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Ven Antonio Satta
Antonio Satta was born in Italy in 1956. He was first introduced to Tibetan Buddhism at Lama Tsong Khapa Institute, Italy. After meeting Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche in Italy he took ordination in 1979. He has studied Buddhism and Tibetan language from various teachers including 4 years at Tharpa Choeling Switzerland with Geshe Rabten and 4 years at Nalanda Monastery with Geshe Jampa Techok.
Since 1991 he has been living in Australia, first translating and teaching at Vajrayana Institue, Sydney then teaching and tutoring for the Buddhist Study Program at Chenrezig Institute. Over the last 4 years Ven Antonio has been concentrating on leading Vipassana and basic Mahamudra retreats in Australia, New Zealand, Italy and India as a way to introduce students to the practice of meditation.
The purpose of Vipassana retreat
“With regard to meditation, there are two styles. One is the type of meditation that we know, where we think about a particular topic and after having generated a certain feeling, we familiarize with it. This is the type of meditation that we find in the Lam Rim. Here one tries to create a particular feeling and place the mind on it.
The other is a type of meditation (also emphasized by Lama Yeshe, particularly for Westerners) where one does not create anything but rather observes what is there.
This type of meditation that uses mindfulness-awareness instead of concepts is for the sake of knowing the mind. In Buddhism, dharma and mind are the same thing, so knowing the mind is knowing the dharma. And as dharma and Buddhism are also the same thing, we can say that this is how one understands Buddhism.
The purpose of these retreats is to generate a basic understanding through personal experience of the four factors, leading to the generation of an insight into our dissatisfied and potentially content life by looking at one’s own mind.
What are the four factors?
- That which has to be realized,
- That which has to be abandoned,
- That which has to be experienced,
- And that which has to be cultivated.
Suffering (the unsatisfactory nature of our human existence) has to be realized, understood.
The cause of suffering (craving desire) has to be abandoned.
Contentment has to be experienced.
And restraining the senses has to be cultivated.
By restraining the senses, craving desire is cooled.
By cooling craving desire, one is more content.
And by being content, one stops dissatisfaction.”
— Ven Antonio
Nepal Kopan Monastery, Kathmandu
23—24 January 2010
Eight Verses of Thought Transformation: a weekend course on mind training, based on the popular short text by the famous Khadampa saint Geshe Langri Tampa
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Statements of Appreciation
A few days ago I completed a year of retreats…at two FPMT centres (though I have visited and am very familiar with several others). The staff of the two centres could not have been kinder and more supportive. It is especially through appreciating their cultures of care and support for retreatants that I have renewed my admiration for the FPMT, and thereby for your [Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s] extraordinary holy activity for sentient beings…
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