Celebrating 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 1st of December we will be celebrating the Festival of the Buddha's Enlightenment to mark this important event in the life of the Buddha.
In the story of the enlightenment, the Buddha had spent many years following ascetic practices in his search for the truth. Close to death as a result of these hardships, he realised that this was not the way, and after eating a meal decided to sit in meditation as he had done naturally as a child. As he sat in meditation, many thoughts, feelings and memories arose which could have distracted him from his purpose, but the Buddha continued to sit. This is described as the Buddha being "attacked by the Armies of Mara", and the Dharma Talk will focus on this aspect of the Enlightenment story. As the morning star arose he gained a deep insight into the nature of existence. This insight is central to the teaching and practice of Buddhism.
We hope you will be able to join us as we celebrate this joyful highlight of the Buddhist calendar.
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 December, please see the events calendar.
A New, Old Gong
In early November, James Gore-Langton from the Huddersfield group visited the temple for a couple of days, and brought with him a beautiful Japanese gong with a long and varied history. The Huddersfield group meet at a Friends Meeting House in Wooldale, and a member of the Quaker congregation there had rescued the gong from neglect - it had apparently even been used as a coal scuttle at some point!
The gong was restored, and given a stand and a lovely oak striker, and was kept at the Meeting House. The gentleman who rescued it died a few years ago, and the Quaker meeting were wanting to make a bit more space, and asked James if he knew of anyone who could make use of it. James mentioned this at the Regional Sangha meeting in Leeds in July, and Rev. Aiden expressed interest in giving it a home at Turning Wheel Buddhist Temple.
The gong is a very similar design to the one in the Ceremony Hall at Throssel, and is about a foot in diameter. It was apparently made in 1805, and has an inscription around the rim, which we are yet to have translated. It has a very beautiful tone, and we are very grateful to receive such a wonderful donation.
Whilst James was visiting we (re-)dedicated the gong to Buddhist practice, and as part of the dedication we offered our gratitude to all those, known and unknown, who were part of the chain of events that has led to this beautiful gong finding a home at our temple.
Memorial for those who died in
the helicopter crash in Leicester
You will probably have heard about the helicopter crash at the football stadium in Leicester in late October. Five people died in this accident, including the owner of Leicester City football club. The accident has had a major impact on people in the city, and it seemed appropriate to hold a memorial ceremony for all those who lost their lives. We held the memorial at our next meeting, and a photo of the memorial altar, with images of those who died, is below.
A member of the local lay Sangha also left a message of condolence, including a nice Buddha image, at the stadium on our behalf, and contributed to the online Book of Condolences
An October Wedding
On the 13th of October Rev. Alicia and I took part in the wedding of John Ferris and Gerda Kuklik at St. Peter's Church in Nottingham. John is a longstanding member of the Nottingham Group, and he and Gerda were married by Rev. Christopher Harrison, the vicar of St. Peter's. Rev. Alicia and I offering a Buddhist blessing, including reciting the Scripture of Great Wisdom, and a sung blessing was given by a Lutheran minister, the Rev. Paulina Hlawiczka, as Gerda was brought up in that tradition.
A number of members of the Nottingham group came to the ceremony, which definitely helped with the singing of the scripture. Following the ceremony some of us joined John and Gerda, and several dozen other guests, for the reception in Beeston. We wish John and Gerda every happiness as they embark on their married life together.
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:
- porridge oats
- peanut butter
- peanuts or other nuts
- fresh fruit and vegetables (except garlic or peppers)
- dried herbs
- yoghurt and eggs
- brown rice and pasta
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.