I’m happy to say that Ven. Caganando and I have both arrived in Boston, and are getting settled in to the rented Allston townhouse that is to become ‘Boston Vihara’ for the next three months. We have been joined by Jeff Miller, who will be living with us and helping to attend to the various needs that arise while serving in the role of a temporary postulant, or anagarika. Jeff plans to be with us until September 1, when he will ‘hand over’ this role to John Nishinaga, who will serve in the same capacity until we depart on October 31.
It’s great to be here. We are appreciating the fruits of the hard work by many supporters over many months that has gone into finding, renting and preparing a suitable place for monks to live in Boston for such an unusual period of time: from July to the end of October. I hope that being here for this period will allow us to more fully explore the possibilities and get a sense of the interest for a forest monastery somewhere in New England – one which I’d expect would serve the Boston area as a resource for quiet sanctuary, inspiration and practice.
To this end we are interested in exploring areas in the region that may be suitable for a forest monastery, and even properties that may be available. We are looking for quiet, forested land, ideally around 100 acres or more. So if anyone has any leads, please don’t hesitate to let us know.
As to our activities here in the Boston area for these three months, it’s all pretty open. We have scheduled a series of meditation workshops to be held on Sundays at the Theosophical Society in Arlington Center, from 2–5 p.m., beginning August 11. And we are looking for a place (or places) where we can hold a regular weekly public evening meditation and Dhamma Talk – preferably somewhere not too far from Allston. I’m also happy to respond to invitations to groups in the area or farther afield.
The daily routine we will keep here at the vihara may vary according to when we have other events planned – and when we are away. But we expect that most days we will have morning and evening pujas (group meditation with a bit of traditional chanting) from 6–7 a.m. and from 7–8 p.m. You are most welcome to join us for these periods. It would be best to let us know beforehand that you plan to come, however, because some days we may not be here, or the schedule may have changed.
Mealtimes (around 11 a.m.) are another time when everyone is always welcome to come and take part. Once again it would be best if you contacted us beforehand to see if we’ll be here as well as to let us know you’re coming. We plan soon to put up a calendar on this website which will indicate whether we will be at the vihara available to receive food offerings for the meal on any particular day, and if anyone is scheduled to come, so people can easily check.
Another part of our daily routine will be the traditional almsround. How exactly that will unfold is still to be discovered, but Tan Caganando and I intend to continue walking on almsround each day and will therefore regularly be available to receive food offerings in our bowls on the streets of, at least, Allston and Cambridge. Stay tuned for another announcement about this once we have a routine established – and in the meantime don’t hesitate to approach us if you wish, if you spot us walking or standing with our bowls in the morning in the local area.
That’s all for now – please feel welcome to join in in whatever way you wish.