Uposatha Day, New Moon, August 17, 2012
It’s been a busy week in Texas. Two weeks ago, after the full moon, we began our Rains Retreat. I have set a daily schedule that looks something like this:
4:30 – Arise, coffee up and memorize Pali words
5:30 – Meditation
6:30 – Breakfast
7:00 – Break, study Pali or whatever seems pressing
8:00 – Sweep, clean the bath house
9:00 – Pali, other chores
10:30 – Meditation
11:30 – Lunch
12:00 – Break, Study, Write, chores (sometimes nap)
2:00 – Meditation
3:00 – Break, Study, Write, correspond (by this time its generally too hot for chores)
7:00 – Meditation
8:00 – Group Chanting
9:00 – Catch up on news, write this blog, read, etc.
If something else comes up I simply drop part of the schedule to attend to that. As many know we are involved in a massive construction project at the monastery. I often get called in to perform different tasks. A couple of days it was negotiating with Time/Warner to get our internet access moved to a different building. Today I spent the morning with 9 volunteers moving all of our books into our new library building. Sometimes I have visitors.
Last weekend and this coming weekend the abbot and I travel to far flung regions of Texas in order to be offered robes. In the Burmese tradition lay people come to the monastery at the beginning of Rains to offer robes. About 100 people came to Sitagu Buddha Vihara to offer robes to two monks (I actually kept one because my old robes are getting pretty worn). However much of our greater community seems to have been flung a bit too far in the big state of Texas, so we are traveling to them so that they have the opportunity to offer robes as well. Last weekend we traveled two days to Wichita Falls and back, staying at a Vietnamese monastery near Dallas that we know well. Next weekend we will travel 300 miles each way to some destination in East Texas. Receiving requires great effort!