A brief update
I have been away for a couple of weeks, first in Thailand for the annual Ajahn Chah Remembrace Day at Wat Pah Pong and then in Burma, visiting inspiring and wonderful places in Mandalay, Bagan and Yangon. Ajahn Manapo has been with me and we are both resting for a few days on the coast south of Bangkok. I return to the UK and The Forest Hermitage on Thursday. Ajahn Manapo, who has been in Thailand since the beginning of the Vassa last year will remain here for the foreseeable future.
At the Forest Hermitage there are further changes with the departure of Matthew who for some time has been the live-in helper and driver. It means that for a while at least we will be somewhat understaffed and I beg for your understanding and help. I shall be particularly in need of a volunteer driver or drivers to help me on my regular prison visits. But we will also welcome some help around the two properties as well as with the regular Monday and Friday evening meditation evenings.
Although we thought it might be in the offing – it’s well over a year since we complained about the dangerous state of the railings – it was only since I have been away that I heard that the work on the road bridge at the corner of our property and the necessary closure to us of the lane from the Sherborne end would commence this week. It’s obviously an inconvenience and I apologise for the short notice but there it is, we just have to make the best of it for the next four or six weeks or however long it takes for them to do the work. I hope the map and directions attached will make things clear.
This annual commemoration of an extraordinary occasion when 1,250 Arahants, all personal disciples of the Buddha and ordained by him, came without any prior arrangement and gathered at the Bamboo Grove. It was the full moon of the lunar month of Magha. The Buddha was staying on the Vulture’s Peak but came down to join them and during the night recited for them the Ovada Patimokkha.
This year Magha Puja falls on February 8th but we will celebrate on Sunday, February 9th. Do join us from 10am. And if you can spare any time to help with preparations on the Saturday or the clearing up afterwards, we would be very grateful
I look forward to seeing you soon.