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Best wishes for 2023

2022 has been a challenging year for many of us, a time of uncertainty and anxiety. As a new year begins, more than ever we can be grateful for our Soto Zen practice. Grounding ourselves in meditation and the Precepts, gives us the opportunity to find stillness and openness in the midst of the confusion of events and circumstances. How fortunate we are to be able to train together. Thank you to everybody who supports the Priory and makes their contribution to the jewel of the Sangha. Whatever 2023 brings, may we use it as a means to strengthen the roots of our lotus flower. 

Forthcoming events

There will be a day retreat on Saturday 28th January. It will consist of a morning session, 10.00am – 1.00pm, and an afternoon session, 2.00pm – 4.30pm. You are welcome to join for all or part of the day, either in person or online (please contact me if you would like to attend in person). More details and the full schedule can be found on our calendar.

Change to schedule

We have decided to streamline our schedule of evening events and there will no longer be Basic Buddhism Evenings on Tuesdays. Newcomers to our practice are encouraged to attend the Evening Meetings on Thursdays (7pm – 9pm). The Dharma Evenings on Wednesdays (which are intended more for people who are familiar with our practice) will be continuing as normal (7.30pm – 9.30pm). 

Recent events

We celebrated the Priory’s ninth anniversary on 6th November. It was lovely to have our meditation room filled with people (as can be seen from the photo below). The focus of the morning was a ceremony to express our gratitude for the life and teaching of Rev. Master Jiyu-Kennett, the 26th anniversary of whose death it was that day. 

The Festival of the Buddha’s Enlightenment was held on 4th December and was another joyful occasion. The photos below were taken after the ceremony. 

In mid-December, several of us enjoyed our traditional Christmas meal at the River Green Restaurant. It was a welcome opportunity to have an informal get-together in a very pleasant setting with top-quality food. 

On New Year’s Eve, we had an evening of meditation and then marked the passing of one year to the next with the New Year Ceremony. This was an opportunity to express our gratitude for being able to train during the past year and our commitment to continue practising in the coming year. On the following day, we had a Renewing the Precepts Ceremony. As a new year began, it was good to reaffirm our wish to base our lives in meditation and the Precepts. 

With best wishes and in gassho,

Reverend Leoma

Sunrise mid-December, seen from the Priory’s front garden