The recent Vesak celebration was especially delightful this year and very well attended. We were blessed with lovely weather and special guests from Thailand, Luang Por Kampong and Ajahn Jayasaro, who gave a talk that is now available on our website. Also here was Tan Dhammiko, a Portuguese monk from the new monastery near Lisbon, which has recently acquired a beautiful peace of forested land and an official name: Mosteiro Budista Sumedharama.
We were glad to be able to accommodate the senior monks in the house next door, which officially became part of Santacittarama only two days before their arrival. With much appreciated help from our lay supporters the previous Sunday, and guests that were here during the week, we managed to have it thoroughly cleaned and prepared in time to make their stay much more comfortable than it would otherwise have been. The extra car parking space was also very useful on the day of the celebration.
Although it is clearly a very useful extension to the property, helping to protect the monastery boundary as well as for the extra facilities it provides, it does mean that there are now less funds available for the temple project which, as a consequence, has been temporarily delayed. However, with the generous amount that was raised for the alms-giving ceremony on Vesak day, and the donations that have been steadily trickling in, we are feeling optimistic about being able to begin a first phase of construction by early next year. Although a lot still needs to be raised, we are confident that once work actually begins on site the project will then develop its own momentum. In the next few months we expect to have more details available on the project and the financial situation.
New on the web
The Santacittarama Story continues with two further instalments: pages 5 and 6 on the Archive page, relating the change of leadership in 1996 and the ongoing search for a more suitable property.
Ajahn Jayasaro's talk on Vesak day, in English with Italian translation, has been uploaded to the website as an MP3 file.
All the aforementioned can be accessed from the website's “News” page.
There are new meditation groups formed by people associated with Santacittarama in TORRE DEL GRECO (NA), SEZZE (LT) and GENZANO (RM), and an attempt to contact people interested in forming a group in CASERTA. Here are the contact details:
TORRE DEL GRECO: Sigrid, email@example.com
SEZZE: Carlo Tosto, Ass.ne "Gokuhi Okuden", Tel: 338.999.3331, firstname.lastname@example.org
GENZANO DI ROMA: Gianfranco, Tel: 340.605.3881
CASERTA: Alfredo, email@example.com
Events at Santacittarama do not require booking, unless stated otherwise, and are free of charge. However, those wishing to stay overnight need to book in advance. Unforeseen circumstances may cause changes to this programme, so it is worthwhile checking beforehand on the website, which is regularly updated.
13th JUNE: Meditation afternoon in ROME
Saturday, 3-7 pm, with Ajahn Chandapalo, in Italian, at the A.Me.Co, vicolo l'Orfeo n. 1, Borgo Pio. Members of the A.Me.Co do not need to book, otherwise it is necessary to call the secretary (tel. 06.6865.148 from Monday to Thursday between 2 and 9 pm). For further information: www.associazioneameco.it.
14th JUNE: Memorial service for Vittoria
Sunday, 1 pm. Memorial service for Vittoria Girardi, a long-term lay Buddhist practitioner and supporter of the Sangha, who died peacefully in early May at the age of 94. Anybody who would like to participate is warmly welcome, possibly bringing something for the meal offering at 11 am, which will be dedicated to her memory. A ceremony will then begin about 1 pm, which will include the affirming of the refuges and precepts, chanting of suttas, meditation and an opportunity to share some anecdote or reflection about Vittoria's life. Finally a tree will be planted in her memory and the ashes dispersed.
21st JUNE: Novice precept ceremony of Anagarika Michel
Sunday, 1:30 pm. All are warmly welcome, also for lunch at 11:00, possibly bringing a contribution. On the same day we will celebrate Luang Por Chah's birthday.
26th - 28th JUNE: Residential retreat near LAKE GARDA
With Ajahn Chandapalo at "Il Carmine" (www.carminesanfelice.it), San Felice del Benaco. In Italian. For information and booking contact: Fabrizia, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
4th JULY: Beginner's Meditation Class
Saturday, 3:30-5:30 pm. In italian. Please arrive on time!
11th JULY: Study and Practice Day
Saturday, 9:30 am - 5:00 pm. In Italian. For those who already have a minimum of meditation experience. Periods of meditation, readings and discussion on the theme of "Gratitude and appreciation". Please bring a contribution for the share meal at 11 am.
2nd AUGUST: Celebration of ASALHA PUJA
Sunday, 10:30 am - 3:30 pm. Celebration of the Buddha's First Discourse. All are warmly welcome, possibly bringing some food to share for the 11 am lunch.
8th AUGUST: Beginner's Meditation Class
Saturday, 3:30-5:30 pm. In italian. Please arrive on time!
22nd AUGUST: Study and Practice Day
Saturday, 9:30 am - 5:00 pm. In Italian. For those who already have a minimum of meditation experience. Periods of meditation, readings and discussion on a chosen theme. Suggestions for a theme are welcome. Please bring a contribution for the share meal at 11 am.
30th AUGUST: Family Day
Sunday, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm. An opportunity for families with children, although people without children are also welcome. The day is particularly aimed at children of elementary school age, however children of all ages may participate. Details will be published nearer the time.
31st AUGUST - 6th SEPTEMBER: Residential retreat in TUSCANY
With Ajahn Chandapalo, in Italian, at "La Chiara di Prumiano" (www.prumiano.it) at Barberino Val d'Elsa (FI). For information and booking contact: Luca, email: email@example.com, cell: 335.717.4864. Booking begins on 1st April and continues until full, but not beyond 1st August.