Buddha-Mettā UK

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

08 November 2012

Civara Dana Ceremony

Luang Poh Sudiro, the monk leading the project, said: “Cambridge has a long association with Buddhism going back to the 1930s.
“We hope that a Buddhist temple will be a new chapter in this story, offering a place where everyone can come and learn about Buddhism.”

05 November 2012

Bubbles of Wisdom: Reflections on a Day Retreat at Harston

I think I have waited a long time to hear words like those of Luang Poh Shudiro. I first had a glimpse of Luang Poh walking along the A10 while I was driving into Cambridge some months ago, a sight most unexpected in that vicinity. There was gaiety and serenity in his walk, his saffron robes bright in the midday sun. Now I know that not only can he walk the walk, he can also the talk as well!

The day retreat was like joining a group of friends. All pomp and ceremony were abandoned at the entrance of the Vihara, along with the rows of shoes. The temple, still a work in progress, has a nice relaxed atmosphere, and time went by amongst talks, meditation, lunch, with questions and answers at the end. Without too much success, I tried to show some flare with my questions, to show some wit. However, why is it that asking so called unskilful questions is the one skill to be picked up first? I am new to Buddhism and meditation, but luckily the monks maintain that there is not much you can do wrong in the Temple as far as rules go. Luang Poh Shudiro, as well as the
younger monk, Than B, showed genuine warmth and wisdom, and were happy to joke about their own human frailties. They made everybody welcome, and most found the place a peaceful refuge. Outside, the autumn trees had tucked themselves in a blanket of leaves, ready for the winter. In the Temple, Luang Poh Shudiro and Than B’s teachings created a little cosy bubble of wisdom, and all the participants shared that feeling.

A Visit to the Studs of Cambridge

It was a windy, rainy, and cold, cold, cold November eve.  Nurses with smeared mascara stumbled through ancient, cobbled lanes with half-empty bottles of vodka in their hand.  Vampires roamed vacant and near-leafless gardens, tapping inscrutably and incessantly into their smartphones.  Century old churches, their brickwork slumped with age, perched on corners and serrated the skyline, their windows vacant and unlit. A Big Bird, confused and desperate, stumbles to his knees before the gates of these citadels of the Lord - and vomits. 

No, not the apocalypse, as I had originally suspected as we drove down Trumpington, just Halloween in Cambridge.

The more restrained, or perhaps patient, students of Camb sat quietly practicing and contemplating non-Theistic ethics, ethanol-free, in an ancient classroom named, ironically enough, Godwin. But if God was anywhere that evening, He, or She, for that matter, certainly would have taken refuge with these silent and serene students rather than the roaming bands of half-naked cowboys and witches haunting the streets.

After being led in meditation by Than B, Luang Poh Sudhiro discussed precisely the quandary which these students now found themselves faced with: the pulls of partying and youthful revery and the simultaneous calling to live a life of greater integrity, principle, and worth. The topic which he discussed, prompted by a question by a student, was of the importance of seeing the whole of your life as practice, and to fit your practice to your life, rather than the other way around. Buddhism is not simply something that you do cross-legged and with your eyes closed. It encompasses and requires a new mode of being and relating to every aspect of our lives, from the lofty moments of ecstasy and insight in the womb of retreat to the stress and crunch of exams at semester's end. What matters is the attitude: one which looks at every moment as an opportunity to learn, to understand, and to let go.

As Luang Poh reiterated, again and again:

Let go.

This is the beginning and the end of the path, and, fortunately for all of us, we can do this wherever we are and with whatever we are doing.

Students, and intellectuals in particular, are overburdened by their doubting and speculative minds. Luang Poh gently reminded this cerebral-giants to let go of living from their heads, and to ground their life, practice, and understanding from the wisdom which arises from their own lives and experience, not exclusively from books.  Yes, it really can be that simple, if we allow it. 

At the discussions end, the students slowly dripped out of the classroom, perhaps to do some devilish deed later in the eve, others, perhaps saintly.  The monks returned to their 1970s bungalow called a temple where they could hear only the sound of rain. 

