It lies in the nature of the monastic annual rhythm, that there exists an alternating interchange between times of seclusion and stillness and times of activity and physical movements. The timespan between our winter retreat and the so called rainy season (vassa) – normally between April and the full moon of July – witnesses quite a number of physical movements within the monastic community and often is also the time when monks go on contemplative wanderings (Tudong). But this year the Dhammapala Sangha had to reconstellate itself during the early summer after the departures of Ajahn Thanissaro and Bhikkhu Sambodhi in May. With the arrival of Ajahn Abhinando and Venerable Anejo in June/July, the resident Sangha appeared in a completely new shape. Besides that a few travel commitments of the resident Sangha also had to be followed up, as well as vice versa quite a number of much appreciated monks and nuns visited Dhammapala during this time.
A special event took place at the monastery on the fullmoon day of July (Asalha Puja), when a young Swiss man committed himself within the context of a beautifully simple ceremony to the life of an Anagarika. Through that he became a member of the resident monastic community. It is noteworthy that it has been quite a long time since a Swiss man last formally took the eight precepts and moved from home into homelessness at Dhammapala. The encourgagement and inspiration, which was offered in the form of a Dhamma talk by our guest Ajahn Sucitto to the new Anagarika Thomas, was intended to enrich and support his future monastic life and make it sustainable too (the talk can be listened to on our Audio page under the title: Commitment to a spacious life).
On the following day the resident Sangha (four bhikkhus and one Anagarika) formally entered the Rains-Retreat, within which every community member commits himself to stay within the boundaries of the monastery for the following three months, and to reduce any travel activity and other absences to an absolute minimum.
Our special guest Ajahn Sucitto also joined us for the first month of the Rains-Retreat and continued to delight us with his benevolent presence. On the day following the fullmoon of August he will then use the second option of entering the „Rains“ at Chithurst Monastery (Cittaviveka) in England.