Our new Priory
All is going well with settling in at the new Priory. The move itself went smoothly and I am very grateful to the people who have helped with all the work that has been needed over the past couple of months. The property is an ideal priory, which couldn’t have been designed much better for the purpose (and it has a good internet connection for our Zoom meetings). Its location is wonderful too, being peaceful and quiet, perfect for meditation and contemplation. The photo below shows the view from the front door of the Priory.
There has, however, been a lot of work to do, as the house had been rather neglected. Various repairs have been required, and there are plumbing, electrical and roofing issues to be sorted. A major problem uncovered by the electrical inspection resulted in the driveway and patio having to be dug up. In addition to all that, Japanese knotweed has been discovered growing by a side wall of the house.
But this is all “behind the scenes” work. There are going to be many challenges during the settling-in period, which is likely to last through the summer, but these can be overcome. The house already feels very much like a priory and the meditation room (see photo below) feels like it has been serving that function for years.
A gardening group has come together to take care of planning and maintaining the Priory’s gardens, which are currently a blank slate. The group usually meets up on a Tuesday afternoon and they are undertaking various jobs, from weeding, mowing and planting to installing gutters and drainpipes for the garage, to feed into water butts (see photo below). If you would like to join in with this, please contact me for more details. It has been a joy to see Sangha members able to work together in person again, creating the environment that will support us in our training over the coming years.
It is certainly a major step forward in the life of our Sangha to now own a property that is our Priory and to be building for the future, after years of renting.
Opening the Priory to visitors
As the country follows the roadmap out of lockdown, up to six people can now meet up indoors. This means that we can have up to five visitors to the Priory for our meetings and other events. So, if you would like to visit the Priory, whether for a scheduled event or to drop in at another time, you are very welcome. For the time being, it would be good if you let me know in advance if you’d like to come along to the Priory in person (so that I can keep an eye on numbers for events).
I’d like to reassure everyone that our Zoom meetings will be continuing as usual, even when people are attending them in person. The plan for the future is that, for all of our events, there will be the options to come along in person or to join online.
I hope that I shall soon be welcoming many of you to the new Priory and seeing you again in person.
A reminder that the Priory has a new phone number: 01603 219464.
Wesak, the Festival of the Buddha’s Birth, will be celebrated next Sunday, 23rd May. You are welcome to join us for this highlight of the Buddhist calendar, either in person or online. There will be a meditation period at 9.45am and the ceremony will begin at 10.30am. This will be followed by a Dharma talk and discussion.
We shall be having a day retreat on Saturday 12th June. As before, there will be a morning session, 10.00am – 1.00pm, then a break for lunch, followed by an afternoon session, 2.00pm – 4.30pm. You are welcome to join for all or part of the day, either in person or online.
The Priory’s annual Summer Party will take place in Chris Yeomans’ garden, in Erpingham, on Sunday 11th July. It will start at midday and continue into the early afternoon. Family are welcome to come along with you. There will be a bring-and-share vegetarian lunch. It is hoped that lifts can be offered from the Priory. For more information, please contact me.
Up-to-date information on all our events can be found on our calendar.
I just offer one big “thank you” to everybody who has played a part in enabling our Sangha to find and settle into a long-term spiritual home.
With best wishes and in gassho,