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Festival of Founders Day
On Saturday the 3rd of November we will be celebrating the Festival of Founders Day. This festival is an opportunity to offer our gratitude for the life and practice of all those who have practised Buddhism, from the far distant past to the present day. In particular we celebrate those in our own lineage who have passed on the teaching from generation to generation for over 2500 years, and are the founders of this temple. These include Rev. Master Jiyu (the founder of our order), her master Koho Zenji, Great Master Dōgen(1200-1253) and Great Master Keizan (1268-1325).
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 November, please see the events calendar.
Day Retreat with Memorials
On Saturday the 17th of November we have a day retreat at the temple, and as part of that we will have a memorial service for three long-standing lay Sangha members who died earlier this year.
Brenda Birchenough was a long-serving lay minister and regular visitor to Throssel Hole. Brenda helped many people by supporting local meditation groups in the Lancaster and Preston areas from the late 1970s, and her straightforward, friendly and compassionate nature will be remembered with great fondness by those who met her. She died on 12th July, and her funeral was held in Lancaster with Rev. Master Mugo as celebrant.
Vajira Bailey started the Birmingham Zen Meditation Group, and over many years she gave much support to the Buddhist community in the area. In 1967 she became the Chairman of the Birmingham Buddhist Society and invited Rev. Master Jiyu to come to Birmingham to lead a weekend retreat. She later took Jukai at Shasta Abbey. She also offered her house to Ven. Dr. Rewata Dhamma (a Theravadin monk) until he found his own premises. She died on 8th August, and her funeral took place on Thursday 23rd August with Rev. Master Mugo as celebrant, followed by a memorial service at the Pagoda of the Buddhist Vihara in central Birmingham.
Pat Oldham had been active as a lay minister for many years, helping to run the Harrogate Meditation Group and later was a member of the Leeds group. Due to declining health, she decided to step away from being a lay minister about ten years ago. She died on Thursday 6th September, and late the previous evening members of the Leeds Meditation Group visited and recited scriptures and sat with her. Her funeral and cremation were held on Friday 21st September.
During our Day Retreat, the memorial service will be at about 10.30am, after the first meditation period, and everyone is welcome to come and join us as we say farewell to Brenda, Vajira and Pat, and offer our gratitude for their life of practice.
The garden looked quite bare when we moved in last March, as it had virtually no spring bulbs. In the last few weeks we have now planted a lot around the garden, including crocuses in the lawn, and daffodils, tulips and hyacinths in the borders. We planted just over a hundred bulbs during one of our work mornings, so hopefully things will be a bit more colourful next Spring.
The drifts of leaves falling from the trees in the neighbouring park continue. The parking area at the from of the temple needs clearing almost every day at the moment. We now have some leaf grabbers and rakes to make the job a bit easier, and also an electric blower/vac for when a major clear-up is needed after a few days of stormy weather.
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.
Forthcoming Events: Festival of Vimalakirti Bodhisattva
This coming Saturday, the 6th 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.
Visit from Rev. Master Haryo, the Head of the OBC
It was lovely to welcome Rev. Master Haryo to the temple over the August Bank Holiday weekend. Rev. Master Haryo is usually resident at Shasta Abbey in California, but is currently visiting the UK, and is spending several weeks visiting a number of temples both in the UK and in the Netherlands.
Visit from Rev. Master Haryo, the Head of the OBC
Rev. Master Haryo, who is the head of our order, will be visiting the temple over the August Bank Holiday weekend, from Friday the 24th to Monday the 27th of August. Rev. Master Haryo is usually resident at Shasta Abbey in California, but is currently visiting the UK, and will be spending several weeks visiting a number of temples both in the UK and in the Netherlands.
Forthcoming Events: Festival of Achalanatha Bodhisattva
This coming Saturday, the 7th 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.
The Temple is Now Fully Open
You may remember from the April newsletter that shortly before the property purchase was completed, our mortgage provider had questioned whether we were allowed to function as a Buddhist Temple with the current residential use class that the new property has. They had asked us to check this with the council, and not to use the property as a Buddhist Temple in the meantime.
We are very happy to be able to let you know that this situation has now been resolved.
Setting up the New Property
There has been a lot to do to get the new property sorted out and organised after the busy week of moving in early March. There are still lots of boxes to unpack, but items are gradually being moved to the rooms that they need to end up in. Most of the things that need to go into attic storage, at least for the time being, have now been moved to the attic, freeing up space in other locations. There are still quite a few pieces of furniture in the garage, as well as other items, which are yet to be moved into place.
The New Temple Property
We are pleased to be able to let you know that we have now moved to the new property in Chadderton Close, and thank you to all those who helped us make the move from Lamborne Road. The property purchase was completed on Friday the 9th of March, and on Saturday the 10th about ten people kindly came along to help at various times during the morning, with quite a few vehicles.
A New Home for the Temple
We are very pleased to be able to let you know that we now have a date to move to the new property that we are purchasing, which is pictured above. The legal issue that was holding up the purchase was finally resolved in early February, and we have just heard that the completion date will be the 9th of March.
So after quite a delay we are now able to start planning for the move. The temple will be closed for a week or so whilst we move everything, and quite a few people have kindly offered help with vehicles and their time.Continue reading →
Festival of Avalokiteshwara Bodhisattva
On Saturday the 3rd 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.
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.
Then in the evening we will have the traditional New Year’s Eve Ceremony, starting with meditation at 7.30pm.Continue reading →
Wishing you all a very merry festive season and best wishes for 2018.
Thank you all for your support during this past year, which is very much appreciated.
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 2nd 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 →
Property Purchase Update
The process of buying the property in Chadderton Close has been continuing over recent weeks. Last week the survey was carried out, which went fine. There are always some minor items that are highlighted as needing attention, but overall the surveyor was very complimentary about the property, and was happy to value it at the price that we had agreed with the vendor, which is good news.Continue reading →
Property Search Update
We are pleased to be able to let you know that we have had an offer accepted on a property in Chadderton Close, pictured above. It is just down the hill from where we are at the moment, and is a modern detached house with a substantial extension. It was on the market for £310,000, and the vendor has accepted an offer of £295,000.Continue reading →
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.Continue reading →
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 →