Planting a Bodhi tree

Planting Bodhi tree at Dhammasara Nuns Monastery.

The fourfold community gathered around the Bodhi tree

On 25 November, I was honored to take part in a ceremony for planting a Bodhi tree at Dhammasara. Congratulations to the nuns and community of Dhammsara for organizing this, and much thanks to the monks of the Mahavihara in Sri Lanka, who came personally to oversee the planting of the sapling taken from the original at Anuradhapura.

Much joy was felt! The event was full of such spirit; the devotion of the people, and the calm coolness of the moonlit bushscape of Dhammasara. At a time like that, the Dhamma draws near.

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8 thoughts on “Planting a Bodhi tree

  1. Dear Bhante, Thank you very much for sharing this! It is just one of many gestures extended by the Sri Lankan Sangha – in SL and around the world supporting the Fourfold Sangha. It is a very profound and healing one. How lovely it must have been in such a beautiful setting and with the community come together. Wonderful too to see Dhammasara growing. _/\_

  2. It makes me always sad to see all the destruction for the sake of a Bodhi tree, is this really all what is left of this noble heritage, is this kind of joy really all that we are able to nourish on?

    I would really like to see an end of destruction of the nature in honor of those declared not to take what is not given, not to kill not to dig and hurt other beings just to make some foolish sacrifices.

    Yet the cutting of Bodhitrees is common everywhere, even in monasteries “they call it, for the security” and others are involved in cutting the woods, to order to cut and dig just to give a sample and to show a sign. Well this sign is clearly to see, for those who have eyes and little dust in them: This teaching is difficult to understand.

    When I see this assembling I see many hectares of wood and dwellings of beings already gone. It has been gone for the joy, of being some moments someone good, when they come home again. After the Uposatha of the coward.

    I really ask my self, if it makes sense to come here. They would not understand. And yet again, even such is an equal sign.

    _()_

    • _/\_

      It is the nature of being to arise and to fall away….

      What sense is there to find? Where should i look for it?

      The answers to do the good is already well written …

      may we find joy and peace in moments of present as well as the little angels and nymphs that comes along the way…

    • Well not to forget that one google severs place needs as much energy as a middle size US city.

      It’s really difficult, the matter of seeking refugee in sensuality and to let go of it. Well meant is not always wise even it makes happy on a mundane level it has its costs.

      It’s the nature (cause) of not knowing, not understanding that beings arise and fall away, again and again…

      Thanks for the chance to make it more clear and reflect further and deeper insight. We are somehow little runaways no refugee to rest yet.

      I need to think on a saying of Ajahn Chah very often this days: “If something is bad, try to make it good. If it is not possible to make it good, let it die.”

      So it is (well done) which all arising phenomena. No depth to get involved except one is still a slave, that there is the place to work.

      _()_

    • No, no, no… do not misunderstand! The Buddha did not advice to stop eating, but to use it modest like the flesh of ones only son and as for the faultless gifts we can give:

      Five faultless gifts

      “There are these five gifts, five great gifts — original, long-standing, traditional, ancient, unadulterated, unadulterated from the beginning — that are not open to suspicion, will never be open to suspicion, and are unfaulted by knowledgeable contemplatives & brahmans. Which five?

      “There is the case where a disciple of the noble ones, abandoning the taking of life, abstains from taking life. In doing so, he gives freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings. In giving freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings, he gains a share in limitless freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, and freedom from oppression. This is the first gift, the first great gift — original, long-standing, traditional, ancient, unadulterated, unadulterated from the beginning — that is not open to suspicion, will never be open to suspicion, and is unfaulted by knowledgeable contemplatives & brahmans…

      “Furthermore, abandoning taking what is not given (stealing), the disciple of the noble ones abstains from taking what is not given. In doing so, he gives freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings. In giving freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings, he gains a share in limitless freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, and freedom from oppression. This is the second gift…

      “Furthermore, abandoning illicit sex, the disciple of the noble ones abstains from illicit sex. In doing so, he gives freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings. In giving freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings, he gains a share in limitless freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, and freedom from oppression. This is the third gift…

      “Furthermore, abandoning lying, the disciple of the noble ones abstains from lying. In doing so, he gives freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings. In giving freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings, he gains a share in limitless freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, and freedom from oppression. This is the fourth gift…

      “Furthermore, abandoning the use of intoxicants, the disciple of the noble ones abstains from taking intoxicants. In doing so, he gives freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings. In giving freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings, he gains a share in limitless freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, and freedom from oppression. This is the fifth gift, the fifth great gift — original, long-standing, traditional, ancient, unadulterated, unadulterated from the beginning — that is not open to suspicion, will never be open to suspicion, and is unfaulted by knowledgeable contemplatives & brahmans. And this is the eighth reward of merit, reward of skillfulness, nourishment of happiness, celestial, resulting in happiness, leading to heaven, leading to what is desirable, pleasurable, & appealing; to welfare & to happiness.”

