For now, the community is busy receiving guests and visitors as well as finishing off the year’s activities. Ajahn Amaro is away in Thailand until December 23. After Christmas, the last retreat of 2016 runs over the New Year, lead by Ajahn Sundarā, then the sangha Winter Retreat is scheduled to start on January 3, continuing until the end of March. The Lay Support Team, up to 22 dedicated men and women practitioners who stay for periods of one to three months, will be settling in just before the retreat starts, ready to keep things going over the winter.
During these three months of the winter, the monastic sangha will focus on contemplation, engaging in formal group or solitary practice and observing noble silence. There will be a varying schedule of meditation and teaching throughout. Day visitors are welcome to join in the practice schedule or visit the monastery, but it is not possible to book for overnight stays. For people interested in learning about meditation or asking questions about practice, the weekly meditation workshops will continue to be held every Saturday afternoon, lead by experienced lay teachers.
Further details of the winter schedule will be made available later in December. The Amaravati Newsletter ‘Looking Ahead’ available here has also been updated with news for the coming month.