Call of the Heart: Chant & Meditate with Gabriella and Cesare
11:00 – 17:00, Sunday 3rd November, Royal Pier Road Gravesend DA12 2BD
Bodhicharya Kent is very happy to be hosting this day of Buddhist Sanskrit Chanting and Meditation with our special guest, Gabriella Burnel.
The day will start with an explanation of the Buddhist Refuge Prayer before being lead in chanting the prayer together in Sanskrit. From there the day will unfold with a Sanskrit vowel sounding warm up and a complimentary combination of guided meditations on awareness, loving kindness and evoking our Inner Guru, through the chanting of Buddhist mantras in the Kirtan call and response style.
These will include the mantra of Shakyamuni Buddha, the historical Buddha who lived approximately 2600 years ago and discovered the root causes of human suffering and the way out of them towards complete and irreversible Liberation. The Heart Sutra or Prajna Paramita, the Perfection of Wisdom Buddha. The mantra of Avalokiteshvara, the Buddha of infinite and impartial Compassion. The mantra of Tara, Enlightenment manifested in female form, principally symbolising life force, healing and swift compassionate action. The Vajra Guru mantra and Seven Line Prayer to Guru Rinpoche, that both call out to the Tantric Guru Padmasambhava who is known as the second Buddha in Tibet due to his activities that firmly established Buddhism there in the 8th Century. In essence, Guru Rinpoche and all Buddhas or meditation Deities in the tradition of the Vajrayana, are nothing other than the primordially pure, unborn awareness beyond dualistic distinctions that is the Inner Guru and Ultimate Refuge or Buddha Nature, replete with all good qualities and thus are the “Call of the Heart”.
The word “mantra” means “mind protection” and these mantras are connected to particular meditation Deities, which as mentioned in Vajrayana Buddhism represent and symbolise in various ways the practitioner’s own ultimate potential or Buddha Nature and a way to connect with it. A mantra in this context therefore does this by representing that Enlightened energy in the form of sound, thus helping the practitioner more fully connect with, bring out and embody that innate potential in the present moment through the door and energy of speech in union with presence and awareness.
This day includes elements found within Vajrayana practice, mantra, agreed by Ringu Tulku Rinpoche, however if one would like to fully immerse one’s self in Vajrayana practices, then it is necessary to receive empowerment and instruction from a qualified Guru and Lineage Holder.
Your Sanskrit chanting teacher for the day – Gabriella Burnel
Gabriella Burnel was introduced to the ancient Indian language of Sanskrit when only a baby through her mother and father who themselves study Sanskrit, Vedic philosophy and practice meditation. Sanskrit was also one of the first lessons Gabriella had at school, aged 4 years old, so her connection to the language has been strong since coming into the world.
Gabriella went onto gain a Sanskrit degree from Oxford University where she had a singing scholarship, and is now continuing her study in India, exploring the connection between Vedic chanting and healing.
A love of music and Sanskrit radiating from every cell of her being, Gabriella sings straight from the heart and teaches chanting in an effortless, fun and informative way, dropping in spontaneous spiritual insights linked to the meaning inherent in the language as she goes, like only a Sanskrit Scholar and spiritual practitioner truly can. The rhythm, the sound, the musicality of the language is what attracts her. It is like a dance. Chanting with Gabriella is a heart opening, cleansing, enlightening and uplifting experience you will not forget.
Here is a recording of the Buddha’s Heart Sutra in Sanskrit that Gabriella recorded.
Here is an excerpt of a recent interview with Gabriella at the Festival of Bharat about her love of Sanskrit.
Gabriella teaches Sanskrit and leads regular chanting sessions, otherwise known as Kirtan around the UK and abroad. In May 2019 she released her first official album as Gaiea.
Your Meditation teacher for the day – Cesare Saguato
Cesare has been exploring meditative and contemplative practices from the east and west since 1999 and studying Buddhism and practising Buddhist meditation since 2007. Since then he has been present at many teachings and sat a number of short retreats in Europe and India at the feet of internationally recognised meditation masters, mainly within the Tibetan Buddhist tradition.
He has a Philosophy Degree from King’s College London and a background in education within schools and prisons. Cesare is a qualified Psychotherapeutic Counsellor and Mindfulness teacher. He maintains a private practice of clients and teaches mindfulness to the general public and within organisations. He is also co-founder of RUN:ZEN – Mindfulness for Runners, with Stuart McLeod.
Inspired by meeting Ringu Tulku Rinpoche, his main teacher, in 2008 he began attending the monthly Bodhicharya London day retreats lead by Dirk de Klerk. In 2009 he took Refuge in the Three Jewels of the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha and founded Bodhicharya Kent under the guidance of Ringu Tulku Rinpoche in 2013 and has been leading thriving Buddhist meditation and reflection evenings amongst a growing community of practitioners ever since.
Cesare teaches meditation and shares the Dharma as faithfully as he can in accordance with the instructions and teachings he has received from his teachers and from the inside out, drawing on his ongoing personal meditation practice and experience.
Suggested donation of £20
Your presence is valued far, far more than your money so please give what you can and do not let lack of funds be an obstacle to you attending this day.
You can pay on the day or reserve your spot via this PayPal LINK.
(tickets will not be issued but your name shall be noted, thank you)
Tea, coffee and biscuits shall all be provided.
We will go and have a donation based vegetarian lunch at a local near by venue and national landmark, which is always a nice surprise for those who do not know it or haven’t been before.
There are other options available if Indian vegetarian food isn’t your thing.
The closest train station is Gravesend Train station and then it is only a short walk to St. Andrews Art Centre. Please see here for a map and directions.
There is some free parking outside the venue and on the surrounding roads on Sunday but please do check before leaving your car.
Royal Pier Road Gravesend DA12 2BD
What to Bring
Please bring a yoga mat or blanket to lie down on for some of the practice and warm, comfortable, cosy clothes. There will be chairs and some meditation cushions also but if you have your own cushion, then please do bring it as they are limited, thank you.
Everyone is welcome and we hope you can join us for this beautiful day of practice together!