Newsletter January 2022

Dear Dhamma Friends –

We hope you are all healthy, happy, and smiling. Before everyone at the Suttavāda Foundation goes into self-retreat mode, which will last until the end of April 2022, we have some exciting news to share with all of you.

During the past 18 months, the Suttavāda Foundation has witnessed a healthy and increasing interest in its activities, and it is wonderful to see people experiencing the fruits of the practice. To date, we’ve held 16 online retreats, with 125 people attending. We’ve had over 130 registrations for the “Freedom Of Mind” series which you can view here:  http://suttavada.foundation/freedom-of-mind/

Although there have been 8 physical weekend retreats with over 70 meditators attending, we’ve also had to cancel multiple planned physical retreats due to the uncertainty around COVID-19.

We’re looking forward to the Easter Retreat in April at St. Francis, with a few slots available. If you would like attend, please see the registration information here: http://suttavada.foundation/event/easter-retreat-april-2022/

We’ve seen continued growth on our YouTube channel, having passed the 500 subscribers mark. There are over 44 Dhamma talks, multiple retreat and Q&A videos. The channel has over 35,000 views with over 7,000 hours of total watch time. You can view the channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzz4BAb8RZN8Weq2I9NGJ2w

We want to wholeheartedly thank the everyone who has practiced their generosity and made a dāna donation, either recurring or one-time.  The Suttavāda Foundation has received over $10K USD of pure Dāna, most of which is allocated to Delson’s livelihood.  It also has enabled us to publish the book “A Mind without Craving”, which is available in both printed as well as free online version. The book is available here: https://www.amazon.com/Mind-Without-Craving-Delson-Armstrong-ebook/dp/B09JGP5ZX3/ in hardcover and here at no cost in PDF format: http://suttavada.foundation/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/a-mind-without-craving.pdf

Sādhu Sādhu Sādhu to all of those for the dana and their generosity!

Delson  is dedicating his life to the Dhamma. He is either teaching retreats online or physically, or he is sharing his profound understanding of the path somewhere on the globe. He lives secluded and spends time meditating and writing. His teaching and guidance are fully dana-based and he lives completely by the Dhamma. As a natural next step, we are happy to announce Delson’s new Dhamma name: Dhammācariya Sobhana

The meaning of the new names is:

  • Dhammācariya – This means Dhamma Teacher. The deeper context here indicates one who lives by the Dhamma. This is a title, and more than a name.
  •   Sobhana – This means lofty, pure, shining, or happy, depending on usage. This name was also used by Mahasi Sayadaw and U Sobhana. Both of these teachers were friends of Venerable U Silanada, whom Bhante Vimalaramsi served as kappiya for several years.

With this new Dhamma name, there are a few related announcements. Like monastics have a kappiya, Dhammācariya Sobhana has a personal attendant, Koen van den Biggelaar. Koen supports handling all worldly affairs where applicable.

As with any dhamma teacher, monastic or lay, there are recommended guidelines to make personal interactions both fruitful and respectful. As we’ve received some questions around this, we’ve made a small summary of Dhamma Teacher Etiquette, http://suttavada.foundation/ineraction-with-a-dhamma-teacher/

The Suttavada Foundation believes in the original teachings, right effort and supporting as many serious seekers as possible, while respecting the teacher’s time and energy. Therefore, we recommend using the available material on our website, and to practice the noble eightfold path. You are welcome to register for retreats, which will give you an opportunity to interact with Dhammācariya Sobhana (advanced TWIM practitioners only), or with one of our other teachers. At present, there is no opportunity available to honor requests for individual interactions with Dhammācariya Sobhana outside of a retreat.

Dhammācariya Sobhana and the Suttavāda Foundation work closely together and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. At the same time, Dhammācariya Sobhana is an independent Dhamma teacher and Suttavāda Foundation is an independent organization. We have published our operating principles http://suttavada.foundation/suttavada-foundation-our-operating-principles reflecting where we base our we action on.

We believe in transparency, using the original teachings from the Buddha as our ultimate teacher, and close collaboration with the wider Dhamma community. We are grateful for our collaboration with the Dhamma Sukha Meditation Center and for the trust we are receiving from the community. 

May all beings be well, 

With Mettā,

Koen vd Biggelaar

On behalf of The Suttavāda Foundation team 

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