… now 95% completed!
Greetings fellow practitioners,
In 2017 I shared an article about Chedi's (Chedi in Thai – Cetiya in Pali) at the Peace Beyond Suffering website as well as a slideshow which captured the first year of our Chedi's construction here at Anandagiri Forest Monastery. Last year I shared another slideshow update. In reviewing this year's developments I had to decide how to present things. Rather than add a third in the series I decided to shrink the two previous slideshows and then add this year's pictorial update and present them all as one combined unit. There are several benefits to doing it this way… and only one drawback. The drawback is that at nearly 500 photographs the slideshow takes about a half an hour! But what are the benefits?
The benefits are that you can now literally see the Chedi progress from the drawing stage, and then from holes in the ground, then gradually growing up through the various levels towards it's apex. As well as witness the sculpting and enshrining of the four 'Buddha's Life Panels'… 16 Buddha statues… and 12 Bodhisattva images. Not to mention the ten separate visits from highly respected elders and the eight occasions where blessed amulets were enshrined at each stage, bringing the total to 300,000 blessed amulets! Although it is indeed a long slideshow, it is also a very interesting and indeed rare phenomenon to be able to observe and learn about. Obviously this sharing won't be of interest to everyone, but for those interested in how sacred sites are actually manifested in the world, how beautiful Buddhist art is created, and the joyful ways that human beings can actually come together to accomplish something noble – then there is definitely something in here for you! I have also prepared a chanting with soundscape backdrop to enliven the visual. There is also now an ongoing commentary at the bottom left corner of some of the pictures which explains more about the project and process for those who are interested to learn and understand. Please remember also that rejoicing in the good deeds of others is one very powerful way that we can accumulate potent spiritual merits as well. There is a lot which can be rejoiced with here.
For myself it just seemed worthy to invest some more of my time, (around 30 hours in fact – to bring you just 30 minutes!) Sorting through literally thousands of pictures from many different sources, in order to compile a visual record of all of the wonderful occasions and special visitors, and the beautiful coming together of so many kind and talented people to create something both enduring and beautiful. Which is also a repository of very good blessings and energy for our beleaguered world and even for the unseen beings in parallel worlds as well. The sorting through, editing and uploading is quite a laborious and tedious task actually. But the finished result is really quite moving. I actually wept a few joyful tears myself when I was finally able to watch it all the way through. I gave this project one hour of my day for 5 weeks to make it happen and bring it to you. Neil our webmaster then added his hours of work as well.
All that is left for our Chedi project now is the enshrining of the sacred Buddha and Arahant Relics contained in the stunning reliquary set, into the uppermost portion of the Chedi. And then the placing of the Chedi spire on top of the body of the Chedi, sealing the relics securely within. This is scheduled to take place on November 10th. We are expecting it to be our biggest gathering to date. Naturally there will be a relic enshrining slideshow as well, when time permits.
I hope that you enjoy the slideshow!
With Loving – Kindness
Ajahn Achalo Bhikkhu
Guided Meditation – Level 2 (intermediate)
Greetings fellow practitioners,
Some of you may remember that about 1 year ago I shared a two-part talk on the theme of Developing Compassion as well as the 'level 1 – Foundation Practice' Guided Meditation. In the talks we explored the many benefits of developing compassion and in that first meditation we practiced holding compassion in the heart for oneself… one dear friend… and one neutral person. In this level 2 meditation we are practicing increasing our abilities by including more friends… some heavenly beings (devata)… more neutral people… as well as one 'difficult person.'
In some respects I find it hard to believe that it actually took me an entire year to get around to do the audio editing for this meditation! But then again in reviewing the past year it is also not so surprising. There was the big Chedi Project, a retreat in Malaysia, a Pilgrimage in India and my second monk's health challenges earlier in the year, which were all requiring energy and attention. The timing and volumes… progression etc, do require a careful attention and so I prefer not to rush. Nevermind… better late than never! I am happy to report that I am half way through editing the 'level 3' practice and have committed to finishing it in the last few days of my solo retreat here at Anandagiri. So level 3 is also 'Coming Soon.'! (excluding unforeseen death )
I hope that this meditation supports you in your cultivation of Compassion and that this cultivation brings many wonderful benefits.
Ajahn Achalo Bhikkhu
'Contemplating Not-Self with Understanding and a Kind Attitude'
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