rodney, May 2006]

 

“I know that I am repeating myself, by again my sincerest thanks for the wonderful retreat that you put together over the weekend. As someone who was there at the beginning I can assure you that it keeps on getting better all the time. Thank you for the wonderful work the two of you are doing for the Dharma. Much love.” [Andre from Port Elizabeth, May 2006]

 

“Thank you again for your hospitality and making it possible for us to share the Dharma and practice at your wonderful retreat centre and home. The merits of your efforts are certainly boundless! Take care and go gently, warmest regards and love in Dharma.” [Heila and Rodney from Robertson, retreat with Heila and Rodney, May 2006]

 

 

“Thank you both so much for being my spiritual home - I value you both very much.” [Julia from Knysna, retreat with Leela, August 2006]

 

“Thanks again for a wonderful retreat - it feels so good to be alive.” [Daleen from George, retreat with Leela, August 2006]

 

“Warm memories of the time spent with you. The songs keep singing in my head, reminding me to 'breathe, and know that I am alive' ... The words you gave me regarding ... have given me much pause for thought, there was wisdom there that wasn't even articulated. Thank you for helping me to see things in a broader perspective. With much appreciation, love and blessings.” [Wendy from Grahamstown, retreat with Leela, August 2006]

 

“An unforgettable experience!” [Marlene from Cape Town, retreat with Leela, August 2006]

 

 

“It dawns on me how fortunate we were to meet you some years ago now. You have certainly played a huge role in my path, and for that I am grateful.” [Carol from Port Elizabeth, retreat with Geshe Phende, September 2006]

 

“As always, thank you so much for a well-run and marvelous retreat. I have, as always, left there inspired and energized. Leela, you will remember the concept of causality that we were taught in Law, how certain events are causally necessary for others to happen. I hope that you realize how important a role you play in spreading the Dharma for all of us. I hope you see the huge importance of what you do, and the great merit and positive karma connected therewith. Big love to you.” [Andre from Port Elizabeth, retreat with Geshe Phende, September 2006]

 

“Thanks so much for such an inspiring and peaceful weekend. Take care.” [Brigid from Port Elizabeth, retreat with Geshe Phende, September 2006]

 

“Thanks for your newsletter. Geshe-la does inspire me, as do your whole world of Buddha’s and Buddha’s-to-be.” [Marie from Plett, retreat with Geshe Phende, September 2006

 

 

“Thanks again for a lovely retreat. I regard this retreat as one of the most important that I have attended. You are an asset to and a wonderful presence in my practice, and I pray that you will go from strength to strength in offering these wonderful Dharma opportunities to us. Big love.” [Andre from Port Elizabeth, retreat with Shenpen, October 2006]  

 

“Words cannot express my deep gratitude to both of you. You are really very special human beings. Your commitment to the Dharma has inspired me to no end. Thank you for sharing so unselfishly your overseas retreats, for bringing teachers to our doorsteps who have in turn helped me put things into perspective. I am truly blessed to have met you.” [Sharon from Plett, retreat with Shenpen, October 2006]

 

“I hope we are going to have one of these groovy monks at the next retreat!” [Gabreille from George, retreat with Shenpen, October 2006]

 

“What a wonderful retreat! Many thanks for organising it all, and making it possible. What a lovely space! The chalet was most luxurious and comfortable, and the lovely setting and quiet surroundings helped me feel truly away from it all. And of course the food was, as always, fantastic. Once more, many thanks, and hope to see you again next year.” [Carole from Cape Town, retreat with Jennifer, November 2006]

 

“Thanks again for hosting such a wonderful retreat - I'm sure to feel the benefit for a long time to come.” [Lydia from George, retreat with Jennifer, November 2006]

 

“Thank you for an unforgettable weekend retreat.  It was an energising occasion and has really strengthened my determination. I enjoyed the feeling of healing and growth that living in such a respectful and focused environment brought me, and am looking forward very much to attending another retreat with you. Love and best wishes.” [Fiona from Cape Town, retreat with Jennifer, November 2006]

 

“Thank you so much, dear Leela and Maurice, again and always. Your gracious hospitality, relentless generosity, and unwavering dedication will remain with me. As a teacher, I can't imagine being more completely supported and appreciated. As a friend, I count myself blessed to be included in your circle. With love and gratitude.” [Jennifer from Cape Town, retreat with Jennifer, November 2006]

 

J SAT CHIT ANAND namaste to you Buddha-to-be! 

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