Upasampada and Pabbajja – monk and novice ordinations – Sunday, August 12

Upasampada.jpg

Please join the community for a special day on August 12, when two men will take further steps in to the training. Samanera Santi will be taking full ordination (upasampada) as a monk (bhikkhu); and Anagarika Jeff will be taking the "Going Forth" (pabbajja) as a novice (samanera).

The event will begin at 1pm. Many people may wish to join in the meal offering at 11am and stay through to witness the event, and make offerings afterwards to the newly minted samanas. As always, you are welcome to arrive at any time during the morning or day.

Luang Por Viradhammo will be coming down from Tisarana, his monastery in Ontario, for the occassion in order to act as Preceptor (upajaya). He will likely also offer the Dhamma Talk on the preceding Saturday evening at 7pm.

All are welcome.

Respected Senior Thai Monks to Visit – July 3–11

From July 3–11 Temple Forest Monastery will be honored to host a visit by the abbot of Ajahn Chah’s main monastery in Thailand, Wat Pah Pong: Ajahn (or “Luang Por”) Liem. He will be accompanied by Ajahn Jundee, who was a young monk with Ajahn Chah and is now abbot of a well known monastery called Wat Pah Ampawan.

Many of you may remember that Luang Por Liem and Luang Por Jundee were here for the monastery’s opening ceremony in June, 2015. They will be visiting Temple with a number of other monks after being part of the inauguration of the Reception Hall at Abhayagiri Monastery in California.

Left to right: Luang Por Jundee, Ajahn Jayanto, Luang Por Liem, Ajahn Seksan – at Temple in 2015

Buddha Consecration & Offering Ceremony – July 8

Please join us to celebrate the visit of Ajahn Liem and Ajahn Jundee to Jetavana, Temple Forest Monastery, a Buddhist monastery in the town of Temple, NH. Ajahn Liem is the abbot of Wat Pah Pong, Ajahn Chah’s monastery in Thailand, Ajahn Jundee of Wat Ampawan. Ajahn Kevali, abbot of Wat Pah Nanachat, as well as other senior monks will be visiting as well. In honor of the occassion people will also be offering support to the monastery in a traditional offering ceremony called a “Pa Bah”.

Everyone is most welcome to join in for any part of the day: an alms-round and shared meal, the consecration of the new Buddha-rupa (statue), a translated Dhamma Talk offered by Luang Por Liem, and a chance to meet the sangha.

Schedule:

10:15 a.m.  Introductory Remarks
10:30 a.m.  Prepare Food Offering
10:45 a.m.   Alms-round
11 a.m.  Shared Meal
12:45 p.m.  Buddha Consecration Ceremony
1:00 p.m.  Dhamma Talk by Ajahn Liem (translated by Ajahn Kevali)
2:30 p.m.  Close; chance to meet Sangha
3:00 p.m.  End

Download Flyer in: • English •   |   • Thai •    |   • English/Thai

Visakha Puja Ceremony, Bell Dedication, & Ajahn Amaro Talk – Sunday, May 27

On Sunday, May 27 Jetavana, Temple Forest Monastery will celebrate Visakha Puja (Wesak Day) with a Dhamma Talk offered by Ajahn Amaro, abbot of Amaravati Buddhist Monastery, and with a formal dedication ceremony to install a new bell specially cast in Thailand for our monastery here in Temple and offered along with a bell “tower” to house it, which has been sponsored by many local supporters and built by local artisans. (Similarly, a Buddha image and pavilion are being offered and may be in place on that day – yet they will be formally consecrated on July 8 at a Pa Bah offered in honor of a visit by Luang Por Liem and Luang Por Jundee. Details to follow.)

Please, as always feel welcome to join us for any part of the day and occasion.

Schedule for the day:

  •     10:30 a.m. Alms-round & Meal Offering

  •     12:30 p.m. Paritta Chanting

  •     12:45 p.m. Bell Dedication

  •     1 p.m. Dhamma Talk by Ajahn Amaro

  •     2 p.m. Close & informal conversation with Ajahn Amaro & sangha

Ajahn Amaro Visit: May 22–27

From this Tuesday, May 22, until our Visakha Puja (Wesak Day) celebration on Sunday, May 27 we will host Ajahn Amaro, abbot of Amaravati Buddhist Monastery in England – and, before that, founding co-abbot with Ajahn Pasanno of Abhayagiri Monastery in California – who will be visiting Temple for the first time. Ajahn Amaro visited and taught in the Boston area for many years until moving to back to the UK. 

