Thursday, 28 July 2016

Visiting Throssel Hole Buddhist Abbey

Earlier this month I stayed for a few days at Throssel Hole Buddhist Abbey. If you have been to an introductory retreat there you can request to visit when there are no retreats on, if you wish. The schedule when there isn't a retreat on tends to involve less time in sitting meditation periods and more time on working meditation, and you can discuss with the guest department how much you want to do. There are also more non-silent meals with fellow lay trainees, so its a bit more sociable.
It was very enjoyable. We has a massive thunderstorm with power cut to the whole of the valley, which was quite exciting. I had the opportunity to borrow and wear a much-coveted head torch while working in the kitchen, as there was no power for the lights and the storm had caused dark clouds to block most of the daylight.

What bliss to work
in the monastery

no electricity today
great valley storm
gave us the medieval once again
blessed and dear kitchen monks
provided all we needed
head torch and suitable work
even tea break time as usual

Dogen tells us "The marvelous spiritual ability manifests its enlightened functioning
In our carrying water and our hauling firewood."

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