Sunday, June 15, 2014

Long Island to New Jersey

Just finished up two days at the Long Island Meditation Center. The head monk is Nanda Thera, a Sri Lankan monk I know from his visits to Winnipeg. I was expecting a room full of mostly Sri Lankan devotees and was pleasantly surprised to find that the audience was composed mostly of Westerners - not that it isn't nice to teach Sri Lankan people, but it's a rare treat to see so many non-ethnic Buddhists dedicating their time and effort to practice the Buddha's teaching.

We conducted two programs in the days I was there. Friday, we visited the large Thai monastery on Long Island during the day, and in the evening I conducted a guided meditation talk on right view along with a lively Q&A session - this is now on YouTube and in my audio collection. On Saturday, we held a daytime meditation session where we practiced both walking and sitting outside and in the monastery's living room.

Both sessions were well attended and again I was pleasantly surprised as the events exceeded my expectations for the trip. Certainly if I ever am back in this part of the world, I'd be more than happy to include this stop in my travels again.

Today we are making an unscheduled visit to the New Jersey Buddhist Vihara until 3 PM, then off to the Thai monastery in Maryland (Wat Tummaprateip) as originally scheduled. The NJBV is a nice place as well, somewhere I could see visiting again when I had more time to conduct programs here. Sounds like I'll be giving a talk this morning, so we'll see how that goes.

All is well :) slowly making our way down the coast. Again, I'm posting our location on the carika site at http://carika.sirimangalo.org/#usamap in case you're wondering where we are at any given time.

Be well.