He should be available most days after the meal, and will offer Dhamma Talks on the evening of Saturday, May 26 and the afternoon of Sunday, May 27 for our Visakha Puja and Bell Dedication Ceremony. Please feel free, as always, to visit during this time.

Every day: 11 a.m. – Shared Meal, speaking informally afterwards
Saturday, May 26: 7–9:30 p.m. – Evening Puja & Dhamma Talk by Ajahn Amaro
Sunday, May 27: 10 a.m.–2 p.m. – Visakha Puja & Bell Dedication Ceremony, with Dhamma Talk by Ajahn Amaro

King Memorial Tree Planting October 26, 1p.m.

At 1 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 26 we will hold a remembrance ceremony sponsored by our Thai supporters in honor of the late king of Thailand, H.M. King Bhumipol Adulyadej, who had ruled for 70 years when he passed away last year at the age of 88. King Bhumipol was a revered and unifying figure beloved by the people of Thailand, and on October 26, the day of his funeral in Bangkok, the monastery will join with other monasteries around the world in planting a tree in his memory. All are welcome to attend.

Kathina Offering – Sunday, October 8, 2017

Please join us for this year’s annual offering ceremony and fall gathering, which will be held at the monastery on Sunday, October 8, 2017, from 10.15 a.m.–3 p.m., and which will be the first “Kathina” offered at here at Jetavana (the Pali name of Temple Forest Monastery). The Kathina offering has been a continuous tradition since the time of the Buddha, and is similar in nature to the “Pa Bah” offerings we have had each year. It is organized by the lay community, and is a time where robe cloth, which is offered ceremonially, and other requisites of whatever kind the monastic community needs are offered, along with donations to support the monastery. The occasion includes informal opportunities to meet the sangha and others in the wider lay community, thus serving as an annual festival-like gathering too. A Dhamma Talk will be offered after an alms-round and shared meal and the ceremony for the offering of requisites.

A group from Thailand plan to join with our local community to help make the Kathina offerings, and anyone who wishes is welcome to join them in doing so.

For this special occasion we are pleased to host several of the abbots of Ajahn Chah monastery branches in North America: Luang Por Pasanno, abbot of Abhayagiri; Ajahn Sona, abbot of Birken Forest Monastery; and Ajahn Sudanto, abbot of Pacific Hermitage. Ajahn Karunadhammo, from Abhayagiri, will also be with us.

You are welcome to come for all or any part of the day, whether bringing offerings, just wishing to hear a Dhamma Talk, or visit with the sangha and others.

When: 

Sunday, October 8, 2017, 10 a.m.–3.00 p.m.

Where:

Temple Forest Monastery     

32 Derbyshire Ln,

Temple, NH, 03084

Schedule:

10:15 a.m.    Introductory Remarks

10:30 a.m.   Prepare Food Offering  

10:45 a.m.   Alms-round

11 a.m.         Shared Meal

12:45 p.m.   Kathina Offering  

1:30 p.m.    Dhamma Talk by Ajahn Pasanno  

2:30 p.m.    Close of Ceremony & Chance to Meet Sangha

3:00 p.m.    End

Download a flyer (English & Thai) ⤓

Ordination Ceremony, Saturday August 12, 2017

On Saturday August 12 you are warmly invited to join us for the ordination ceremonies for two members of the Sangha here at Temple: Samanera Candapanyo will take upasampada to become a bhikkhu (monk), and Anagarika Michael will take pabbajja to become a samanera (novice).

Luang Por Viradhammo, abbot of Tisarana Monastery in Canada, will be here to act as preceptor for the two candidates.

The event will begin at 1 p.m. Many people may wish to join in the meal offering at 11 a.m. and stay through to witness the event, and make offerings afterwards to the newly minted samanas. As always, you are welcome to arrive at any time during the morning or day.

