Old Friends

Posted on Fri, 17 Aug 2012

Chris Irwin and Jim Holt at Harnham Monastery

The August retreat was again well attended and appreciated. It ended last Saturday with the participants taking the Three Refuges and Five Precepts as a tangible commitment to carrying over what they had learnt and developed into their lives at home. The bhikkhus ‘sent them on their way’ with the traditional paritta (protection) chanting taken from suttas and other Pali sources.

While our retreatants are (we hope) safely back home, the monastery continues to receive a steady influx of guests. Among them are many old friends, including two former community members: One of them is Chris Erwin, who, as some of you will remember, in his time as Ajahn Thitapañño, contributed significantly to the building of this place. The other one is Jim Holt, who, a few years ago, served our community first as anagarika, and then as kitchen manager during his second stay on the hill. He was also the original (and easily ‘most original’) author of our blog. Chris and Jim both joined us for a few days and we were very glad to have them around and catch up on the news of their lives.

This weekend will again offer two special opportunities for joining activities at Aruna Ratanagiri: On Saturday we have another Lake Volunteer Work Day and on Sunday the second Study & Practice Day of this year. Work on our lake property starts at 8:30AM. There will be a brake for the meal at 11AM, then the work is scheduled to continue from 1 to 5PM. If you have garden shears or petrol strimmers, please bring them along. You are welcome to join for any part of the day. Wellies and waterproofs are recommended. The Study & Practice Day on Sunday will take place from 9:30 AM to 6:00 PM at Kusala House. The theme will be ‘Grounding the Spirit’. There will be some readings from the suttas and from a contemporary Dhamma talk, plenty of opportunity to meditate and a discussion around tea time to round off the day.

And if you like to plan ahead: The next Volunteer Work Day will be on the 22nd of September. The next Study & Practice Day on the 23rd of September (on the theme of ‘Not-Self’).