Good afternoon OBS members and friends,
This year’s Forest Sangha calendar commemorates the centenary of the birth of Venerable Ajahn Chah. It is dedicated with gratitude and respect for the many offerings that he made to samanas and lay people through his teachings and his example.
The simplicity of his teaching immediately struck home when in 1987 a good friend returned from Thailand and shared a collection of Ajahn Chah’s dhamma talks in a small booklet, A Taste of Freedom. So began a deep respect for this humble Thai monk and the sustained Theravada lineage from the Buddha.
“ About this mind… In truth there is nothing really wrong with it. It is intrinsically pure. Within itself it’s already peaceful. That the mind is not peaceful these days is because it follows moods. The real mind doesn’t have anything to it, it is simply (an aspect of) Nature. It becomes peaceful or agitated because moods deceive it. The untrained mind is stupid. Sense impressions come and trick it into happiness, suffering, gladness and sorrow, but the mind’s true nature is none of those things. That gladness or sadness is not the mind, but only a mood coming to deceive us. The untrained mind gets lost and follows these things, it forgets itself. Then we think that it is we who are upset or at ease or whatever.
But really this mind of ours is already unmoving and peaceful… really peaceful! Just like a leaf which is still as long as no wind blows. If a wind comes up the leaf flutters. The fluttering is due to the wind — the “fluttering” is due to those sense impressions; the mind follows them. If it doesn’t follow them, it doesn’t “flutter.” If we know fully the true nature of sense impressions we will be unmoved.
Our practice is simply to see the Original Mind. So we must train the mind to know those sense impressions, and not get lost in them. To make it peaceful. Just this is the aim of all this difficult practice we put ourselves through.” Ajahn Chah, A Taste of Freedom
Upcoming OBS Events
* Mark your calendars for the OBS ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING & SOCIAL on Sunday afternoon January 28th, 2018 *
January 1st – Full Moon
January 5th – Friday Evening Meeting Quaker House with Evelyn Tan 7:30 pm 91A Fourth Ave, Ottawa.
The evening will be led by lay practitioner Evelyn Tan and will begin with a 45-minute guided meditation followed by a recorded ‘dhamma’ talk, Evelyn Tan first learned about Buddhism, mindfulness and vipassana meditation largely through the Ottawa Buddhist Society when she and her family moved to Ottawa some twenty years ago. She facilitated MBCT groups at The Ottawa Hospital Rehabilitation Centre from 2011-2015 and is now in private practice.
January 9th – Waning Moon
January 16th – Ajahn Chah Memorial Day and New Moon
January 19th – Friday Evening Meeting with Bhante Jinanda 7:30 pm at Quaker House, 91A Fourth Ave, Ottawa
Bhante Jinananda is an Ottawa monk at the Hilda Jayewardenaramaya Buddhist Monastery and meditation centre. ‘Bhante J’ has been in North America for over several years and has been a qualified meditation master for decades in Theravada Buddhist tradition.
January 20th – Day of Mindfulness with Bhante Jinanda 8:30 am – 3:30 pm at Tu-An Pagoda , 3591 Albion Road
These days of silent meditation and dhamma reflections are conducted by a visiting monk or nun. The Days of Mindfulness run from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and include periods of sitting meditation, walking meditation, dhamma readings, listening to dhamma talks (from either an invited monastic/nun or else a taped talk chosen by a senior OBS member), occasional discussions.
You are invited to contribute to and share in the potluck vegetarian lunch, served between 11:30 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. Any contribution would be warmly welcomed.
January 24th – Waxing moon
Sunday January 28th – Annual OBS General Meeting and Social at Ottawa South Community Centre, the Old Fire hall 260 Sunnyside Ave. 2:30 – 5 pm. Please bring a tea mug and your favourite sweet or savoury snack to share. All members and friends are warmly welcome to attend.
” After all the AGM business has been taken care of why not take advantage of the chance to meet socially? The social service committee invites everyone to stay afterwards to enjoy some snacks while catching up on each others’ news….Let’s enjoy some tea and cake together and celebrate. ” Ann Waters
January 31st – Second January Full Moon
Online video tribute & recording of LP Sumedho in Sri Lanka 2018
” The Sound of Silence”
Our gratitude to Anoma de Silva for sharing this precious video recording honouring LP Sumedho most recently in Sri Lanka. It also includes his dhamma talk on the Sound of Silence.
Submissions to the OBS newsletter are always welcome. The OBS newsletter team this month included Anoma de Silva, Jeela Jones, Jane Brown and Colleen Glass. Please send submissions for February’s newsletter by February 3rd, 2018 to firstname.lastname@example.org