hilltop newsletter

New Moon Update: July 2020

Today, Monday 20th, is the New Moon day for the month of July, 2020. The next uposatha day will be the Full Moon which falls on Tuesday 4th August.

Samanera Sucinno has been diligently sewing his robes in preparation for his Upasamapada at Amaravati on 2nd September, all going well. Samanera Adicco finished sewing his robes during his time at Amaravati during the Winter Retreat, earlier this year. They are both looking forward to becoming bhikkhus. Unless something untoward happens between now and then, Roger from Spain, who has been staying with us since the beginning of the year, will drive the two Samaneras down to Amaravati a few days before 2nd September, so they can prepare for receiving their Precepts from Ajahn Amaro. I am aware that a number of people have expressed interest in making offerings of support to the two monks-to-be, but this time it will not be possible for guests to attend the ceremony. If anyone wishes to make offerings anyway, even though they can't be there, please do contact the monastery and we can advise.

Since our last newsletter/blog of a month ago, a few people have turned up at the monastery hoping to be able to make offerings. Whilst I sympathize with the disappointment that our many friends and supporters must be feeling, I regret to say that the monastery is still closed and visitors must stay away.

What is now possible is sponsoring a dana meal for the sangha. If you wish to sponsor a dana meal on a particular day, simply contact our kitchen supervisor via email or telephone the monastery (01661 881 612) and someone will get back to you with the details. 

Last Saturday I gave a talk called, World Weariness,  in which I attempted to offer listeners a way of being able to feel how they were feeling, including feeling sad at the predicament we find ourselves in, without being pulled down by that sadness. If nobody has pointed out to us that we are allowed to feel what we feel, and we don't have to be defined by those feelings, we are probably not aware that there is this possibility. Most folk, it seems, are going around totally lost in their thoughts and feelings. One of the first, and very important steps on this Buddhist path to freedom, is taken when we discover that we can expand our field of awareness and that there is space around all these thoughts and feelings. They are all like clouds passing through the sky; they do not constitute the all of who we are. We are MUCH more than merely our thoughts and feelings. 

Some supporters have also been asking about Kathina. Because there are too many variables we have decided to not organize for one here at Aruna Ratanagiri this year. It is likely that there will be one at our sister monastery, Amaravati, in which a limited number of people can participate, and that it will be live-streamed. If this does happen I will put up an announcement with details so members of our extended community of Harnham supporters can view the event. In the meanwhile, I hope many of you will want to join us ON-LINE at 7pm each evening (except Mondays) for Evening Puja.

Wishing that you are all well in all ways.

Luang Por Munindo

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