The vassa is now fully over, and monastics are back to traveling freely and seeking the most suitable places to practice. Bhante Sumano and Tahn Tānakāro, who have been in Western Mass since July, have departed to spend time in NYC, visit other monasteries and traditions, and plan to connect with fellow monastics on the west coast.
Their growth and ordination answers a question few would have thought to ask – is it possible to equip and train monastics without the security net of an established temple or organization? Time and again, sincere practitioners remind us that there’s no need to wonder ‘What do we need to practice?”. Buddhist practice requires very little beyond the food and support provided by community and friends, and the true situation is the other way around: practice is the very thing needed for other things, like temples and organizations and sitting groups, to flourish.
Last Sunday was their final day, with the three monastics parting ways while attending the Kathina festival at Wat Pa Thai Thavorn in Albany. It was quite the gathering of monastics and lay people from both NYC and the greater Albany area, but predictably it was hampered and cut short by cold, rainy late-autumn weather.
Tahn Pamutto has returned to Wendell, where the renewed flexibility of being on his own will allow him to coordinate a variety of new events to keep Upavana developing. Saturdays will be devoted to In-Person mindfulness, meditation, and sutta study, while Sundays will be spent with the local community attending a well-established Buddhist meditation group.
A quick review of the last year shows how many different locations have been host to Upavana events! The time is drawing near for a solid home base with the amenities for both In-Person and Online gatherings. Anyone with ideas is encouraged to contact [email protected]