The Dhamma is not far away from us. The Dhamma isn't about angels in the sky or anything like that. It's simply about us, about what we are doing right now. Observe yourself. Sometimes suffering, sometimes comfort, sometimes pain... this is Dhamma. Do you see it? To know this is Dhamma, you have to read your experiences.
Last Sunday was the new moon which marked the half-way point of the vassa. We have been receiving very few residential guests so the monastery has been very quiet with almost no work projects. We are basically five monks plus our three long-term stewards and the atmosphere is extremely peaceful. Visitors continue to come regularly either to offer dana or spend time in the dhamma hall. Residents have been taking turns doing solitary retreats and this opportunity is very much appreciated. Lunar observances and Sunday evenings continue. The monthly meditation workshop [see below]. Everyone's health is good and this helps with the practice as well as keeping life simple. Many thanks to all of you who come and make offerings to support the monastery. Anumodana.
>> Meditation Workshop
With upcoming events - Oct. [retreats] Nov. [Kathina] Dec. [stupa dedication] - the workshops are on hold for the time being. You are welcome to come and use the dhamma hall at any time.
>> Labour W'end Retreat
Friday, October 19th to Monday 22nd. "A matter of Life and Death." This retreat comes right at the end of the vassa and is a great opportunity to join the peaceful energy at the monastery. Life is present and death will come. Explore the dynamics of both. Please use the guest application form
and mark the comment as 'Labour Retreat'. As always the retreat is open to day visitors.
>> Accommodation Generally
Several people have been enquiring about staying through the vassa. Accommodation is very limited through this time. We will be resuming normal guest facilities from the Labour Weekend retreat and onward. We do expect to be quite busy with Kathina and the December 2nd event so do book well ahead. From about mid-November on it is likely that accommodation will be shared; certainly the week of Nov 25th until Dec 2nd will be so.
Sunday, November 4th. We have timed this quite soon after the end of vassa as we will be having the stupa dedication about a month later and thought to spread these events.
>> Stupa Dedication
Sunday, December 2nd. The timing of this event was determined by the visit of Luang Por Viradhammo who many of you will remember as the founding abbot of this monastery. He will be with us for several weeks prior to this event and we will announce when he will be available for teaching, discussion, etc. when the details of his schedule are more clear. We are hoping to have up to 25 monks with us on the day with many of those abbots of overseas monasteries. We will try to create as many opportunities as possible for you to meet with them outside of the main event. With so many monks here accommodation will be very limited but we will be setting up dormitories - as we did with Luang Por Sumedho's visit - so you would be most welcome to come and be here for time around this event. Please fill out the guest application form
On the day itself we are expecting large numbers and will be organizing a shuttle service up Stokes Valley Road. There are other details allowing for a crowd and these will be announced closer to time.