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Open Centre newsletter

Open centre newsletter

It is all an open secret.
-Ramana Maharshi

Every month a new newsletter is created, and as time is going on, every month my anxiety is building up. Of not having enough articles and links, of not having enough time besides my daily activity of trying to make a living. Of not being inspired, or not being the right person to do this any way.
While lying in bed building up my anxiety in fantastic depressing stories, there was a opening, and I saw that every month there ARE enough articles, and every month it all comes nicely together. It is about trust, trust that the sangha will respond with their open experiences and poems and links.
And sometime it will happen in 3 weeks and sometimes in maybe 5 weeks and all is well. So please continue to send in your experiences. Or links, or a poem or a nice little film from you tube.
And especially since the open dharma is coming up to a 10-year anniversary,
We would love to include your writings about favourite Open Dharma moments. 
Send your "top 3" moments to the newsletter team at:  newsletter(AT)opencentre.es

We start this newsletter with an honest and in depth experience of a friend of Open Dharma.
Followed by a poem sent in by Bekka, and a fundraising event by Jill and Nadia.
At the end you will find links to nice pictures and little films on you tube, one of which is the link to the latest Open Dharma video on you tube. Made on the Deep Rest Retreats in August in Spain, where several friends on the staff describe some of their favourite moments with Open Dharma in the last ten years.
And last but not least there is a new section added  at the end of the newsletter where we will announce your local activities related to the open dharma, happening all around the world.
So please don’t hesitate to sent them in.


Friend of open dharma.

There is something growing inside me that is bigger, more spacious, more abundant, spontaneous, and capable of love than what I've ever experienced.  It doesn't feel like the me that I have known until now, nor does it feel mine in any fundamental sense.  But when I access it, or orient myself to its flow, there is no doubt about where I need to be.  An interesting thing about this space is that it doesn't seem to have anything to do with my personality other than illuminating it. Seeing my personality this clearly is scaring the **$#* out of me.  Like really scaring the **$#* out of me. 

What I'm seeing is a pit of fear and loneliness. While there is a part of me that screams and cries with joy, another part of me is utterly terrified of being alone, that is basically a tiny, afraid, screaming child that is doing anything to avoid facing my desperate fear and aloneness. 

Under this fear is the abyss.  I get tiny little touches of this fear and it almost takes my breath
away. I have spent my life just keeping things “together” enough to avoid this place. 

I am realizing, however, that I need to make my passage through this darkness, and the thought scares the shit out of me. There doesn't, however, appear to be any other way through.

Centeredness and space are perhaps the two dominant concepts that I've been relating to for the past while, and the relationship between the two is fascinating, being fundamentally the same thing. Holding my centre is such a satisfying practice that seems, from my perspective, to kind of be the whole path, or at least what I can contribute with my own consciousness.  There is, however, no avoidance of my own shit when I'm moving from this place, and what I see is really dark, small and scared.

So, there is an apparent paradox.  On the one side I am becoming a conduit for love.  On the other hand, I feel completely messed up.  The first allows the second, indeed demands that I see the second, and next and most importantly, that I deal with it. I can't see a way around this, however hard I try.  I have to go through this door to reach the next.  I have offered myself to the universe, and this is what is demanded in return - myself.

While I feel more real, connected and grounded than I ever have, I am completely baffled by everything. What the hell is going on?  What is this love, what is this life, what is anything?  What is this dance?  I have no idea, but it feels like a torrent, like freedom, like honey, like sinuous movement that follows no rules--big, powerful, beautiful.  It is huge, gentle, loving, spontaneous - and existing utterly on its own terms.

From Bekka
Here is a poem a dear friend recently shared with me by Miroslav Holub:

The Door

Go and open the door
maybe outside there's
a tree, or a wood,
a garden,
or a magic city

Go and open the door
Maybe the dogs rummaging
maybe you'll see a face
or an eye
or the picture
of a picture

Go and open the door
if there's a fog
it will clear

Go and open the door
even of there's only
the darkness ticking,
even if there's only the hollow wind,
even if
                     is there

Go and open the door
At least there'll be
a draft


A fundraising event by Jill and Nadhia

Dear Friends,

Many of you will remember my friend Nadhia Sutara, who conducted a number of inspiring and helpful meditations and silent retreats at my home last February. Nadhia is coming again for the last two weeks of November, on her way to India, and will conduct two meditation sessions while she is here.

These will be held at my home – 29 Rushlake Road, Coldean, Brighton – on Sunday, November 23 and Sunday, November 30 from 4 pm until around 7. It is suggested that you arrive a little early as we will start on time and cannot let people in once the session has started.

The program will include a brief introduction, a period of deep relaxation followed by meditation, a dharma talk, questions and discussion. Light refreshments will be served after the meditation.

