Last weekend 5th – 8th July we held a new event in the calender which is the summer Alton Abbey retreat. I wasn’t sure what the uptake would be but there did seem to be interest. In the event we had a full house of a dozen of us. The Abbey had put a ceiling of twelve on it anyway. Like everywhere else it was very hot and dry, therefore we were very grateful for the cooling atmosphere of the chapel we used for meditation. I gave a couple of talks based on chapters from the Vimalakirti sutra. ‘The Buddha Way’ and ‘Entrustment’. The afternoon saw two tea sessions which proved to be very lively and interesting. We thank the Brothers yet again for their hospitality. They are a small community and appreciate the work they put in to accomodate us. I will contact them soon to book again for next summer. We will be back there this Autumn.
Unfortunately I am having to cancel the group morning of Sunday 22nd July. We are having a new carpet fitted on the monday which will put the ceremony hall out of action over the weekend. I will be holding a day retreat in Milton Keynes on the 22nd aswell so won’t be at the priory anyway. Apologies for any inconvenience.
Rev. Master Haryo who is Head of the Order of Buddhist Contemplatives is planning visit the priory towards the end of August. Actual dates and events are yet to be clarified but we will probably be planning something for the last weekend in August. I will post and email when I know more.
I would like to apologise for the lack of news and updates recently. I had a problem with the office computer. This is all rectified and back up and running.
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Changes to policy
This years Wesak celebrations were very well attended and made for a glorious day. 16 adults and 4 youngsters packed out the ceremony hall. It was good to hear a roomful of joyous singing. It was also good to welcome a couple from London and their two offspring who are members of Thich Nhat Hanh’s sangha. Also attending were 3 members from the Milton Keyne’s group, one of whom brought their daughter. Due to the glorious weather we later were able to spread out into the garden and have lunch. Thank you to all who provided a sumptious feast.
Over the Easter weekend the priory will be holding a drop in wwekend retreat. Feel free to come for all or any part of the retreat. The usual group events will go ahead. If you would like to attend a meal please if possible bring something to share or let me know that you will need catering for. Please click on link for schedule.
I will be way at Throssel for a few days in March. Consequently I have postponed the talk on Meditation in Daily Life which was planned for March 14th. I will reshedule. The group evening will still happen.
The Reading half marathon this year will be on Sunday 18th March. This means that access to Cressingham Rd for parking, is limited.
The friday afternoon sessions are proving popular. With this in mind I am thinking of stopping the friday evening meetings. These are proving less popular, and those I have asked who do come then all say they can come Sunday. No final decision has been made but it is looking likely to happen. Possibly form April. If you have any feedback on this, I am as always, happy to hear from you.
Richard Bentley is a Sound Artist who visited the priory this week. He is doing a Phd on sound in silent spaces. He goes to many places which have a quality of silence, woods, libraries, and religous spaces for example. He referred to what he does as listening meditation. Richard is a buddhist practioner of some years standing and will be coming back to record some more and we are thinking of having a conversation on the subject of silence and practice.
On Saturday March 3rd, between 10.00 am – 4pm there will be a work day here at the priory. There will be activities for all abilities and skills. These are always good ways of the sangha coming together and expressing the active aspects of meditation. Some of the projects currently on the list are sorting and organising the loft space, pointing up some brick work in the sacristy store + organising the store itself, garden work, one of which maybe adding a 2nd raised bed, and getting it ready for planting seeds.. There is also of course help getting lunch together if that is more in your line. There may be others added to the list depending on interest and numbers attending. I thank you in advance for your help and if successful I can see adding more during the year if and when they are needed. As always please let me know in advance of your interest in coming.