Good morning friends,

Walking by the lake in the late afternoon, rabbit and I stop, look at each other. She scurries on, and I do same. The angle of the sun’s rays, still warm, pierce each icy wood and above all this, the quick blue sky rolls out into a massive space of clear.

Elsewhere, quietly withdrawn, the Tisarana monks and Sati Saraniya bhikkhunis are now moved into a three month meditation space of solitary retreats. OBS members and friends are signed onto a Sati Saraniya dana roster and a grocery store in Perth accepts charitable donations to help supply the retreat needs at that Hermitage. Also one can click here for information on providing dana food and supply drop-offs which are still possible at Tisarana. ()

During this same period, the OBS welcomes and is grateful to senior lay practitioners Andre Vellino, Evelyn Tan and Philip Jurgens who will be facilitating the regular Friday Evenings at Quaker House and the Days of Mindfulness at the Tu-An Pagoda. Also, the Annual General Meeting and OBS Social will be held on the afternoon of Sunday, January 27th. Please make a note of the upcoming scheduled events below.

Lastly, our congratulations and gratitude to friends who forwarded news of a You Tube video link to the recent dedication of the new stupa at Bodhinyanarama Monastery , Wellington, New Zealand. Luang Por Viradhammo established this monastery in 1985 and the builder of the new stupa, Ajahn Kusalo based his design on the famous Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar. The Bodhinyanarama Monastery web site link above and another general background link provide much context on the history and importance of stupas in the Buddhist tradition.
May this beautiful stupa inspire the complete freedom of the Buddha that comes from the work of investigation.

**

Upcoming OBS Events and New Zealand Stupa Dedication Video

  • Mark your calendars for the OBS ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING & SOCIAL on Sunday afternoon January 27th, 2019 *

January 4th – Friday Evening Meeting at Quaker House with Andre Vellino 7:30 pm 91A Fourth Ave, Ottawa click here for map.

Andre has been a member and past President of the Ottawa Buddhist Society and practiced with many Theravada monastics and lay teachers. Since 2002 he has been a member of the Order of Interbeing and received the Lamp Transmission from Thich Nhat Hanh in 2014. He leads meditation classes at the University of Ottawa Continuing Education Program and Andre is also a co-founder of the University of Ottawa’s Academy for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies.

January 5th – Saturday, a new Moon Partial Solar Eclipse

January 16th – Ajahn Chah Memorial Day

January 18th – Friday Evening Meeting with Evelyn Tan 7:30 pm at Quaker House, 91A Fourth Ave, Ottawa, click here for map.

The evening will be facilitated by lay practitioner Evelyn Tan. 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 Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy groups at The Ottawa Hospital Rehabilitation Centre from 2011-2015 and is now in private practice.

January 19th – Day of Mindfulness with Philip Jurgens 8:30 am – 3:30 pm at Tu-An Pagoda , 3591 Albion Road ~ Map

As the Sangha is on winter retreat from January 1, 2019 until the end of March 2019, the January 19th Day of Mindfulness will be facilitated by lay practitioner Philip Jurgens. 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, taped dhamma talks or a talk by the facilitator exploring aspects of lay practice.

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 21st – Lunar Full Moon Eclipse

Sunday January 27th – OBS Annual General Meeting and Social will be held this year in the Mountain Equipment Co-Op Meeting Room (upstairs) at 366 Richmond Rd, Ottawa, ON K2A 0E8 – MAP Business Meeting 1:30-2:30 followed by an OBS Social until 4 PM

Come and connect with your OBS friends. Please bring a mug and a sweet or savory snack to share. We look forward to seeing you there.
The OBS is powered by the time, talents and gifts of our volunteers. Can you commit to becoming more involved? If you would like to help by driving our monastic teachers, with organizing food dana for our monastic communities, with the newsletter, or in any other way please contact Jane obspresident@ottawabuddhistsociety.com

January 31st – Second January Full Moon

** Video of the Buddhist Stupa Dedication by Ajahn Kusalo

Bodhinyanarama Monastery, Wellington, New Zealand

The 35+ minute video of the dedication incorporates photography from an aerial drone. Click on this link : https://youtu.be/hTQI124YSng

Fern near the new stupa in New Zealand

“If you trust in awareness, you realize that consciousness is a natural state. Consciousness, then is natural and cannot be perverted by anything. And that which is natural – that which is according to the natural law – is what we really mean by ‘dhamma’. We are experiencing consciousness through separate forms. We each experience through ‘this’ body and the kamma of ‘this being here’. If we recognize pure consciousness, we then have perspective on the limitations and conditions of the physical body and the emotional habits we have, the memories we have, and the ‘self’. And we realize consciousness has no personal quality. We create the personal, and consciousness then combines with the sense of being a person. If we let go of ‘the person’, there is just pure consciousness which has no boundaries. And this is immeasurable. “

Ajahn Sumedho, Being Awareness Itself, Don’t Take Your Life Personally

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 1st, 2019 to comms2014@ottawabuddhistsociety.com