A special thanks from us at the Vihara to all those who made that evening a God-win, Buddha-win, and even Krishna-win evening, especially the organizers of the event, the bold adventurers who dared to navigate the monks through the treacherous, apocalyptic Cambridge streets, and all the students.

Wishing us all the courage to practice right where we are. 

04 November 2012

A students perspective into a meditation retreat at Harston

Cycling to Harston isn't half as bad as one might think. There are
cycle paths all the way and a warm and welcoming atmosphere with
plenty of tea to look forward to at the end. It's certainly an unusual
way to spend a Saturday in Cambridge, at a Buddhist monastery. Just as
unusual as it's location, inside a typical English bungalow opposite a
porsche garage. It seems slightly ironic that the two should be in
such close proximity, but also appropiate, the counter action to the
consumerist culture is this. The universe always has a neat way of
balancing the world out. The retreats atmosphere is very relaxed, more
so than any other retreats I have been to. The schedule is open to the
individuals own practice, you can sit, walk, and lie down as you wish
without a rigid format. This is great for me, especially as it's quite
miserable outside, so I choose to stand or to sit on the sofa to rest
my body. Everyone seems to settle down into their own rhythm this way.
The Thai people arrive to prepare food at 11, and as usual it is like
eating at a restaurant, I try not to be too attached. In the afternoon
Ajahn Sudhiro gives a dhamma talk which is full of insight. I like the
way he uses his own experience of physicial pain through his disease
to remind us all of impermanence and to teach us to bear with and
witness conditions instead of react with aversion and hatred. I
consider it a great blessing he has come to Cambridge to teach and
share his presence with us. Tahn Bee, the younger American monk and a
highly disciplined meditator, is a gentle giant, him and Ajahn Sudhiro
seem to form an excellent partnership to uphold and protect the
Dhamma. Sadhu sadhu sadhu.

01 November 2012

Winter's First Snows: A Practitioner's Tale of a Day of Retreat

The first snowfall of winter arrived just before dawn on Saturday 27 October 2012. Fortunately, it was just a dusting as I was driving  45 miles to the Day of Meditation at Wat Buddha Metta, Harston near Cambridge. Not that I am good at meditating. Quite the opposite, in fact: having turned 60, sitting for much longer than half an hour at a time is notnearly as comfortable as one might suppose.

But there were plenty of things to compensate as such a Day is special and for many reasons. Not least, I could renew my acquaintance with Luang Por Sudhiro and Than B, the Buddhist monks in the Thai Theravadan Forest tradition who are currently based at Harston. One is immediately both impressed and at ease on being with them. I am always made to feel welcome – like I’m a member of the family!
As well as opportunities for collective and individual meditation, the programme for the Day included some chanting, some Dhamma talks and a very nice lunch offered by local Thai people. It also afforded an opportunity to chat to the various friends who were also participating in the Day and contributing from their own particular perspectiveThe atmosphere is pleasant and relaxed throughout.
Although I have some experience of meditation, I still regard myself as very much a beginner. My practice has a very long way to go. Fortunately, sitting is not the only way one can meditate and I spent some of the afternoon practicing walking meditation in a quiet country lane nearby the Wat.

I especially enjoy listening to Dhamma talksThere is always something new and interesting in the Buddha’s teachings. On this occasion Luang Por told us about the deeper meaning of the Triple Gem: the qualities of being a fully ‘awakenedhuman being demonstrated by the historical Buddha; the Dhamma – the Buddhist teachings and the truth they embody; and the lay and the monastic community that together constitute the Sangha. We also learned about the Three Universal Characteristics of all phenomena – impermanence, suffering and not-self. If we see and know the truth of this we can “let go” and avoid the dangers and adverse effects of attachment to these worldly things.   In such ways the teachings can help us all to improve ourselves and become the very best that we can be - not just on special days like this but throughout our lives.

Before closing the Day, Luang Por explained that he is trying to establish  a permanent centre  in the area and that  the Sangha  - in Thailand, UK and elsewhere - are gradually working to this end. Many people in UK are as yet unawarethat Buddhism is a superb resource which really can help us to live our lives well. So I hope his endeavour succeeds and helps make this resource available to anyone and everyone.
The Day is over all too soon and, after chatting over a cup of tea, I find myself making my way down the M11 in heavy traffic, in a torrential rainstorm and in the deepening dusk – asharp contrast to the bright autumn sunshine and peacefulnessthat had characterised so much of the day. Now what was itthat Luang Por was saying about impermanence….?

