We hosted this year’s Labor Day weekend Concentration Retreat online. The retreat turned out to be a good lesson in impermanence when we lost power during the final teaching and a 700-acre brush fire sprang up eight miles away. Preparing to evacuate just hours after our silent retreat ended was a strong test of our concentration and also our refuge in the Three Jewels. Fortunately, the fire was contained, we didn’t have to evacuate, and line workers restored power after 9 hours. Many thanks to the kind people who take care of all the citizens with such dedication!
The Abbey community bows to all our supporters who basically keep us alive. We recently received lots of food offerings from local friends, as well as from Friends of Sravasti Abbey Singapore, who offered food for 8 weeks! We also harvested homegrown fruits and vegetables to supplement these offerings.
Exploring Monastic Life (EML) is one of the Abbey’s signature programs, offered annually since 2005. EML is a chance for aspiring monastics to examine the nitty-gritty details of what monastic life is all about. Living with the community is a key part of the annual training. This year, however, we could only open our doors via online platforms. We are happily surprised by how well it worked, with 24 sincere participants joining from all over the world!
Abbey nuns continued to bring peace into a chaotic world affected by the ongoing coronavirus. We offered online teachings, rituals, discussion groups, meditations, and prayers. We also maintained the Abbey’s infrastructure, websites, prison outreach project, and more. None of this would be possible without the support we receive from our sponsors and volunteers.
Nearly 200 participants joined the Abbey community for two wonderful days of meditations, discussions, and teachings by Venerable Chodron on the topic of forgiveness. The retreat provided everyone with an important opportunity for self-acceptance, letting go, and connection.
In addition to offering tons of teachings online, Abbey residents continue with our daily offering service. We are grateful when guests occasionally show up – equipped with masks and keeping distance, of course – to mow our forest paths, help us with recycling, and offer homemade bread. We dedicate all this merit for the healing and well-being of all sentient beings around the world.
Ven. Sangye Khadro led the Abbey’s first online one-week retreat on the Green Tara practice and the chapter on emptiness in “Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life” by 8th century Buddhist master Shantideva. Seventy-two registered online retreatants, hundreds more Livesteam viewers, and 17 residents participated in five sessions of meditation, teachings, and discussion groups each day.
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.
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