With the arrival of Ajahn Narado and venerable Phasuko we now have a resident sangha of 5 with several monastic visits planned. It will be a good dhamma year. The stupa refurbishment and extension is underway. The memorial garden is slowly emerging. The sauna has been repaired and improved. Ajahn Kusalo made a trip to Nth America. King Bhumibol is remembered.
Built in 1999 by Burmese craftsmen the stupa has been a focus of faith and delight. After nearly twenty years it is time for an upgrade. The entrance is being extended into a forecourt and the west side will have a reclining buddha rupa.
Aj. Kusalo in Sri Lanka
A 9 day trip including the UN Vesak conference, ordering the stupa moonstone and visiting several sacred sites.
Twenty five years ago the Evening Post did a full page photo essay on the monastery. A recent visit from the same photographer, Phil Reid, resulted in a new version. You can view the newspaper spread here
With the vassa as the central focus of this season we are four monks and many hats.
An overview of the forecourt with the surrounding stone work almost complete.
Still somewhat a construction site the end is in sight. The cones will be replaced by a handrail. An extra step at the entrance (plus moonstone) and the entrance (right) will have a single-stone, carved step.
The north wall - almost done. Artistry.
A schematic of the stupa "West Side" showing the reclining rupa (white marble) and darker base (not decided yet) with the terracotta tile mural behind. There will be a 'floating' roof over.
The marble, with some basic outlines drawn, ready for cutting. The reclining buddha rupa is reclining within.
Sachini (left) giving guidance to the financial team (Christina, Irene & Hwa). The photo is a bit out of focus but they are all very focussed.
The dhamma hall shrine glows.
Rock stars! Gavin on lead guitar and Simon on drums. The north wall rocks.
1990? Young(er) people posing on the porch.
Bruce with a plywood model of the reclining Buddha rupa; the marble reality to be installed on the west-side of the stupa.
Ajahn Dta and Kusalo enjoy the view of the Kapiti coast on the way to Palmerston North with Indranath.
Ajahn Dta in Palmerston North.
Bruce - the builder - and Aunty Suan on the porch of the newly renovated Chao Khun Kuti.
The dana sala Buddha rupa.
Monks on pindapat.
Work has begun on the moonstone being made in Sri Lanka.
The stupa entry moonstone taking shape. Solid granite!
The entry step for the stupa being marked out.
Rocks from around the world to be interred under the new stupa moonstone.
Ajahn Dta in metal-man mode working on the new donation box.
Ajahn Dta putting his electric skills to good use.
Monks reflecting. The early morning light.
A winter sky over leafless trees.
Monks visiting from the temple in Tawa.
Fingers of morning light fall into the dana sala.
Venerable Phasuko with an empty gas bottle from his kuti.
The glass going into the Chao Khun kuti window.
Looking down Stokes Valley from the monastery. The rectangle of light, bottom, is our dana sala skylight.
The south wall of the stupa forecourt. Light and shadow.
The north wall of the stupa forecourt is about half way done.
Looking up Stokes Valley to the monastery. The stupa can be seen, low-centre, with the hills rolling back into a winter's mist.
10:25 am - lunch is an imminent possibility. Venerable Phasuko puts on his robe in preparation.
1:30 am - Irene is in the office keeping up with admin duties. Sadhu!
A crescent moon hangs over the Eastern hills.
For some reason Tuesday is especially Aunties' day. Sophie is in Oz welcoming her first grandchild.
Frank's sublime halo behind a serene Buddha.
Children from Kapiti College offer alms.
Students from Kapiti College at the end of their visit.