 

Ajahn Sumedho Dhamma Talk & Pa Bah Ceremony – Sunday, June 25

Our teacher and the founding abbot of so many of our monasteries, Luang Por (Ajahn) Sumedho will visit Temple from June 12–29, 2017. On June 25, some of our supporters wish to organize a Pa Bah (Offering Ceremony) in honor of Luang Por’s visit, and, as the central event, invite him to offer an afternoon Dhamma Talk.

Everyone is welcome to come to the talk, to join in with the offering, or for any part of the occasion: an alms-round and shared meal, the Offering Ceremony, and the Dhamma Talk offered by Ajahn Sumedho.

Schedule:

10:15 a.m.   Introductory Remarks
10:30 a.m.   Prepare Food Offering
10:45 a.m.   Alms-round
11 a.m.           Shared Meal
12:30 p.m.   Precepts & Offering Ceremony
1 p.m.              Dhamma Talk by LP Sumedho
2 p.m.              Close; chance to meet Sangha

2:30 p.m.      End

Download a flyer (English & Thai) ⤓

Ajahn Sumedho visiting Temple June 12–29, 2017

Luang Por Sumedho is currently visiting the monastery. He has been visiting some of our branches around the Northern Hemisphere this year, and we are honored to host him at Temple from June 12–29.

Mainly this is a time for him to rest up and take it easy, and therefore he will be offering a limited number of Dhamma Talks and public visits during his stay, which we are arranging day by day as seems convenient.

Therefore, if you wish to see him the surest day to do so would be on the day of our Pa Bah – Sunday, June 25 – when he will offer a Dhamma Talk between 12.30–2 p.m. (proceedings begin at 10.15 a.m.).

Luang Por may offer Dhamma reflections at other times, such as on the Moon Days which fall during the period of his visit ( June 17 & 23) at 7 p.m. He will also likely come out to meet with visitors before the 11 a.m. meal on some days as well. Please call the monastery to ask in the morning on any particular day, as we may not know when he will do so until that day.

Luang Por Piak public talk – Sunday, April 30

Luang Por Piak to visit Temple April 28–May 1, 2017

A highly respected teacher will be visiting Temple from April 28–May 1: Ajahn Piak, an accomplished disciple of Ajahn Chah, will offer teachings on the weekend of April 29 and 30, including a public talk offered at 1 p.m. on Sunday, April 30 (in place of the usual meditation workshop). We expect that he will be available for questions and Dhamma conversation also on Saturday, April 29. He will be accompanied by four other monks, including Ajahn Issara Uttamacitto, and Ajahn Siripanyo who will translate from Thai to English. Please join us for this special occasion.

Sunday, April 30, 1 p.m. :

Dhamma Talk in Thai language,
with translation in English

Saturday, April 29, 11 a.m. :

The usual daily meal offering,
followed by Dhamma discussion

For some background, the following is taken from Luang Por's bio:

Luang Por Piak is one of Thailand’s most respected teachers of Dhamma and meditation. Born in 1948, Luang Por Piak’s given name was Prasobchai but he was nicknamed ‘Piak’. As a child and young man Luang Por Piak did not have much interest in religion or meditation. It was when he was studying for his Masters in New York that Luang Por Piak began to develop an interest in cultivation of the mind. On the subway, for example, while heading to work, he would find his mind naturally observing and converging on his breath. There he found both pleasure and peace. He also noticed that he was able to wake up in the morning at whatever time he wished simply by mentally determining the time the night before. Even if he’d spent most of the night at a party, he’d still wake up exactly at the predetermined time. These experiences made him curious about how the mind worked and led on to an interest in meditation.

After returning to Thailand, Venerable Piak then received full bhikkhu ordination from Luang Por Chah of Wat Nong Pah Pong Monastery on July 3rd 1976. In 1981, when Venerable Piak had been ordained for five years, a piece of property was offered outside of Bangkok for the establishment of a branch monastery. Luang Por Chah asked Venerable Piak to live there as the abbot. It was unusual for a monk to be asked to take on so much responsibility at such a young age, but Venerable Piak had had quick progress in his Dhamma practice and was also native to that region. Initially surrounded by rice fields as far as one could see, within ten years his small monastery had been completely engulfed by Bangkok’s urban sprawl. Noise, heat and pollution notwithstanding, Luang Por Piak has remained a refuge of peace and soothing coolness within the heart of Thailand’s largest city.

