Vesak Day and Sangha Celebration: Wed, May 10
Join our all-Sangha celebration of Vesak Day, a day when Buddhists honor the birth, awakening, and death of the Buddha. Our Vesak Day celebration will be held on Wed, May 10, 4:30-7:30 pm at Two Lilacs Inn, 29 Elm Street West, West Lebanon, NH 03784. Please bring finger food and a cold drink to share with others. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-649-7062. (Elm Street West is off Seminary Hill Road in West Lebanon.) We’ll also honor Peg Meyer’s graduation from the Community Dharma Leaders program. More about Peg’s accomplishment.
Please write a favorite Buddhist book, author, or dharma teacher on a piece of paper, so we can assemble a Dharma Tree in the Buddha’s honor. If possible, try to car pool, as parking is somewhat limited. Please park on same side of road as Eileen’s house.
While we gather to celebrate our own connections, we also celebrate with Buddhists around the world. “The decision … to celebrate Vesākha as the Buddha’s birthday was formalized at the first conference of the World Fellowship of Buddhists held in Sri Lanka in 1950, although festivals at this time in the Buddhist world are a centuries-old tradition.” Beginning in 1999, the UN agreed to observe Vesak Day in its headquarters and offices around the world.
Directions from Hanover/Norwich:
Head south on S Main St toward Allen St
Continue onto Seminary Hill Rd
Turn right onto Elm St W
Destination will be on the left
Directions from I-89 Exit 20:
Travel toward West Lebanon/Hanover on NH-12A N/S Main St/N Plainfield Rd
Continue to follow NH-12A N/S Main St
Turn right onto Seminary Hill Rd
Turn right onto Elm St W
Special Event at Jetavana (Temple Forest) Monastery
There will be a unique offering at Jetavana (Temple Forest) Monastery in Temple, NH. Ajahn Sumedo will give a public address on Sunday, June 25. He is the senior Western representative of the Thai Forest tradition. He founded Amaravati Buddhist Monastery in 1984 and served as its abbot until his retirement in 2010. He resides in Thailand and this trip to the West is a very rare one. More info as we get closer to these dates.
Sangha member Rob Chambers recently spent 6 weeks in Burma studying with U Tejaniya. Rob is currently back visiting in the Upper Valley and shared his Burma experiences with us in December, 2016. He showed slides of the country and led us in a Tejaniya-style meditation practice. This style is specifically focused on mindfulness in everyday life and provides guidelines that encourage cultivating mindfulness in a comfortable, accessible method appropriate for every moment of our lives.
From Doreen about Jetavana (Temple Forest) Monastery Dedication:
The Buddhadhamma Settles into Southern NH: On Sunday June 28th, 2015, close to 300 people gathered at what we have called Temple Forest Monastery to celebrate the opening of what is now officially called Jetavana Monastery. There were dignitaries present, including Ajahn Liem, the head of the Thai Forest Lineage, the Thai Ambassador to the US, and Ajahn Veradhammo, abbot of the monastery in Ottawa, as well as many local Thai people and others from Boston and IMS. There were friends from VT Insight and the Concord, NH insight group there too. Seven of us from VIMS attended. It was magical. There were talks and chants and rituals; the nine monks present weaved among us on an alms-round to gather rice into their meals. Then we all gathered for a potluck meal with an amazing array of food. Afterwards, we returned to the large tent in the high meadow. The ceremony continued and soon we walked down hill to the unveiling of a marking stone, a glacial “erratic” now engraved with the names of the monastery. People stayed for a long time after the official events to talk informally. As Ajahn Liem said at the start of his Dhamma talk, “The most important thing here today is in the friendly conversations.”
There was lots of rain all day. Rain at an event of this magnitude is considered auspicious. And so it was: a blessed and very happy day for all.
“It is important to keep the gift moving,” a Native American saying quoted by Bruce Kantnor, previous owner of the land in Temple. The generosity of Bruce and his wife Barbara made the purchase of the entire property possible.
May 4, 2015:
Ayya Santacitta led the Monday sit. Since her last visit to VIMS, she has become fully ordained and is part of a group of nuns who are establishing a monastery in northern California, Aloka Vihara, on land purchased for them last year. In 2011, Ayya Santacitta was among the first Buddhist nuns in the Theravadan order to receive bhikkhuni, or full, ordination since the 11th century, when the order of fully ordained Buddhist nuns totally died out. She is a strong advocate for extending full ordination for women throughout the order, a somewhat controversial issue. She is also committed to “wise action” on climate justice and is inspired to encourage people to embody the Buddha’s teachings through their lives.