hilltop newsletter

Hilltop Newsletter: Saturday 21st January, 2023

Today, Saturday 21st, is the New Moon day for the month of January 2023. The next Uposatha Day will be the Full Moon which falls on Sunday, 5th February, 2023.

The community at Aruna Ratanagiri Buddhist Monastery have entered our annual three month Winter Retreat. This means we won’t be accepting overnight guests again until April 2023. The Dhamma Hall remains open daily and is available to anyone who wishes to use it for personal practice. Likewise, friends and supporters can join us at the mealtime each day at 11 am (until 26th March when the clocks go forward and the meal will take place at 11.30 am). Visitors are welcome to participate in puja on Sunday nights at 7 pm.

As mentioned in an earlier newsletter, anyone wishing to contribute generally towards the Winter Retreat food, please contact Bee Wan on: Tel: 07912683576, or email: gohbee1@hotmail.com

Last Sunday I gave a talk titled The Essentiality of this Practice which highlighted the importance of preparing ourselves so that when we encounter disappointment and frustration, we can learn from what life is teaching us. When we are not properly prepared, even if we have not done anything unskilful, we readily perceive painful feelings as some sort of indictment against us. In truth, such painful feelings are a message saying, ‘Pay attention here!' When our heart is hurting, we need to be willing and able to meet ourselves, in our suffering, and enquire into, what it is that we are doing here and now that is turning the natural and expectable pain of life into a problem. The Buddha lived on planet earth as we do, and he also experienced pain. However, he didn’t suffer. In his case the clear seeing, that is wisdom, meant he remained undisturbed. He lived in this world with all its trials and challenges, but his heart was consistently clear and compassionate. Dukkha, or unsatisfactoriness, is not necessarily a sign that we are a failure in life.

This will be the last newsletter until April, though those of you who have subscribed to receive the Full Moon Dhammapada Reflection can expect an email on 5th February and the 6th March.

With good wishes,
Ajahn Munindo


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