Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Over the Rains


Today we exited the rains retreat with a simple ceremony. Four monks entered, four monks survived to exit. That's thirteen for me.


Our Kathina is Oct. 18th, and already it promises to be a great event with a large turnout.

Travel is imminent - I was hoping to make a short trip to the great white north next week, but it's not looking likely, unless I can wrastle someone into driving up with me, or take a bus.

On the 23rd, though, the real travel starts. I just received an invitation to accompany Ven. Saranapala from Mississauga to Japan, as part of the Canadian delegation to a global Buddhism conference in December. That puts the country count at four for this trip. So here's how the schedule looks so far:
  • Oct. 23 -  25: Bangkok
  • Oct. 25 -  Nov. 11: Chiang Mai
    • Oct. 31: offer 108 sets of monks robes to Ajaan Tong
  • Nov. 12 - 25: India pligrimage
  • Nov. 25 - Dec. 7: Bangkok
  • Dec. 7 - 14: Japan
  • Dec. 14 - 20: Bangkok 
  • Dec. 20 - Jan. 19: Sri Lanka
  • Jan. 19 - Feb. 19: Chiang Mai or Mai Hong Son
Bringing the good camera along, so hoping to make some more Dhammapada videos, etc. Should be some good opportunities for sharing along the way.

After this trip, the plan is to stay put in Ontario at least until the summer; maybe another East coast tour then, or maybe West coast?

Be well.



Wednesday, October 01, 2014

travellish

Trip to B.C. was quick; didn't end up seeing much of the province, as I arrived after dusk and left before dawn. The new BVS monastery is nice; birds, trees, even coyotes.

On Friday we had a Q&A session, which was a sort of a getting-to-know each other opportunity. Saturday was a full-day course that went really well, with many meditators coming to one-on-one interviews for advice. A wide range of participants, with a wide range of challenges.

Sunday was Sunday school, where I got to teach meditation to a whole room full of small people. Felt like a great success.

All in all, felt very productive for such a very short trip.

Three weeks to the Asia trip. Still no plans from February on; probably just coming back to Stoney Creek. Several inquiries about meditation courses. It will be nice to begin to establish a community and presence in Ontario.

Peace :) 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

globalism

Okay, the dates are set for my travel this season:

Sept. 25 - 28: Vancouver, BC - will be teaching at the BVS (http://www.bvs.org/) from Thursday to Sunday. Saturday and Sunday will be full day meditation courses, I think.

Oct. 23 - Nov. 12: Thailand - will be offering robes to my teacher and maybe off in the forest for a bit. Bringing a camera along, hope to get back into making videos while I'm there.

Nov. 12 - 25: India - leading a meditation pilgrimage to the four holy sites

Nov. 25 - Dec. 20: Thailand - not sure really... probably teaching, not sure where

Dec. 20 - Jan 19: Sri Lanka - teaching in Colombo, visiting our meditation centre near Mitirigala

Jan 19 - Feb 19: Thailand - again, a  month in Thailand... there's always so much to do, I'm sure I'll either keep busy or disappear into the jungle.

Two meditators here now. Looks like that's it for this season, unless someone still wants to take up one of the vacant rooms in the first half of October.

Good thoughts to all :)


Thursday, September 04, 2014

oh, wait

The problem with life is you're too busy living it.

I forgot to mention in my last post that I've changed my ticket and am (probably) going to Sri Lanka from around December 20th to January 19th. I'll then spend another month in Thailand. After that, I'm pretty much free to go where the wind takes me. Any suggestions?

I've started a new google moderator series:

http://www.google.com/moderator/#15/e=211ff2&t=211ff2.40

The idea will be to post suggestions for travelling to teach, and voting and commenting on them. Please comment with your specific interest in a proposal, or present your own proposal with details of your proposed involvement. As always, I'll need a place to stay and food for the morning. Some I've heard already include Los Angeles, Australia, Africa (please be more specific!), and the U.K. I'll probably try to be in Florida again around April.

Oh, the reason for my sudden liberation: we found out we need to actually apply for undergrad studies again, the deadline for which passed a month ago. So, no school in January.

september

Our online meditation group (meditation.sirimangalo.org) is going well; nice to see people joining daily. I added a third session that should be better for European meditators.

