This page has the temple's most recent newsletters.
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Visit to Throssel Hole Buddhist Abbey
Rev. Aiden was very pleased to be able to visit Throssel briefly in late August. He was only there overnight, but was able to get a lift there and back, so it was a good opportunity to visit Rev. Master Daishin and the community there.
There have been quite a few improvements to the buildings and grounds over the Summer, and below are some photos of these (tapclick to enlarge).
The main doors to the cloister have been replaced with a very smart double-glazed door, which feels very solid, and the downstairs windows of the rooms beneath the monks' Meditation Hall, including the Novices Common Room, have been replaced with double-glazed units.
There are also some very smart new railings on either side of the Guest Cottage, where there is a drop at the edge of the courtyard, including these ones by the steps to the Abbot's House:
The very tall Leylandii hedges on either side of the garden have been taken down as well, and replaced with a dry stone wall on the side of the drive that leads to the Guest Department. This now matches the wall that was already there behind the hedge on the other side, and which is now visible again from within the garden.
When most of the Throssel grounds were quite open the hedge helped make the garden much more sheltered from the wind, but now that the trees have grown up, this protection isn't needed so much, and the hedge was taking a lot of work to maintain.
Now, when you stand on the drive and look across the garden, you can see the trees in the field beyond, which include pine, beech, alder, hazel and birch.
If you haven't been to Throssel before, a visit is very much recommended. An Introductory Retreat is the best time to go for a first stay, and there are details of these on the Throssel Hole website.
Festival of Great Master Bodhidharma
On Saturday the 9th of September we will be celebrating the Festival of Great Master Bodhidharma. Bodhidharma is an important figure within Zen, as he is credited with bringing the meditation school of Buddhism from India to China. His emphasis on "pure meditation", and the need to spend time "just sitting" facing a wall, are still central to our tradition. This festival is an opportunity to celebrate the life of Bodhidharma and to focus on some of his important teachings.
The day will start at 10am with a meditation period, followed by the ceremony. After the ceremony there will be a Dharma talk, and at about 1pm there will be a bring-and-share vegetarian lunch. In the afternoon there will be two periods of meditation from 2pm, followed by a Dharma discussion and tea. You are welcome to come for any part of the day.
For other events in September, please see the events calendar.
Update on Recent Steering Morning
We had a steering morning at the temple on the 24th of June, and the following is a summary of what we discussed.
We started off with a review of the finances. June and July have been quite quiet the last couple of years, but this year more people seemed to come along at this time, and the income in June was quite a bit higher than last year. Although July was not as good, it was also far better than last year, and pretty good compared with all but the most recent months.
The graph below shows the Net Total Income for the general fund, which includes all income and expenditure except for the Building Fund (tapclick to enlarge). Any surplus on this is the amount which would be available to put towards mortgage repayments, for example (in addition to our current rent payments of £625 per month).
The average net income over the last six months is now over £300 per month, and the average over the last year is approaching that, giving £925 per month towards the mortgage. This is about where we need to be, so that the additional amount needed is small enough that income from prison visiting can cover it.
The Building Fund currently stands at nearly £28,400. Thank you to all those who have kindly offered support for this. Any further donations would also be very much appreciated.
There is much more information, including more graphs, on the finances page of the temple website.
The Triodos Bank have approved our mortgage for up to £200,000, and with the personal loans that have been offered (£58,000), and the Building Fund and our reserves, we would now have enough to manage a purchase price of about £285,000.
We are now waiting for a suitable property to become available. After a slow couple of months, a few more properties are being advertised, and a number of these look quite attractive.
We also discussed what texts we might look at and discuss together at the Dharma Evenings on Wednesdays. It was agreed that it is nice to have a range of different teachings that we consider, including teachers from other Buddhist traditions. We hope to include more texts by contemporary authors and women authors, for example. We may also just look at individual chapters of different books, rather than working through a whole book sequentially. Any suggestions for texts to look at would be very welcome.
