Festival of Achalanatha Bodhisattva
On Saturday the 13th of July we will be celebrating the Festival of Achalanatha Bodhisattva. Achalanatha, the "Immovable One", represents commitment and determination in Buddhist practice. Achalanatha is portrayed sitting in meditation amidst the flames of the passions, and is not driven away from the place of meditation by them, however much they seem to burn. Achalanatha holds the Sword of Wisdom to cut through delusion, and offers us the rope of the Buddhist Precepts. To begin with this may seem like it constricts us, but when we look more closely we see that it liberates us.
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 July, please see the events calendar.
Ceremony of the Summer Solstice
and Shared Sangha Meal
On the longest day of the year, Friday the 21st of June, we held our regular quarterly ceremony to recommit ourselves to practice as we mark the turning of the wheel of the year. There were seven of us here to celebrate the occassion, and following the ceremony we enjoyed a shared vegetarian meal together in our kitchen.
The weather wasn't quite warm enough to sit outside, but it was a nice opportunity to use our big kitchen table, now that the kitchen has been rearranged to make more space. The hob, which was mounted in a large peninsula breakfast bar which split the room in two, has now been moved to one side of the room, leaving a large open space in the middle for the table. With an additional extension table, the room accomodated the seven of us with ease, and it was lovely to share each other's company for the evening.
Some photos from the garden
Our work on the garden is beginning to yield some results. The early summer weather has been kinder than last year's drought, and the newly established plants are beginning to come into flower. Below are a couple of pictures.
Update on Recent Steering Morning
On Saturday the 15th of June we had a Steering Morning at the temple. We discussed plans for modifications to the property, and Rev. Aiden also gave an update on the finances.
The graph below shows our core net cash incomings for each month (tapclick to enlarge). This is the difference between our core income (regular donations by standing order and donations in the alms bowl) and our core outgoings (mainly mortgage payments and utility bills). The "trend lines" show the running average over the previous 6 and 12 months, and help show the overall movement within the large month-to-month fluctuations.
Since we started repaying the mortgage in April 2018, the net cash incomings have reduced from a surplus of over £250 per month in March 2018 to a deficit of over £200 per month from April 2018 onwards. This has been improving recently, but we are still a long way from breaking even.
In addition to our regular core income, however, the temple now has an additional source of income, as Rev. Aiden started in March 2018 as a Buddhist Chaplain for an organisation in Leicester, and the temple receives an income from this. Fortunately, with this income we are able to cover our outgoings, but it would be nice to be able to cover the basic running costs of the temple without needing to rely on this. Any help you feel able to give in helping us cover these costs would be very much appreciated.
Regular donations by Standing Order are a great benefit to the temple in helping us to meet the regular outgoings that we have each month. If you would like to support the temple with a regular donation in this way, details are on the donations page of the temple website. We are very grateful for all the many ways in which people support and sustain the temple.
There is much more information about the finances, and many more graphs, on the finances page of the temple website.
The next Steering Morning will be in 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 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.