The Norwich Priory has been operating a reduced schedule since early August. This is because illness in my family has meant that I’ve been making frequent visits to London, sometimes at very short notice. It is hoped that the schedule will be returning to normal in the near future. Our calendar is kept up-to-date and it’s always a good idea to check it before coming along to an event.
Rev. Master Haryo, the Head of the Order of Buddhist Contemplatives, and Rev. Elinore will be visiting the Priory from Monday 30th October until Saturday 4th November. The evening of Wednesday 1st November will be the main opportunity for the Sangha to meet up with Rev. Master Haryo. The evening will begin at 7.00pm and will probably continue until about 9.30pm. Initially, there will be an opportunity to chat informally over tea and cakes. This will be followed by a Dharma talk/discussion and a chance to ask questions. If you’re not able to get here for 7.00pm, you can still come along whenever you’re able to make it. The Dharma discussion will probably begin around 7.45pm or 8.00pm and this part of the meeting will be shared online. Anyone who has had an introduction to the Priory or is familiar with our practice is welcome to join us, even if you don’t usually come to the Wednesday Dharma Evenings. The Evening Meeting on the following day, the 2nd, will follow the usual format of Evening Service, meditation and Dharma talk/discussion. However, the Priory will be open a little earlier than usual, at 6.15pm, so that people have a chance to chat with Rev. Master Haryo beforehand. He may possibly join us for the Dharma discussion later. Please let me know in advance if you’d like to come along on either of these evenings, as we may need to put a limit on numbers attending.
We’ll be celebrating the Priory’s tenth anniversary on Sunday 5th November. The morning will centre around a Festival Memorial for Rev. Master Jiyu, the founder of the Order of Buddhist Contemplatives, at 10.30am. Before that, there will be a meditation period, beginning at 9.45am, plus a short rehearsal for the ceremony. After the ceremony, we’ll have a Dharma talk and discussion. You’re welcome to attend in person (please let me know if you’d like to do this) or online.
A Day Retreat has been scheduled for Saturday 2nd December. It will run from 10.00am to 4.30pm, with a lunch break 1.00pm – 2.00pm, and you are welcome to join for all or part of the day. You will need to bring a packed lunch if you’re planning to attend for the whole day. Please let me know if you’d like to come along in person. The morning and afternoon sessions will be shared online. More details and the full schedule can be found on our calendar.
It was a pleasure to welcome to the Priory Rev. Alicia, the resident monk at Sitting Buddha Hermitage in Cromford, Derbyshire, who stayed for a few days in early July. She is now a trustee of our charity and she used the time to familiarise herself with the property, which she hadn’t visited before, and its surroundings. She was also able to meet various members of the Sangha, several of whom she has known for years. In addition, it was a lovely opportunity for us two monks to chat and catch up with each other. The photos below show Rev. Alicia with Sangha members and with me.
Later in July, a major project was carried out when the trees on the property had to be chopped down, because they were either dying or situated too close to the house (the one in the back garden was in danger of falling onto the house). The work went very smoothly, although it was noisy and messy while it was happening, and it was all finished in a day and a half. It was amazing how well the contractors cleared up afterwards. The transformation to the front of the Priory is really noticeable. The common room, which was a dingy, cave-like space, is much brighter and it’s lovely to be in now, with a wonderful view to the river. Below are some photos of the work.
A big ‘thank you’ to the Sangha member who spent one Sunday, with his van, moving boxes and items of furniture for me, from London to Norwich. I am grateful also to the two people who helped him to unload at the Priory.
Thank you to the garden group, not just for their tireless work throughout the summer, which has seen the garden bursting with colour to an extent that we haven’t seen before, but also for their enthusiastic ideas for working with the new environment that has emerged now that the trees have been removed.
Particular gratitude goes to the members of the group who replaced a couple of garden steps that were damaged during the tree-felling. Thanks also to those who: checked up on the house while I was away and watered the indoor plants; help with the cleaning of the house; offer ongoing support and assistance with computer and IT issues; and do the charity’s bookkeeping and accounts.
With best wishes and in gassho,