We are hopeful that we will gradually reopen for our more usual activities soon. From this week, those coming to offer dana will be able to come into the vestibule area of the Dhamma Hall for the anumodana, and if the weather is poor and you have arranged to speak with one of the monks then we can also do that indoors. Of the group events, we plan to resume the Sunday evening pujas and monthly meditation workshop first, and hopefully will announce the first dates in the next week or two. We had intended to start in early June, but with the current uncertainty about the "Indian" covid variant we will delay a little longer until the picture regarding that is clearer.
When we do resume, very likely we will operate a booking system, at least to begin with, so that we can be sure of numbers attending, and we will will have a few other procedures in place to reduce the risks to everyone. The details will be here on the website.
Meanwhile, we continue to be well, and by the end of the month all of the residents will have had at least a first vaccine. We have been well supported over the last year, and are beginning to see more and more familiar faces making visits. Most of the team of lay people who had been resident alongside the monastic community since last summer have now moved on, but we have three or four people who will be with us for a few months until we transition to having shorter stay guests as well. 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 exception of the Dhamma Hall vestibule just before the meal time. 2. We continue to be closed to guests coming to stay. We currently have several lay people staying with us for 1-3 months, but hope that from around some time in July we will be in a position to accept guests for short stays as well. To begin with, we intend to give priority to people who have stayed before and are already familiar with the the community and the place, but we hope that it will not be long before the opportunity is open to all. We will update and post information about coming as a guest when we have set a date.
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.