13 October 2012

Day-long Saturday Retreat on October 27th

Saturday meditation retreat at the new vihara at Harston near Cambridge with Luang Poh Sudhiro and Than B on 27 October 2012.
All meditators welcome including complete beginners.
Luang Poh Sudhiro is a senior monk in the Thai Forest Tradition. He spent many years practising in seclusion, but for the last ten years he has been active internationally, teaching especially in the UK and New Zealand.
The retreat will run from 9.00 – 5pmwith sitting and walking meditation, dhamma talks and meditation instruction especially for beginners, and time for questions and answers and will be largely in silence.
Please bring food to share for lunch and a cushion or stool. Chairs are available for those who need them. 
The vihara is at 135 High Street, Harston, Cambridge CB22 7QD opposite the Porsche Centre. There is parking on site, or you can take bus 26.
No advance booking is necessary and there is no charge but donations towards the vihara are welcome. If you have any enquiries phone Dick Allen on 01353 659082 or email bodhi.d4@gmail.com

06 October 2012

Refrigerator Dhamma

Ajahn Chah, a simple Thai forest monk, famously said that "Everything is teaching us."  The problem lies in the fact that few of us take the time and develop the proper attitude to receive the teachings which constantly bombard our eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, and mind. 

The cheap synthetic curtains, a checkered floral pattern of pastel yellow and blue which seem like they could only be the child of a quaint English grandmother and Sponge Bob Square pants, is teaching me. The robin singing outside my window is teaching me. The scent of the lemon slice sitting in my cup is teaching me. The taste of a whole chili pepper, bit by accident, is teaching me. The feeling of my lumbar vertebrate burning with fiery pain hotter than a thousand of those Thai chilies is teaching me. And even these thoughts are teaching me. Well, they could, but usually I'm too busy looking elsewhere, usually the inside of fridges, to learn

Even common household appliances, like refrigerators, are the sublime expressions of the dhamma. All that it requires is the act of proper attention for it to reveal its truth.

Now, within Buddhist and in general spiritual lingo, there's a lot of talk about interdependence, but it is usually of an abstract and unitive sort. In the early meditation texts, the interdependence of things had a particular agenda and effect, namely to identify what suffering is co-dependent on for it's existence and, thereby, see what we can do to lessen or remove that factor and thus experience the relief or ending of suffering. It is not this, "Oh, we're all one great big family, let's hold hands and sing Kumbaya," kind of a thing. That might be true, but it's not ultimately helpful in terms of providing a clear and direct understanding of the problem: suffering, and, oppositely, to it's solution.

So when we look at a refrigerator, the question then is to study how this thing called a refrigerator arises. If we examine the process clearly and with mindfulness, we can see that it arises dependent on many factors. It depends on the presence of some form, maybe a hulking teal box, on light, and also on the eye. If any of these were absent, we would be unable to see the box. It also depends on other processes.  Before we could see the refrigerator, maybe a feeling of hunger arose, which caused an aversive mental state which caused the visitation of a teal refrigerator during my meditations which caused an intention to move which caused the muscles in my leg to move which caused me to see a door which caused me to intend to reach for a door handle which caused my arm to move which caused the feeling of the cool metal on my fingers, etc., etc.  As we observe this process take place, inevitably, standing before a fridge stuffed full of delicious Thai, scrumptious enough to tempt even the most resolute of contemplatives, we also stand as witness to the experience of craving, of greed, and of an attendant sense of lack and dissatisfaction which accompanies these feelings.  The practice of observation and investigation then reveals to us that our perceptions are not actually ours. That everything which arises does so naturally and in accordance to various conditions in a causally linked and bound process. Even the thought, "That red curry is mine!" is something which arises dependent on other conditions and passes when those pass. Intentions, too, our will, arises based on conditions. The will to touch the handle arose from the image of a door which arose because of this and that and so on and so forth.  Thus, there is no "I" or "me" which is actually independent or beyond this process.  "I" or "me" is merely a product of this process, rather than, as we often think, the producer, creator, or controller of it.

