Thursday the 14th of July will be the first day of vassa (rains retreat), a period of approx. three months during which monastics make a commitment to stay put in one place. As is usual at Amaravati, the resident community will start this period with an initial week of formal retreat comprising of several periods of sitting and walking meditation each day (the public is welcome to join the sittings, but please be mindful that residents are encouraged to observe Noble Silence during such periods.)
Also customary at Amaravati during the vassa are the Sunday Talks, which will resume in person and take place each Sunday at 2pm in the Temple, beginning on Sunday the 17th of July. Please note that the live streams we sometimes offered during the pandemic will be discontinued, although recordings of these talks might be made available later. The programme of the talks will be defined beforehand and shared when ready.
The day before entering the vassa, Wednesday the 13th, will be Āsāḷha Pūjā (the full moon of the month of Āsāḷha, or July), traditionally celebrating the day on which the Buddha gave his first discourse, the Dhammaccakappavattana Sutta. In addition to our ususal uposatha proceedings (8 precepts and Dhamma talk) we will perform a circumambulation of the stupa-mound in the field after the talk. As always, all are welcome to attend.
The resident community, and seemingly, most regular visitors, have well adjusted to our new daily routine in the retreat centre. The demolition of the previous sala has been delayed for a few months, but we still expect to be in the current setting – using the retreat centre’s facilities – for the next two to three years.
On another note, and as many of you are already aware, Luang Por Sumedho is presently travelling in North America and is expected to spend the vassa with Ajahn Jayanto and Ajahn Anando at Temple Forest Monastery in New Hampshire. We expect Luang Por to be back at Amaravati in late November. Thanks to his attendant, Ajahn Asoko, we will keep posting Luang Por’s talks abroad on our regular audio feeds (Spotify, Apple & Google.)
On the IT front, we have upgraded our ebooks library to a newer version which will hopefully prove to be clearer and easier to use, and which also offers a new Search feature which enables users to search inside our Dhamma books. If you are unsure of where you read about something, or if you wish to deepen your Dhamma study, this tool might prove helpful.
With best wishes,
The community at Amaravati