Forest SanghaNewsletterJanuary 1999
Question Time; Tuhn Ajahn Sumedho
Arrive at Where You Are; Kittisaro Bhikkhu
Desire to end Desire; Tuhn Ajahn Maha Boowa
Filling in the Dots; Sister Abahassara
Zeal and New Land; Subbato Bhikkhu
Kwan Yin & the Noble Elephant; Sucitto Bhikkhu
Thoughts From a Forest; Vipassi Bhikkhu
A First View of Buddhism; Arnold Handley

Returning Homeless:
Working With Nature:
Ten Years On

Nineteen Eighty-Nine sees the tenth anniversary of the establishment of Chithurst monastery. In 1979 there was enough support and faith to send fifteen of us down to West Sussex to begin work on building a place for men to live as bhikkhus. With that came the opportunity and the effort to focus on a detailed training in the ways of the Holy Life.

Ten years later we're still working on those areas, but the project has broadened out. There's enough interest and need in Britain to keep at least the four of our monasteries busy. Monks are still up on the roof with hammers, but there are nuns up there too, and the Sangha is also contributing towards school education, Dhamma literature, and environmental awareness. And it's encouraging to notice that people are coming to these monasteries from all over in order to be part of a Dhamma environment.

Each new situation, culture or viewpoint creates a further exercise for body and mind.
The training in conduct has spread to include guidance and suppart for Ten-Precept nuns: meanwhile the monastic conventions have been slowly assimilated by lay people of different cultures. Each new situation, culture or viewpoint creates a further exercise for body and mind: this is the way that the Sangha is educated and strengthened by the world.

The Newsletter, also entering its tenth year, has become part of the monastic environment. A newcomer to the tradition of forest monasticism it yet bears the same hallmarks as the dhutanga robes: it is made out of scraps. And like the rest of the Sangha, it aspires to support the practice of those with commitment and to encourage the interest of those who are beginning. Being portable and detachable gives it some advantages, 50 this time we made it bigger to help with the gap left by the Sangha's two month withdrawal into retreat. Admittedly it a meagre substitute, but may it serve you well. Enter freely and reject whatever is not suitable.

Ajahn Sucitto