His monastery is Wat Fakram (Wat Pah Cittabhavanaram) in Lum Lukkha, Pathum Thani, Thailand.

Ajahn Issara Uttamacitto is a long-time student of Luang Por Piak and monk of 35 years standing. He is the abbot of a forest monastery outside of Bangkok and has traveled internationally as assistant teacher with Lunag Por Piak on many occasions.

December News

The Sangha at TFM for Vassa 2559/2016. From left: Anagarika Barnes, Ven. Sunyo, Ajahn Kancano, Samanera Candapanyo, Ajahn Anando, Ajahn Jayanto, Ajahn Caganando, Samanera Mejjho, Ven. Nyanasaro, and Anagarika Michael.

Everyone at the monastery sends you warm greetings from Temple.

It’s been another eventful year as we continue the gradual process of laying down roots so that Jetavana, Temple Forest Monastery may provide a place of training and spiritual sanctuary for many, long into the future. That’s the vision anyway, and the signs so far have been excellent.

I hope you’ll forgive us for not posting or sending out much news on the website or to the mailing list these past two years. We are aware of and very grateful for the interest and support so many have shown to the sangha, including those of you unable to come physically to the monastery on a regular basis and thereby catch up with what’s going on. Here is a little summary of some of the recent, current, and future goings on.

Luang Por (Ajahn) Sucitto currently visiting Temple

Luang Por Sucitto, beloved teacher and known to many here in New England where he has led many retreats and offered talks for decades, has just finished teaching a month-long retreat at the Forest Refuge in Barre, Mass. – and he is visiting us at Temple for the next two weeks. If you are interested in meeting him, the best time is, as usual, at and after the 11 a.m. meal offering every day, when he will usually be available to converse afterwards. Tomorrow (Sunday, Dec. 11) he will lead the weekly meditation workshop, and it is possible he will do so next Sunday (Dec. 18) as well. He will also give the Dhamma Talk after evening puja on the next full moon day, Wednesday, Dec. 14. Please feel free, as always, to join us for those occasions, or any day during Luang Por’s stay. He will depart for Canada in order to spend the winter retreat at Tisarana on Dec. 23.

Luang Por Sumedho to visit in June, 2017

We will be honored to host our teacher and the founding abbot of so many of our monasteries, Luang Por (Ajahn) Sumedho for a visit to Temple from June 12–29, 2017. More information about his visit, and any public talks or teaching events, etc. will be posted closer to the time, probably sometime next spring. Some of our supporters wish to offer a Pa Bah in honor of Luang Por Sumedho’s visit, and, as the central event, invite him to offer an afternoon Dhamma Talk: that will be on Sunday, June 25 – so do book that into your calendar as it should be a special day.

Luang Por Piak to visit in April/May 2017

Another highly respected teacher will be visiting Temple next spring, from April 28–May 1: Luang Por Piak, an accomplished disciple of Luang Por (Ajahn) Chah, will offer teachings on the weekend of April 29 and 30, including a public talk at 1 p.m. on the Sunday afternoon, in place of the usual meditation workshop. More details about this event will be worked out and posted on the website closer the time.

Kathina Ceremony & abbots’ gathering in October 2017

And on Sunday, October 8, 2017, Temple Forest Monastery will receive its first Kathina offering. The ceremony will be attended by most of the abbots of the Ajahn Chah affiliated monasteries in North America, because we will also hold an annual abbots’ gathering here after the kathina. Luang Por Pasanno, Luang Por Viradhammo (who will arrive the day after the kathina), Ajahn Sona, Ajahn Punnadhammo, and Ajahn Sudanto will join us for the occasion (abbots of AbhayagiriTisaranaBirken Forest MonasteryArrow River Hermitage, and Pacific Hermitage, respectively).

Winter Retreat 2017

The monastic community’s annual three-month Winter Retreat will take place from the beginning of January through to the end of March. This will be a period of silent retreat for the monks, with no short term overnight guests as well as no Sunday meditation workshops between January 1 and April 1. These three months of the year have come to serve an important function in our Western branch monasteries, with the traditional three-month Rains Retreat taking place in summer and fall which in European and American climates is often the best time to be active and working. Therefore the winter months of January, February, and March have become a time for the Sangha to put many activities down and have an extended period reserved for formal meditation practice.

