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.