Welcome and Farewell
(picture: Tan Gambhiro visiting Harnham, November 2015)
This week sees the arrival of Ajahn Sukhacitto (Thurs. 3rd Dec.) and the departure of Tan Gambhiro (Sun. 6th Dec.). Aj Sukhacitto is en route to take up residence at Cittaviveka Monastery for the Winter Retreat. Tan Gambhiro has been with us for nearly 4 weeks and will be returning to Sumedharama Monastery in Portugal. His stay here at Harnham has been a great pleasure. His ongoing commitment to the bhikkhu training and to serving the sangha is an inspiration. Last Full-Moon (25th November) he recited the Patimokkha for the first time in our monastery. For those who are not aware, that means reciting from memory, in the Pali language, with the entire community of monks surrounding him, the two hundred and twenty-seven training rules; and one of the monks is sitting a few inches in front of him checking that he is word-perfect. No small feat! Whilst all bhikkhus in general are encouraged to perform this duty only a very few ever succeed. Also during his stay Tan Gambhiro completed preparations for publishing the Forest Sangha Calendar for 2017. Anumodana! Most would not know, but he is the person responsible for all the typesetting of the Collected Teachings of Ajahn Chah and a host of other publications. His many skills are a great gift to our communities. Last Sunday Ajahn Abhinando offered a guided meditation on the theme of Awareness as Kindness. On the other side of the planet we have heard from the group touring the Buddhist Holy Sites in India that the pilgrimage goes well. Apparently Ajahn Punnyo is down with a head cold, but he is not out; forgiveness rituals under the Bodhi tree in Bodhgaya and early morning pujas on Vultures Peak are still happening. No word from Yom Mame as she made a resolve to remain unplugged. Back here on the hill, our final Lake Work Day for 2015 will be Saturday 12th and we hope at least a few friends might brave the weather and join us.