Good afternoon Friends and Members of the OBS,
The Earth’s plates that moved under Nepal last Saturday have shaken us all. In Kathmandu, a city of over three million, the losses of so many are innumerable. Of Nepal’s 27 million people, 17% live in urban areas, with considerable numbers inhabiting remote Himalayan settlements. Thirty out of the country’s 75 districts have been affected by the earthquake. CNN reported ” the information received from the field is that 80% of the houses in these rural areas have been destroyed.” If you have not already done so please consider donating to an international relief organization.
Untitled photograph by Omar Havana/Getty Images. Caption: “A Buddha statue is surrounded by
debris from a collapsed temple in the UNESCO world heritage site of Bhaktapur on April 26, 2015 in Bhaktapur, Nepal.”
OBS Feature : Last Winter’s Pilgrimage to India
by Anoma De Silva, Oli Cosgrove and Pushpa Weerasooriya
Many of us at the OBS social at Bob and Vivienne’s house in April were transfixed by the stories that Anoma De Silva, Oli Cosgrove and Pushpa Weerasooriya shared from their winter pilgrimage to India. In the months to come the OBS Newsletter will feature the chronological notes and superb photos and stories recorded (in the photo albums) of the sacred sites they visited where the Buddha lived and taught in India. We are very grateful for their inspirational sharing and this record of Last Winter’s Pilgrimage to India.
“On February 18th seven of us from OBS, and five Buddhist friends, set off from Sri Lanka to fulfill a cherished wish; to follow in the Footsteps of the Buddha.
Anoma and Kosala, Priyani and Shanthi, Harini and Gamini and Oli were joined by Pushpa, Oweenee Weerackody, formerly of OBS, now retired in Sri Lanka, Tilaka de Zoysa of Toronto, Suzanne Morris of Galetta, and Umnga Haputantri of Sri Lanka.
Our pilgrimage began in Sarnath, where Lord Buddha travelled after attaining Enlightenment to look for the five ascetics who had abandoned him and where,
in Deer Park, he gave his first discourse, the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path (Dhammachakka Pavattana Sutta.) Here also he set in motion the Wheel of the Dhamma, and when he found them, gave the ascetics the discourse on non-self, after which they realized Enlightenment. So it was at Sarnath that the Dhamma began its long journey, and that the Sangha was born.
” In Bodhgaya we worshiped with throngs of pilgrims from other countries at a descendant of the Bodhi Tree under which Gautama Siddhartha gained Enlightenment.”
Bodhgaya in the evening (CLICK)
” Then on to Kushinagar/Kusinara where the Lord Buddha passed away, and where his passing is commemorated with a recumbent statue whose facial expression amazingly transforms from serenity viewed at the head, to frailty viewed from the feet.”
Maha Parinibbana temple – Pushpa Weerasooriya
….. more to come next month
Upcoming OBS Retreats, Teachings, Observances & Podcast
A reminder to REGISTER soon for Ajahn Punnadhammo’s Retreat: Practicing with Right View on June 5-7th. Please note space is limited to 20 retreatants.
Saturday May 2 – Full Moon and the Lingyen Mountain Temple invites all Ottawa Buddhist Society members and friends to their community Vesak Day. Taiwan masters will be at the Official Proclamation by Mayor Watson, 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM, Jean Pigott Hall, Ottawa City Hall, 110 Laurier Ave West, Free Admission. Ann Waters and others are planning on going to this Buddhist social gathering. More info: Lingyen Temple Vesak
May 2 – Noble Eightfold Path (NEP) Study Group will be meeting 2 – 5 pm at First Unitarian Church 30 Cleary Ave. A social is planned from 4-5 pm.
Teachings on the Noble Eightfold Path (NEP) will be offered once a month (beginning July 11th) by Ajahn* Viradhammo and other monks at Tisarana Monastery. These will be on six Saturdays from July to December 2015. An expanded NEP Study Practice Group will be forming around these Days Of Mindfulness and all gatherings are open to the public. All are welcome. More info to follow in next month’s OBS Newsletter.
* Ajahn is literally translated as teacher and describes a senior monk who has had at least 10 rain retreats.
Sunday, May 10th – Three Quarter (Waning) Moon
Friday, May 15 th – Friday Evening Meditation with Ajahn Viradhammo −7:30 pm at Quaker House, 91A Fourth Ave, in the Glebe https://goo.gl/maps/23ZIC
Ajahn Viradhammo was born in Germany, 1947, to Latvian refugee parents. They moved to Toronto when he was four years old. Around 1969, while living in India, he encountered Buddhism, meeting the late Samanera Bodhesako, who introduced him to the teachings of the Buddha. He eventually travelled to Thailand to become a novice at Wat Mahathat in 1973 and took bhikkhu ordination the following year at Wat Pah Pong with Ven. Ajahn Chah. He was one of the first residents at Wat Pah Nanachat, the international monastery in north-east Thailand.
Having spent four years in Thailand, he went back to Canada to visit his family in 1977. Instead of returning to Thailand, he was asked by Ajahn Chah to join Ajahn Sumedho at the Hampstead Vihara in London. Later, he was involved in the establishment of both the Chithurst and Harnham monasteries in the UK. In 1985, invited by the Wellington Theravada Buddhist Association, he moved to New Zealand, accompanied by Venerable Thanavaro, where he lived for 10 years, setting up Bodhinyanarama monastery.
In 1995 he came to the UK to assist Ajahn Sumedho at Amaravati and stayed for four years before returning to New Zealand, where he lived until 2002.
Ajahn (teacher) Viradhammo is the senior abbot of Tisarana monastery, located in Perth, Ontario, which he founded in 2005. He has been the principal spiritual guide for the Ottawa Buddhist Society for the past 10 years. http://tisarana.ca
All are welcome to join in for group mindfulness practice and dhamma instruction.
Saturday May 16th – Day of Mindfulness with Ajahn Viradhammo – 8:30 am – 3:30 pm at Tu-An Pagoda (Vietnamese Buddhist Temple) 3591 Albion Road Ottawa, ON K1T 2V1 https://goo.gl/maps/p62Ee
All are welcome to join in the periods of mindfulness practice and dhamma instruction. Potluck lunch.
Sunday May 17th – New Moon
Thursday, May 21st – OBS executive board meeting 7- 9 pm
Friday, May 29th – Friday Evening Meditation with Andre Vellino −7:30 pm at Quaker House, 91A Fourth Ave, in the Glebe https://goo.gl/maps/23ZIC
Andre has been a member of the Ottawa Buddhist Society since the early 90’s and has practiced with many Theravada monastics and lay teachers. He has been a member of the Order of Interbeing since 2002 and received the Lamp Transmission from Thich Nhat Hanh in 2014. He leads meditation classes at the University of Ottawa Continuing Education Program and also for University Professors in the Center for Academic Leadership and is a past president of the Ottawa Buddhist Society.
All are welcome to join in for group mindfulness practice and Andre will be choosing a dhamma talk recorded at Amaravati Monastery
Podcast – Ayya Medhanandi
Listen to this October 2014 dhamma talk by Ayya Medhanandi:Up Front at the Quaker House evening.
Sati Saraniya Hermitage invites everyone to visit, especially on Sundays to attend their Sunday meditation sittings beginning at 1 pm. All are welcome.
” The joy one feels on beholding you for the first time
does not diminish even after seeing you a hundred times.”