On a vibrant autumn Sunday, the Abbey again hosted Sharing the Dharma Day for a group of especially enthusiastic guests. Ven. Chodron taught on “Working with Unwanted Thoughts and Emotions,” from her book with Russell Kolts, An Open-Hearted Life. The topic brought forth a deep afternoon discussion, followed by a beautiful walk through the Abbey grounds.
The season changes and beautiful colors are everywhere in the gardens, the meadow, and the forest. Enjoy the magnificence of change and beauty. More fall photos are on Facebook.
Ven. Thubten Chodron made her bi-annual visit to North Idaho College (NIC) in Coeur D’Alene. Her talk on “Being Human”—helping listeners to avoid seeing the world in a duality “us and them”—brought thoughtful comments from the large audience of students and townspeople.
Ever since we began to build Chenrezig Hall, glass artist Beverly Brecht has envisioned stained-glass windows in the building. In September, she installed the second of two glass depictions of Chenrezig, Buddha of Compassion. The new window, located in the Kuan Yin Room, displays Four-Armed Chenrezig. With over 700 pieces of glass and more than 500 crystal “jewels,” the window is magnificent! Thank you, Bev, for sharing your amazing artistry and for your deep practice of compassion and generosity.
Geshe Dadul Namgyal joined us for his fifth visit, this time teaching on the Six Perfections. Geshe-la is fan of metaphors, and his teachings on bodhicitta and the perfections of generosity, ethical conduct, and fortitude were filled with vivid similes to help us understand the practices of bodhisattvas. We ran out of time before Geshe-la could finish the perfection of fortitude, thus ensuring that he will have to return next year to finish the remaining three (and a half) perfection! About 45 retreatants, including residents, joined these amazingly joyful teachings.
Beautiful September weather provided an optimal day for some outdoor service and fun. On Offering Service Saturday, Abbey residents and guests hauled firewood from the forest to Ananda Hall, painted railings, worked in the garden, and more. The next day, Sharing the Dharma Day, was another beautiful day with many old and new friends visiting.
We’ve seen a beautiful September with many wonderful visitors including students from Gonzaga University’s “Mindful Leadership Class,” Ven. Pende’s former high school friends, Sheridan’s and Matt’s visit as well as Ven. Lamsel’s parents and grandmother from Australia.
Ven. Chodron headed to India in August for interviews with His Holiness the Dalai Lama regarding the book series, The Library of Wisdom and Compassion. Afterwards, she stayed on to attend teachings with His Holiness and to give several talks herself. Ven. Damcho accompanied as her assistant. It was a time to make connections with longtime Dharma friends as well as refine material for the upcoming books.
After a full day of teachings, the community and guests took Ling Rinpoche on a tour of the Abbey buildings and forest. The next day, he gave a public talk at North Idaho College and enjoyed a lunch hosted by the Coeur d’Alene Dharma Friends. Then Rinpoche headed for the airport to continue his North American teaching tour. What a blessing to host him in the Inland Northwest!
Sravasti Abbey had the great fortune to host a visit from His Eminence the 7th Ling Rinpoche over three days. A small crowd welcomed him with a brief ceremony and tea offering in the Meditation Hall, followed by a teaching the next day. More than 90 people came to hear Rinpoche’s beautiful and clear explanation of “The Song of the Four Mindfulnesses,” a short and profound text by the 7th Dalai Lama. What a joyful day for the Abbey!