We want to take the easy way, but if there's no suffering, there's no wisdom. To be ripe for wisdom, you must really break down and cry in your practice at least three times.
>> AGM ooops
My bad! It has been 'discovered' that the June meditation retreat and the advertised AGM date are on the same weekend... no can do. I think the complex committments of those coming for the retreat must take precedence. So... let's have the AGM the following weekend - Sunday, 7th July, 1pm.
This allows more time for you to fill out the membership form
: get it here
The response has not been that much so far. Membership has never been strongly promoted but we do need 20+ to exist as a registered charity; no members = no group. Membership is also a visible sign of your ongoing support of the monastery.
Probably the best Vesak gathering we have had for quite a while... an excellent turnout of people (300?), awesome weather (19+?), lots of monks (9), flowers (155?), flags (321?), dhamma (+), joy (+)... it is difficult to quantify celebratory 'success' but most agreed that we had it. There was also an even larger-than-usual group that stayed behind to help tidy up. Many thanks to you all; there is no community without you!
>> Stupa Video
Raj Wadduwage has created a video about the stupa and you can view the stupa video
at your leisure. There is a lot of work involved in creating such a thing and having this record for the monastery, as well as the background information about the stupa is much appreciated. Many thanks Raj.
>> June Retreat
Friday 28th to Sunday 30th June. The retreat allows time to hear aspects of the Buddha's teaching with some time for discussion. The primary focus is extending our meditation practice. There is the opportunity to stay on in self-retreat mode beyond this time. Using the booking form; specify 'retreat' in the comment box. book here
This short-weekend format is a new experiment and, while this is only the first, the number of bookings is the most we have had so far in advance; nearly half full a couple of months prior and now, with 3 week still to go, over 2/3; even allowing that with kuti renovations we have a bit more accommodation than previously. The short-weekend may be easier - based on what? There has been very little interest in the extended-self-retreat possibility. Are people not able to take the time? Finding ways to offer dhamma is the overall thought and we will continue to explore options.
>> Sunday & Wednesday
Another experiment; basically moving to a solar calendar. Sunday: meditation 1.30—4.30, tea at 5, puja at 6pm, dhamma & discussion about 7pm. Alternating Sundays we meditate until midnight. Wednesday: puja at 7pm, dhamma event/item after the meditation-precepts. Last week we looked at the role of jhana/samadhi in meditation. This week we will look at the Anattalakkhana Sutta; this is a big topic and may continue for the following week.
>> Monks About
Ajahn Joe will be back from Thailand tomorrow. Ajahn Sambodhi has gone to Sri Lanka to finalize some business there. We have applied for a two year visa for him and he should be back after the Kathina season. There is still no word of ajahn Naen's visa. We very much hope that he will be here well before vassa. For now we are a sangha of two monks; ajahn Kusalo and venerable Kusalacitto.
Ryan has been at the monastery for about two months and has asked to ordain as an anagarika. During his time here he has shown a steady effort, aptitude and interest in monastic life and we hope that his extended commitment will further deepen his aspiration. The ceremony will be on Tuesday, June 25th after the usual puja. You are welcome to come and support Ryan at this time. There are another two men similarly interested in becoming anagarikas. One of them stayed here for many months last year so he knows the situation well. The other is relatively new. We will see how all that unfolds. All going well we will be a sangha of 7 for vassa; 4 monks + 3 anagarikas.