The Indiegogo project ended today at over $10,000. Turns out the robes will cost less than expected (~3000 baht), so we will be offering 108 sets after all. Yay to everyone who participated :)

Our Florida meditator is well into his course; Tomorrow a woman from Toronto will come for two weeks, and on Sunday Robin is coming from the Connecticut. We're looking to order food for them from the local grocery stores, since they seem to be able to deliver in the morning better than restaurants.

That's my updates. Be well :)

Friday, August 29, 2014

future cometh

Almost September. Hey, our Indiegogo campaign has raised 116% of its goal, and will wrap up in six days. It sounds like the cost of the robes might be a bit more than expected, maybe $120 each (3500 baht), but with all the support, we will still be able to meet our original goal of 84 sets. Good job everyone!

One meditator arrived yesterday from Florida; we have two more coming soon, one from Connecticut and one from Toronto. Still no confirmation on Vancouver, but I'm still expecting to visit at the end of September.

We went to visit McMaster University this week, found out I owed $50 in books from twelve years ago and couldn't get a transcript. Luckily, I have this nice non-profit organization supporting me; our treasurer took care of it and the transcript is on its way. Unfortunately, it turns out we were rather naive in thinking we could just show up and apply for courses; because we've been out of school for so long, we have to now reapply for admission to undergraduate studies, which deadlined a month ago.

So, probably not going back to school in January, which leads me to ask what plans to make for the new year. Just in the sense of whether I should extend my ticket to Thailand, visit Sri Lanka, or return back to North America to enjoy the dead of winter. Another option would be to make another trip south of the border; maybe visit California again, or Florida? Any thoughts or invitations?

September 13th we have a round table in Mississauga to discuss the upcoming Buddhist Chaplaincy program at UofT; I'm a guest speaker. Who knows, maybe I'll end up applying for that after all?

We've started online meditation sessions at meditation.sirimangalo.org; I've yet to figure out how to broadcast with an IP camera, but somehow I've managed to make my computer send video to the kind people over at giss.tv who offer free streaming service. It's a bit laggy, but you can use it to watch me walking back and forth for a half-hour when you should really be meditating yourself.

And that's what's up here. Be well :)

Monday, August 18, 2014

one thousand steps

Today YouTube says 1000 video uploads. Just goes to show what you can do if you put your mind to it, hey?

YouTube also tells me interesting things about the people watching my videos; like that approximately 4,500 views occur on any given day, or that on August 8th and 9th over 20,000 people watched the first How To Meditate video, thanks to a site called http://thespiritscience.net/, which I assume linked to it.

More good news, our Indiegogo project is still attracting support; I think we're going to go over the second 108 total as well. Way to go everyone; the rains robe offering is a great thing for supporting Buddhism and the meditation practice.

Our treasurer booked me a flight to Bangkok for October 24th, returning December 21st. I'll be heading to Chiang Mai pretty soon after my arrival, then in November we'll offer the robes early in the month, after which I should hopefully be heading to the mountains of Mae Hong Son.

Me and the head monk here have made preliminary inquiries in to heading back to school part time in January; we visiting the McMaster campus and it really is an encouraging feeling to be back amongst such wasted potential. Okay, tongue back out of cheek, the university environment has always felt like a great way to cultivate a meditation community in this part of the world. On top of that, who knows, maybe I'll learn something.

Otherwise, not much to report; a quiet rains, a cool summer in Canada. Oh, I'm almost able confirm that I'll be in Vancouver late September for a weekend, 25th to 28th. Will confirm once I have transportation confirmed.

Be well.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

campaign

We did it! Or, rather, you all did it. As of 1:48 AM this morning, the Indiegogo campaign to offer 84 sets of robes to Ajaan Tong this October has officially reached its goal.

There are still 25 days left in the campaign, so there's still room for participation - maybe we can make it 108 sets instead. Anyway, we'll offer however many we can based on the participation. I just want to say congratulations and thank you all for taking part in this. You've done a great thing here.

I'll be heading to Thailand in mid-October; we'll probably be offering the robes soon after I arrive. If anyone is interested in taking part, you're welcome to join us in Chiang Mai. Exact dates will be announced closer to the actual trip.

In the meantime, may everyone who has taken part in the campaign in any way be blessed for their generosity and kindness. Be well and at peace.

Here's the Indiegogo link if you're interested:

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/sirimangalo-international-kathina-robes-giving/x/8082413