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17th 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:  https://www.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: https://www.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: https://www.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, Dhammācariya Sobhana has a Kappiya, Koen van den Biggelaar. Keon serves as a personal attendant who will support handling 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, https://www.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 https://www.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 

Previous Newsletters

10th of October, 2021

Dear fellow travelers in the Dhamma.

 

Much is happening here at Suttavāda Foundation, and we wanted to take this opportunity to share some news with you.

First and foremost – Today, October 16th there will be a live QA at 13:00 St Louis Time, 20:00 Central Europe Time. Direct Zoom link here, Zoom ID 862 6992 0831, Passcode: dhamma

 

 

Physical Retreats – Registrations opening up

Netherlands – Delson Armstrong will guide physical retreats in many different locations in the world. The kickoff will be a short weekend retreat in the Netherlands from Friday November 12 until Monday November 15. The retreat is fully booked, but you’re welcome to add yourself to the short waiting list, as there may be cancellations. Registration is possible until October 29. For more information and registration, click here.

Easter Retreat California – Following the tradition of the annual Easter California retreat guided by Bhante Vimalaramsi, Delson Armstrong will now guide the Easter  Retreat scheduled from April 10 to April 20 2022. Information can be found here and registrations will open October 30, 9AM Pacific Time here

More physical retreats are being scheduled for 2022 and when they open for registration, we will inform you through the website and newsletters. Also, we welcome any offers from people who want to organize a retreat in any part of the world. If you’re inclined, please feel welcome to contact us (info@suttavada.foundation)  and we can start planning this together.

The tentative schedule for the coming months is:

  • November 12 – November 15, 2021, weekend retreat in the Netherlands
  • January 28 – Feb 6, 10-day retreat in Belgium
  • February 11 – Feb 20 – 10-day retreat in Italy
  • March 2022, 10-day retreat in Mexico
  • April 2022, 10-day Eastern retreat in northern California
  • May 2022, two 10-day retreats in Kyrgyzstan

Other possible locations for later in the year which are being considered include India and Singapore.

 

Online Retreats

The online retreats have started again, using Zoom for individual interviews and group sessions, in which meditators can ask questions. They will either be guided by Delson or by Syl, and sometimes they will both be present 😊. The next online retreat starts October 26, where the daily individual interviews will be held by Syl, while the group sessions will be hosted by both Delson and Syl. More information and registration here

 

Dhamma talks

We have returned with Dhamma talks, which are live streamed to our YouTube channel. Schedule can be found here. Delson recently gave a talk about the basics of our practice, for a local Zen community in the Netherlands. It was well received and live streamed to YouTube. You can view it here: https://youtu.be/m2rb8dv5q08

Today October 16th there will be a live QA at 13:00 St Louis Time, 20:00 Central Europe Time. Direct Zoom link here, Zoom ID 862 6992 0831, Passcode: dhamma

 

Book A Mind Without Craving

We are working on the finishing touches of Delson’s first book A Mind Without Craving. We plan to publish the book in physical format and online distributions. In it you will find information valuable when doing a retreat, day by day. It may help you with a deeper understanding of the suttas and the practice itself. It contains explanations of key principles from the suttas and meditator experiences. If you would like to donate to make the publication possible, you can find more information here

Dāna

On our Dāna page you can see the various projects we are currently working on, and to which you can donate. We’d like to highlight that Delson lives by the dhamma, and fully relies on dāna for his livelihood. Any contribution (one-time or recurring) is highly appreciated 🙏

 

 

Opportunities to meet fellow meditators and teachers

  • You can join the Dhamma talks through Zoom, and ask questions afterwards.
  • There are weekly Zoom group meetings that are recorded for our sister YouTube channel called the TWIM Meditators Support Group. Here, it starts with a meditation session, followed by either a Dhamma talk (different guest speakers), a topic to discuss, or a Q&A session. There will be a temporary break after October 3, until December 5. The information on how to join them is published on this Telegram Channel, where different opportunities for Dhamma are announced. While Telegram is a chat app, just like WhatsApp, this channel is purely for announcements of get-togethers, Dhamma talks, newly uploaded earlier talks, and more.
  • There is a group on the web which has been around for many years. Here, practioners, teachers, and monastics discuss the practice and the dhamma.
  • There is also a support group on Telegram, where the basics of the meditation practice, as well as suttas, are discussed in an informal way. This group is not publicly listed. To join, please mail your Telegram username and we will add you. You can also connect directly with Syl on Telegram at @Syl_6R

 

Contact Us

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, feel free to reach out to us. You can find the contact form on the website, and we will do our best to reply as soon as possible.