Winter Retreat support opportunity

During the Winter Retreat the meal offering will be the same as ever: every day at 11 a.m. anyone is welcome to come to the monastery to offer (and share in) food to the Sangha. And while we won’t be accepting overnight visitors in the usual way, it would be helpful to have three or four laypeople stay at the monastery in order to support the monastic community’s retreat. Ideally these people will have stayed at the monastery before, and be able to stay for the full three months (or at minimum for one of the months). They would join in most of the group practice periods and there will likely be much unstructured solitary time to use to further one’s practice. Therefore they should be experienced in staying in a silent retreat atmosphere, and comfortable with solitude. If you are interested in supporting the Sangha in this way by helping with meal preparation, shoveling, cleaning, etc. from January 1–April 1, do send us an email.

Work projects

Sangha and lay guests at the monastery, as well as some generous volunteers, have worked on quite a few projects this year. A few of the most notable:

The “Duplex” becomes the “Triplex”

The long process of work on the lay guest accommodation building (the long red building attached to the barn) this year is coming to a close with only finishing work left before laying down tools for the winter (there will be some more to do next year). It seems that so many furry four-legged friends had been sharing the building with its human residents over the decades since it was constructed in the early 70s as an office building, that monastery guests could hear – and smell – this reality to the point it was becoming disruptive. Since we would not harm them, we attempted to convince them all to live elsewhere. This effort seems to have been successful (easy enough, during the warmth of summer). In order to prevent the rodents from returning we separated the building from the barn, and installed steel mesh around the base of the building, one foot up from the ground, one foot down into the ground, and one foot back under the ground. In addition we stripped out all the ceilings and insulation in the middle section of the building, installing a new ceiling and new insulation. This provides for three discreet sections: one for women, one for men, and one which can be for men or for women depending on need (and thus the new moniker “triplex”).

Book storage container

We have been so generously offered so many free distribution Dhamma books to store for distribution over coming years, that in order to keep them safe from mold and damage the monastery purchased a shipping container, had it insulated, and built shelving to store them all. A little heater for the winter and dehumidifier for the summer should keep our Dhamma books in good condition for years to come.

Kutis

And, now that it has started snowing, we have embarked on the building of two more kutis (meditation cabins for the monks). Late last year, with a generous donation we were able to build one. Further generosity received over the last year or two from supporters in the UK provided for the construction of another kuti this year, but the contractors involved could not start until a couple of weeks ago. And as a result of the offerings received at this year’s Pa Bah (held here at Temple on Sep. 18) we are able to build a third kuti: the monks are helping a carpenter friend currently working on it with another friend, Bob Berube, who is volunteering his valuable help on most days.

Community

The resident sangha here at Temple is currently five monks (bhikkhus) two novices (samaneras) and two postulants (anagarikas): Ajahn Jayanto, Ajahn Caganando, Ajahn Jivako, Tan Nyanassaro, Tan Sunyo, Samanera Candapanyo, Samanera Mejjho, Anagarika Barnes, and Anagarika Michael. 

Next year Ajahn Anando, who was with us again this year for the Vassa, will return to Temple for another extended stay in June 2017.

Hopefully we’ll be a bit more regular with our website/mailing list news updates next year too.

In Dhamma, and with gratitude,

Jayanto Bhikkhu

2016 ‘Pa Bah’ Offering Ceremony – Sunday, September 18

Alms-round during the 2014 Pa Bah at Temple

Please join us for the annual “Pa Bah” almsgiving ceremony which will be held at the monastery on Sunday, September 18, 2016, from 10.15 a.m.–2.30 p.m. These are traditional occasions going back to the time of the Buddha when the lay community comes together towards the end of the “Rainy Season” to offer material support to the monastic community. This year some of our local Thai-American friends have asked to offer a Pa Bah and they invite anyone interested to join with them (just come along). The occasion includes informal opportunities to meet the sangha and others in the wider lay community, thus serving as an annual festival-like gathering too. A Dhamma Talk will be offered after an alms-round and shared meal and the ceremony for the offering of requisites.

