There will be another Basic Buddhism Course at the Priory this autumn, on Tuesday evenings, from 8th October to 19th November. On 8th October, there will be an introduction to zazen and Zen practice, while the subsequent meetings will follow the usual format of our Basic Buddhism Evenings and will cover some fundamental Buddhist topics. To make a booking, or for more details, please contact the Priory.
The Priory will be closed 19th – 29th July (inclusive), except for the Tuesday (23rd) and the Wednesday (24th), when it will be open from 7.30pm, for people to meet together to meditate and then listen to a recorded Dharma talk.
On 5th May, we celebrated Wesak, the Festival of the Buddha’s Birth. Several people came along to meditate and take part in the ceremony, which was a joyful Sangha occasion. A Dharma talk and discussion afterwards focussed on Wesak as an opportunity to express our gratitude for the practice that has come down to us from the Buddha. The photo below was taken after the ceremony.
In mid-May, we heard of the death of Ralph Ostler, a member of the Cambridge Sangha. Ralph was 95 when he died and he had been attending group meetings until a couple of years before. He inspired us all by his determination to make the 20-mile journey from his home to the meetings by public transport, as well as even longer journeys to attend day retreats at Wymondham and the first anniversary celebration of the Priory in Norwich. Ralph’s crematorium service included a Buddhist contribution from Cambridge Sangha members. At the Priory, several of the Norwich Sangha came along to attend a ceremony marking Ralph’s passing and to meditate together. When I next visited the Cambridge group, on 25th June, we held a memorial ceremony for Ralph at the start of the group meeting and later shared our memories of him as we had tea.
Our Summer Party in Erpingham on 30th June was a very enjoyable event. The tranquil North Norfolk setting, the beautiful gardens and orchard, the pleasant weather and a bring-and-share lunch enabled us to be together as a Sangha in a relaxed and informal way. A large and delicious vegan birthday cake (plus candles) made the gathering even more special. Thank you to all who contributed to the success of the day, by offering their hospitality, good food and lifts from the Priory. Some photos are posted below.
Garden Buddha statue
The Priory now has a lovely stone Buddha statue in its garden, a gift from the Sangha. Thank you very much to everyone who contributed to it. The Buddha has been positioned so that he is clearly visible to everybody leaving the house, while being shielded from the road. He is already a serene presence in the garden and he will undoubtedly become a much-loved feature of the Priory. We are currently deciding whether to have a canopy of some sort arranged over him.
I am very grateful to those who are ensuring that the garden is well cared for over the summer. Thanks also to those who are helping with various household tasks, including some wood-working projects.
With best wishes and in gassho,