Ven. Santi arrives at Vipada

With Bhante Jayasāra’s departure on Saturday, there were a few days of quiet at the vihara. Most Americans seem to be operating under the premise that to have things all to themselves is the best situation. I must admit, there was a certain allure to being alone – to be able to move about freely and make noise whenever I wanted. But I’ve talked to a fair number of empty-nesters who found that when they finally had their house to themselves something felt off. Lacking. Freedom and independence is good, but we are also social animals. Our possessions only satisfy us to the degree they provide for our needs. Beyond that, they can only bring happiness when they are shared.

So it’s a joy that a good friend in the dhamma, Ven. Santi, has come to join the Vihara Parivara community and spend time in Queens. He’s full of energy and ideas and looking forward to developing practice and offerings here for Upavana.

In the short term, it’s nice to be gathering for meditation and chanting in the morning, to be in harmony about monastic etiquette, and brainstorming about how to support each other in studying Pāli, monastic vinaya, and dhamma. Even though I must again be conscious of the noise and impact I make moving through the building, the effort is blanketed in metta, which makes it all worthwhile.

Welcome Bhante Santi!