There will be a day retreat on Saturday 2nd October, which can be joined in person or online. It will follow the normal day retreat schedule, with a morning session (10.00am – 1.00pm) and an afternoon session (2.00pm – 4.30pm).
The 8th anniversary of the Priory will be celebrated on Sunday 7th November. We shall use this occasion to hold a ceremony of blessing the new Priory. People are welcome to come along in person or join online for this significant event in the life of our Priory and our Sangha.
The Priory Sangha came together on 22nd August for the lay ordination of Roberto Molero. It was a lovely occasion, attended by a few people in person and by several online, from as far afield as Brazil and Spain. Whenever somebody takes the Precepts and commits themselves to living the life of Buddha, it is always a special event. Not only is it a joy to see another person formally becoming a Buddhist, but it is also an opportunity for all of us at the ceremony to reaffirm our commitment to base our lives in zazen and the Precepts. This occasion seemed especially significant as it was the first major ceremony in our new Priory since coronavirus restrictions were lifted.
Roberto has been attending the Priory for a few years and first expressed a wish to take the Precepts before the pandemic began. It was fortunate that the easing of restrictions enabled us to hold the ceremony before Roberto moved away from Norwich. We congratulate Roberto and wish him well as his path of training unfolds.
Work on the Priory
The roofing repairs and the electrical work were completed by the end of August. This brings to an end the major repair projects that we knew would be needed when we moved into the new Priory. There are plenty of improvements and maintenance jobs still to do and these will be continuing over the next few months. The photo below shows a view of the back of the Priory while the roofer was at work.
The gardening group continues to do its splendid work every Tuesday afternoon. Recently, we purchased four gorgeous rose bushes, using money that had been donated to the gratitude fund. These have been planted out and have given a burst of colour to the early autumn. It is hoped that when garden work is no longer appropriate in the winter, the group can rebrand itself and do jobs inside the Priory, so that Tuesday afternoons continue to be work afternoons. Below is a photo of the garden group planting the rose bushes.
Attending meetings at the Priory
We continue to experiment with different options to try to keep people safe from infection when they are at the Priory. If there are more than four people here, we hold the tea and discussion in the meditation room and its extension, rather than the common room. We can easily move the screens that usually demarcate the meditation room area and this provides us with a large space that can be well-ventilated. In addition, we have sometimes worn face-masks. It is lovely to have people visiting in person, but anybody who feels uncomfortable being part of a group indoors has the option to join any of our meetings online.
As always, thank you to everybody who supports the Priory, whether financially, practically (by helping with cleaning, maintenance, accounts etc), or by attending events. I am especially grateful for the opportunity that I had recently for some rest and retreat time in Blakeney.
With best wishes and in gassho,