Next Steering Morning
The next Steering Morning will be on Saturday the 14th of October. Please do get in touch if you have any questions or comments about any of this, or anything else related to the temple.
Alms Bowl Requests
Thank you to all those who have donated items to the temple. We are very grateful for donations of any household or other items that the temple might be able to use. Please contact Rev. Aiden if you have an item to offer but are not sure whether it would be useful.
Donations of Food
Offering food is a traditional way to support a monk, and any donations of vegetarian food are most welcome. In particular:
- brown rice and pasta
- fresh fruit and vegetables (except garlic or peppers)
- porridge oats
- yoghurt and eggs
- peanuts or other nuts
- nut or seed spreads (e.g. peanut butter, tahini)
Any other suitable items would also be appreciated.
The temple is dependent on donations for its continued existence, and any financial support you are able to offer is greatly appreciated. Details of how to offer support can be found on the Donations page of the website.
Building Fund Update
We have continued to make good progress towards finding a long-term home for the temple, and in early July the Triodos Bank approved our mortgage (of up to £200,000). During June the Building Fund received donations totalling £27,937.50 (including the grant from the Inlight Trust), and at the moment we have sufficient resources (including personal loans that have been offered) to manage a purchase price of about £285,000.Continue reading →
Building Fund Update
There have been a number of developments over the past month, as we continue to work towards finding a long-term home for the temple.
As mentioned in the last newsletter, we had applied for a grant from a charity called the Inlight Trust, and we recently received a cheque from them for £25,000. That was very generous of them, and really helps us towards reaching the amount we would need for a deposit on a property.Continue reading →
Towards a long-term home for the temple
We have been looking for some time for a property to purchase to give the temple a long-term home, and we have now found a property that would suit us very well that is about half a mile from our present location.
We have set up a Building Fund to help raise money towards the purchase, and the temple website now has a Building Fund page, which has more details about the property, including several photos.Continue reading →
Wishing you all a very happy Wesak
We will be celebrating Wesak at the temple next Saturday, the 6th of May. Everyone is cordially invited to come and celebrate the Buddha’s birth with us on this festive day, and you are very welcome to bring family and friends along to see the temple and join in as well.Continue reading →
Day Retreat in Nottingham
Next Saturday, the 1st of April, we will be having a Day Retreat in Nottingham, from 10am to 4pm. Everyone is welcome to this, whether you are from Nottingham, Leicester, or anywhere else in the East Midlands or beyond.
The retreat will be held at the Tiger Boe Centre at 7 Clarendon Street, Nottingham, NG1 5HS.Continue reading →
Festival of the Buddha’s Renunciation
On Saturday the 4th of March we will be celebrating the Festival of the Buddha’s Renunciation. Renunciation, or letting go, lies at the heart of all Buddhist practice, and the story of the Buddha’s Renunciation is a way of conveying the importance of this aspect of training. This festival day will focus on renunciation and letting go, and how we express this within our daily life.Continue reading →
The Festival of Avalokiteshwara
On Saturday the 4th of February we will be celebrating the Festival of Avalokiteshwara, the Bodhisattva of Compassion. The name Avalokiteshwara is Sanskrit (Japanese: Kanzeon, Chinese: Kwan Yin, Tibetan: Chenrezig), and means “The one who hears the cries of the world”. To live with compassion is to hear the cries of suffering within ourselves and within all beings, and to be willing to respond, and the festival day will focus on this centrally important aspect of Buddhist practice.Continue reading →
Events on New Year's Eve
During the daytime on New Year's Eve there will be a New Year's Eve Meditation Retreat from 10am to 4.40pm, which will have the same schedule as the usual Sunday Meditation Day. The turning of the year can be a very good time to reflect on our life and practice, and the temple will be open if you would like to come and sit for any part of the day.Continue reading →
Wishing you all a very merry festive season
and best wishes for 2017.
