Someone recently asked me, "As we meditate and various things arise in the mind, should we investigate them or just note them coming and going?" If you see someone passing by whom you do not know, you may wonder, "Who is that? Where is he going? What is he up to?" But if we know the person, it is enough just to notice him pass by.
>> Monthly Reminder
Meditation is the study, training and understanding of the mind. "All phenomena are preceded by, ruled by and made by the mind." Dhammapada #1. Two monthly events. 1st Saturday 2nd Dec. = meditation workshop; 1-5pm at the monastery. + 1st Monday 4th = city meditation; 6-7.30pm, Quaker House, Moncrief St.
>> Venerable Thanavaro
Venerable Thanavaro, born in Hungary and ordained in UK, has finally arrived. It takes quite a bit to bring a monk to New Zealand; the initial intent, discussion, planning, immigration and ticketing; well worth the effort. Venerable plans to be with us for a year. This is his first visit to New Zealand and we very much hope that conditions are agreeable to him. For a while we will be a sangha of seven, maintaining our international diversity: Kiwi, Thai, English, Hungarian, Laos, Dutch and Sri Lankan.
>> Otaki Ramble
With more settled weather the sangha took an afternoon to visit the Otaki Gorge at the junction of the Waiotauru and Otaki Rivers to walk some of the tracks there. The forest, the hills, the river and the sky all combined to great beauty. [-photo-]
Both rivers have their source in the Tararua Forest. Superb country.
>> Memorial Grove
This has been a work in progress for some while now and, as a part of the shipment from Sri Lanka, we will be getting the reclining Buddha rupa to go in the pavilion that Lindsay built over a year ago. The foot tracks are slowly being extended and the area generally being made more accessible. A few details here
Not especially big news but a significant and welcome addition to our tool set - a new mulcher/shredder. Every summer we clear or cut back a lot of foliage from around the gardens, kutis and tracks and finding a place for much of the debris has seen a massive and increasingly unmanageable pile build up below the workshop. Now... the gardens will receive the benefits. [-photo-]
>> New Year Retreat
"The End of the World." Dec. 26 to Jan. 3rd. The instablity and insubstantiality of all conditions is a key teaching of the Buddha. The change we experience is so pervasive that it is so often not noted. The absence of anything stable or persistant in this body-mind needs to be seen and established as a firm, ongoing knowing. Nine days of practice? Sure.
Copies of the 2018 monastic calendar are available at the monastery. Feel free to take one when you are next here. If you are not able to visit the monastery and would like a calendar(s) please send a post-paid, self-addressed envelope and we will send that on to you. Weights: wall calendar = 140gms, desk = 225gms