      — AN 8.39

      http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an08/an08.039.than.html

  3. If not mistaken, nourishments wholesome or otherwise normally brings fruition, unless one has gone beyond ? :-) _/\_

    • Nourishment is neither wholesome nor unwholesome, but I guess I know what you mean. Yes, it is good remember that at any kamma will always bear fruits (becoming) while doing the wholesome till a point we are able to let go of both. Maybe still a long way, but good to bear in mind. We need to take care of no “unconsciously” joining the Fire-Worshipper-hood or leave it step by step:

      The Analogy of the Fire-Worshipper

      Keeping the flame of personality alive

      Personality view is not just ordinary wrong view, but the gravest wrong view. There is, for instance, the wrong view of fire-worship. When a child is born, the fire-worshipper’s parents kindle a fire for the child. For sixteen years the parents keep the fire alive by refuelling it regularly with ghee or butter. When he is sixteen, the parents ask their son whether he will remain as a layman or become a recluse and take up the practice that will lead him to the brahmā realm. If the boy chooses to become a recluse, the parents hand over the sacrificial fire to him. The recluse then takes upon himself the duty of feeding the fire with the best ghee or butter. The purer the fuel, the more meritorious is the fire-sacrifice. He takes the sacrificial fire wherever he goes. He keeps the flame alight constantly throughout his life. By this dutiful sacrifice he earns merit said to lead to rebirth in the brahmā world. This fire-worshipper is virtually a slave to his sacrificial fire. For as long as he lives, maybe a hundred years or more, his servitude persists. For as long as his wrong belief in the virtue of the fire sacrifice persists, he will serve the fire dutifully. This is, of course, a case of saṅkhāra dukkha, the tyranny of conditioned states. It is the nature of fire to consume whatever fuel it can lay hold of. Searching for fuel to keep the fire alive is therefore never-ending serfdom, eternal suffering.

      The analogy of the fire-worshipper is this: All beings who have strong attachment to “self,” which is but the five aggregates, exhaust themselves to maintain their lives, but they are only feeding the fire that consumes from within. The fire of death is kept alive, consuming fresh materiality and mentality, being sustained by regular feeding.

      All Beings are Fuel to the Fire of Death

      Human existence is fuel for the fire of human death. A deva’s existence is fuel for the fire of a deva’s death. A brahmā’s existence is fuel for the fire of a brahmā’s death. Almsgiving done to acquire merit for these forms of existence is merely trouble taken to feed the fires of these existences. It virtually means cultivating the fields where these fires are to thrive. Keeping the precepts to acquire merit — whether five, eight, or ten precepts — is merely cultivating the field to reap a good crop of fires. Similarly, developing concentration or the four divine abidings is merely cultivating the field of fires. In the beginningless cycle of rebirths, every being has done infinite deeds of giving, and has reaped the results of infinite existences as human beings or as devas. All of those existences have been consumed by the fire of death. Not a particle of ash remains. In each of these existences, the nurturing of one’s life, from the time one could look after oneself until death, is just feeding the fire of death. Nothing remains at the time of death. There is no fundamental difference between such subsistence and maintaining the sacrificial fire of the fire-worshipping recluse.
      This analogy is given to drive home the truth of the impermanence of all materiality, the danger that besets all living beings.

      Try to Understand the Phenomenon of Death

      In spite of the inevitability of death, most people usually ignore it. You should meditate to realize the omnipresence of death. Try to visualize the ceaseless burning of the fire of death in all the four postures: standing, sitting, walking, and lying down.
      All the merits acquired in the past through giving, virtue, or meditation for calm, if they were aimed at prolonging existence, are futile. The acquisition of merit now aimed at prolonging existence in the future will lead to the same fate. The burdensome tasks that one undertakes to support one’s present existence are no different either. All these efforts merely serve as fuel for the fire of death. This is to impress upon you the futility of all human efforts, however meritorious, aimed at the continuation of existence.

      The Five Aggregates and the Four Noble Truths

      The five aggregates, being truly impermanent, are unsatisfactory. This is the Noble Truth of Suffering. Attachment to the five aggregates as one’s own property, or one’s own self, and the craving for existence and rebirth, is the origin of suffering. This is the Noble Truth of the Cause of Suffering. The liberation from craving, which is the same as the escape from the five aggregates, is the Noble Truth of the Cessation of Suffering. The Noble Eightfold Path beginning with right view is the Noble Truth of the Path Leading to the Cessation of Suffering.

      from “A Manual of the Excellent Man – by Ledi Sayadaw”

      http://homepage.ntlworld.com/pesala/aimwell/Books/Ledi/Uttama/Aggregates/aggregates.html

      Therefore its important to have a possibility to live and communicate with people having right view.

      But I guess it’s good if there will be places prepared and to conscious ask them for an explaining and a talk and this in a attitude of devotion. Only on that level they are able to open the heart and let the heart and not just the intellect speak.

      _()_
      mudita

    • “unless one has gone beyond”

      I guess it is needed to say something about that. Once having gone beyond, its done, there is no more desire to eat. Those (male or female) are a field on merits and they would only continue to teach and to be accessible in this world, if there are people how maintain their bodies and needs with the four requisites.

      If people think, if he/she needs, he/she would say… then they are not wise and they will just maintain those who still have a task, who still have a need but the merits are not really big and will nourish the death. Direct you mind in direction of the noble Sangha, in direction of liberation and only for this, if you give a gift.

      Such as a being still eating to exist, while not causing effects, is a nice idea and who would not love such an idea. A hero like you and I…

      Friends, take care of the fields of merits. Maintain them, keep them alive in this world. They will not stay on their own intend and no worry, those who like to continue, will continue any way. Share but do not strive to conquer.

      _()_
      metta & mudita

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