Thank you all for your support during this past year.Continue reading →
The Festival of the Buddha's Enlightenment
The understanding that the Buddha came to during his enlightenment is the basis for the whole of Buddhist practice, and on Saturday the 3rd of December we will be celebrating the Festival of the Buddha's Enlightenment to mark this important event in the life of the Buddha.Continue reading →
The Festival of Great Master Hōun Jiyu
On Saturday the 5th of November we will be celebrating the Festival of Great Master Hōun Jiyu. Rev. Master Jiyu was the founder of our order, and died on the 6th of November 1996. This festival celebrates her life and teaching, as we commemorate the 20th anniversary of her death.Continue reading →
The Festival of Vimalakirti Bodhisattva
On Saturday the 1st of October we will be celebrating the Festival of Vimalakirti Bodhisattva. Vimalakirti, whose name means "spotless reputation", is the main figure of the Vimalakirti Sutra. He is portrayed as the ideal Buddhist lay practitioner, and is said to have lived at the time of the Buddha. In the scripture he has encounters with each of the Buddha's most senior disciples, and debates with Manjusri Bodhisattva, all of which demonstrate his great wisdom.Continue reading →
The Festival of Great Master Bodhidharma
On Saturday the 3rd of September we will be celebrating the Festival of Great Master Bodhidharma. Bodhidharma is an important figure within Zen, as he is credited with bringing the meditation school of Buddhism from India to China. His emphasis on "pure meditation", and the need to spend time "just sitting" facing a wall, are still central to our tradition. This festival is an opportunity to celebrate the life of Bodhidharma and to focus on some of his important teachings.Continue reading →
Summer at the temple
It has been nice to have some hot sunny weather recently, and the temple garden has certainly benefited from it after all the rain of previous weeks. Here are a few recent photos.
On Saturday the 13th of August we will be celebrating the Festival of Great Master Dōgen. Great Master Dōgen was a thirteenth century Japanese monk. He has a very important place in our tradition, as he brought the Sōtō Zen school of Buddhism from China to Japan. This festival is an opportunity to celebrate his life and teaching.Continue reading →
I'm very pleased to be able to let you know that we have been successful in registering Turning Wheel Buddhist Temple as a charity.
The temple has been operating for about a year and a half now, and the local Sangha has been gradually growing during that time. In the last few months we have been going through the process of registering the temple as its own charity, and on the 28th of June we heard from the Charity Commission that our application has been successful; Turning Wheel Buddhist Temple is now Registered Charity Number 1167910.Continue reading →
We had a glorious day of sunshine for our Wesak Festival on the 7th of May. As well as local Sangha members from Leicester there were six people from Nottingham, as well as Sangha members from Market Harborough, Loughborough, Melton Mowbray, Chesterfield and Sheffield. It was great to have so many visitors from throughout the East Midlands (and beyond).
Our Wesak altar was made beautiful with many different kinds of artifical flowers. All of these had been donated, some last year and some more recently, and we are very grateful to be able to use them.Continue reading →
Recent Retreat Day in Nottingham
We had a very successful day retreat in Nottingham on Saturday the 23rd of April. The retreat was held at the Tiger Boe Centre in Clarendon Street in the centre of Nottingham, and there were 12 people there for the morning session, and 13 in the afternoon.
The venue worked out very well for the retreat, with a large room upstairs to use as a meditation hall, and another room downstairs near to the kitchen where we could have lunch. We also used that space for the talk and discussion in the afternoon.
We haven't had a day retreat in Nottingham for about 18 months, and it was nice to see people from Chesterfield, Leicester and rural Nottinghamshire, as well as from Nottingham itself. Our meditation hall was pretty full, and it was nice to have a good number of voices to recite the scriptures during morning service.Continue reading →
Wishing you all a very happy Wesak
I hope you will be able to join us for our Wesak Celebrations on Saturday the 7th of May,Continue reading →