Sunday, 16 November 2008

The Effects of the new Cosmology on Spiritual Life and Practice

Dates: 20-22 March 2009
Led by Sister Ishpriya, RSCJ

As a spiritual guide and clear-headed thinker, Sister Ishpriya is second to none. She has a remarkable gift of presenting ordinary, everyday events in a startling way that makes you sit up and wonder why you had not noticed this before.

Not only is she well worth hearing then, but she is also a joyful and challenging presenter. Maybe it’s because she is so good at reading “the signs of the times” that she can see the need to understand our place in a rapidly changing universe, and to take the urgent action being called for today. All this seemingly arises naturally from calmly reflecting in stillness and meditation. Or, as she prefers to put it, “mystics are mostly recognised by the courage of their choices and the strength of their decisions which releases the wisdom for action”.

Full details of this weekend are now available on the events page.

Monday, 20 October 2008

Meditation Retreat on Holy Isle (off the Isle of Arran) over Christmas

Dates: Dec 20th - 27th
Venue: Holy Isle (off the Isle of Arran)
Led by: Choden

The Holy Isle Community are holding a meditation retreat over the Christmas period (20-27 December) on Holy Isle, off the Isle of Arran in Scotland. It will be an antidote to the commercial busyness and over-indulgence of the 'festive period' and is an opportunity for meditation, reflection and relaxation on this serene and beautiful island.

The Holy Isle Community will offer basic instructions and guidance in meditation practice and set up a simple practice schedule. However, people will be free to join in as much or as little of the teaching and meditation as they choose.

Prices will be kept low. For more details and bookings see the Christmas Retreat page at the Holy Island Project Website.

Monday, 13 October 2008

Ecumenical Studies Conference

Fr Maximus Lavriotes has asked us to inform the network about this event.

The Society for Ecumenical Studies, The Centre for Ecumenical Studies, Cambridge are presenting a day conference:

Are there limits to diversity?
Can different faiths and cultures accommodate each other?

November 8th, 10.30am -4.30pm at Westminster College, Cambridge

Main speakers: Dr. Reza Shah- Kazemi and The Ven. Dr. Michael Ipgrave

Cost: £15.50 including simple lunch, coffee, tea

For more information and to book: contact the Conference Secretary, Society for Ecumenical Studies, Tel: 01799 - 513541 or email:

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Joy on the Path: A Buddhist/Christian Retreat

Dates: Nov 28th-Dec 1st
Venue: The Abbey Sutton Courtenay
Led by: Ajahn Candasiri and Elizabeth West

The retreat will run from after supper on 28th November until after lunch on Monday 1st December. Priority will be given to those able to attend for the whole retreat. There will be silence for most of the retreat apart from times of sharing, and the first and last meal.

It is a long time since Ajahn Candasiri and Elizabeth West have led a retreat together so there is likely to be great demand. It was from these earlier retreats that the Christian Buddhist Vedanta Network was born.

Accommodation is in single and twin rooms. The Abbey can accommodate up to 17 in its purpose built guest house and in the main house. There are some B & B in the village close to The Abbey. Day attendees are welcome but will be expected to attend the full retreat. All meals are Vegetarian

The cost of the retreat is £150 for a shared room and £165 for a single room. The Abbey has held the cost for the three days at the level normally charged for a two-day retreat. This is to enable participants to make personal contributions to the teachers out of gratitude for the teaching.

Ajahn Candasiri was raised in the Scottish Episcopal Church, but found that her questions on how to live the spiritual life were never answered satisfactorily by Christian teachers. Then she attended a retreat of Ajahn Sumedho, the founder of Amaravati Buddhist Monastery. Not long after she sought ordination as a Buddhist nun from him and was one of the first four women in this country to receive ordination into the Thai Forest Tradition of Theravada Buddhism. She has been ordained for 25 years and is now one of the Senior Nuns at Amaravati. She has taught retreats extensively and is an excellent meditation teacher and guide.

