The coach house renovation project has started. Yesterday, Richard, one of our local Sangha members, and Gordon, the builder, began clearing the site ready for work. Today they have been pulling down lime and horsehair plaster that may have been up for 200 years, removing old timber and generally getting on with things.
When finished the space will be called Seishi House, and provide accommodation and a work space for Jnanamati.
This weekend was a busy one here at the temple. On Friday Satya and I conducted a funeral service at Worcester crematorium. Friday evening is our community meal, as usual a good hearted and lively affair. Following that Satya, and Lisa, and I went to listen to a Dharma talk by Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo.
One of the questions at the end of the talk was about the place of devotion in Buddhist practice. Jetsunma said that if you meditate there’s a chance you might become enlightened, but with devotional practice it’s guaranteed. The light of the guru, or Buddhas, she said is always shining on us, we just have to open the door to our own hearts to receive it.
She was one of the most present people I have ever had the good fortune to meet. Despite having almost no voice, she held the attention of those present completely, for over two hours that evening. Sanghamitra attended her weekend teachings and also had a very good experience.
Saturday was our monthly volunteer day here at the temple. I focused on clearing the rest of the coach house, whilst others worked inside the house and in the garden. We had a wonderful shared lunch together and chocolate brownies and tea in the afternoon sun.
Sunday morning was our second family service, and I was thrilled that three local family came, with six children between them, as well as some of our regulars. We practiced together, made offerings to the Buddha (sweets, as it happens), and I’m very much looking forward to the next one on 3rd July, after our retreat in France.
Sunday afternoon half a dozen or so of us went over to Holland House, a retreat centre about 30 minutes away. They were hosting an interfaith picnic, and we were delighted to attend. We had lots of good conversations with people of other faiths, enjoyed a beautiful meal, and the wonderful sunshine.
This week I’m looking forward to our regular events, as well as hosting wondering monk Tenzin Shenyen who is staying with us for a little while.
The poppies in the wildflower patch are blooming and it feels like summer has arrived.
Namo Amida Bu
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