Yesterday, a group of us from London visited the Forest Hermitage. Many thanks to KC for driving me and it was a enjoyable trip. The temple and the surroundings is very nice, but since it was raining yesterday, we didn’t get spend much time outside. It was quite easy to get to from London, not too far after getting off the M40. We arrived at around 10am, offer food to monks at Forest Hermitage and had a talk with Ajahn Khemadhammo. We did help out a little like like cleaning the kitchen and brassing. Afterwards, we went to visit the Wood Cottage as well, a cottage very close to Forest Hermitage where retreats takes place every month.
Meditation on Snowdon – There will also be a Walk and Meditation event on 14th & 15th on Snowdon. It’s a sponsored walk and Meditation on the highest point in England & Wales to raise money for Wood Cottage. A poster, details and a form can be found here.
I only managed to took some photos inside, much more on Steven’s site.
Following the Vesak Day celebration at London Buddhist Vihara, this weekend there is a celebration at Leicester Square kindly organised by London Fo Guang Shan (FGS) Temple. It started at 12:30pm yesterday with opening speech from a few Venerable masters including a representative from London Buddhist Vihara, Ajahn Khemadhammo who gave a speech on “caring for the name and images of the Buddha“, and other VIPs include the Lord Mayor of London. There were quite a few events on the day, one of the main one is the Bathing of the Buddha, so what does it mean and why do we perform the bathing of the Buddha?
On this day, Buddhists take part in the ceremonial bathing of the Buddha. They pour ladles of water scented with flowers over a statue of the baby Siddhartha. This symbolizes purifying one’s thoughts and actions. ~ The Basic Teaching of the Buddha
And in Chinese, this is called 浴佛:
A related Q&A about 浴佛 quoted from 佛學問答類編 – 李炳南老居士解答
I didn’t manage to take many photos, but thanks to Jac for some nice photos, click for the photo below for more.
Today is a very interesting day, thanks to Ping who suggested we should go to the London Buddhist Vihara to join their celebration on the Vesak Day. This is a quote from their website:
BUDDHA DAY (VESAK) which commemorates the Birth, Enlightenment, and the Parinibbana of the Buddha will be celebrated at the London Buddhist Vihara.
They have a whole day programme but I only attended two of the talks, both of the talks were very interesting, there were:
1. “A Bombarded Earth” by Prof. N.C. Wickramasinghe,
He is a world-renowned authority in the field of astronomy. He was the Professor of Applied Mathematics and Astronomy at Cardiff University of Wales and Director of the Cardiff Centre for Astrobiology.
There were quite a few points I like in his talk, for example he talked about the new “Earth-like” planet “Corot-exo-1b” has been discovered a few days ago, Comics dusts and the global warming on Mars. It is also interesting to see how the science we discovered nowadays agree with the one described in Buddhism. The second talk was:
2. “Challenge of the Dhamma” by Achan Khemadhammo, O.B.E.,
Spiritual Director of Angulimala, The Buddhist Prison Chaplaincy Organisation The Forest Hermitage, Warwickshire.
It has a been a while since the talk at Imperial College Buddhist Society where we invited Ajahn Khemadhammo to give a talk at Imperial College. In this talk, he talked about challenges, challengers that arises everyday. Emphasis on the importance of the 5 precepts and that we should stand up to the challengers and not try to cover our mistakes and make excuses for ourselves. It is very easy for us to try to justify what we are doing wrong, this we must be careful. About the 5 precepts, the one that many people found very hard would be the 5th one:
I undertake the precept to refrain from intoxicants which lead to heedlessness.
Surā meraya majja pamādatthānā veramani sikkhāpadam samādiyāmi
Letting us know the importance of this precepts and telling us how he take this precepts when he was still an actor, and people respected him for standing up to challenges for something they believe is correct. Many people would say that for culture or social reason, it’s difficult not to drink and during the Q&A sessions, it was interesting to see many people were trying to get around this precept. For me myself, I would say there is no need to ask someone if it’s correct or not, we know very clear our own intention and our mind. There is no need to find excuses, may it be drinking for the taste or feeling. However this is something for ourselves to decide, it’s surely harder for some people to give up drinking than others, but at the end it depends if we are strong enough. You may not agree with me that drinking is not good, but I’m sure this can be apply to different challenges.
