Since our last update it is clear that the outlook for the pandemic across the country is difficult in the short term. The roll out of vaccines suggests that we can be more optimistic as we move into spring and summer. Consequently we are not looking to re-start any of our more usual activities for the time being, but as the situation nationally clarifies and government rules allow we will update the information here.
Meanwhile, we continue to be well, well supported, and we have been blessed with a team of capable lay people resident alongside the monastic community. Anumodana and much appreciation for the generous support of many friends over recent months.
For friends and supporters wanting to know how things are working at he moment, here is a brief summary:
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. 2. We continue to be closed to 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. As we are completely full now with people staying long term, neither are we able to offer any longer-stay opportunities at the moment. We expect that this will continue to be the case until at least the end of March, but we will update the information here as and when the situation changes and we think that we will have space.
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 outdoors 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. 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
5. Some supporters who are unable to visit in person have arranged deliveries of requisites, or sent funds to enable the lay residents to either go once a fortnight to the shops, or order requisites online. If you would like to offer support in this way 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.
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.