We run a monthly Skype Listening Circle for those who’d like to connect with the Amida Shu sangha and experience this sacred practice but who don’t have a face to face listening circle nearby. It runs from 7.30pm – 8.30pm GMT on the second Tuesday of every month.
Rev Satyavani who runs the circle says: “I find listening circles (or stone passings) a crucial part of my Amida Shu spiritual practice. They help me to strengthen my connection with whoever is in the circle (Sangha), and I always learn a lot about myself and others (Dharma). Amida is always present no matter how many people are there or what we talk about (Buddha). Listening circles create a deeply sacred space and I am always glad to have attended.”
After brief introductions we take turns to speak about whatever we want to – whatever is in our hearts. This might be how we’re feeling about our practice, what’s going on in our lives, what kind of weeks we’ve had – ‘trivial’ or important, happy or in pain, we come just as we are.
When one person is ‘holding the stone’ and speaking, everyone else is silent and listens. There’s no need to talk if you don’t want to, you can just enjoy the silence. We continue until everyone has held the stone and then it goes into the middle so anyone can pick it back up if they want to. On Skype we do this verbally by saying at the end of our sharing e.g. ‘I’m passing the stone to Beckie’. We end the call with the original and sacred vows.
If you’d like to find out more and maybe join us, contact Satya firstname.lastname@example.org or search for the Amida Shu Skype using email@example.com and send a request through.
We usually ask people for a £5 donation or whatever they can afford (whether more or less) when they attend our Listening Circles here at the temple. If you would like to donate to the Amida Trust who support the temple and other projects such as our project in India, please feel free to do so here (or become a Friend of Amida Mandala and make a regular offering here).
The technical bit: If you’d like to join us you’ll need to have Skype installed on your computer or phone, and a Skype account/ID. You can download Skype for free from this link:
You’ll then need to add me as a contact (type in firstname.lastname@example.org to the search box which should bring up ‘Amida Shu’). If you can’t find me, send me an email with your Skype ID. You can request to join each meeting by sending me a message via Skype chat or sending me an email.
Shortly before 7.30pm on the day of the call you’ll see me calling you, which you should answer using the phone symbol, not the video one. You’ll then need to mute yourself, and only unmute yourself when you’re speaking – otherwise the sound starts to get a bit fuzzy.
If anyone is interested in attending but is put off by the technology, I’m happy to have a trial run with you before then – get in touch. Anyone who is interested in Amida Shu, regardless of their affiliation with other groups or experience levels, are welcome to join us.
If you’re interested in starting your own Amida Shu Skype Listening Circle do get in touch.