Everyone is most welcome to come for all or any part of the day, whether bringing offerings or just wishing to hear a Dhamma Talk or visit with the sangha and others.

When: 

Sunday, September 18, 2016, 10 a.m.–2.30 p.m.

Where:

Temple Forest Monastery     

32 Derbyshire Ln,

Temple, NH, 03084

Schedule:

10.15 a.m.    Introductory Remarks

10.30 a.m.    Prepare Food Offering  

10.45 a.m.    Alms-round

11 a.m.    Shared Meal

12.30 p.m.    Precepts, Paritta Chanting & Offering Ceremony  

1.15 p.m.    Dhamma Talk by Ajahn Jayanto  

2.00 p.m.    Close of Ceremony & Chance to Meet Sangha

2.30 p.m.    End

Download a flyer (English & Thai) ⤓

Going Forth Ceremony for Novice and Postulants – Saturday, Sep. 17

One of the stones marking the boundary of the Jetavana ordination precinct

We are pleased to invite you to a ceremony which will include the “Going Forth” (or papajja) of our postulant, whom many of you know as Anagarika Devin, into the robes and training of a Ten Precept Novice (or samanera), on Saturday September 17, 2016, at 1 p.m.

This will also be the occassion for the Precept Ceremony of two more men who wish to enter the monastic community as postulants (anagarikas) – Barnes Peterson and Michael Keezing.

Please feel free to join us for the event, and/or, as always, to come for the 11 a.m. meal offering beforehand as well.

We will be wishing Devin, Barnes, and Michael all the best on their monastic path.

Luang Por Viradhammo Visits Temple

Luang Por Viradhammo

We are happy to receive a visit this weekend from Ven. Ajahn Viradhammo, abbot of Tisarana Buddhist Monastery in Canada. Luang Por will be with us from Friday, August 26 through Sunday the 28th.

Please join us for the mealtime offering at 11 a.m. on these days, or for the Dhamma Talks he will offer on Friday evening and Sunday afternoon.

Dhamma Talks will be offered at the monastery by Luang Por Viradhammo, on:

  • Friday, August 26 at 7 p.m. (after the usual meditation and chanting beginning at 7), and

  • Sunday, August 28 at 1 p.m. (as part of the usual Sunday Meditation Workshop).

June Events

Warm greetings from Temple,

Things are going well here as we move into the warmth of late spring.

It has been quite a while since we updated those of you on our mailing list, and here on the website news page. Our apologies! Therefore this is the first of several updates we will be sending out over the coming week, so as not to overwhelm you with information in one long post.

First of all, we’d like to invite you to join us for two special events in June. We will be honored with visits from two respected senior monks, Tan Ajahn Dtun from June 10–14, and Luang Por Pasanno from June 15–20. They will each offer a Dhamma Talk here at the monastery on Sunday June 12 and June 19 respectively. Please see below for more details:


Sunday, June 12: Dhamma Talk offered by Ajahn Dtun

Temple Forest Monastery is honored to receive a visit from Venerable Ajahn Dtun, a respected disciple of Ven. Ajahn Chah, under whom many monks have trained at his forest monastery in Chonburi Province, Thailand. Tan Ajahn Dtun will be accompanied by Ajahn Tejapanyo, an English monk who will translate from Thai into English as Ajahn Dtun gives his talk. The talk will begin at 1 p.m., and will replace the regular meditation workshop on that day. Meeting Ajahn Dtun is a special opportunity, and everyone is very welcome to attend. (Come earlier for the meal at 11 if you wish, or come before the talk at 1. It’s a good idea to arrive by 12.30 in case parking is farther from the sala than usual.)

 Tan Ajahn Dtun

Tan Ajahn Dtun

Schedule:
11 a.m. Meal offering with reflections
1–3 p.m. Dhamma Talk (Likely outdoors: please bring an umbrella if it’s raining.)