I am not a refrigerator. That seems like a no brainer, but what isn't a no brainer is the view that all that is sensed and thought is also not mine. My eyes, forgive the contradiction, aren't my own, and nor is the red curry which I hope to wolf down for lunch.  When we clearly understand and see that these things are not ours, then we naturally let go of them and stop clinging too tightly. That translates into a lessening of stress and dissatisfaction and craving, for we only crave for things that we identify with, and we only feel dissatisfied when there is an absence of something which we crave.  With the attenuation of cravings borne from misidentification - thinking that we're refrigerators, red curries, and eyeballs, a sense of peace and stillness pervades where before chaos and agitation reigned.  When we observe this effect, there is also a clear knowledge that the conceit or view, "I am this" and the craving or aversion which it entails is the cause of stress, and that by releasing and lessening that view, is the ending or relief of stress. 

So when Ajahn Chah says that everything is teaching us, especially and including refrigerators, he does not mean that in an open-ended, vague way. Refrigerators could teach us many things. They could teach us about electronics, thermal dynamics, gravity, and countless other things, but these are not significant if one wishes to truly be happy, because for that one must understanding suffering and its causes and the ending of suffering and its causes. If you think that its ending is inside the fridge and in a bowl of Thai red curry, you'll be sorely, all-be-it tastily, disappointed. Relatively speaking, it is useful to know how a fridge works and to not be starving, but there are plenty of electricians and engineers who can put together a fridge but are miserable, and there are, likewise, monks who have died from starvation relatively unruffled (recently, an Indian yogi died after fasting for over 130 days as a protest to the illegal mining occurring along the River Ganges). The difference is one of understanding and of view, of what our knowledge and understanding, and what kind of information we are searching for. 

Next time you step before a fridge, maybe just be a little mindful, for that fridge door could be either your opening to enlightenment or Thai curry, or, hopefully in my case, both!

Wishing you all enlightenment by appliance,
Than B

21 September 2012

Meditation Centre in Wales

On Friday 3rd August Luang Poh Sudhiro travelled from Buddha Metta Cambridge to mid -Wales accompanied by three members of the lay community; Kamonchanok, Pong Pong and Ken. He had been invited by the Samatha Trust to take part in celebrations at Greenstreete, their national retreat centre. The celebrations were held to mark three important anniversaries in the life of the Trust. It was fifty years since Nai Boonman began teaching Samatha meditation in this country, twenty five years since
the purchase of Greenstreete and Nai Boonmans’ eightieth birthday. The celebrations were attended by representatives of the Sangha from various parts of the country and many lay people who had a connection with the tradition.
On Friday night we stayed at Hill Cottage, the beautiful home and project of Zarine Katrak and Jeremy Bruce. We were joined in the evening by several dear friends from the area and beyond and took the opportunity to chant and meditate together. Early Saturday morning we joined together again in the same way before setting off for Greenstreete. The proceedings began with the chanting of paritta by the monks and nun who were then offered dana. The lay people then enjoyed a wonderful lunch and a chance to talk to old and new friends. In the afternoon there were Dhamma talks from members of the Sangha and talks from several senior members of the Trust. We then had to return to Cambridge although the celebrations continued throughout the weekend but we felt fortunate to have taken part in such an auspicious occasion along with such good company.

Click on the sign to see more photos

18 September 2012

An Amazing Event.

Last Sunday evening 16th September, Luangpoh Sudhiro with Ken and Dick drove down to Spring Hill prison near Aylesbury to join in the 20th anniversary of the opening of The Buddha Grove in the prison grounds.

About 400 people, including many monks, attended this anniversary which was organised by Angulimala, the Buddhist Prison Chaplaincy with the help of many Thai friends and the prison

The Buddha Grove is a landscaped garden with a large Buddha Rupa at the centre, all constructed by prison inmates of various faiths during 1991, a place of tranquillity and peace much appreciated by inmates and staff of the prison.