Nadhia will be available for private meetings (by appointment) during her stay for anyone wishing the opportunity to have one-on-one guidance and support for their practice.

All sessions will be by donation, with the proceeds going to raise funds for Open Centre.

As those of you who attended last time know, Nadhia has been meditating for the past 35 years and lived in Tiruvannamalai, South India – in and around the ashram of Ramana Maharshi – for 20 years. She has been connected with Ajay Singh of Open Dharma since 1993 and has been freely sharing her experience since her return to the West in 2000. She now lives in Victoria, BC, where she has been conducting Open Dharma-style meditation groups and retreats for the past two years.

Please feel free to read through her website, http://www.nadhiasutara.ca.
For more information about the upcoming programs in Brighton, please contact:
Jill at kettle.pettle(AT)mail.com
phone: 07931576007

or contact Nadhia directly at nadhiasutara(AT)yahoo.ca
Look forward to sharing this wonderful resource with all of you, and please do pass this information on to anyone you feel may be interested.

Peace and love to all,
Jill and Nadhia

Links and you tube films

Open Dharma highlights

On the Deep Rest Retreats in August in Spain, where several friends on the staff  describe some of their favourite moments with Open Dharma in the last ten years.


Zeitgeist from Derek
The intention of sending the link of these movies is not to try and do anything other than to give access to information and research and self search to deep inquiry. I don't feel these movies have all the answers far from it and I feel from my own experience and reflections on life that there is more openness and diversity than what these movies project as possible problems and solutions. However these movies bring into question what we are constantly fed and constantly feed on, propaganda corruption and live life styles that can easily lose sight of life and the connection to it.
 Here's the link (Zeit geist means something like 'the spirit of the times.)
(Watch the blue 1 first then the eye, they are both 2 hours long)

Augusta sent us the link of the finished website mentioned in an earlier newsletter.

I have finally managed to figure out all the tricky computer stuff and Shared-Roots is now online at: http://www.shared-roots.org . It has been created as a celebration of our place in the web of life, and to raise money for the Open Centre and tree-planting. Please visit.
Thank U

And do you remember Ulrika’s fundraising idea?
She painted some pictures when she was in India last winter, had them print into postcards which would carry a little message about the open centre.
A tiny paper stamp gives them powerful wings,

Here is a photo of Ulrika's postcards she made for the Open Centre:

With a short note from Ulrika:
So this is a picture of some of the circulating postcards (exhibited hanging at a self-made lamp in the flat of my family in Leipzig). It was a pleasure to paint them and I hope they fly by your place too and bring some brightness and colour to you. Lots of love to everybody, Ulrika

Another website selling open dharma t-shirts to raise money is: http://www.irisfairtolife.com

Thank you very much for your patience again and we do hope you enjoyed this newsletter.
On behalf of the team,


Ajay, Gemma, and Jaya will teach together in December, January, February, March, and April:

near Kotdwar, about 2 - 3 hours from Hardwar. The Ujala Center is comfortable and spacious.

*SILENT R5-15 January, Anantha Niketan Ashram, near Tiruvannamalai and holy Arunachala in South India. As usual, this retreat is nearly full already, but it does seem to be worthwhile to put yourself on the waiting list if you really would like to attend.
Also in January, also in Tiruvannamalai
Jan 15 (6 pm) till Jan 22 (12 noon), with Christopherji, us, and several other teachers.
Inspired last year by his first visit to Tiru in decades, Christopher Titmuss has invited us to join him for the Dharma Gathering in Tiru (similar to the one in Sarnath) he intends to offer right after our retreat.  5 minutes' walk from Sri Ramanasramam at the Mountain Breeze Guest House.
*Jaya will miss Bodh Gaya again this year, to protect Gyan's little lungs from the winter pollution!

*Sarnath Dharma Gathering

*Late March and early April: we will offer one or more retreats at lovely Sattal Christian Ashram with its two lakes and many wild birds in the Nainital district of Uttaranchal Pradesh, India.

Two meditation sessions while with Nadia .

These will be held at– 29 Rushlake Road, Coldean, Brighton – on Sunday, November 23 and Sunday, November 30 from 4 pm until around 7




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Messages sent on the previous Open Centre Google Group (not existing anymore):

Message 13 - The Open Centre newsletter is moving to a new location!

Message 12 - News & improving the newsletter

Message 11 - Christopher Titmuss Dharma Talk in SF

Message 10 - fundraising t-shirts

Message 09 - Latest news

Message 08 - Still need prizes for the Lottery Raffel

Message 07 - smiles and tears

Message 06 - Open Centre Lottery

Message 05 - Comments in the How can you help section of the website

Message 04 - Fun Events

Message 03 - this week's news

Message 02 - now is the time

Message 01 - What's up


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