We have been traveling continuously in the United Kingdom for a few weeks now to share the compassionate teachings of the Buddha with groups of lay people who do not have easy access to such teachings of the Dhamma. We have been practicing deep listening to try to learn what the needs and wishes of these people are in regards to having such teachings available to them. We were honoured to have the Venerable Tan Jao Khun Thong Chai from the Rama 9 temple in Bangkok with us for the first week.
Luangpoh has a vision of starting a Buddha Metta Centre in the UK and our travels are not only proving to us that such a place would be of great benefit to the greater community but that the community is also willing to support such a project. Much of this support is already a reality.
A most wonderful location has become available for such a place in the south west of Scotland close to Castle Douglas and Dumfries. Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle, Carlisle, Glasgow, Edinburgh, and the ferry from Northern Ireland are all within a few hours drive, but yet it is set in beautiful and serene country minutes from the sea. It is the perfect location to get away from city and come for a weekend retreat to learn and practice Dhamma from a monastic community of forest monks or past disciples. The most wonderful and Venerable Tan Jao Khun Thong Chai voiced his approval of the location and the project in general which brings backing from a prominent Bangkok temple.
The link in question was the strength and needs of the community which is clearly becoming a mute concern. In fact it is clear that setting up a Buddha Metta Society in a few locations will be of great benefit to the communities involved and will help the Centre in Scotland thrive. Some of these communities have set the wheel in motion already on their own initiative such as in Bournemouth, Cambridge, and Carlisle.
On a personal note, this experience is proving to be very amazing to me. It is very closely resembling being on tudong in Thailand which is the practice of wondering from location to location with only the simple essentials to share and learn in the Dhamma. We rarely know where we will end up from day to day and often from moment to moment, and we are surviving purely by the generosity of the people we come into contact with. They have been sharing with us what we need to survive while we have been sharing Metta, blessings, teachings, meditation instruction, and beautiful periods of chanting together. The experience of meeting these amazing people is enough to fall asleep each and every night very peacefully with a smile. They tell us that they feel the same.
Have a look at some photos from our trip at my web gallery:
Photos Here !!!
With Kind Regards and Warmest Metta,
Tan Bartek Khemadhammo Bhikkhu
-Disciple of Luangpoh Sudhiro