To Book: Contact: The Abbey, Sutton Courtenay, Abingdon, OX14 4AF
Tel: 01235 847401 Email: Website:

Dissolving Boundaries - The Annual BCVN Meeting

Dates: Oct 17th-19th
Venue: Convent of St Mary at the Cross, Edgware, London (15 mins walk from Edgware tube)

This weekend will be a time for sharing our questions and even our answers if we have any. Elizabeth will facilitate the weekend and lead the mediation sessions. Some questions to reflect on that might inspire the sharing are:- Boundaries in a boundless universe - what role do they play. How do I relate to religious boundaries? Can we live without boundaries? Does my security lie in boundaries?

There are still places for this weekend please call or email Elizabeth to book.

Cost: Full weekend £120 Sat/Sun £90 Non resident including 2 lunches £30 One day with lunch £15.

Monday, 1 September 2008

Buddhism and God - Saturday 13th September, London

Date: Saturday 13th September
Venue: The Christian Meditation Centre, London
Led by: Elizabeth West

Does Buddhism have anything to say to us about the nature of God? What has Meditation to do with it?

Pre-booking is required. Full details are available on the events page.

Monday, 5 May 2008

Joy on the Path: A Buddhist/Christian Retreat

Dates: Nov 28th-Dec 1st
Venue: The Abbey Sutton Courtenay
Led by: Ajahn Candasiri and Elizabeth West

It is a long time since Sr Candasiri and Elizabeth West have done a retreat together, but those who have attended them are still on the mailing list. It was from these retreats that the Network was born. The Retreat will consist of talks, sharing and plenty of meditation and walking.

Further details are available on the events page.

Dissolving Boundaries - The Annual BCVN Meeting

Details are now available on the events page for the Buddhist Christian Vedanta Network annual meeting on October 17th-19th. This weekend is really a time for members of the Network and any friends who may be interested to come together to share and reflect on their own personal lives and journeys. In previous years people have found these days rich and inspiring, with plenty of time for building friendship, but also time for meditating together and for those who wish participating in the Eucharist on Sunday morning at the Priory.

Saturday, 29 March 2008

Buddha Mind & The Kingdom Of God

Buddha Mind & The Kingdom Of God
Course Leader: Dechen Pende & Andrew Morris
Date: Jul 23, 2008 - Jul 28, 2008
Course Fee: £325 Single Room, £263 Twin each, £225 Dorm. All inclusive. Concessions available.
Following on from last year's successful retreat, this one will explore the links between ritual and contemplative practices in the Buddhist and Christian traditions. The facilitators will provide a safe space for participants to share insights from their own spiritual experience.We will share different forms of worship, prayer and meditation. We will also look at how not engaging with mental distraction can relate to a positive engagement with the suffering world beyond the meditation cushion. This course is suitable both for people who came last year and those who did not.
Dechen Pende (Stuart Reid), a Tibetan Buddhist monk, is an experienced Tibetan Buddhist practitioner and Andrew Morros is an experienced workshop leader and lay member of the Orthodox Church.

Thursday, 13 March 2008


The Buddhist Christian Network was formed in 1999 by Elizabeth West. The aim of the network is to provide a link between the many people who are interested in the teaching and practice of meditation as taught in Buddhism and Christianity. There are many Christians seeking to understand the contemplative dimension of the spiritual journey more fully by using Buddhist teachings. Others who have embraced Buddhism still have an interest in their Christian roots.

Many people today find difficulty in joining any particular institution, but feel the need to share the journey with link minded people who are serious about spiritual practice.

Above all the network seeks to foster and promote friendship and a growing relationship of trust between sincere practitioners of both these great traditions; in fact anyone on a serious spiritual path is welcome to join. Buddhist-Christian dialogue is well advanced and takes many forms. Inter-monastic dialogue and exchanges have been going for many years. Theological and philosophical dialogue is also very common. The Network seeks to put people in touch with resources of all types and to provide links with other organisations and local groups that are available.

Although the main focus is on Buddhism and Christianity, it welcomes anyone interested in the contemplative journey through links with other traditions as well. It has close links with the Bede Griffiths Sangha, The World Community for Christian Meditation, the Awakened Heart Sangha and the International Satsang Association. The Network publishes a Newsletter and holds seminars & workshops. The Network welcomes everyone who is drawn towards a wider view of religion.