Friday, November 09, 2012

Newsworthy

Something happened recently that I think is good news on many levels:



With Bhante Sujato leaving and Santi Forest Monastery commencing a new life as a Bhikkuni Monastery in July 2012 so another important change has occurred

Ayya Phalanyani has been asked by Ajahn Brahm to step into the position of leader of the Santi community and she, after careful consideration, has accepted this important role within the community

This change will allow Santi to continue to develop and to move forward in a positive manner

As Ayya Phalanyani advised “any change will be slow and carefully considered”

As Chairperson of the Committee I welcome Ayya Phalanyani to her new and challenging role and offer my total support

The Committee will be working closely with Ayya Phalanyani and the rest to the community to provide assistance and guidance wherever needed

We invite all those who know Santi to join with us in supporting Ayya Phalanyani as leader and the exciting period of development ahead for Santi.

(Santi Forest Monastery, Bundanoon, Australia)


Wow. Good news for the monastery, good news for Australia, good news for Theravada Buddhism, good news for Buddhism as a whole, good news for the world... take your pick.

If you weren't aware, Santi Forest Monastery is a monastery under the guidance of Venerable Brahmavamso (Ajaan Brahm), a Theravada Buddhist teacher of the Ajaan Chah tradition, well-known for both his meditation teachings as well as his support for the Bhikkhuni sangha. Phalanyani is a student of Venerable Acinnasilo (Ajaan Suphan), a well-known Thai Buddhist monk and meditation teacher of the Mahasi Sayadaw tradition. That's what strikes me about this announcement, that it's a very good sign of the possibility of creating harmony between two of the main lineages in Theravada Buddhism.

Reminds me that, earlier in the year, Sumedha, the Samaneri who ordained here, told me that Wat Bpa Nanachat, the most famous monastery under Ajaan Chah, tells people looking to learn meditation to go to Wat Rampoeng, Ajaan Suphan's monastery. I don't know what it all means, except that maybe, just maybe, the Buddha Sasana has been extended with this announcement and the trend that it suggests. Anyway, anumodana to all those involved, may it be to the benefit of many.

In other news, I joined LinkedIn. Not that that is newsworthy in itself, but I thought the experience worth sharing - a Buddhist monk suddenly getting job suggestions and congratulations on his new position as president of Sirimangalo Int'l. Oops. On the plus side, it was a nice chance to let a faceless corporation pillage my Gmail address book and reconnect me with people I'd thought lost and gone forever. So there's that :) And then it probably means another Google search result for people to find out about the Digital Pali Reader and my material on how to meditate, so there's that too.

Winding down here in Sri Lanka; teaching Pali to a Korean Bhikkhuni, meditation to a man from Winnipeg who I met last year. That's a funny thing. I was in Winnipeg last year giving basic teachings and a two-day meditation course, and two different people approached me asking where I thought they should go for meditation. In the few moments that comprised each conversation, I just suggested they come to Sri Lanka. Both of them have now visited and completed the foundation course. Never lose sight of the power of a few words given at the right time.

Lots of sickness here, dengue, yellow fever, something called "Viroos", etc.; more reason to feel confident in relocating for the time. Sorry to leave behind a budding meditation centre but, as I said before, it's not mine. It'll be here after we're all gone, that's the nice thing about it. Also, there's the example of Tam Bua Tong, which I thought a write-off before visiting it earlier this year and finding all the work we put into it to have been continued and multiplied for the better. Then, who knows; even if things work out for the long-term in Canada, maybe there's room for a winter trip back to the tropics to teach, especially while there is still no centre back home.

What else... can't remember. Probably not important :)

Peace to all.