Laungpoh Khemmadhammo, the Spiritual Director of Angulimala, presented the evening and related the wonderful history of how the Grove came to be and also the story of Angulimala.  The evening included speeches from Angulimala members including Lord Averbury, prison staff and inmates and a meal in the visitors canteen, this supper being organised and supplied by Thai supporters, an astounding feat.  
After dark this was followed by a candle lit circumabulation of everyone round the Buddha Rupa, a magical moment with this large crown of forms in the candle light slowly making its way three times round the Buddha.
So, a truly amazing event in a place where prisoners prepare to leave the confines of their sentences, Spring Hill being a Category D Open Prison,  may it help them on their way.

13 September 2012

Two Teachings

As England begins to descend into Autumn, Luang Poh Sudhiro has been active sharing his understanding of the dhamma and some of his personal experiences with others.

On Friday, September 7th, Luang Poh Sudhiro shared the dhamma with an audience of over twenty at the Friend's Meeting House in Cambridge. He spoke of how he got the most out of his breathe, using it to overcome the excruciating and chronic pain from his liver cancer - since cured, how, as a soldier, he used his breathe in the Cambodian jungles to save the lives of his fellow compatriots along with himself, and how his mastery of the breathe helped save his life again when he was bitten by a venomous snake, slowing his heart rate down and calming his nerves so that the poison could not spread rapidly through his body. But Luang Poh, like all of us, will eventually stop breathing.  

What will we do with the few breaths we have left?

The following week, on Wednesday, he visited a meditation group in Ely at the conference centre in the area of Cathedral, to offer his understanding and experiences to others and listen to theirs. They sat together silently and breathed and then chatted about a variety of topics, including the myopic attitude which many Westerners have towards practice.  Luang Poh situated meditation practice carefully within a broader and more wholesome context of spiritual development and life which includes the practice of generosity, living a life of moral integrity, and, finally, of developing a deeper understanding of oneself. Without these other practices and aspects present, meditation's transformative potential is stifled and reduced to a mere coping mechanism for the vicissitudes of life, all-be-it a far healthier one than a beer or soap operas.

The dhamma is to be lived.

06 September 2012

Bhikkhu Adventures: A Daylong Jaunt to Amaravati

Theravada Buddhist Sangha in the UK Meeting

Sangha Meeting at Amaravati

The morning was bright and blue and warm, an auspicious beginning to our journey West to the Deathless Realm, Amaravati. Luang Poh Sudhiro, Ajahn Surapon, Than B, and Poh Ken left early in the morning, leaving plenty of time for monking around - which is code for getting lost, side-tracked, or otherwise diverted, one of the many special abilities which this band of contemplatives has become notorious, or renowned, for.

Life is unexpected, and there is hardly a clearer expression of this than the life of a Bhikku.  But in England, there is a second runner up: the weather. By the time the ocher clad gang arrived at the Deathless Realm, the blue sky had been engulfed with a thick haze of fog accompanied by fierce winds. Apparently even the Deathless is not exempt from the climactic vicissitudes of this island.

The Sangha at Amaravati proved more welcoming than the weather: offering hot tea, chocolate, and warm greetings. Yum.

After introductions and a solid stint of sitting around, another specialty of Bhikkus, the monks went and paid their respects to Ajahn Amaro and, by extension, the entirety of the Sangha at Amaravati for keeping these precious teachings alive and well, lived in the careful manicuring of the lawns, the tidy arrangement of their robes, and their inner warmth.
The monks then joined for Dana and, following Dana in the afternoon, there was a meeting of the Sangha, including representatives from forty-five temples from throughout the UK with monks from India, Sri Lanka, Burma, America, Thailand, and England in attendance.

At the meeting, headed by Ajahn Khemadhammo, the Bhikkus discussed: the visa problems which many temples are struggling with, costing them not only excessive amounts of money through the expensive and laborious application process but also threatening their very existence, some of which are at risk of being abandoned because of a shortage of monks; the possibility of establishing a non-sectarian Buddhist center in London; what steps should be taken by the Theravadan community and monastic Sangha to protest the disrespectful use of Buddha images; and what Buddhists should do when taking an oath in the court of law (should they, as is a current legal option in the English court, break cups, a practice attributed to Chinese gangsters, not Buddhists (!), or say a Tibetan prayer, or place their hand over the Dhammapadda?) In addition to these discussions, new Sangha board members were elected.

