Invitation to Wesak:
The Festival of the Buddha's Birth
We will be celebrating Wesak at the temple on Saturday the 11th 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.
Rev. Alicia from Sitting Buddha Hermitage will be joining us, and will be the celebrant for the festival, as we celebrate this highlight of the Buddhist year.
The day will start at 10am, with tea and biscuits available as people arrive. This will give an opportunity for people to meet, and for those visiting for the first time to have a look around the temple before the ceremony starts.
At 10.45am we will have a short ceremony rehearsal, and at 11am we will have the Festival Ceremony. This will be followed by a Dharma talk, and then a bring-and-share vegetarian feast. There won’t be any specific events scheduled in the afternoon; you are welcome to stay for as long as you would like, and this will be a good opportunity to socialise and meet other members of the Sangha. The day will end at 4pm, and you are welcome to come for any part of it.
We hope you will be able to join us for this joyful celebration.
The Festival of Manjusri Bodhisattva
On Saturday the 6th of April we will be celebrating the Festival of Manjusri Bodhisattva. Manjusri is the Bodhisattva of Wisdom, usually portrayed holding the Sword of Wisdom that cuts through delusion, and riding “the Beast of Self which never sleeps”. Are we Manjusri or are we the beast? It may seem like we are divided between a good side and a bad side, between clarity and confusion, but we gradually come to see that Manjusri and the beast are not two different things.
When we come to understand the true nature of “self”, we see that the “beast” is what carries and supports Manjusri – and us. The wisdom which Manjusri embodies is not intellectual or conceptual wisdom, but the ability to see ourselves and the whole of existence with clarity. When we see clearly, we understand that we must act in the world in a way that is rooted in compassion for all beings.
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 April, please see the events calendar.
Induction of the new Abbot
at Throssel Hole Buddhist Abbey
Several Sangha members from the East Midlands travelled up to Throssel Hole Buddhist Abbey in Northumberland in mid-March for the Induction Ceremonies for the new Abbot, Rev. Master Leandra. About 90 people were there for the Induction Ceremony, which started with a procession from the bottom of the hill up to the gate to the temple. Rev. Master Leandra offered incense and recited some verses there, and then the procession continued to the Ceremony Hall. There the new abbot offered incense at each of the altars, and we all recited together The Scripture on the Immeasurable Life of the Tathagata.
Following the ceremony there was tea and cake, and we presented Rev. Master Leandra and Rev. Master Daishin each with a card and a gift from the East Midlands Sangha.
Here are a few photos of the day:
There are more details of the ceremonies in the March edition of the Throssel Newsletter (which at the time of writing has not yet been put on their website), and many more photos, plus a short video, in the picture gallery section of the Throssel website.
House Blessing in Nottingham
At the end of March we had a House Blessing Ceremony at Ruth's new house in Redhill, Nottingham. A house blessing expresses our intention that the property be a place of practice, our wish for the well-being of all who dwell there, and that all beings may be able to realise the truth.
The house is given a certificate with our Dharma lineage, to which its name has been added, and we then process through all the rooms carrying incense. We wish that the Buddha's teaching may permeate all parts of the house, just as the incense does. We were very lucky with the weather, which meant that we could include the outside spaces in our procession as well. Below are a couple of photos of the ceremony.
Several members of the Nottingham group came for the occasion, and quite a few of Ruth's new neighbours came along as well, which was very nice.
The ceremony was followed by a shared vegetarian lunch, and it was nice to sit in the garden in the warm sun for that.
Thank you to all those who helped to make the day a success, and we wish Ruth well in her new home.
Our Spring bulbs have continued to appear in the garden, with the crocuses joined by narcissi and hyacinths. The shrubs and other plants are starting to come into leaf and flower as well.
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 all donations of vegetarian food are most welcome. In particular:
- brown rice and pasta
- porridge oats
- peanut butter
- peanuts or other nuts
- fresh fruit and vegetables (except garlic or peppers)
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.