That’s it for now 😊

 

Thank you for reading and for your ongoing support for Delson’s livelihood and the Suttavāda Foundation. It makes us incredibly happy, and it inspires us to continue providing you with many opportunities to deepen your practice, while keeping the Dhamma free for all beings. Sādhu, Sādhu, Sādhu!

 

With mettā and a smile,

 

Koen, Khin, Pablo and Syl

7th of September, 2021

Dear fellow travelers in the Dhamma.

We hope you had a nice summer with many opportunities to practice. We felt it is time to update you on what’s been happening during the summer and to highlight some of the plans for the coming months.

Website

Some of you may have already noticed that the Suttavāda Foundation website has changed quite a bit and we believe it looks much better now, and we would be looking forward to any feedback you may have. It is faster, the menu has been improved and all information is easier to find and we aim to keep it all up to date. You can reach out to us through the website, for any questions or suggestions. The contact form includes how to reach our webmaster for any suggestions related to the website.

Physical Retreats

We are thrilled to announce that Delson Armstrong is planning to guide physical retreats in many different locations in the world. The kickoff will be a short retreat in the Netherlands, starting November 12 and ending November 15. The retreat is fully booked, but you’re welcome to add yourself to the short waiting list, as there may be cancellations. Registration will be possible until October 29. For more information and registration, click here.

More physical retreats will happen in 2022 and when they open for registration, we will inform you through the website and newsletters. Also, we welcome any offers for people who want to organize a retreat in any part of the world. If you’re inclined, please feel welcome to contact us and we can start planning together. 

The tentative schedule for the coming period:

  • November 12-15, 2021, short retreat in the Netherlands
  • January 2022, three 10-day retreats in Europe (please reach out if you want to organize)
  • March 2022, 10-day retreat in Mexico
  • April 2022, 10-day Eastern retreat in northern California
  • May 2022, two 10-day retreats in Kyrgyzstan

Other possible locations being considered include India and Singapore.

Zoom Online Retreats

The online retreats are returning, using Zoom for individual interviews and group sessions, in which meditators can ask questions. Delson will be back to guide a number of them, but since he will be quite busy with physical retreats too, we will also start doing online retreats guided by Syl. The first online retreat starts September 21, where the daily individual interviews will be held with Syl, while most of the group sessions will be hosted by both Delson and Syl.

Dhamma talks

Of course, we will return with regular Dhamma talks, which will be live streamed to our YouTube channel. Delson will be back to give talks, and the first one will be an introductionary talk in the Netherlands, which will be zoomed and live streamed to YouTube on Friday, September 10. See for details here: https://www.suttavada.foundation/online-dhamma-talks/

We don’t have dates for more talks just yet, but we plan to publish the updated schedule in the coming weeks, which may include dhamma talks hosted by others. We will update this page with dates and more information, as soon as they are available.

Book A Mind Without Craving

We are working on the finishing touches of Delson’s first book A Mind Without Craving. We plan to publish the book in physical format and online distributions. In it you will find a lot of information which is valuable when doing a retreat, day by day. It is filled with many explanations of key principles from the suttas and relevant for our practice. If you’re inclined to donate to make the publishing possible, you can find more information on the following page: https://www.suttavada.foundation/book-a-mind-without-craving/. We will need pprox.. $2000 for the process, and we’ve already received $350 from 2 generous donors, Sādhu.

Dāna

First and foremost, a big thank you for all of you who generously donated. We are a small foundation, run by volunteers and completely rely on dana. You are most welcome to donate. On our Dāna page you can see the various projects we are currently working on, and to which you can donate. We’d like to highlight Delson lives by the dhamma, and fully relies on dana for his livelihood. Any contribution (one-time or recurring) is highly appreciated. Sādhu

That’s it for now.

Thank you very much for your attention and for the ongoing, tremendous support you have given Delson. It makes us smile and encourages us to continue to provide you with many opportunities to deepen your practice, while aiming to keep the Dhamma alive and free for all beings. Sādhu, Sādhu, Sādhu!

With mettā and a smile,

On behalf of the Suttavāda Foundation,

Koen, Khin, Pablo, Syl, Els and Patricia