Today we were offered another wonderful dana and Luangpoh shared a reflection on what it means to give. He recollected what it was like as a child to offer food for the monks with his mother. He remembers the care that was put into the preparation, the quality of mind while bringing it to the temple, the high standard of the presentation of it, and the humble way that it was offered to the monks. This all presented the opportunity to concentrate the mind on doing something so wonderful that it created a feeling of wellbeing that could last the entire day. We discussed today that this is the most overlooked method of concentrating the mind that the Thai people have engrained into their daily lives. A large portion of the people will start their days with generosity as the focal point of their activities.
This evening we arrived in the place where we will spend a few weeks before the Vassa. The lovely Thai community of Carlisle, the close by Lake District, and even from Edinburgh asked us to spend the Vassa up here to teach and create more opportunities for sharing. Although we are already committed to Cambridge for the Vassa, we were more than happy to spend this time here. In the Buddhist calendar there are only three seasons including the rainy season which lasts four months. The Buddha wanted his disciples to stay in one place for three of those months for safety and as an opportunity to deepen their practice during this time. The first three months as a group is known as the first Vassa or rains residence retreat, while the last three months is known as the second Vassa. An allowance was made for monks who could not find a suitable place to stop for the first Vassa to wait an extra month and spend the second three months in retreat instead. This is what we will be doing in Cambridge and during this time we invite all of you to come and practice with us.
Once we know the location then it will be made known to everyone of course, but until then the same invitation stands for this amazing place. We were not expecting any more than a simple place in the city but instead it is a stand-alone house with a couple bedrooms in the beautiful hills east of the Lake District in Northumberland. It is about a half hour drive from Carlisle and anybody is welcome to visit during the day without prior arrangements, or to stay with prior arrangement as space is limited. The Old Engine Shed, Halton Lea Gate, Brampton, CA8 7LF.
Photos Here !!!