16th Annual Mindful Peace Walk, 20 March 2022 @ The Botanics

For the sixteenth time we are going to walk in peace at the Royal Botanic Garden in an event organised in collaboration with Edinburgh International Centre for Spirituality and Peace, EICSP.

Please join us at Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, John Hope Gateway, Arboretum Place, Edinburgh, EH3 5NZ on Sunday 20 March 2022 at 10am for 10.15am-11.15am.

This silent walking meditation is an open event. Before the walk begins there will be a brief introduction to mindful walking as a meditation practice.

This is not a protest or a campaigning event, so please do not use any banners. Our silence and togetherness in nature says it all at this time.

May the Sound of this Bell
Penetrate deep into the Cosmos
Even in the darkest spots
Living Beings are able to hear it clearly
So that all suffering in them cease
Understanding come to their hearts
And they transcend the path Of Sorrow and Death

The Universal Dharma Door
Is already open
The Sound of the Rising Tide is heard clearly
The miracle happens
A beautiful child appears in the heart of a Lotus flower
One single drop of this Compassionate Water
Is enough to bring back the refreshing
Spring To our Mountains and Rivers

Listening to the Bell I feel the afflictions in me begin to dissolve
My mind calm, my body relaxed
A smile is born on my lips
Following the Sound of the Bell
My breath brings me back to the safe Island of Mindfulness
In the Garden of my Heart
The flowers of Peace Bloom beautifully

Children are welcome when accompanied by adults.

Please remember to wrap up warmly and note that no animals except Registered Assistance Dogs are permitted within the Garden. Please maintain social distancing, and follow all recommended COVID-19 protocols.

Returning to St Marks from February 2022

We will be returning to our regular meetings at St Marks Unitarian from 3rd February 2022 and are looking forward to seeing you in person.

There is no need to book through Eventbrite. We will keep a paper register of who is attending for Covid contact tracing. You will need to sign in when you arrive and give a contact number. We will discard the list of attendees after three weeks.

The mask policy is “like a cafe”. Please wear a face covering when standing and moving about but you can take it off when seated. We are still meeting in the main part of the church so there is plenty of air and you can sit a distance away from others if you need to.

But 17th February may be on line again! We aren’t sure if a regular facilitator will be available on 17th February as most of us will be on retreat.

Thich Nhat Hanh, 11th October 1926 – 22nd January 2022

With deep mindful breaths we share the news that our beloved teacher has passed on. For more details see the official announcement at the Plum Village website.

Please take some time to enjoy your breathing and walking and the beauty that surrounds us. We are walking for Thay now.

Come join us as we sit together at St Marks Unitarian Church on Sunday (23rd January), 7:15pm for a 7:30pm start, finishing by 9pm. We are going to have a period of mainly silent meditation to enjoy each others presence and the continuing presence of our teacher.

Thay leading a walk at Plum Village, France in 2014

Happy New Year 2022 – online in January

In view of the ongoing Covid situation and the Scottish Government guidance to gather in groups of no more than three households, we have decided to go back to having the Thursday evening sessions  on Zoom during January and we will then review the situation as advice changes.

We are, of course, keen to return to face-to-face meetings as soon as it is safe and permissible to do so. 

Although the Zoom meetings cannot generate quite the same energy as face-to-face meetings they are still a way for us to stay connected with each other during these challenging times and we are grateful for the technology that makes this possible. It’s also been wonderful to meet friends online from so many different locations.

If you haven’t been emailed the zoom link please fill in the form on the contact page and Pete will email it to you.

Christmas and New Year Meetings 2021/22

Thursday 16th December will be our last in person meeting of 2021 at St Marks before we break up for Christmas. We decided to go ahead with this meeting after the recent changes in guidelines from the First Minister because religious practices are not included in the recommendations and we have plenty of room to maintain social distancing. We totally understand that some people will not feel comfortable attending. We have planned to resume meeting at St Marks on 6th January 2022 but this will be reviewed nearer the time. It is looking likely that our practice will be online in January.

Remember the Wednesday Scots Pines virtual sangha continues to be available.

Facilitators Retreat Kilgraston on 17 – 20 Feb 2022

Don’t forget the retreat at Kilgraston on 17 – 20 Feb 2022 in case you haven’t seen this on the mailing list.

Although it’s called a Facilitator’s retreat don’t let that put you off as anyone with an interest in contributing to sangha sessions is welcome – no-one would expect you to facilitate the whole evening straight away – and we have various gentle ways to introduce people to facilitating such as offering a reading, leading the walking, welcoming people to the session or being a ‘buddy’ to the person guiding the session.  

Murray Corke and Susanne Olbrich are dharma teachers with extensive experience so it should be good.

Some bursaries may be available if cost is an issue for you. Contact details for the organisers are on the form. More details in the booking form below.