Sunday, June 19: Ordination (Upasampada) Ceremony and Dhamma Talk offered by Ajahn Pasanno

Jetavana/Temple Forest Monastery will likewise be honored to receive a visit from Ven. Ajahn Pasanno, the abbot of Abhayagiri Monastery in California. Luang Por Pasanno will be kind enough to facilitate a monk (bhikkhu) ordination ceremony, called an upasampadā, at Temple by acting as preceptor (upajjhāya) for our novice, Samanera Sunyo. This will mark an important stepping stone not only for our new bhikkhu candidate Sunyo, but also for the monastery itself, as it will be the first bhikkhu ordination to take place here – for us, a somewhat historic event. Samanera Sunyo is from Westford, MA, and has completed his novice training over the past two years here since arriving at Temple with Ajahn Jayanto in July 2014. Throughout the ceremony Luang Por Pasanno will offer explanatory reflections, as well as a short Dhamma Talk afterwards. Everyone is very welcome to attend. (Come earlier for the meal at 10.30 if you wish, or come before the ceremony at 1. It’s a good idea to arrive 30 mins. early in order to park and walk over to the site.)

 Luang Por Pasanno

Luang Por Pasanno

Schedule:
10–10.30 a.m. Arrive
10.45 a.m. Rice Pindapat (Offering rice into the monks’ bowls.)
11 a.m. Meal offering
1–3 p.m. Upasampada Ordination Ceremony & Dhamma Talk (Outdoors: please bring an umbrella if it’s raining.)

Foundations

Luang Por Liem instructs Anagarika Zack – now Samanera Suñño – during his novice ordination

Dear Everyone,

Warm greetings from Temple. It’s been an active summer at the monastery, with new community members and the assumption of responsibility for the whole property, and as we get closer to this year’s Pa Bah gathering this week it is high time for an update.

2015 Alms-giving Ceremony – Sunday, Oct. 4

First off, this year’s Pa Bah Offering Ceremony will be held this coming Sunday, October 4, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Similar to the event last year the day will serve both as an almsgiving occasion for those who wish to support the new monastery with requisites and donations, as well as a sort of festival day to simply gather and share a meal, witness or take part in a traditional offering ceremony and listen to a Dhamma Talk. The talk will be offered by Luang Por Viradhammo, the abbot of Tisarana Monastery, who will be visiting along with Ajahn Sudanto, abbot of Pacific Hermitage. It’s a good time to meet the monks and other supporters, and see the monastery. Do come along for any part of the day – everyone is very welcome.

Please see the announcement for more details >

Opening of Jetavana, Temple Forest Monastery

From June 26 until July 2 the Sangha at Temple was very fortunate to host a visit by Luang Por Liem, the abbot of Luang Por (Ajahn) Chah’s monastery in Thailand, as well as Luang Por Jundee, another respected senior Thai abbot. They were accompanied by Ajahn Sehk and Ajahn Thaniyo, a Thai and Australian monk respectively, the latter serving as a consummate translator from Thai to English of the teachings offered by the Thai ajahns during their visit.  (The Dhamma Talks they offered can be heard or downloaded here >) We were also happy to have with us Ajahn Anando who returned to Temple for a month and Tan Ruciro, another English monk from Amaravati.

As the property had been purchased just a few months earlier, Luang Por Liem agreed to preside over an opening weekend which included a novice ordination on June 27 and an opening ceremony on June 28 to inaugurate and bless the new monastery. We were honored to have the Thai ambassador to the U.S., Ambassador Pisan Manawapat, and his family come for the occasion. While Luang Por led the thirteen monks present in chanting traditional Paritta blessings, the Ambassador, along with the president of the Jeta Grove board of directors and the former property owners, represented the lay donors in unveiling the ‘Jetavana Stone’ – an ancient granite boulder left by ice age glaciers in the monastery’s large field where for the occasion of its official opening a local artist had carved the name of the monastery and the Buddhist and Western calendar years alongside a Dhammacakka: a Dhamma Wheel symbol which was one of the earliest representations of the teaching of the Buddha.

In addition to the name of the monastery we most often use – Temple Forest Monastery – the monastery has a Pali name: Jetavana. Jetavana (“Jeta Grove”) was the monastery where the Buddha spent more Rains Retreats than any other during his lifetime, and gave many of the teachings recorded in the Pali Canon. It was a beautiful forested park purchased at great expense by the wealthy lay disciple Anathapindika in order to donate it to the Sangha as a place where the Buddha’s disciples could practice in a suitable setting for generations to come. Historically, when Buddhism has become established in new countries there have often been monasteries named after the original Jetavana.

