The ‘Kathina’ season is a particularly busy time for Buddhist monastics. After having spent three months in one location for the monsoon season, there is now a flurry of activity as travel resumes. Each monastery where monks have resided has the opportunity to hold a kathina festival, and it’s not uncommon for monks and laypeople alike to travel from one kathina to the next to interact with each temple and community.
The season of kathina hasn’t even arrived yet, and already the monastics are beginning to network and connect with the other communities of the Pioneer Valley. After months of seclusion extra potent because of COVID, the three Upavana monastics got the chance to walk to and visit the community at the New England Peace Pagoda and join in their morning puja ceremonies.
On Sunday, Tahn Pamutto, Sumano, and Tānakāro joined the Cambodian community at Wat Kiryvongsabopharam, in Leverett, in memory of their abbot for fifteen years who passed away June 21st this year. Dakun Phaep ‘Tejapañño’ came from Cambodia to run the temple, often being the only resident for long stretches. It was here that Tahn Pamutto met him in 2015, and over the years he was always kind and hospitable to his fellow forest monk. Often the language barrier was insurmountable, and they seemed to share more Pāli than either English or Khmer. But not being able to communicate was never an obstacle to sharing mettā and enthusiasm for dhamma.
The Wat Kiry sangha was very gracious to be joined by their American brothers in the holy life. Two monks are now at the monastery full time.