|FOREST SANGHA NEWSLETTER||OCTOBER 2009|
Work in progress
Please note: since this work is unfinished, not all links are functional.
Index by Subject
Venerable Dr. Hammalawa Saddhatissa Mahanayaka Thera passed away, aged 76, on February 13th this year, (1990) and was cremated at the orth London Crematorium on February 17th, 1990. Although personally he had not wanted any ceremony, such an event was inevitable at the funeral of Britain's most senior bhikkhu. Dr. Saddhatissa had received upasampada in Sri Lanka in 1926 and had been resident in the U.K., mostly at the London Buddhist Vihara, since 1957.
Chah Passes Away
Dhammapariyattimuni passed away on the 19th of July 2002.
He was the Upajjhaya (Preceptor) of Ajahn Sumedho. He was the head
monk of Nongkhai Province, Thailand when Ajahn Sumedho received
the Pabbajja (Samanera ordination) in July of 1964. He gave the
higher ordination (Upasampada) to Ajahn Sumedho in 1967. He, later,
resigned his position in Nong Khai in order to become the Abbot
of Wat Dhatu Panom province.
Master Hsuan Hua, Chairman of the Sino-American Buddhist
Association and founder of many monasteries and Dharma centres thoroughout
the West Coast of America and Canada, had passed away. He was 77
Roots of the Forest; N-E Thailand [pt I] - Ajahn Sucitto spent ten weeks of the winter in Thailand, mostly in the North-East, which is the source of the monastic style of the monasteries of this Sangha. The North-East has produced many masters in the Forest Tradition, but naturally enough, it was Ajahn Chah and Wat Pah Pong that formed the fundamental reference point for the trip. It was Ajahn Sucitto's first visit to Wat Pah Pong and it provided some clear reflections on the heart of monastic practice...
Roots of the Forest; N-E Thailand - Ajahn Sucitto; pt II
Wish You Were Here: Everybody has their own notion of the ideal place and the ideal practice. Here is Venerable Sumano's.
Extinguishing the Fires of Delusion: Wat Kern lies close to the Laotian border in a danger zone where farming and 'monastic settlement is not generally encouraged. Ajahn Puriso, in this interview with Ajahn Munindo, explains the practical difficulties and some of the ethical dilemmas when trying to protect the forest in North-East Thailand.
Northumerland: Ajahn Tiradhammo has been the senior incumbent at Harnham Vihara for two and a half years. On May 24th,  he will be handing over the incumbency, to Ajahn Pabhakaro and with it, the project to build a Dhamma Hall and more accommodation for Sangha and visitors at the Vihara.
Letter from Chithurst; Part of a letter written by the Abbot, Ajahn Anando, to his mother in the United States.
Off the Beaten Track: Venerable Kovido reports on happenings at Devon Vihara
Amaravati: A First View of Buddhism: Arnold Handley works as a journalist, writing features for popular newspapers.
What is the Devon Vihara?: A few reflections from Supanno and Pasadaka, supporters of the vihara in Devon.
Out on a Limb: Venerable Kovido recollects his time as a newly-ordained bhikkhu in Devon.
Sangha and the Basis of Community: Ajahn Santacitto shares some reflections on the workings and nature of community.
In the Footsteps of the Buddha; Venerable Bodhipalo came over from Thailand last year, to spend some time at Chithurst and visit his family. He decided to undertake a lone pilgrimage in India on his way back to Thailand. We received a letter from him a few
This letter, Settling in at Stokes Valley, comes from Ajahn Viradhammo, who was asked to establish a forest monastery in New Zealand in 1984. He's been there with Venerable Thanavaro for three years; recently they were joined by Venerable Bodhinando. This Vassa has been their first in the monastery that they have been building in Stokes Valley, near Wellington.
Zeal and New Land: An interview with Venerable Subbato, a New Zealander by birth who spent a year (1985-86) in the early stages developing the New Zealand Monastery, "Bodhinyanarama". [with PS letter from Ajahn Viradhammo]
Serpentine, Western Australia: We don't hear so much from the Sangha at Bodhinyana Monastery, Western Australia; so when Chris Banks, who has stayed there from time to time, sent us a brief letter, we asked her to write a little more.
Part of the Lineage: Part I. Ajahn Jagaro, the abbot of Bodhinyana Monastery in Australia, was a guest at Amaravati during the Winter 1988-89. Before he returned, he passed on some informal comments in an interview with Ajahn Sucitto.
View from Switzerland: The Swiss vihara opened on May 15th with Ajahn Tiradhammo as abbot. He sends us this brief report.
Returning Homeless: Dhammapala, the vihara in Switzerland, was opened in May '99. Sister Cittapala was born in Switzerland so was the natural choice as nurse for the baby monastery - at least until the abbot learns some German.
A Leap of Faith Ajahn Sucitto provides perspective on another Theravadin residence taking shape in Italy. Ajahn Thanavaro will return to his native country to take up residence there.
Tudong in the Lakes: Ajahn Sumedho, accompanied by Venerable Amaro and Nick Scott, went on a nine-day walk in the Lake District at the end of June this year. Here are some of Venerable Amaro's notes on the long wet hike:
Emerald Buddhas: Ajahn Amaro writes this account of a teaching tour made in Ireland in spring 1988, shortly after the funeral killings in Belfast He and Anagarika Jakob spent much of their first week in the company of Paddy and Linda Boyle and their four children.
The State of America Out West: In March of this year, Ajahn Anando accompanied Ajahn Sumedho to California to teach a retreat and meet people involved with the prospective Dhamma centre, Insight Meditation West. The freewheeling views of Californian society have produced some debate around such an orthodox establishment, as these comments from Ajahn Anando point out.
Old Insights in New England: Ajahn Sucitto reflects on his travels through America.
State of America: Ajahn Sucitto continues his reflections on aspects of Buddhism in America.
Arrive Where You Are: The practice of tudong, walking through open country on an extended
pilgrimage, has long been a treasured aspect of the life of the forest bhikkhu: it presents many opportunities to live in insecurity and be confronted by difficult situations. Ajahns Pabhakaro & Anando
To Arrive at Where You Are: Three bhikkhus and two anagarikas of the Devon Vihara walked from Devon to Chithurst in July. Here are extracts from Ajahn Kittisaro's letter.
Kwan Yin and the Noble Elephant: In the winter of 1986-7 Venerable Sucitto was in Thailand on tudong with Venerable Gavesako. He reflects on part of his trip in Siraja and Ko Sichang.
Walking The Way - Nuns' Tudong: Leaving Chithurst on the morning after the Tenth Anniversary celebrations in 1989, a group of nuns spent two weeks walking ("going tudong") along the South Downs Way. Sister Thanissara shares some of her experiences.
Keeping the Breath in Mind: Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo was one of the disciples of Venerable Ajahn Mun. Here is a small section from the book, 'Keeping the Breath in Mind', translated by Venerable Thanissaro
Allowing Silence: A talk give by Ajahn Sucitto as part of a meditation situation at Cittaviveka.
Question time with Ajahn Sumedho: A series of questions and answers on meditation and practice in lay life.
Wood Hammered at Chithurst: When Britain was hit by a hurricane
in the middle of October, West Sussex was right on target. Ajahn
Anando describes some of the storm's effects.
Looking for the Sweet One: The following teaching is adapted from a Friday night Dhamma talk by Ajahn Jagaro at the Perth Vihara on 7th June, 1985, in a response to the question "What is happiness"?
Kathina 1987: With three Kathina Ceremonies being held within
our monasteries it is pretty clear that people are finding more
in this ancient custom than supplying a monk with some cloth. Here
are a couple of viewpoints from Sister Candasiri and Upasika
New-Born: Sister Viveka was one of the women who took the ten-precept ordination at Amaravati in July. During her first Vassa as a siladhara she offered these reflections on the Going Forth.
