Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Expanding and Contracting

So goes the universe.

Expansions and contractions here, Mae Chii Jai is coming back, as is Sumana, the ex-novice from Thailand, to ordain again. Our new well is progressing nicely, we've been using it for a couple of weeks already, the water was tested and is fit for human consumption. The rain is back, but there are still plans to dig the well deeper for the future, and meanwhile they are finishing the concrete exterior.

We started an online Dhamma Group on Saturdays at 2 PM UTC via Google+. It's still a closed group, given the limit of 10 people that Google puts on a hangout, but send me a G+ message letting me know what you would bring to the group and I can add you to my circles. We had a test run last Saturday and it went great; ten people participated and the potential was evident. At one point I suggested that we go live with it, letting outsiders watch our Dhamma activities without participating, since that would allow everyone to take at least a passive part in it. It seems not so many people are keen to be put on the spot like that, and I understand that it destroys the intimate atmosphere. Still, the potential to share the dhamma is much greater with open doors, so we'll see if we can round out at least a few brave souls to join such a group when the time is right. For now, if you want to join, just be one of the first ten people waiting at 2 PM UTC Saturday.

On Monk Radio, I tried recording the voice of the Hangout with my camcorder, but I used the wrong sort of stereo splitter and ended up sending feedback as well - sorry about the audio quality this week, I tried to clean it up a bit. Should be fixed for next week, it allowed me to at least record the sound of an assistant reading the questions off. Hopefully more people will join that panel as well and we can have some conversation about people's questions.

New subsite for Thailand, if you haven't seen it yet:

http://thai.sirimangalo.org/

Have to wait for some Thai students to join me in putting some content on it in Thai; until then, it at least has a bit of info about our centre there (Wat Tam Bua Tong, for those who remember). I should be in Thailand mid-November to mid-February. If all goes well, this might be the start of regular activities in Thailand again - another expansion.

All is well, Peter and Harish left, both feeling overwhelmed by the solitude and intensity. I'm starting to think I'll have to set up more of a community atmosphere again, even without a real monastic community. At least giving daily talks would probably help keep up morale. It's not easy work we do!

Peace to all beings.