During the summer months, our daily activities vary from offering teachings and prayer ceremonies to tending the lawn, painting, growing vegetables, and facilitating our online study program. We are so grateful for all the donations and food offerings that allow us to continue our work to benefit all sentient beings.
This year’s shutdown has helped us explore new ways of connecting, such as offering our annual Exploring Buddhism for Young Adults via Zoom. About 28 young adults aged 18-29 from many different countries attended the course. Ven. Chodron enjoyed giving lots of advice to our young friends based on her 40+ years of Dharma experience. Abbey nuns also listened in discussion groups, led meditations, and responded to questions from the participants.
This year, Ven. Chodron finished How to See Yourself as You Really Are by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, which she began teaching in 2012. We missed our friends joining us on Abbey grounds but were delighted to have nearly 70 participants in the livestreamed teachings, meditations, and Zoom discussions. Everyone benefited from connecting with each other as stay at home orders continued.
For the first time, the Abbey is experiencing an extended period without guests. We are practicing joyous effort and fortitude as we tend to the buildings, environment, animals, and each other with kindness and care. Abbey friends come by occasionally to offer food or supplies, keeping good distance, of course! See for yourself:
Jay Garfield, Chair of the Philosophy Department at Smith College (among many academic honors) is fascinated with the Yogacara School, an ancient Indian system of Buddhist philosophy. With tremendous enthusiasm and lots of heart, he taught the Abbey community and about 100 online viewers for nine days over Zoom. The course introduced us to three important early Buddhist texts and got our heads spinning as we examined the profound topic of emptiness from a different perspective. See the whole playlist.
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