Forest Practice – update
Ajahn Jotipalo recently visited Chithurst Buddhist Monastery in England. He met with the grounds keeper who oversees a practice called Forest Practice, where several people volunteer to take on a project for ten days or up to four weeks. These volunteers work alongside several of the monastic community members, while doing some vital work for the health of the forest. This practice can be set up so the entire crew would live (sleep, eat, work and practice meditation) in the forest, but this depends on the individuals and the weather conditions. This practice would not require any great skills in forestry practice, but a willingness to work 5 – 7 hours a day. Also adherence to the eight precepts, having some familiarity with the monastic lifestyle and an on-going meditation practice are essential.
We are planning to do a version of Forest Practice period from April 30 - May 7, 2016 (Saturday - Saturday). The current idea is to work along side the monks of Mt Tabor monastery (our Christian neighbors to the north). We share a dirt road along the ridge and the section of the road that is on Abhayagiri’s property is in much need of maintenance. The main job will be clearing dead brush and slightly widening the path, to help create a firebreak and improved access to this beautiful part of the monastery . Father Damien the abbot at Mt Tabor, has several volunteers lined up to help (they are retired fire fighters from Sonoma County) and several of the monks from their community will join in the work. Already four lay Buddhist are planning to come for the project. There is space for 4 - 5 more people to be part of this practice.
Part of this practice will focus on daily reflections, teachings, group sittings and time for solitude. One idea is to take a theme like the 10 perfections and use one of the perfections each day. At Chithurst they also take one or two afternoons and do some kind of educational program. We are considering doing this, and maybe also a trip to visit a redwood forest or the coast.
If this type pf practice sounds interesting to you, please write to Ajahn Jotipalo using this contact form. or email: firstname.lastname@example.org Please mention the term “Forest Practice - Ajahn Jotipalo” in your message.
Below is a link to Mt Tabor’s Web site: