How does the body decline? Consider a lump of ice. Originally it was simply water. We then freeze it and it becomes ice for awhile, and then it melts and turns into water again. We can see how the ice declines much the same as the body. We all, without exception, are lumps of deterioration. When we are born we bring this inherent nature of dissolution with us. We can't avoid it. At birth we bring old age, sickness and death along with us. Right now the lump is hard, just like the lump of ice. But look at the body closely. It's ageing every day. It declines just like the lump of ice, following the way of nature. Soon, like the lump of ice, the body will melt away and be all gone, too.
The teaching of the Buddha is both simple and subtle. Simple in the sense that the Four Noble Truths are sufficient as regards information, subtle in that while the structure of these Truths is quite accessible integrating it as a part of daily life is a real challenge. The logic of the teaching is quite clear but developing a complete, internal understanding requires a particular kind of investigation. Monasteries largely exist for this reason; to create a dedicated environment for this investigation. One of the best ways to deepen your understanding of the theory, in relation to meditation and daily life, is to spend time at the monastery staying as a guest
The internet offers an almost overwhelming range of material on Buddhism which can be confusing. There are many schools, lineages and traditions each with different benefits for different people. This web site, and the monastery it represents, is quite specific and to simplify your search along similar lines the Forest Sangha web site can be a good place to explore further. We don't have a lot of written or spoken material on this site but you will find plenty via the Books and Audio link
There are regular events that you might wish to join. There is no charge or need to book.
Pujas. Every morning at 5:15 (upstairs shrine during winter months) and evening at 7 (main dhamma hall). Chanting and silent meditation. This varies slightly around observance days.
Observance Days. A day of quiet contemplation.
Evening chanting, meditation and a dhamma talk: 7pm.
The actual day varies but these are roughly once a week. See the events calendar for details.
Sunday Evening: every week, 6 – 8pm
You can come at 5pm for a cup of tea and to chat with others. A monk is usually present at this time.
The evening starts with chanting in Pali and English followed by a 45 minute meditation; some instruction and guidance is given.
Those who wish can then take the Three Refuges and Five Precepts.
After this there is a talk on some aspect of the Buddha's Teaching followed by an opportunity for questions and discussion.
The evening closes with a short chant about 8pm
The first Saturday of each month: 1 – 5pm
You would be most welcome to come at 10.30 and share a meal with us.
Otherwise the afternoon starts at 1pm with a short chant.
The time is then spent practicing meditation and developing an understanding of the Buddha's teaching.
Varied periods of teaching, discussion, walking and sitting meditation make up the afternoon.
This is suitable for both beginners and experienced meditators.
The first Monday of each month: 6 – 7.30pm
Quaker Meeting House: 7 Moncrieff St (off Elizabeth; off Kent Terrace).
A 'relaxed' version of our regular Sunday format.
There is always a short, basic meditation introduction to begin. There is no set format and the time is generally spent practicing meditation, discussing that - and generally exploring 'life' in the context of the Buddha's teaching.
This is especially suitable for beginners and experienced meditators may also find it useful.