The last week has been monumental for us. On Wednesday and Thursday we hosted two highly successful talks by Ajahn Brahm in Sydney. We plan to offer these events on a semi-regular basis, so stay tuned. On Thursday Ajahn Brahm performed the novice ordination for Anagarika Blake, now Venerable Nandiya. Ajahn Brahm returned to Perth straight after the talks, having sprinkled us with more than a little joy and love.
After performing a funeral service and giving a talk on Friday, I flew to Canberra where I gave a children’s class and a talk at the Sri Lankan temple in Kambah. I’ll be going back there once a month, so check Santi’s website for dates.
A shadow fell on my week on Sunday, as after careful deliberation the samaneri ordination for Anagarika Kathryn was cancelled. More than 100 people came down to Santi to show their support and to celebrate her going forth, but this was not to be. The reasons behind this decision, I am sure you will all understand, are a matter for the Sangha. Kathryn remains as an anagarika at Santi, and we all hope that she will receive the going forth in the future.
While we were all disappointed and very sad at the turn of events, I was very proud of the maturity and wisdom that was displayed by the Santi resident Sangha in this difficult time. Everyone was very supportive and compassionate. Together we had a meditation and Dhamma talk in the big cave with all the visitors. Being held in the silence of the cave, reminded of all the hard work that has built up such a wonderful community over the years, was a very healing experience. I shamelessly ripped off one of Ajahn Brahm’s stories, the ‘seven monks’. It was a reminder of the loving-kindness that, for me, is the essence of a living spiritual community.
Tomorrow i’m off to Singapore for some teaching, and also a very brief visit with a friend in Malaysia. I may well not get round to blogging for a couple of weeks – but then again, who knows?