Fittingly, by the time the meeting ended the mist had burnt away, the winds had been soothed, I suspect by our serene gathering, and a brief and beautiful English summer day graced the grounds of Amaravati. It was perfect weather for pictures, a choice hobby amongst Bhikkus who, so acutely aware of the intransient nature of life, attempt to capture every riveting moment of Bhikku-life on film and preserve it on their FaceBooks. In the warm oranges of the fading sun, the Bhikkus posed for group photos and then exchanged friendly bows and farewells.

Poh Ken, who had been patiently sitting outside basking in the weather and enjoying the company of the friendly Amaravati Bhikkus, then rejoined the Bhikkus who drove joyfully out into the blue and through the freshly threshed wheat fields studded with statuesque hay-stacks.

Another beautiful and ephemeral day. 
In gratitude to the innumerable acts of kindness and generosity that made the journey, meeting, and the Deathless possible,
The Wat Buddha Metta Sangha

26 August 2012

The Rains Begin

The Rains Begin

For those unfamiliar with the custom and practice of Theravada Buddhism, the Rains retreat marks the time during the year in which monks stop their homeless wandering and stay at a single residence for three lunar months.

The tradition of the rains, or rainy-season, retreat predates the Buddha and was honored by many of the various ascetics of his time.  The reason is not because of some magical belief about the months, but eminently practical. During these three months, the roads, moreso before the advent of concrete motorways, would turn to mud and become near impassable, the fields, flooded with water, would be ripe for planting rice and other staple crops and, more importantly for monks and other ascetics, would be sensitive to being damaged or destroyed by errant wanderers in a time when paths were poorly marked, if at all; and, in addition to that, all sorts of creepy crawlies would be slithering about - snakes, mosquitoes, and all the other wonderful things that buzz, hiss, and bite. This, of course, goes without mentioning the discomfort that comes with living outside and unsheltered for three rainy, rainy months. It was neither  a pleasant nor safe time to be wandering, so during this time monks would seek shelter at a monastery and determine to stay there until the monsoons passed, the crops were harvested, and all the creepy crawlies subsided with the arrival of drier times. 

During this time, monks, committing to a single place, would take this opportunity to intensify their efforts in their meditation, undergoing various austerities and practices as a way to better understand not only suffering and its causes, but also, and most importantly, the end of suffering and the causes of it's end, to find, in other words, a more genuine and stable inner peace and happiness not based on the vicissitudes of the body and mind but on qualities of the heart. Some of these include not lying down for three months to rest, eating only every other day, or sitting still in meditation from dusk to dawn. Some focus on a specific text or contemplate a particular theme.   Sadhu!

For the lay people, it is also seen as an opportunity to intensify their own practice and engagement with their spiritual lives. This might mean making larger donations, of time, money, or both, spending every full and new moon day at the temple or at home practicing chanting and meditation, or going without meat, sex, food after noon, or other helpful don'ts for the three month period.  They can also do just as the monks do - sleepless and starving, and why not?
It can also be seen as an opportunity for positive affirmations and intentions, not just grizzly No's: to be more kind and forgiving or to be more generous in both wallet and heart or to listen more attentively and receptively.

Now, you might rightly wonder why we honor this custom in England, during it's most beautiful and sunny months when the rain briefly subsides and the sun graces this green land, time which would be best spent wandering and not holed up in some temple somewhere. It's a good question. Some monks continue this tradition outside South and Southeast Asia as a way of paying their respects and expressing their gratitude to our founding teacher, the Buddha, and the global Sangha, especially those in countries beset by the rains. Another reason is that this time has been deeply engrained within the psyche's and calendar's of many from Buddhist countries like Sri Lanka and Thailand as a time of piety and practice. It's just what you do in August and the other months. 

Whatever the reason is, this has been an auspicious and fruitful time for the community, gathering together wayward strands and sectors to create a more united and supportive multinational Sangha in Cambridge. It began with a day of celebrations on the 5th of August and we at Buddha Metta hope to continue to keep this spirit of community, harmony, and practice alive and well.

