>> Tent Thanks
Many thanks to all those who offered the use of tents for the monks' tudong. Unfortunately one of the monks was sick, our driver had a funeral and the weather was awful. We did the Palmerston part of the plan but got two flat tyres on the way back. [-photo-]
With all this we got the feeling that extended travel was not a good idea.
>> Sangha Conference
Wat BuddhaSamakhee in Christchurch hosted an international gathering of 80 monks over last weekend. It was the 'Union of Thai sangha in Oceania' [UTO] and Ajahn Kusalo was kindly invited to participate. While almost all discussion was in Thai the feeling was very harmonious and welcoming. The senior presiding monk for the conference was Luang Por Promsithi the abbot of Wat Saket in Bangkok. A direct result of the meetings was his accepting an invitation to visit Bodhinyanarama. [-photo-]
It was a delight to have him with us. He very generously stayed with us for over two hours. We had some very fruitful discussion and took the mini-tour of the monastery.
>> WTBA Membership
Our membership year ends March 31st. Renewal notices will be sent to existing members. If you wish to become a member you can download the application form
The main benefit is being able to vote at the AGM (probably in July).
>> Friends of the Forest
It has been a plan for several years to form a group with special interest in maintaining the monastery grounds and gardens. Activities would range from cultivated areas around the dhamma hall to maintaining old and cutting new walking tracks and generally caring for the land. There are many variables but if you have some interest please: email Simon
>> Stupa Progress
With the majority of the landscaping finished, work has begun in earnest on the stone walls around the forecourt. Getting several tonnes of large rocks from the top of the carpark up a narrow track to the stupa site has been quite a challenge. We almost lost Gavin's truck over the retaining wall! The first stretch of foundation has been laid and a baseline of rocks has started. The weather has been quite variable and water on clay has made things a bit sticky but... no problem. We are close to finalising details for the moonstone in Sri Lanka. A recently added detail to the forecourt is a granite entry-step. This will be 2.5m across by 0.7m wide and dressed with the same foliage pattern on the moonstone.