Lastly, I like the way he delivered the message, it’s very simple but very direct. I feel very lucky to have the chance to meet and learn from Masters, a very good reminder, time for us to develop is running less and less very moment. We must treasure our time!
Related: Ajahn Khemadhammo’s post on this event
It was Monday when I attended the talk by Ajahn Brahm at ULU, have a few exams this week but finally got some time today to upload some of the photos taken on the day. The talk was really good, it was targeted at student especially on how we should handle exams. Not getting stress is the key, and the way to do that is to let go. He told many interesting stories and life examples which were very meaningful. I won’t mentioned them here as I’m not very good at telling them, but I will included the three questions that he asked us:
- When is the most important time?
- Who is the most important person?
- What is the most important thing?
It would be nice to spend some time yourself finding your own answers. I will put up his answers here in a few days time, but if you want to find out now you can visit this link. Thanks to ULUBUDA for organising and inviting Ajahn Brahm’s visit to ULU, here are some of the photos taken on the night, click on them to view them all:
A few links for more information:
Want a break from exam revisions? Ajahn Brahm is visiting London and will be giving a talk at ULU for ULUBUDA the coming Monday. The events will be on:
Date: Monday 23rd April
Room 3E, 3/f, ulu
To find out more or RSVP for this event, please visit the ULUBUDA website. I have also quoted the details of Ajahn Brahm visits below for your info.
Sunday 15th April ’07 – Depart Perth 3:55pm for London, UK.
Monday 16th April ’07 – Arrive London 3:30pm.
Tuesday 17th April ’07 – Masterclass at HRD conference at EXCEL Convention Centre, Docklands at 1.45pm – 3pm. Details can be found www.cipd.co.uk. Look under conferences HRD2007. Evening talk at Thames Buddhist Vihara, Selsdon, 7.30pm-9pm.
Wednesday 18th April ’07 – To Cittaviveka Buddhist Monastery.
Thursday 19th April ’07 – leave Cittaviveka after dana, 6-8pm talk at London Buddhist Society, Victoria, 6pm-8pm.
Friday 20th April ’07 – all day at International School in Egham, evening talk at London Buddhist Vihara, Chiswick, 7.30pm-9pm.
Saturday 21st April ’07 – afternoon talk at MOD in Andover. 7.30pm – 9pm. Dhamma talk at Buddhapadipa Temple, Wimbledon.
Sunday 22nd April ’07 – 1 day Meditation at Thames Buddhist Vihara, Selsdon, 9am-5pm.
Monday 23rd April ’07 – 6.30pm – 8.30pm Dhamma talk at University of London Union Building, Malet St. WC1 (contact www.ulubuda.org)
Tuesday 24th April ’07 – Wat Santidhamma, Warwick. Evening with the Samatha Group. Venue – Room 10, 173 Euston Road (opposite Euston Station) Euston, London NW1. Time – 6.30pm – 9pm
Wednesday 25th April ’07 – Depart Heathrow London at 12pm
Last night was the ICBS (Imperial College Buddhist Society) event “Buddhism without Borders”. We are very luckly to have Ajahn Khemadhammo to give us a talk on “Suffering and the Stopping of Suffering”. We also had Exhibition, Free Distribution and Free Food. Everything ran very smoothly thanks to everyone who helped out and everyone who was there making this event possible. I hope everyone enjoyed the event and learnt something last night, I myself have a lot to learn. I like the how Ajahn Khemadhammo said that Buddhism is very simple and how important the 5 precepts are. Something so fundamental but we oftn over look and try to find something more complicated. It’s bringing at end to the suffering which is important which leads to the 4 noble truths. These are accepted and agree by all branches of Buddhism, this remind me that we should be very clear with our aim. Everyone have a different view in Buddhism and we see it differently, but the most important is not to compare to differences between different school of Buddhism but to really practice it. But of course it’s important to find the one that we think fit ourselves and then we can concentrate on the practice.
Here are some photos to share kindly taken and processed by Jac.
You can view all the photos on her zoto following this link.