FTW

And you thought Buddhist monks weren’t up on internet memes.

FTW – For The World. Okay, not really, but this is. Today we had a meeting of what will probably become the new board of Sirimangalo International in Canada. We agreed unanimously to go ahead with acquiring the land I posted about yesterday to set up a meditation centre in Manitoba.

So, that’s news – if nothing crazy bad happens, in a few months we should have five rooms for meditators of both genders and a large forested land for the cultivation of peace, happiness and freedom from suffering.

One thing we need is a steward; someone to arrange food, mainly. If anyone would like to take on this role for a time, please do let us know. You’d have to complete a month of meditation with us first, so it would have to be a multiple-month commitment. Sounds like we already have someone for June and maybe long-term, so there may be no need. The reason I’m putting it out is two-fold – first, always nice to have a backup, considering how important a role it is, and second, the more the merrier 🙂

If possible, we will try to focus more on long-term meditators than short-term courses, but all are welcome. I’m sure I’ll be teaching Pali to long-termers and training instructors in meditation, so lots to do.

Another thing we’ll have to look at is how much of a meditation centre we can support financially. I can’t get involved with finances, but I can say that without proper funding, we may have to keep the scale of the centre down. The group undertaking to purchase the land in question have been beyond generous, and it wouldn’t do to leave it up to them to cover maintenance costs as well. I’ll try to find some time to rejigger org.sirimangalo.org in the near future as well for the purpose of clarifying our budget.

That’s all; some good news for your rejoicing pleasure. I’ll put up an application form on the canada.sirimangalo.org page in the near future, so keep in touch and join our Canada mailing list if you’re interested in discussing our plans with us. For the world! (Yes, it really means “For The Win” – it’s an expression of exultation, which fits just as well here).

Peace 🙂

Let’s See

Lots of news… first, my brain seems to have rewired itself following the dengue fever, so apologies if this comes out muddled.

It looks like I’ll be in Canada in January… Ajaan wants me to go quickly and set up a monastery as soon as possible.  He said April is too late to start.  No time like the present, for sure.  From the sounds of it, he knows he can help me right now, and the future of course is not sure.

So, I get to trudge through snow again… hoping to get some thicker robes before then.

I’ve been thinking about all the good places we have now, and it seems like a good idea would be to spend some time in each.  So, if possible, I’ll be setting up some kind of rotating schedule, where I’m based in Canada most of the year and travel to Asia during the winter months.  I wouldn’t need to worry about extended visas then, just spend a couple months a year in Thailand and the same in Sri Lanka.

The reasoning is that, while neither country has been overly helpful with visas or monastic affairs, both have been very welcoming as a teacher.  The hope is that Canada will provide the freedom to set up a base, and the other countries can be used for scheduled retreats, where students can join at set times of the year.

sirimangalo.org needs some restructuring, hopefully that can be done in Canada.  Sorry if the info right now is confusing or incomplete.

We’re going to make some effort to decide on a place to set up a base in Ontario.  We’ve been talking here about whether renting a house somewhere as a temporary monastery might be a good start.  There is also support to potentially buy a small piece of land somewhere if we can find a suitable place… if anyone has any connections or suggestions in this matter, please get in touch.

Eva’s here with her daughter, a beautiful little girl of four who was in her womb when last she came to practice with me. Ajaan says she has potential.  She’s already doing walking and sitting with her mother.

Going to the forest on 26th.  Maybe taking some monks along, and someone from USA joining us.  Back to Bangkok around Jan 15, then off to Canada before 23rd.

Been spending the last month practicing and being with my teacher… helping with reporting, eating my one meal with him, etc.  Just like old times.  Been quite refreshing, but still tired more than usual.  Surely subzero temperatures will help wake me up.

That’s about it… still a bunch of videos to  publish on YouTube from SL, look for them over the next weeks.  Oh, and someone recently alerted me to the fact that I now have 10,000 subscribers on YouTube… that’s pretty wow.  Guess that’s a reason to keep making videos. 

Otherwise, more when travel plans, etc. are settled.

Peace to all.

March Update

So, things are coming together in keeping the organization running; there is some coordination going on between the non-profit and the monastery, which should see the monastery regain its ability to finance the meditation centre. A budget is now up at the Org.Sirimangalo site, for anyone who is interested, though it probably should be converted to USD, still.

There is some indication, though, that the non-profit in America will have to be either reorganized or abandoned, since the people looking after it have moved on and are no longer involved in our activities. If anyone in America is able to take up the task of running the non-profit (basically filing documents with the IRS once a year), it would make a huge difference in helping the organization receive and use donations for the centre here.

In other news, the entire Sirimangalo.Org website has now moved to the cloud. I’m still not sure exactly what that means, except that it’s much faster now. Much thanks go to Peter for his kindness in sponsoring the server and helping us through the harrowing experience of moving 10 years and 20+ GB worth of data through cyberspace.

The last of our funded construction projects is almost finished; a bathroom for the two rooms above where I am staying – one of the rooms is occupied by Nagasena, so he will be happy.

Sumedha (ex-Meredith) is doing a review course, trying to let go of the excitement of her impending novice ordination – quite a task 🙂 At the end of the month, we’ll try to get her a visa, otherwise she will have to go to Thailand. I might go to Thailand anyway, to teach and visit Ajaan Tong, and Nagasena would like to go as well, so there may be a trip brewing for May.

Other projects have been slowed by the organizational issues and a minor cold virus that probably has something to do with the workload. So, many things will have to wait. Still memorizing the Bhikkhuni patimokkha and a little bit of book editing. Hopefully those will pick up now as the organization gets organized, and I can get back to teaching.