Forest Sangha Newsletter January 1988

Wood Hammered at Chithurst; Ajahn Anando
Serpentine, Western Australia; Chris Banks
Looking for the Sweet One; Ajahn Jagaro
Wish You Were Here; Venerable Sumano
Kathina 1987; Sister Candasiri & Upasika Susilo
Off the Beaten Track; Venerable Kovido
New-Born; Sister Viveka
Amaravati Summer Camp; Medhina
The Way the Wind Blows; Ajahn Sucitto


Serpentine, Western Australia

We don't hear so much from the Sangha at Bodhinyana Monastery, Western Australia; so when Chris Banks, who has stayed there from time to time, sent us a brief letter, we asked her to write a little more.

As the warm red sun sets in the Western sky, through the thick bush it is common to see the gentle kangaroos with their "joeys" quietly hopping down to the dam to drink, unafraid of the orange-robed monks walking to the meditation hall for the evening sit. This quiet scene can slow you down after a busy day labouring on a building site or teaching in the city.

In November the Sangha will be bidding farewell to Venerable Brahmavamso, who, along with Ajahn Jagaro, has worked tirelessly to establish Bodhinyana Monastery at Serpentine. Venerable Brahmavamso has coordinated and worked on every building programme at the monastery and always seems to have a trowel in one hand, hammer and nails in the other! A1so he cheerfully teaches, on a regular basis at the Buddhist Society, schools, colleges and local prisons. At the monastery, he has taken on the responsibilities of teaching the Vinaya to all. He will be "holidaying" in England, visiting his family and monasteries before returning to us next winter -- we hope. En route to England he will be visiting the NE of Thailand with Venerable Thanavaro. During his absence, the hard working Sangha will hopefully build a number of much needed brick kutis (to keep out the heat!). Also, the enormous task of finishing the large sala lies ahead now the Rains Retreat is over.
Being opposite a park and only ten minutes from the city of Perth, we feel it is a real gem!

The Sangha is truly grateful to receive Ajahn Sumedho for a three-week stay at Bodhinyana Monastery in November. The Sangha will be in complete retreat for these precious three weeks, but shortly after Ajahn Sumedho's arrival in November, our new city centre will be officially opened. The Governor Of Western Australia (our Queen's representative!) and many leaders of our state will be present -- along with many more local Dhamma friends. The new centre at 18 Nanson Way Nallamara 6061 was purchased from the Anglican Church in June. It comprises a large church hall with an extended kitchen, toilet block, noticeboard area and even an extra room at the rear for visiting nuns.

The house next door has four bedrooms for the monks, an office for the Buddhist Society Committee, a growing library, and a family room off the kitchen. The band of willing workers, using a lot of elbow-grease and paint, have decorated and carpeted the new hall and house in less than six week-ends! Being opposite a park and only ten minutes from the city of Perth, we feel it is a real gem! The hall is used every Friday night for meditation and Dhamma talks and again on Saturday afternoon and evening.

A year has passed, since the arrival of Ajahn Gunhah and Venerable Jundee. (Ajahn Gunhah is a cousin of Ajahn Chah.) These two very peaceful Thai monks have had a wonderful calming effect on the Sangha and lay visitors. Although not actively teaching, their impeccable quiet manner is ' an example to all of us of how the Buddha must have behaved.