Despite weather which was cool, blustery, and wet to say the least (as rain is considered auspicious in Buddhist countries we took it as a sign that someone was very happy about the event!) the day was attended by many supporters and visitors, pretty much filling up the large tent high up on the field. All in all a thoroughly joy-filled occasion. Some pictures from the opening ceremony and the weekend’s events can be viewed here > 

Community

When the three-month Vassa (Rains Retreat) began at the end of July, the Thai and English monks had departed as had Tan Pamutto, who had set off on foot having decided to further explore the life of a wandering monk during this phase of his training. (He has since written to let us know he is spending the Vassa in a garden shed somewhere in the Quabbin woods, and is being well looked after.) The Sangha here at Temple is currently five monks (bhikkhus) and a novice (samanera): Ajahn Jayanto, Ajahn Caganando, Tan Jivako, Tan Saddhammo, Tan Nyanassaro, and Samanera Sunyo. Another young man is in line to join us as a postulant (anagarika) within the next couple of weeks.

Activity & Volunteering

Having inherited a to-do list typically long for an old property of this size as well as needing to begin adapting it for monastic purposes, the Sangha and guests and volunteers have been busy making various repairs and getting to grips with caring for the grounds and buildings. We’re very grateful for all the help so many people have generously offered this summer.

If you would like to join in by contributing in one way or another by helping with grounds or maintenance work – or in some other way – you are most welcome. Please just send us an email either through the contact page or to the following email address: 

volunteer@jetagrove.us

Winter Retreat Support

Speaking of opportunities to help, we are beginning to look ahead to the monastic community’s annual three-month Winter Retreat which will take place from the beginning of January through the end of March. This will be a period of silent retreat for the monks, with no short term overnight guests as well as no Sunday meditation workshops between January 1 and April 1. These three months of the year have come to serve an important function in our Western branch monasteries, with the traditional three-month Rains Retreat taking place in summer and fall which in western climates is often the best time to be active and working. Therefore the winter months of January, February, and March have become a time for the Sangha to put many activities down and have an extended period reserved for formal meditation practice.

During the Winter Retreat the meal offering will be the same as ever: anyone is welcome to come to the monastery on any day to offer (and share in) food to the Sangha. And while we won’t be accepting overnight visitors in the usual way, it would be helpful to have two or three laypeople stay at the monastery in order to support the monastic community’s retreat. Ideally these people will have stayed at the monastery before, and be able to stay for the full three months (or at minimum for one of the months). They would join in most of the group practice periods and there will likely be much unstructured solitary time to use to further one’s practice. Therefore they should be experienced in staying in a silent retreat atmosphere and comfortable with solitude. If you are interested in supporting the Sangha in this way by helping with meal preparation, shoveling, cleaning, etc. from January 1–April 1, do send us an email.

Protecting the Land

A significant event that’s taken place this summer has been the unexpected decision of our next door neighbor to sell his property. This 10-plus acre property abuts the field right over the Sangha living area (Jessen and Cliff houses) and cuts along the overlooking ridge where we plan eventually to have elders and other kutis. We always knew the monastery would need to try to protect it from development if at all possible – by purchasing that 6–7 acres of the ridge ideally – but had hoped our neighbor would hold on to it for some years so the board wouldn’t have to think about it yet. However, when a FOR SALE sign popped up after initial discussions between him and monastery friends and it went suddenly onto the market, one supporter stepped forward and in order to help the monastery by preventing it going to an unknown party – purchased the property! That person needs to sell at least some of it now for financial reasons; therefore, there is currently an opportunity to protect our land by purchasing the area in question for the monastery.

Practice at the Monastery

Finally, just a reminder and encouragement to feel welcome to come to Temple Forest Monastery, the morning work and around the midday meal being the best times to engage with the community, as well especially as the Sunday Meditation Workshops from 1–3 p.m. every Sunday. The 7 p.m. evening pujas (Tues.–Sat.) are a good time to come and quietly meditate and chant with the Sangha as well, and normally there is a Dhamma Talk offered after the weekly moon-night puja.

With all good wishes in Dhamma,

Jayanto Bhikkhu