Forest SanghaNewsletterJuly 1996

Puja; Ajahn Succito
An Invitation to Awaken; Venerable Chandako
Kiwi Practice; Ajahn Subbato
Seeking the Buddha's Footprints; Angela Coton
Upasika news; Three Reflections
Ballad of Amaravati's Bridge; Samanera Thitadhammo
Signs of Change:

Spring Fever


Spring Fever

The English springtime allows us to witness the immense energy of nature, as tightly bound buds burst forth into brilliant green, ferns unfurl before our eyes, creatures everywhere are actively engaged in the perpetuation of the species, establishing territory, making provision for the future. It is a time of outrageous beauty with its wealth of colour and abundant fragrance of damp soil, flowering plants and the pungence of herbs. Within the realm of human endeavour a similar energy seems to manifest. It can be exciting and energising, or turbulent and deeply disturbing; old value systems are challenged and there is the space, the not-knowing what will come to fill their place. Perhaps it has always been like that. Political systenms, social and community structures rise, and change, and fall, and rise again.

So we can feel grateful that the Buddha presented us with a teaching that was not dependant on external stability. The Path of Mindfulness can sustain us through every imaginable upheaval - within or around these physical forms; it can even encompass the reality of death itself.
Once one has set foot on the path there is no choice but to continue on towards the end.
One might imagine that such a potent teaching would find expression in very grand and ultimate terms - indeed there is a place for such lofty declarations: "The gates of the Deathless are open; let those who can hear this show forth their faith", but the main pathway of trancsendence is generally concerned with the most ordinary things of life: with little old 'me' - my body with its senses and suffering; my mind with its habits and preoccupations, its hopes, fears, expectations and moods. I am told to examine carefully what is closest in order to learn about human dis-ease and to find the cure.

It is often not a particularly glamourous or obviously inspiring sort of work in itself - dreariness and despair can be common visitors along the way - so we need to find ways to uplift the mind. Looking outwards we find the Buddha, his disciples and our contemporary spiritual friends. Looking within, we begin to develop and nurture spiritual faculties and enlightenment factors. We learn to observe the energy of the mind and body, and to adjust our practice accordingly: calming, when there is restlessness, agitation or confusion; arousing, in times of dullness or lethargy. Sometimes this has been referred to as 'enlightened self-interest'. But are we being selfish, callous - indifferent to the suffering of others and the state of the planet? Or is this in fact our ultimate responsibility - en-lightening our hearts, en-lightening our society, our world ? For many of us, this is not even a question for, in a sense, it is so obvious that this is what is to be done. There is no choice. Once one has set foot on the path there is no choice but to continue on towards the end. and...perhaps just to dip one's nose into the pages of this newsletter is to set foot on the be careful, maybe it's too late to stop, to step off or to turn back!

May we all realise perfect freedom.

Ajahn Candasiri




We shouldn't be overjoyed or upset by the changes in the world.

There is happiness and then there is suffering; there is suffering and then there is happiness.

This is the way it is.

Luang Por Chah