Buddha-Mettā UK

Buddha-Mettā UK
Puja (chanting and meditation) 5am & 7pm, Dana (meal offering) 10:30am.

30 August 2011

Supatra, Ajahn Kovida, and The Island

The past week has been busy here in Cambridge with meeting new friends and making connections with groups from around the area.

Sunday was especially memorable in many ways.  We had the pleasant surprise to have about 50 people here for the Dana to give their support for Supatra and her parents.  Supatra is a lovely six year old girl who is ill and her parents are taking her to the Children's Hospital in Texas in hopes of them being able to do something for her.  The hospital is well known in the world and I have known people who have received great benefit from it.  From us they have our greatest blessings.

That same evening Venerable Sister Ajahn Kovida blessed us with a visit for the evening Puja.  Her presence is always uplifting and inspiring and so there was a wonderful energy for us to abide in during that time.

Some of the lay people that come here regularly are involved in a group that meets to discuss Dhamma books and we invited them to have their meeting here with us.  So after the Puja, a lively discussion about the book, "The Island" took place.  It was wonderful to meet even more people and be part of such a discussion.  It seems they agree as they are happy to continue their meeting here with us from now on.

May this place continue to grow as a refuge for everyone.

29 August 2011

Amazing Thailand

We were invited to come to the bi-annual Amazing Thailand festival down by Guildford and I was sent to represent!  What a wonderful event it was!  On arrival at 10am I was rushed in to go on alms round and found that the Forest Sangha of Chithurst Monastery was already there just finishing.  It was lovely to see them but they made their was back to their temple quickly to be there for their daily visitors.  I enjoyed having a meal with Tan Jao Khun Suwit and Tan Boat who are visiting from Thailand, and with monks from Wat Pah Desarangsee, the temple in Bournemouth.  

There were marquees set up for us where for the rest of the day we stayed talking with people and sharing blessings.  I had the opportunity to meet many "western" people who were interested in Buddhism in some way. They either already were interested and had questions for me or were from families of mixed Thai-Western couples and wanted to learn more.  Many Thai people were also interested in my story about how I became a monk.  Everyone appreciated sharing those moments together and some people had tears in their eyes as I gave them a blessing.  This was very moving for me and again showed how alive our tradition really is.  It may be ancient and very special because of that, but I am also learning that it is modern and as relevant in our lives today as it was in the Buddha's 2500 years ago.

20 August 2011

Tan Jao Khun Suwit and Tan Boat

The first couple weeks here in Cambridge have been very productive as far as bringing together people from many nationalities and interest groups.  We have had people coming regularly and others dropping in when they can.  This past Thursday we had the honour of hosting two very Venerable monks from Thailand.  Tan Jao Khun Suwit and Tan Boat are here in the UK visiting and stopped on their way down to the London area.

Many people came to share the precious moment of having these well known monks here with us.  In Thailand they are well known from their radio and TV programs that are actually broadcast to many countries worldwide.  Their warm hearts and enthusiasm for sharing the Dhamma is what makes them successful in my opinion, and is why they were an inspiration to us here.

Chanting was shared, words were spoken to inspire, "blessed" bracelets were given to "protect" and act as reminders to be awake in our daily lives, and many questions were answered.  We are all very thankful for the time we spent together.

17 August 2011

Entering the Rains Retreat in Cambridge

Our move to Cambridge felt swift and we were greeted by many people during the Kao Pansa celebrations on Sunday.  It was a warm greeting indeed with much generosity taking place.  From preparing the venue, cooking the food, giving requisites for everyone to make use of, helping clean up, to just being part of all the blessings that have already made it feel like home for us, and a peaceful refuge for everyone else.  Anumodana for everyone's hard work and interest in making this happen.

 This of course marks the beginning of the monastic rains retreat which will be a period of intense practice and further sharing.  We hope as many people as possible can come share this special time with us.
Please do sign the guestbook to the right side of this page by clicking on POST.  Also, have a look at the photo albums on line that can be found on the right side of this page as well under the RELEVANT LINKS section.  See you soon!

12 August 2011

A Deep Breath

 This past week here at The Old Engine Shed has been a wonderful time of practice that many people took advantage of.  We have enjoyed the serenity of this place and took every moment to live in meditation.  Some people choose to stay as overnight guests to have an even richer experience, while one of our friends choose to take a three day retreat here with us.  Morning chanting by the River Tyne, engaged group discussions, youngsters asking and learning how to do silent meditation, and a community life that feels vibrant and cheerful from sun up to sun down is just part of what we have been sharing here.
 The Carlisle Meditation group has continued to actively participate on Wednesdays and individually coming during the weeks, and our neighbours keep visiting for Pujas or to share in the Dana.  We have had day trips to the nearby towns as well as nearby Buddhist centres such as Kagyu Samye Ling Tibetan Centre and Throssel Hole Zen Abbey.  We are very grateful for what everyone has brought to this once empty and cold house.
  But in tune with impermanence, it is all coming to an end with a sunset Puja this evening and a sunrise Puja in the morning after which we will be on our way to Cambridge to start the Vassa.  We might have practised well, but this experience will not be easy to just let go of.  But with a deep breath we move on to the unknown...

02 August 2011

Alms Round in Northumberland

I have been doing as much walking as possible lately and decided to take a long walk to the nearest town about 6 miles away. I made a day of it and brought my alms bowl with me to experience the magic of collecting alms food in this country. Honestly, I didn't expect to be receive much and Haltwhistle is not exactly your biggest town in this rural countryside anyhow. I would have been happy with just being able to be there among the people, and the walk itself was beautiful. A lovely feature of the walk is the Lambley Viaduct which now stands as a monument to the mining era of the 1800's.

At first I was just walking slowly up and down the high street because I didn't want to feel like "one of those" beggars. It took about a half hour of watching my mind to start to understand that foremost, I was not any better or worse then a beggar who is hungry--and that there is actually nothing wrong with receiving alms. In fact I quickly developed a sense of admiration for them and so I found a suitable spot and stood my ground. Within minutes I was approached by interested people and so it was only my own ego that had been standing in the way.

To my surprise I was approached by many people, had a lovely meal, and walked back with a huge sense of gratitude and renewed faith in humanity. It also showed how many people are interested in Buddhism in this country. As Luangpoh says, "Mindlessness is famous". That is one thing this world can support.