Another New Year
Dear Friends and Supporters of Vimokkharam,
Happy Chinese New Year to everyone! One of my Ajahns in Thailand was once giving a Dhamma talk and suddenly turned to me and said very forcefully: "If you want to practise, you have to be willing to FACE THE TIGER!"
In traditional Thai symbolism, the year of the Tiger is represented by an unorthodox statue of the Buddha: the Buddha standing on the head of Baka the Brahma, who is kneeling on a giant ox. It commemorates the occasion when the Buddha went to visit Baka, who had come to the conclusion that he was the supreme being in the cosmos. The Buddha was able to humble him and then to teach him the Dhamma...
Tigers are the right animal to humble us, as many Ajahns in our tradition can attest. It seems the year of the Tiger has its claws out already for many people, and I hope this can let us reflect on our own humble situation and to bring as much Dhamma as we can to it.
The main construction of the temple has been mostly completed since before Christmas, but we are still unfortunately in bureaucratic purgatory, trying to obtain some particular documentation to get our occupancy permit. Our project leader is currently untangling all the issues and working to overcome the obstacles, but no particular date can yet be given for when we will get the permit and be allowed to occupy the new building. Meal offerings will have to continue under our makeshift marquees for the time being. Don't worry -- we will let everybody know when we are allowed to use the new building and will not keep it a secret!
We are coming up to the first Saturday of the month, and so we will look to have our regular garden working bee here tomorrow, Saturday February 5th, from 11am - 1pm. We hope to be able to re-clear our forest path and make it inviting for people to get into the forest for walks again. Anyone is welcome to join, for all or for part of the time, as well as to join in the communal meal offering at 10am.
We will also re-convene our regular Sunday afternoon chanting and meditation sessions starting this Sunday February 6th, from 4-6pm.
Very best wishes,