My 5th Vassa , and my time at Aranyabodhi Hermitage is at an end, and the rest of my travels begins. I do not return to NJ until November 28th. In a few days I’ll be spending time at Karuna Buddhist Vihara with Ayya Cittananda and Ayya Santussika Bhikkhuni, then its off to Abhayagiri for a week and after that down to LA to spend a few days with Indonesian friends before leaving California and landing in Colorado! where ill be spending Thanksgiving week touring and site seeing, then after that the final trip back east.
This vassa was a wonderful and needed experience for me and I am very grateful to Ayya Tathālokā Bhikkhunī, Ayya Kaccāyana Bhikkhunī, Thāvirā Sāmaṇerī and the other residents for taking good care of me while I hung out at Ravenmist camp , which was up the mountain off hermitage grounds in a nice secluded place, doing my best to develop my skills as a monastic and better myself as a practitioner.
we had quite a unique and rare multinational fellowship of monastics at the hermitage this year, an interesting group that really bonded well. But just like any fellowship, there comes a time when it must break apart as people go their separate ways, anicca 🙂.
In many ways I feel like a new person moving forward, with joy, gratitude, and zeal for the path i’ve not had in some time, but have been working towards and setting the groundwork for a few years now, this vassa was like the final catalyst for a near phoenix-like rebirth of mind and practice, and i’m looking forward to the future and building myself and Maggasekha further.
Today marks the halfway point on my special 5th Vassa living in a tent here in California. I made a vlog with some reflections of my time here, and my path and practice. Made shorter videos to handle mountain internet upload speed 🙂.
part 1 : https://youtu.be/J4r78Hxm9Yc
part 2 : https://youtu.be/NrHwJMQvdI0
part 3 : https://youtu.be/dhmg9F28uGE
part 4 : https://youtu.be/IHjfzDRJUX4
I wrote this on facebook just about two weeks or so before moving to the monastery to become a monastic, 7 years ago:
“Its a funny thing that even when we think we have little attachment in life, we have no clue to what extent we live attached to everything, big and small.
When you begin the process of leaving everything you’ve ever known, and you notice attachment to something as small as office supplies you’ve used for years. When you think about what to do with them and you notice a small feeling of sadness in having to leave them behind.
It is a laughable thought, if it weren’t so true and indicative of just how attached we really are.
We naturally dislike change, we are “loss-averse” yet we live in an existance that is changing with every breath. The molecules that make up us and everything around us are ever moving, ever changing, the cells that make up our body dieing and being replaced, even if we can’t see it, all is still in eternal flux.
We humans are a weird juxtaposition in that regard. All of life seems to be an attempt at making peace with this reality in one way or another, searching for happiness, whatever that means to each of us.”
I just wanted to thank all of you who have been supporting me with Dana in the last year or so of me being a nomad monk.
Since i am no longer living at and being supported by an established and well supported monastery, this support has been extra special in helping with medical, travel, and requisite needs.
It was hard for me to truly understand and appreciate how my life depends on others while living at Bhavana. Now I have a deeper gratitude then ever before for all the support you all have shown me because I understand the value of this generosity more.
Now it is up to me as a monastic to be worthy of that support. The suttas tell us that a monk “ eats the countries alms food a debtor” until awakening, so its up to me to strive to better myself and spend some away to work on myself so I can grow to become a good monk with deep wisdom that I will be able to share with you all.
With fault-finding mind, the dullardlistens to the victor’s instruction.They’re as far from the true teachingas the earth is from the sky.
With fault-finding mind, the dullardlistens to the victor’s instruction.They fall away from the true teaching,like the moon in the waning fortnight.
With fault-finding mind, the dullardlistens to the victor’s instruction.They wither away in the true teaching,like a fish in too little water.
With fault-finding mind, the dullardlistens to the victor’s instruction.They don’t thrive in the true teaching,like a rotten seed in a field.
But one with contented mindwho listens to the victor’s instruction—having wiped out all defilements;having witnessed the unshakable;having arrived at ultimate peace—they are quenched without defilements.
“This mind is always anxious,this mind is always stressed about stresses that haven’t arisen and those that have.If there is a state free of anxiety,please answer my question.”
“Not without understanding and austerity,not without restraining the sense faculties,not without letting go of everything,do I see safety for living creatures.”
“Three things are coming, like a wall of flame:death, disease, and old age.No power can stand before them,and no speed’s enough to flee.
Don’t waste your day,a little or a lot.Every night that passes shortens your life by that much.
Walking or standing,sitting or lying down:your final night draws near;you have no time to be careless.”
I’ve officially started uploading videos to three other major platforms since going through the multiple banning issues on youtube. I’m still getting use to the two channels and will be uploading as I can. You can find the links to my channels here :
In this series I go over each section of Bhara sutta, each video is approx 8 minutes. The first video is larger because youtube wont let me edit it, but I have a direct link in description.