In tune with the seasonal changes that we are currently experiencing, things are generally slowing down at the monastery and so there is not much in the way of news to report. What does not seem to be slowing down is the number of people wishing to spend some time here as guests. Although on the one hand this level of interest is gratifying, on the other hand it is a pity to be unable to accommodate all those who wish to stay. The fact is, though, that we have to recognize and accept our limitations and be able to say “no, sorry, there is no more room at this time”. As things stand we are already fully booked right through the winter, and the first opportunity to spend some time here would be in April.
With regard to the acquisition of the next door property and the permission to begin building the temple, the bureaucratic wheels are turning, if not as fast as the those on the cars here! However, no major obstacles are foreseen, it's just another opportunity for developing a little more patience, a much appreciated quality in Buddhist circles. Perhaps by the new year we will be able to give some more definite news. In the meantime, Ajahn Ottama and Ajahn Tok have created a short video as an introduction to the temple project. See below for details.
Apart from the events included in the programme below, weekend retreats are likely to be held near Catania in mid May and Lake Garda in late June, while a longer retreat of 5-6 days is being planned in Tuscany for the first week of September. Please check our website for updated information.
Ajahn Mahapanyo is visiting his family and is due back around the middle of the month, then Ajahn Chandapalo is away from 15th till the 28th December, for a brief visit to the new monastery near Lisbon and then to spend the festive season with his mother in York.
VIDEO ON TEMPLE PROJECT: this can be viewed within our website, just follow the link from the NEWS page, or go directly to: vimeo.com/113155191
CALENDAR: A calendar for 2015, in English, Italian and several other languages, is available for downloading from: forestsangha.org/calendar/
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 DECEMBER: Meditation class for beginners
Saturday, 3:30-5:00 p.m. In italian. Due to space limitations it is be necessary to book in advance, preferably via email. Latest update: already full, sorry!
26th DECEMBER - 6th JANUARY: Daily silent meditation
Every afternoon there will be a silent meditation at 4 p.m. followed by a tea break at 5 and evening chanting and meditation at 7:30 p.m.
7th JANUARY - 31st MARCH: Monastic retreat
A period for the resident community of Santacittarama to develop their practice, free of other commitments. Day visitors are still welcome if they wish to share the silence and meditate or to support the retreat by bringing food offerings. Overnight stays will not be possible during this period.
The evening meditation beginning at 7:30 will continue as usual, except for Mondays. During this time there will be no informal meeting over tea at 5 pm and the telephone will be answered only in the mornings between 7:30 and 8:30.
12th APRIL: SONGKRAN - Southeast Asian New Year
Sunday, 10:30 am - 2:30 pm. A joyful if not very meditative event! All are warmly welcome, possibly bringing some food to share for the 11 am lunch.
30th APRIL - 3rd MAY: Residential retreat at MORLUPO (RM)
With Ajahn Chandapalo, in Italian. Organizzed by the AMeCo. Bookings are accepted by contacting AMeCo from 25th March until all the available places are filled: www.associazioneameco.it/contatti/.