Settling into the Priory
The process of settling into the new Priory continues to go well, although there is still much work needed to get done all the repairs and improvements needed on the property. In early August, the electricians are doing their extensive work throughout the house and in the following week the roofers will be carrying out various tasks, including replacing the flat roof. The Japanese knotweed found on the property has been given the first of several treatments that will be required over the next few years.
Besides these major projects, there are various ongoing DIY and maintenance jobs that are being addressed. One of these jobs that has been completed beautifully is the founder’s shrine in the corner of the meditation room.
The garden group continues to meet every Tuesday afternoon and the results of their great work is now showing in a variety of colourful flowers that have sprung up.
There is an opportunity for people to make donations specifically for improving the garden or contributing towards any large purchases that the Priory may require, through the Gratitude Fund. Donations can be made to the Priory’s bank account (for details, please contact the Priory), giving ‘Gratitude Fund’ as the reference. For the time being, donations to this fund will go towards buying some rose bushes and other plants for the garden.
Attending the Priory
The life of the Priory has continued, despite all the work that is going on to improve the functioning of the building. It has been quite wonderful to be able to welcome people to meditate and join events in person.
Now that lockdown restrictions have been lifted, people can come along to the Priory to attend meetings. However, due to the high level of coronavirus infections still prevalent, a limit of six people at a time is being kept on events, so anyone wishing to attend is asked to check with me in advance.
We continue to share our meetings online via Zoom, so that all meetings can be accessed either in person or online, and the plan is that this will go on indefinitely.
It has been a great pleasure to have several monks visit the Priory from Throssel Hole Buddhist Abbey in recent weeks. Rev. Kojo and Rev. Sanshin had a short stay in June and then Rev. Master Daishin (with his dog, Meg) visited for a couple of hours shortly afterwards. In July, Rev. Alina stayed for a few days and Rev. Master Leandra came by for lunch. It has been lovely to have their company and to show them the Priory and experience their positive reaction to what is unfolding here. One photo below shows Rev. Kojo and Rev. Sanshin, while the other shows Rev. Alina, by the main altar in the meditation room.
In July, a Sangha member who was doing Throssel’s online sesshin made use of the Priory’s facilities to do the retreat, as it wouldn’t have been easy for them to follow the retreat at home. This arrangement worked very well and it was good to be able to able to offer this service.
It was lovely to hold a Summer Party again this year, having had to forego it in 2020 due to the pandemic. The party took place in the glorious garden of a Sangha member in Erpingham, in North Norfolk. On a pleasantly warm afternoon, we enjoyed the tranquil setting, each other’s company and a delicious bring-and-share lunch. This was the largest gathering of the Sangha after many months of lockdown and so it was particularly valued.
On 22nd August, a lay ordination ceremony will take place for one of our Sangha. People are welcome to join us for that, either in person (but please contact me first) or online.
Our next day retreat will be on Saturday 2nd October and this too can be attended either at the Priory or online.
There will be a Basic Buddhism Course this autumn, for people to attend either at the Priory or online, on Tuesday evenings (5th, 12th and 26th October, as well as 2nd – 30th November). On 5th 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. For more information, please contact the Priory.
Details of all our events can be found on our calendar.
I am very grateful to everyone who continues to support the Priory and its Prior in all sorts of ways, especially with the ongoing work of keeping the house and garden clean, tidy and well-maintained.
With best wishes and in gassho,