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.
The festival and the Dharma talk will focus on the teaching of Vimalakirti, and in particular chapters six and seven of the Vimalakirti Sutra.
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 October, please see the events calendar.
Over the Summer we have continued to work on the garden, and in particular staining and repairing the fences and the shed. Below is a before-and-after picture of the back garden; the upper picture was taken in mid-June, and the lower one at the beginning of October. The grass has now mostly grown back to how it was before the long dry period.
The recent strong winds have brought down a lot of leaves from the mature trees in the adjacent park, and as they fall we are gradually getting a bit more sunlight coming through to the property. It has been very nice to be shaded over the Summer, but a little more sun as the days shorten is very welcome.
A few weeks ago we had a steering morning at the temple, and these were the main things that we discussed:
Our finances changed quite a bit when we started making mortgage repayments in April. Basically, we are just about managing to pay the monthly mortgage payments and other necessary bills from our core income.
In April and July we made it by just a few pounds, and the graph below shows "cash income minus cash outgoings" for each month.
Thank you to everyone who so generously supports the temple. Any additional help in covering these costs would be most welcome, for example by setting up Regular Donations via Standing Order.
The finances page of the temple website has been updated with the latest figures, and there are lots of additional graphs there to help interpret them.
We discussed some proposed building modifications and had a look at the various areas of the property affected by these.
Our main aim is to provide access to different areas of the property without the need to go through the Meditation Hall. The main modifications which we are considering are to build a porch outside the front door in order to allow access to the kitchen through the current downstairs shower room, and to change the direction of the staircase to allow access to the first floor from the entrance hall.
The trustees had also recently discussed these at the trustees' meeting, where there was general support for the modifications proposed. I will draw up some plans and circulate them, and then we will need to investigate whether we need to apply for planning permission for the proposed changes.
Next Steering Morning
The next steering morning will be in November or December. Please let me know if you have any questions about these areas, or any other aspect of 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.