Since the last blog entry, spring flowers and cow bells around the monastery have come and gone – both of them can now be admired at higher altitudes. The alpine summer sun is burning down on us heavily whenever it gets a chance and like the snow on the surrounding slopes, also our monastery community has melted back: Bhante Sukhacitto left us as planned in May and hopes to spend this year’s “rainy season” (the traditional summer retreat followed by Theravada monastics) with Bhante Anuruddha at the Zürich Buddhist Vihara in Lenzburg; Tan Balado traveled back home to Amaravati, near London, in June. Both of them enjoyed their time in Dhammapala and we were thankful for their company and help over the past year.
On the other hand, Anagarika Lionel, from the Valais, has recently joined us (see photo). Lionel became anagarika in September last year at our sister monastery Santacittarama near Rome and came to us from there in April. It is a great help for us to finally have an anagarika in the monastery again, especially one as hard-working as Lionel! We are very grateful to Ajahn Chandapalo, Santacittarama’s abbot, for making this possible. There are four of us here then for this summer: Ajahns Khemasiri, Abhinando and Kancano – the current regular crew – and Anagarika Lionel, who wants to become samanera in autumn and so, if it happens, will be the first Swiss to join the Sangha here at Dhammapala.
With the improved corona situation, we have relaxed some of our restrictions on visits. This month we held the first meditation course with participants in the monastery since last September, even if only with 12 instead of the usual 27 participants. We hope that the situation will remain relaxed enough, or even relax further, so that we can continue with attendance-courses and maybe soon further loosen whatever restrictions remain in place. You can find out about the current status of our corona regulations, especially for day visits, any time via the banner on the home page.
The zoom transmissions of our Saturday evening Dhamma talks will continue regardless of any corona measures, albeit to a lesser extent (probably two to three times a month), as these have met with a lot of interest from our friends, who often live far away. We have also started to resume our external teaching engagements. Ajahn Khemasiri has just led a course with French translation at the Maison Mudita in Abländschen and Ajahn Abhinando hopes to be able to teach again in Spain in August.
Otherwise, for the rest of the year, we are hoping to have a rather uneventful time. After all the renovation projects last year, culminating in the installation of our new pellet heating system (which is working very well), this year we want to give both ourselves and the monastery finances some rest. So far that has worked out. But this uneventfulness should of course only apply to construction projects; other events, both the courses and our Kathina celebration can hopefully take place as announced in our program. You can always check the current status of scheduled events in our event calendar or on future blog entries here on the website.
Whether for a scheduled event, a stay for a few days or simply a day visit, we hope to see some of you at Dhammapala over the summer or later in the year.
With all good wishes,