KIDS - FAMILIES:
Amaravati Summer Camp: Several summer camps, both weekend and longer, have been successfully organised for families and in addition "Rainbows", a children's Dhamma magazine with a page for parents, has been published regularly at Amaravati. Medhina, who has written this account of the 1987 Summer Camp, has had to resign as the co-ordinator for family activities. Brenda Popplewell has kindly undertaken to replace her in organising next year's family activities.
Family Summer Camp: Ayya Thanissara, Medhina Fright and several of the children report on events at this years family summer camp.
Monastic Winter Retreat: A few reflections from one of the monks.
Keeping it Simple: The Buddha allowed four basic requisites for monks and nuns; robes, almsfood, shelter and medicine. Ayya Candasiri reflects on this as a way to learn contentment with a very simple life-style.
Passing Thoughts From a Forest: Venerable Vipassi was one of three bhikkhus to spend the entire Vassa on retreat in the Hammer Wood [Chithurst].
Mind Conditions the World; Ajahn Sumedho: As you try to understand how to live your life, consider that how you actually live in a place has its effect on your mind.
Question Time; Ajahn Sumedho replies to the question: 'What is the citta?'
Question Time; Ajahn Sumedho during the January monastic retreat of 1988. How do you practise contemplation of the citta?
Living in the World with Dhamma: A translation of an informal talk given by Ajahn Chah to a group of visitors to Wat Nong Pah Pong.
Question Time: Answers to lay folk at the end of a talk.
In the Footsteps of the Wise: Ajahn Liam is the acting abbot of Wat Pah Pong. This piece, translated by Ajahn Jayasaro, is an exhortation he gave to monks from Wat Pah Nanachat who had come to pay respects to him before beginning the Vassa.
Co-operation and a Different "Golden Rule": Ajahn Santacitto, one of the Sangha co-ordinators for the Global Co-operation Workshop at Amaravati in August, contributed this piece. Fittingly, his own description is interspersed with comments from those who participated in the discussions.
The Desire That Ends Desire: Ajahn Maha Boowa is one of the most highly respected meditation masters in Thailand today. He is a native of the North-East (Isan) and spends much of his time in his forest monastery, Mat Pah Ban Tard, in Udon Province.
Filling in the Dots: Sister Abhassara has been working on providing a way of chanting the Pujas in English for the past year or so. Here she comments on the process so far.
METTA, Brahma Viharas:
The Four Brahma Viharas: An extract from a talk Ajahn Munindo gave at the Buddhist Summer School in 1987.
Question Time: The following is from a public talk given by Venerable Kittisaro to an audience of approximately 300 people in Bath, 1986.
Letting Go is the Greatest Kindness: Taken from a Dhamma-desana (teaching), given by Ajahn Anando on 10th December 1988
A Guided Tour of Lay Practice: Ajahn Santacitto and Barbara Jackson have been working together at Amaravati on an Exhibition: "Lay People's Practice".
Inside Freedom: Monks from Harnham Vihara regularly visit four prisons in the North. Here are some reflections on prison visiting from Venerable Nyanaviro Bhikkhu.
Unlocking Human Potential: The following interview was held in July of this year, when Ajahn Sucitto talked with Ajahn Pabhakaro and Venerable Nyanaviro about their work in prisons in North-East England.
Gratitude to Ajahn Chah: June 17th was the 71st birthday of, Venerable Ajahn Chah, spiritual teacher of over eighty forest monasteries in Thailand, Britain and around the world. We present an occasion for readers to recollect what he has made possible for all of us.
Image of the Dhamma: Sister Viveka reflects on the use of symbols and images
Learning to Accept the Way Things Are: Sister Thanissara offers some guidance and suggestions around the practice of acceptance.
Question Time: Ajahn Sumedho replies to questions [sudden calamity + non-attachment] at the end of a dhamma talk.