In gratitude for the efforts of so many who have formed this lovely Sangha.

21 August 2012

A weekend meditation retreat
At Buddha Metta in Harston near Cambridge
led by Luang Poh Sudhiro
15 and 16 September 2012

All meditators welcome including complete beginners.
Luang Poh Sudhiro is a senior monk in the Thai Forest Tradition.  He spent many years practising in seclusion, but for the last ten years he has been active internationally, teaching especially in the UK and New Zealand
The sessions will run from 9.30am–5.00pm each day, and people can come to either or both days. The days will consist of sitting and walking meditation and meditation instruction especially for beginners, dhamma talks and time for questions and answers and will be largely in silence. 
***  Please bring food to share for lunch and a cushion or stool. ***
Chairs are available for those who need them.
The vihara is at 135 High Street, Harston, Cambridge CB22 7QD opposite the Porsche Centre. There is parking on site, or you can take bus 26.
No advance booking is necessary and there is no charge but donations towards the vihara are welcome. If you have any enquiries
phone Dick Allen on 01353 659082
or email : bodhi.d4@gmail.com

03 August 2012

Two More Monks

The Arrival of Two New Monks

Last month, at the end of July, two new monks arrived from Thailand: Luang Poh Sudhiro and Ajahn Surapon. The community here has warmly and joyfully welcomed them to their new home for the next few months.
Luang Poh, which means father in Thai, Sudhiro should be a familiar face to Cambridgites, but for those unfamiliar or forgetful, he has spent 28 years as a monk in the Thai Forest Tradition. He has battled malaria, cancer, and venomous snake bites, to mention only a few of the many obstacles he has had to face, during his illustrious and near-lethal life as a monk. What has sustained and continues to sustain him is his devotion to the Dhamma, the teachings that point a way to a deep and unshakeable inner peace. His English is excellent, and his heart is as bright and prismatic as a gem. 

Arriving a few days after Luang Poh was Ajahn Surapon. He ordained as a young boy at the age of thirteen and has been since for a total of twenty years. He grew up in Northeast Thailand and moved to Ayutthaya, an ancient capital of the Thai Kingdom, to continue his studies as a young man. After completing his studies, he moved to Bangkok and then later into a serene forest temple in a National Park where he teaches Sociology, focusing especially on Southeast Asian culture. Besides also speaking good English, he glows with joy. 

These two lovely monks, along with Than Khemacitto, will spend the rains-retreat here in Harston. Looks like Cambridge will have a nice little Sangha for the next few months.


01 May 2012

Buddha Metta Schedule

Posted here will be days in which monks will be away from Buddha Metta.  It is always safest to call one of the monks beforehand to double-check.

August 4th - All the monks will leave for the Green Street Samatha anniversary.  They will return in the morning before Dana and the Pansa celebrations.

17 April 2012

Buddha Metta Makes a Move

As of January, Buddha Metta found a new home in Harston amidst the songs of dunnocks and tits and the occasional roar of a Porsche from the dealership across the road. And in this time of new beginnings, emerging from the bitter and barren winter, is an ever-so-sweet monk called Than Khemacitto (Than B for short) from Thailand (US born).

I will be here for the next few months offering my friendship and support - and even my ear! to anyone who cares to stop in for tea or chanting or afternoon strolling. 

I will not give you my monk resume, sorry. I won't tell you how long I've spent meditating in caves and jungles, what's the longest I've fasted for, and how many days I've sat without moving, absorbed in meditation, or even if I've done any of those things. As the Buddha said, the Dhamma is Ehipassiko, or for each of us to come and see for ourselves. Same with me. 

If you do decide to come and see things for yourself, there is an open lunch from 11 to 12 and chanting and meditation from 7 to 8 every day.

I am also open to discuss the Dhamma, weather, and meditation at any time. Feel free to stop by whenever. 

Please check this page before coming, though, because I will post days that I will be away from Buddha Metta. If you want to be double sure, then ring me at 07977322753.

Wishing you a joyful day,
Than Khemacitto