Since our last update it is clear that the outlook for the pandemic has worsened in the short to medium term, with much uncertainty about the winter. Consequently we are not looking to re-start our more usual activities for the foreseeable future, but we hope to be able to continue with the limited opening that has been in place for the last few months, and it has been very heartening to have seen many friends and supporters over the last few months. We continue to be well, well supported, and we have been blessed with a team of capable lay people resident alongside the monastic community.
1. The buildings remain closed to visitors for the time being. With the latest restrictions on the size of gatherings and our lack of indoor space we have decided that sadly we will not be opening the Dhamma Hall or other buildings to the public except possibly for special events. 2. We continue to be closed to short term guests coming to stay. It is hard for us to envisage conditions under which it would be safe or practicable for us to have guests coming to stay for short periods, as both residents and guests would normally share some of the same spaces and facilities, and social distancing is not workable.
3.It will continue to be possible to come to the monastery to offer dana, whether cooked food or supplies. If possible please phone us on 01404 891251 or email prior to coming. Usually one or more of the monks will be available to offer an anumodana and for a short conversation. By prior arrangement it is usually also possible to go for a walk in the grounds.
4. As fewer people are coming to the monastery than usual, we are having some groceries delivered and one of the lay residents goes once a fortnight to the shops. Soan alternative way to offer dana or to support the monastery during this time would be to make a financial offering, which can be done online or by cheque - please see details in the Contributing section. If you would like to dedicate an offering on a particular day or for a particular reason, please let us know.
5. If you are looking for online resources to help support you, we suggest that a good place to start is the website of Amaravati, our main monastery: www.amaravati.org They have an extensive library of free Dhamma talks, books, guided meditations and chanting which you can download. If you would like a hard copy of a particular book, many of these are also available on request from us or from Amaravati. Amaravati are also posting videos of Dhamma talks online at: https://vimeo.com/amaravativideo
We have tested the broadband availability to us at Hartridge and with most of the network operators we lie on the edge of reasonable internet reception. In practice this means that most of the time we have adequate broadband for receiving data, but that the performance when sending data is intermittent or poor, and this particularly applies inside the Dhamma Hall and cottage. We have therefore dropped the idea of live streaming of events such as talks. However, we have occasionally, on request from external groups, led live meditation classes, and will consider any requests.
6. There may periodically be the opportunity for a person to come for an extended stay - although as of September we have a very full house. Extended stays would mean a minimum of one month. As and when we have a vacancy we are interested in people who can bring some skills and energy to the community. Most likely cooking will be an essential asset, with gardening, cleaning and driving other desirable attributes. We would prefer people who have already stayed with us before, or are known to us or one of our sister monasteries, but this is not a requirement. If you are interested in the possibility of an extended stay, please write to us, and if you have not been to stay before please include full information about yourself, your interest in coming, and when and for how long you would like to come. See the contact us page for getting in touch. Please note that we will also bear in mind where you would be coming from and what you have been doing for the couple of weeks prior to arrival, we have very limited options if a period of self-isolation is necessary on arrival.
Thank you for your support and understanding during these testing times. May all beings be well. May all beings be at peace.