July has been full of big changes for the Abbey! A cascade of guests have continued flowing in and out, and we’ve really enjoyed sharing the Dharma and making lifelong connections with them. Residents also enjoyed a trip to nearby Hayden Lake as a brief pause from Buddha Hall activity.
At last! The long-awaited Buddha Hall project is in motion. Here’s a look into the July 17 groundbreaking ceremony, which we combined with Sharing the Dharma Day. Many friends joined the community to hear the Buddha Hall team speak about the history of the project. Then we followed Ven. Chodron to the building site where we blessed the land and used borrowed golden shovels to ceremonially break the ground. What a joyful day!
We enjoyed a good week in silence meditating on Manjushri, the Buddha of Wisdom, and hearing teachings by Venerable Chodron on the first verses of Chandrakirti’s Supplement to the Middle Way, his homage to Great Compassion. We visualized clarity, wisdom, and understanding infusing our minds while learning to reflect on the lack of inherent existence of everything!
We’re rejoicing! Ven. Chodron has signed the contract to begin building the Buddha Hall! In the coming weeks, trucks and construction workers will roll up the hill to break new ground. Here is a look at the signing ceremony where the community renewed our commitment to bring this long-held dream to fruition.
Vens. Chodron and Damcho traveled to Seoul, South Korea in June to attend a two-day conference on “Buddhist Nuns’ Sangha Around the World: Present and Future” organized by Hanmaum Seonwon (One Mind Zen Center) to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the passing of their founder, Ven. Daehaeng. Afterwards, they joined a pilgrimage tour of historic temples and Hanmaum Seonwon branches. It was a brief but rich experience learning about the situation of Buddhist women worldwide and getting a glimpse of Buddhism in Korea. See Ven. Damcho’s complete travelogue here.
For one week, a bunch of thoughtful, reflective, and enthusiastic young adults came to explore Buddhism at the Abbey. They spent the week meditating, chanting, bowing, enjoying live teachings, offering service in a variety of ways, and discussing the Dharma together. We hope they came away feeling lighter and clearer on their paths.
The Abbey was happy to host a large in-person retreat for the first time in over two years. Approximately 20 old and new friends attended our annual Memorial Day retreat, and many more online. Venerable Chodron continued to teach from her book “Good Karma” on how to create the causes for happiness and avoid the causes of suffering. The community was reminded how joyful it is to open our doors and share the Dharma in-person.