Good afternoon friends and members of the OBS,
The sun is now on its return path meanwhile the longer winter nights and stormy weather have provided us with time for dhamma study, not unlike the nuns and monks on winter retreat near Perth.
Ajahn Passano’s podcast at the end of this newsletter quietly encourages ‘virtuous practitioners’ to not move away from dukkha, the uncomfortable experiences that we all have. Rather he suggests we follow the advice of Ajahn Chan ‘to be patient, be willing to stick with the practice, to endure the experiences that are uncomfortable’. Within that patience is ‘the aspiration, the seed for freedom, resolution, liberation, discernment.’ Awakening to the way things are is the doorway to liberation.
Ajahn Sumedho put this in another way in his transcribed dhamma talk titled Refuge in Awareness. He said ” pārutā tesaṁ amatassa dvārā ye sotavantā pamuñcantu saddhaṁ ” (Mahāpadāna Sutta, Dīgha Nikāya 14). After his enlightenment the Buddha said, ‘The gates to the Deathless are open.’ So the gates to the Deathless are open. What are the gates to the Deathless then? Are they over there? Have they closed, because they are not open anymore? ‘Ye sotavantā pamuñcantu saddhaṁ ,’ one who listens; sota, (it) is always about the listening, hearing. Trust in this; pamuñcantu saddhaṁ is translated generally as faith, trust, paying attention, listening. It’s then no longer just some inspired statement in the scripture anymore – you recognize the gate to the Deathless, here and now, the awareness. “The Sound of Silence, Ajahn Sumedho
A SUMMARY of Upcoming Events and Podcast
Friday, March 4th – Evening Meditation with Bhante Vijitha −7:30 pm at Quaker House, 91A Fourth Ave, in the Glebe
Venerable Krinde Vijitha Thero was born in April 25, 1986 at Kirinda, Matara, Sri lanka. He received his ordination at the age of 11 in 1997. After having completed his typical monastic education diligently, he received his higher ordination in 2006. Rev. Vijitha completed the Royal Pandith Degree which is equivalent to the final degree examination of any recognized university in Sri Lanka. He also holds a postgraduate diploma in Buddhist studies from the University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka which he received in 2009. Currently, he is a resident teacher at the Hilda Jayewardenaramaya Buddhist Monastery in Ottawa.
All are welcome to join in the periods of mindfulness practice and dhamma instruction.
Tuesday March 8th – New Moon, always a good time to become a member or renew your OBS membership.
Saturday, March 12th – Noble Eightfold Path Exploration Group, with Hoa Nguyen, 2 – 4 pm Room 3, First Unitarian Congregation of Ottawa, 30 Cleary Ave.
Wednesday, March 15th – Waxing Half Moon
Friday, March 18th – Evening Meditation with Randy Baker −7:30 pm at Quaker House, 91A Fourth Ave, in the Glebe
FREEING the HEART-MIND
A meditation master once said that practice is about “melting the frozen block of emotion-thought.” In fact, we’re often unaware of how constricted our minds, hearts, and senses are, and of the capacity for unlimited freedom to be found within our own human body-mind. During this weekend, as Ottawa’s winter continues to melt way, Randy will guide us in developing ways to “unbind” our lives at the deepest levels.
Randy Baker began practicing Zen meditation in 1977 as a student of Roshi Philip Kapleau. His Zen training included 10 years on staff at the Rochester Zen Center. After practicing Zen for 20 years, Randy took up the practice of Vipassana. He has since worked with a number of well known Western Vipassana teachers. Today, Randy offers a clear and direct approach to the meditation practices of Mindfulness and Loving-kindness.
* In Thailand a new Buddha image for the proposed meditation hall at Tisarana will be cast in bronze on the 19th of March at the factory in Nakhon Pathom north of Bangkok.
The casting of a large Buddha (this image will occupy the main meditation space at Tisarana) is an auspicious occasion. There will be an elaborate ceremony to which we have invited 20 senior monks from the Ajahn Chah tradition in Thailand. If anyone plans to be in Thailand at that time and wishes to participate in the ceremony please let me know so I can give you directions to get to the casting factory. I have never pe
Saturday March 19th – an OBS Day of Mindfulness also with Randy Baker – 8:30 am to 3:30 pm at Tu-An Pagoda (Vietnamese Buddhist Temple), 3591 Albion Road Ottawa, ON K1T 2V1
All are welcome to join in the periods of mindfulness practice and dhamma instruction. Potluck lunch.
** Remember to please bring a food donation if you are coming to either Quaker House or the DoM at the Tu-An Pagoda* All contributions support the sangha through the Winter Chapter of the OBS Dana Offering Program for Tisarana
Tuesday March 23rd – Full Moon
Friday March 25th – Good Friday
Thursday, March 31st – Waning Half Moon
Friday, April 1st – Evening Meditation with Luang Por Viradhammo−7:30 pm at Quaker House, 91A Fourth Ave, in the Glebe
Ajahn Virahadhammo 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.
Awakening to Reality Ajahn Pasanno reminds us …that the Buddha directed the virtuous practioner …to keep returning patiently to an exploration of the three characteristics – aniccā,( impermanence) dukkhā, (stress/suffering) and anattā (non-self) – in relation to our ordinary experiences of body and mind as we continue on this path of shaking off delusion and awakening to reality. This talk was offered on February 20, 2016 at Abhayagiri Buddhist Monastery.
(Submissions to the next OBS Newsletter are always welcome. Please send submissions by April 2, 2016 to Colleen Glass, OBS Communications Secretary firstname.lastname@example.org )