Our founding teacher, Luang Por Sumedho, will be in residence at Amaravati in May 2017. A schedule of public and other events is in preparation to coincide with his visit, and from May 5 to 28, we anticipate being joined by monastic and lay guests from all over the world.
An outline for the month is now available. More details and updates will be posted as planning for the events progresses.
May 7 – Vesākha Festival
The public celebration of the birth, awakening and final passing away (parinibbāna) of the Buddha.
May 10 – Vesākha Pūjā – Full Moon of May
This is the full moon night of May, when we pass the day reflecting on the birth, awakening and final passing away (parinibbāna) of the Buddha. There is a pūjā, meditation and Dhamma talk in the evening, followed by a candlelight circumambulation of the stupa and late night meditation vigil.
May 12 -19 – Luang Por Sumedho Open Retreat
The open retreat is an opportunity for everyone to hear teachings and join in a schedule of meditation with the sangha. Luang Por Sumedho will offer a Dhamma reflection every evening, with other teachers offering instruction in the morning. The retreat will be held in the Temple. Camping will be available for lay guests who can commit to staying for the whole week, with day visitors able to join for all or part of the day.
May 22-26 – IEM 2017 International Elders Meeting & Sangha Gathering
The IEM is a gathering of elders and abbots from the Ajahn Chah group of monasteries in the Western world. This is held roughly every three years, the last time having been 2014, when it was also held at Amaravati.
Parallel to the IEM, Amaravati is hosting a Sangha Gathering for those not involved as Abbots or Elders in the IEM. The format of the Sangha Gathering is likely to include informal discussions and opportunities for all members of the sangha to meet.
As Buddhist samanas, we are encouraged to meet frequently in order to preserve harmony within the group and sustain the friendship which underpins the Holy Life. The IEM and Sangha Gathering are one instance of this kind of coming together, to discuss topics of relevance, but also simply for us all to meet in an atmosphere of friendliness and mutual support.
Staying as a lay guest at the monastery during the May events
From May 5, all of our available accommodation will be taken over by visiting monastics, including the retreat centre, so anyone wanting to stay at this time will have to camp in the field.
We will be providing space and basic facilities for up to 100 guests to camp (50 men and 50 women in separate areas). Note you will need to bring all your own camping equipment (tents only – no camper vans).
In order to minimise disruption during the time of Luang Por Sumedho’s retreat, accommodation for the period from Fri 12 to Fri 19 is reserved for guests who can commit to staying the whole week, arriving no later than Friday 12 afternoon and leaving no sooner than Fri 19 in the afternoon.
We regret that we are unable to have under 18s staying overnight, though they are welcome as day visitors.
Please click here for some ideas for campsites, B&Bs and hotels in the area as an alternative to camping onsite.
We are especially hoping to have a team of people who can come to stay and serve as dedicated ‘Event Helpers’. This would involve staying for short or longer periods during the month, or for the week of the retreat. While guests would be asked to do a daily chore, the Event Helpers would be on hand to support the sangha who are running the events and do a variety of practical tasks through the day. At the moment we are planning for Event Helpers to have their own accommodation areas.
To ask about staying as a guest or Event Helper, please contact the guest monk (for men) or the guest nun (for women).