Hello everyone. I have been giving out information etc. about my response to Covid-19 in the newsletter so the website has been a bit quiet of late.
There are a couple things I would like to let you know of on tyhough. Firstly I am not receiving emails through info@readingbuddhistpriory at the moment due to unknown technical reasons. I am trying to get it sorted. So if you have been trying to reach me in the last week I apologise but please email me on email@example.com
I am looking into running Introductory sessions via Zoom and how best to do that. I will try to get this up and running soon. There are areas which maybe problematical but I will see what I can do. At least I can get you started even if it is not quite what I would do in person. In the meantime I would recommend going onto the Throssel Buddhist Abbey website and watcching their DVD download on meditation and how to utilise it in your life called ‘Zen Meditation’ and also the book ‘Sitting Buddha’ which is an excellent primer on the practise of Soto Zen.
The use of Zoom I feel has been a great success in helping people feel connected and for me to carry on teaching and providing the usual meditation and services. If you would like to join in and are already used to the practice please contact me and I will give you the neccessary paswords and ID.
With the Priory closed thoughts have gone toward how we can sit together. Below is a list of times when I will be sitting and you can, if you wish, join me. I hope this is of help.
6.30am – 7.00am Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri
7.30pm – 8.00pm Tues, Thurs, Saturday
Wednesday evening 7.30pm – 8.00pm / 10 mins walking / 8.10pm – 8.40pm
Friday afternoon 2.00pm – 2.30pm / 10 mins walk / 2.40pm – 3.10pm
As the Priory is closed this also means no Introductory meetings for the forseeable future. Please keep an eye on the website for when they start up again.
I, along with Rev. Saido, have decided to cancel the retreat at Brownshill monastery in April. There is no immediate plan to set another date, certainly for this year.
As of Monday evening the 16th the Priory is closed.This is due to the Governments latest advice and direction. Although this move has become necessary it is still with regret that I have had to make it. I will endeavour to replace the usual sessions and events with some sort of remote contact. This could include zoom or skype meetings or set meditation periods which we can all join in with. I will keep you updated.
I am sorry to say that I have had to cancel my visits to both Kings Langley and Milton Keynes this weekend due to the current coronavirus outbreak. Deep apologies for any inconvenience. I hope to support these two groups by doing Skype talks etc if possible.
As it stands Brownshill Monastery is open and therefore the retreat is going ahead. According to the Sisters the situation may alter if Government advice changes. If you are due to come but have changed your mind please let me or Alison know because very low numbers may affect our decision.
I would just like to say a few words about the current situation and how it relates to the Priory’s activities. Throssel Hole Buddhist Abbey has recently closed for a couple of months so that they can help in the lessening of the virus spreading. A small temple like this one with mainly a local congrgation is in a slightly different position. Firstly the numbers attending aren’t as high and from all over the country and Europe. The virus also has a chance of not spreading so much because there are gaps between activities, i.e. a couple of days where the virus can die off, as long as I am careful myself not to spread it. I will be travelling across the South of England this weekend by train and the current Government advice is still not so strigent as to not allow this. At a recent trustees meeting this week we decided that it was good and proper to follow Goverment advice but also act independently if it was felt good to do. If you would like to attend the Priory over this period of heightened health awareness then please do so but I ask you to think twice before doing. I will close the Priory if I have to self isolate but I am thinking, as others are, as to how to carry on in some way. This may be Skype sitting, or giving a talk via Skype etc. I may close for Introductories and do them this way. Maybe we can sit together at the same time just by knowing when that might be.
The spring retreat at Brownshill monastery is still going ahead as I type, but I will be in contact with them to see where they stand on it. The decision may be taken out of our hands.
I hope you are all keeping safe at this time and I look forward, as ever, to your presence here at the the Priory if it is good to do so.
The new study group will be reading and discussing the Platform Sutra by Hui-neng with the Diamond Sutra as complimentary reading. I will be using the Price/Wong translation. Other translations would probably be ok if that is what you have but usually better if we are using the same text.
I am looking into ways for those who live further afield and won’t be able to attend but would like to take to take part. This could be by emailing in discussion points or Skype maybe. I think that of all the things we do here this would be the most appropriate use of distance participation.
There are some online sites where you can download commentaries and the scripture itself. One is
This is the robe and bowl sculpture, which sits in the courtyard at Throssel Hole Buddhist Abbey, and represents the part of Hui-neng’s story when somebody tried to steal them by lifting from a rock but was unsuccessful as they wouldn’t budge. He then proclaimed that he had come for the dharma not for the robe.
I have begun placing descriptions and photos in Food for the Heart to do with ceremonial. The first two cover bowing and candle offering. There will be more to follow.