During the three months of Vassa, resident monastics and some lay friends enjoyed periods of deep retreat bringing much benefit. We feel grateful for these opportunities to follow the Buddha’s instructions that lead to peace.
Santi residents were delighted and relieved to find that long standing supporters of Santi continued their support after Bhante Sujato’s departure. We did not go hungry. The Treasurer’s report indicates that financial support dropped significantly, but the Committee assures us that they have budgeted expenditures with due caution, so that we will be able to continue to live the holy life at Santi.
The end of Vassa, officially marked by the full moon of 30th October, brings a surge of planning and activities. It is a time of new energy and change.
As mentioned before in the Comings & Goings post on Santi’s website, the usual wave of resident reshufflings comes soon after the end of this Vassa. Ayya Sudhamma will return to her home country, the USA, at the start of December, as planned. Ayya Dhammananda has a long standing invitation to teach and live in Hawaii.
As predicted in our powerpoint posting Whats Happening With Santi Now , we enter the month of November with a new outline of Santi’s leadership having emerged. Ayya Phalanyani of Germany, who came to Santi from Thailand just before Vassa began, has the rare skill of bringing people together, along with her other abilities of teaching, counseling, guiding others’ meditation practice, and inspiring others’ spiritual development – admirable traits necessary to lead a monastic community. Her natural leadership abilities became apparent during the Vassa. With great confidence the resident Sangha and Ajahn Brahm are placing the care & leadership of Santi into her hands. Ayya Phalanyani Bhikkhuni, Samaneri Patacara and Samaneri Tapassi will form the core of the resident monastic community at Santi into the near future. Ayya Canda, an English nun, ordained with 8 precepts will come and join soon and former residents of Santi like Ayya Adhimutta and Ayya Nibbida, who in the meantime both received Bhikkhuni ordination, have expressed their interest in coming.
At this time the community is gearing up for 18th November (Sunday) Kathina celebration. Kathina is one of the two great programs at Buddhist centres each year, initiated as an annual celebration by the Buddha himself to ensure that monks & nuns have sufficient requisites after Vassa. In past years the overflow crowd sometimes has been seated in the open area of the backyard, beside Santi’s beautiful Borobudur-replica stupa imported from Indonesia. In preparation this year, Ayya Patacara is tackling the long-neglected project of improving the grounds around the stupa. For photos and the background information see this link. We hope to see her new stonework around the stupa completed before Kathina. Jeannette is working hard on the gardens around the stupa, and welcomes native plants before Kathina to add as a gift honoring the stupa. We hope you can come join the Santi Kathina celebration.
People often ask whether we hear from Bhante Sujato. He has sent the occasional email sending his greetings and answering our questions. He also made postings to his blog. It appears that he is doing well, and will soon be traveling.
What is left to say at the End of the Vassa is just this: Thank you!, all who supported us and made it possible for us to live the holy life!