Noise: you like the sound of birds but not that of cars. You're afraid of people and noises, and you like to live alone in the forest. Let go of the noise and take care of the baby. The "baby" is your practice.
There was a joyous gathering at Bodhinyanarama last Sunday to celebrate Songkran; S.E. Asian new year. There was an excellent turnout with good numbers representing all cultures. The absolutely perfect weather may have been a supporting factor. There are many factors at work within such an event - generosity, a love of Dhamma, an appreciation of Sangha, culture and tradition, friendship, etc. - and the cumulative result was very heart warming. Many thanks to all our supporters. May the new year bring you much good fortune.
>> Monks Moving
It has been a busy time for the sangha with several monks coming to stay. Ajahn Cunda has been with us for a while now and is fitting in very well. Venerable Akincano arrived just over a week ago. He ordained at the same time as venerable Phasuko so there is somewhat of a reunion and an opportunity for all of us to get to know him. Venerable Khantiko came with him but only to stay for a week. Ajahn Pom will be here in a couple of weeks for a month. Some of you may remember his being here as an anagarika - many years ago. It will be nice to have him back. Venerable Thanavaro is back from Brisbane shortly so we will be 8 monks in residence - for a week or so at least. And then... they come, and they go. It looks like we will be 5 for the vassa.
>> Work Around
There have been quite a variety of projects underway around the monastery. The orange knobs around the sala were rotting and have been rebuilt. The Memorial Grove has had another upgrade with the pavilion for the reclining buddha rupa now well in place. The monk's bathroom is taking shape with services in and tiling and lining underway. The Chao Khun kuti has had grounds and gardens upgraded and the whole well cleaned. [-photo-]
This continues to be the main, ongoing work project at the monastery. Drew has come to stay with us with the express purpose of leading the painting work. Sadhu! It has been generally agreed that the whole structure will be painted gold - as per the original Swedagon in Yangoon. Also, it was clear that dirty gold looks old, a kind of antique patina. Dirty white - just looks dirty. This is no excuse not to maintain but... perhaps allows a bit more time leeway? The reclining buddha rupa will be shipped from Thailand in a couple of weeks and, allowing for ?things, we expect it here at the end of June - at least before vassa. [-photo-]
>> South Island
There is a small journal of photos and reflections of the sangha trip to the South Island here
It is difficult with just a few images and words to capture the silence and space that was a major part of this time. New Zealand is blessed with so many natural opportunities with not that many people around the edges. We were blessed with a lot of free access.