New Moon Update: May 2021
Today, Tuesday 11th, is the New Moon day for the month of May 2021. The next Uposatha Day, which is Vesakha Puja, will be the Full Moon. This falls on Wednesday 26th May.
Regrettably our monastery is still not open to the public, however the live-streaming of our Evening Puja is up and running again, 6 nights a week. I hope you will join us. For a second year we will not be holding a public event to mark Vesak. There will be a live-streaming of our evening puja.
The community here these days is not as large as it has been though those who are here have been quite active. The process of rebuilding the pond in the memorial garden, along with the surrounding woodwork, has begun. We anticipate it taking quite a while since besides reconstructing the pond, the garden is being redone and the seating around the outdoor shrine.
From Monday May 17th we expect the vestibule to the Dhamma Hall will be open again for anyone who wishes to bring offerings. As it was last year, there is still a requirement for visitors to maintain social distancing and only one individual (or members of one bubble) can be in the vestibule at a time. A full update of measures that will be in place will be available under ANNOUNCEMENTS nearer the time.
Also as part of the process of relaxing restrictions, we are now accepting guests who commit to a stay of a minimum of six weeks. And the period of quarantine is reduced also, depending on how many vaccinations they have or have not had. Further details will soon be available on our Visiting and Staying page of the website. In the meantime, anyone interested either in staying or in taking up monastic training can write to email@example.com
Tan Mahesako has penciled in a lake work day for later this month. Anyone wanting to participate can contact us via the email address firstname.lastname@example.org and they will be given a precise date. (The weather is quite changeable these days). Also requirements regarding restriction will be explained then.
Thanks to the helpful guidance of Tan Gambhiro, Tan Adicco has recently learned the skill of preparing print-ready files from which small Dhamma booklets can easily be produced. These will be similar to the booklet Sanity in the Midst of Uncertainty that was printed in 2018. Probably within a few days a new one titled, Sitting In The Buddha's Waiting Room, should be available as an e-book. We will send out an announcement when it has been posted.
A secondary sink and workspace has been placed in the corridor behind the kitchen by Tan Sucinno. He has also built a small storage shed for under the fire escape of Kusala House. Other ongoing projects include his preparing drawings in support of a planning application for developments at the lake. Among other things we hope to be permitted to significantly enlarge the nesting island (see picture below). It is not clear if the island has shrunk due to the lapping of waves or the shrubbery has grown. Either way it would be good to have a bigger island for the wildlife. Anyone who has constructive suggestions about this project can write via email@example.com
Last Saturday I offered a shared contemplation on the theme of Wholesomeness Strengthens the Heart. Oft-times we focus our attention on the ideas we have of the goal of spiritual practice. The Buddha did speak about the goal, however he also spoke a lot about how we find the right kinds of supports to sustain us as we travel towards the goal. Feeding on hope and aspiration that one day we could be free from suffering and abide in a state of imperturbable ease and aliveness, is not sustainable. Indeed, the journey can sometimes be wonderfully rewarding; we feel confident and grateful. At other times it can be confusing and uncomfortable. It requires agility and a willingness to look deeper and to think wider as we encounter the apparent obstacles to clarity and contentment. I hope that reflection on cultivating wholesomeness proves helpful.
Harnham Lake and island with Mangala House in the background (Right)