We must learn to let go of conditions and not try to oppose or resist them. And yet we plead with them to comply with our wishes. We look for all sorts of means to organize them or make a deal with them. If the body gets sick and is in pain, we don't want it to be so, so we look for various sutras to chant. We don't want the body to be in pain. We want to control it. These sutras become some form of mystical ceremony, getting us even more entangled in clinging. This is because we chant them in order toward off illness, to prolong life and so on. Actually the Buddha gave us these teachings in order to help us know the truth of the body, so that we can let go and give up our longings. But we end up chanting them to increase our delusion.
Our annual winter retreat is well underway. We had a week of group meditation and this was well attended, both by residents and visitors just here for the day. This gets 'the meditative ball rolling' and the sangha has now started a cycle of self-retreats so there will be various monastics not visible at different times; not to say that they will be invisible :) The general schedule of pujas is being maintained and we will try and keep the calendar
up to date with any changes. By definition the vassa means there is not much happening here in terms of work and projects generally. There are a couple of small jobs here and there but generally "all quiet on the dhamma front."
>> Ajahn Naen
After what seem like an interminable negotiation with NZ immigration Ajahn Naen has joined us. He will determine second vassa on the full moon; 15th. It will take a while for him to orient (his first time out of Thailand) but we are lucky having Ajahn Joe (whose English has much improved) and venerable Kusalacitto to translate and explain. We warmly welcome him and very much look forward to getting to know him better over the next year or so. photo
The sangha has been invited to visit Taranaki. There used to be regular visits there in years past but not for some decade(s?) or more. We will see what develops. A good part of the trip is being structured so we can take Ajahns Naen and Joe to spend time in the snow. We will be driving up in the van and are rummaging in our stores for warm clothes allowing that we can take plenty of extra - just in case. It will be just for a few days but, weather permitting, a lovely opportunity for our visitors to see a bit of the country.
The end of vassa is marked by the full moon of October, Sunday the 13th. We will be having our kathina season celebration on Sunday 20th. There will be more details closer to the time but this is just to get the date into your diaries.
>> Wednesday + Sunday
We are still getting used to the solar schedule thinking so figure a repeat of this info may be useful. The Sunday afternoon meditation has proved popular - the Wednesday evening less so. We will keep them both running for a while and see what happens.
- regular evening puja + 8 precepts + talk + discussion.
- Afternoon: 1:30—4:30 meditation. Regular evening puja (6pm), 5 precepts, talk, discussion.
The ++ variable is every 2nd Sunday when we sit until midnight. This is marked on the calendar
as "Sunday Puja++".