Things have shifted a bit at the Hermitage in the past few weeks. Weekend meal offerings have resumed on a scheduled, limited basis, and the monks are enjoying being able to spend some (socially-distanced) time with members of the community. Suzy and Casey have begun their roles as meal dana coordinators, if you have any questions you can reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. And Ajahn Karunadhammo and Tan Rakkhito arrived safely to the Hermitage.
Right Now, It’s Like This: The Pah Bah
The community has always cherished this annual time of coming together to support and honor the Hermitage. Alas, for the safety of all in these uncertain times of the pandemic, the Pah Bah will not be held this year. With sadness at the loss of this meaningful occasion, the thought of Ajahn Sumedho’s instruction, right now It’s Like This arose. Yes, it is.
And we can appreciate the chance to connect with the Hermitage every day, online. Admittedly, one probably couldn’t have imagined when Ajahn Sudanto’s YouTube endeavor first began that being connected online could truly feel like a sangha. That it could be possible to have dialogue and ask real questions about the practice and the teachings in our lives. That we could hear dhamma reflections, speak of topics from impermanence to the weather and actually connect, online. And yes, right now it’s like this, too.
Kalynamitta is a tremendous source of nurturing our faith…We know the importance of being a kalynamitta to our friends. With the restrictions we’re under, there’s extra efforts to try to be available and nurture those relationships, and nurture the faith.–Ajahn Sudanto
Sadhu, sadhu, sadhu.
Our Connected Sangha
In addition to Morning Coffee Time, Ajahn Sudanto, now with Tan Rakkhito are still sharing with us the morning and evening chanting and meditation online. If you missed attending Ajhan’s chanting seminar a while back that provided some instruction, you an still view the recording. And you an always join and meditate while listening to the chanting.
New Jhana Series: On Sunday, June 28, a series of talks on the cultivation of the jhanas began. Each Sunday for six weeks, a talk is released on Ajahn Sona’s YouTube channel at 1:00 p.m. Pacific time. Then on Mondays, Ajahn Sudanto discusses that teaching during Coffee Time at 8:00 a.m.
An Auspicious Occasion
This July is the 10-year anniversary of the Pacific Hermitage. We are so grateful to have the Hermitage in our community and to be a part of this sangha.
As a way to mark this occasion, we will be putting together a celebratory card/booklet to give to the Hermitage in gratitude. Would you like to share any words of appreciation, or something about what the Hermitage has meant to you in your life and practice? You can add you good wishes to the card by sending your thoughts via email to email@example.com.
Ajahn Reflects On: Faith
[Excerpted from Morning Coffee Time with Ajahn Sudanto, 6.23.20]
I think of faith and conviction as really one of the foundational spiritual faculties. Growing up, faith was something I thought more along the lines of either you have it or you don’t. This is the problem with personality view, it thinks of things through identity – as ‘I was born with it, or I wasn’t. But these things exist because of causes and conditions. Think of [faith] as a spiritual faculty, and one that needs to be nurtured, cared for, and strengthened into maturity.
If motivation and energy towards our spiritual life and practice is flagging, this is oftentimes one of the best things to reflect back on: what’s going on with the faculty of faith and confidence that I have in Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha? I mean that in the most profound sense, not just faith in the historical Buddha, the Dhamma teachings, and the sangha, but what those qualities are really speaking to – faith in the potential for us to awaken. If you think of it as a faculty that needs to be nurtured, then it’s like anything, there are various practices and commitments that one needs to make to cultivate that.
Fundamental to [faith] is association with the wise – good friends, kalynamitta. We spend time, we draw near, we exchange ideas, we share our practice, we see their examples. This goes a long way toward feeding and caring for our faith. And we can practice doing that for other people through spiritual community, through sangha. When we talk about the gradual training or the gradual path, this is one of the places that the Buddha starts when he talks about the gradual training. I can’t say enough about that.
We need to have an array of practices, and we need to reflect on, be mindful of, and recollect the faculty of faith, and where we are with it. And to be sure we set our life up in a way that we have good friends, good teachers, and that we’re spending our time in ways that deepen and nurture that faith and confidence.
Speaking of Suttas
Ajahn shared the teaching on The Discourse about Bahia [Udana 1.10], which you can find here. https://suttacentral.net/ud1.10/en/anandajoti