Rains Retreat – Fawnskin Style

Fawnskin - End of the Rainbow
Above: Rainbow Over GG’s House on the Way Back from Grout Creek

Fawnskin has finally had some rain, in fact we got a lot of it.

GG thinks it might just be because the Buddhist Lent (known as the Rains Retreat) has started.

Known in Thai as Phansa, this tradition dates back to the time of early Buddhism in India.

This annual period begins on the first day of the waning moon of the eighth lunar month and lasts for three lunar months–during the rainy season.

This is time when Buddhist monks take shelter at a particular center or temple and suspend overnight travel.

In addition to their normal time for meditation, studies and other duties, they focus on teaching those who want to learn about Buddhism or those who want to serve as an ordained monk.

During this time of lent, followers make resolutions such as observing the five precepts of Panjasila to reaffirm their spirituality.

  1. Panatipata veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami (I undertake the precept to refrain from destroying living creatures.)
  2. Adinnadana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami (I undertake the precept to refrain from taking that which is not given.)
  3. Kamesu micchacara veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami (I undertake the precept to refrain from sexual misconduct.)
  4. Musavada veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami (I undertake the precept to refrain from incorrect speech.)
  5. Suramerayamajja pamadatthana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami (I undertake the precept to refrain from intoxicating drinks and drugs which lead to carelessness.)

From The Five Precepts: Pañca-sila, edited by John T. Bullitt. Courtesy of Access to Insight, 12 February 2012. Used with Permission.

Now, GG learned a long time ago that Ajahn Sombat‘s invites are not all they appear to be.

Ajahn Sombat with Visitor from Thailand

So, when he called me to invite me to join them, I should have done some research first.

The last time he invited me to a ceremony, it was a really big deal since it was the consecration of the Wat Dhammasujitto Temple.

In case you missed it, GG took a lot of snaps of the Buddhist Temple Consecration here in Fawnskin since monks from all over the world showed up along with Buddhist television and many other notables.

Anyway, it turns out that this was a celebration of Buddhist Lent as well as the birthday of HM Queen Regent Sirikit.

After an introductory ceremony and a rendition of a birthday tribute song, we all shared lunch and then participated with a candle procession, a ceremonial libation called, kruat nam, and a few other activities including a donation ceremony where monks were bestowed with gifts of food and other items since they are solely supported by their community’s gifts.

The good news for Big Bear is that the public and laymen followers are encouraged to join in meditation at the temple.

If you are interested, the number is (909) 866-5853 or you can try Ajahn Sombat at (626) 825-6077.

 



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This entry was posted on Tuesday, August 14th, 2012 and is filed under Events, Small Town Living, Talk of the Town.

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