The monk’s arrival to Portugal is getting near and the necessary preparations to this event are already in place.
Ajahn Vajiro (at the moment in New Zealand) will return to the United Kingdom at the beginning of July and depart to Portugal with two other monks: Ven. Subhaddo and Ven. Kancano.
They will be accompanied by Julian Wall, a friend and supporter of the Sangha, who has made himself available to join this adventure.
The plan is to depart from England on the 13th of July; the travel will be done by car, taking the ferry departing from Portsmouth and arriving in the port of Bilbao in northern Spain.
They will then head towards ‘Santiago de Compostela’ entering Portugal through ‘Gerês’; a visit to ‘Bom Jesus de Braga’ is also scheduled.
Hence, we can expect our pioneers to arrive in Lisbon around the 18th of July, where they will determine the Vassa (this is the period that corresponds with the rainy season in Asia). During this time the monks stay at one place without going out for long periods.
This year the Vassa will start in the beginning of August and it will last until the end of October.
And so the Sangha starts living in Portugal…
The monastic trust ‘Budismo Theravada da Floresta’ (Forest Theravada Buddhism) was officially recognized as a Religious Collective Corporation under the ‘Lei da Liberdade Religiosa’ (Law of Religious Freedom), in July 2010. Its main objective is to share the teaching of the Lord Buddha (Buddha Sasana) through the establishment and maintenance of a residence for Buddhist monks (bhikkhus), in Portugal.
The monks who have been invited to start this community follow the traditional training of the Buddhist scriptures (the Vinaya) within the Thai Forest Tradition of the monastery Wat Nong Pah Pong, which was founded by Ajahn Chah. This tradition was brought outside of Thailand by Ajahn Sumedho and other western disciples including Ajahn Vajiro, who will be the senior monastic in residence. The contact the lay people and others have with the monastic community will be a way that generosity, virtue and wisdom may grow in people and through that in society as a whole. In this way beings may be freed from suffering.
The mendicant monastic life depends on the goodwill of people for its material needs. We hope from July 2012, to have some monks resident inPortugal. At first they will stay somewhere temporary. In the medium and longer term we are looking for somewhere more suitable as a monastery with space for monks to live and for other people to visit for shorter or longer periods.
If you would like further information or would like to help please contact us.
The Portuguese monks,
Bhikkhus Kancano, Dhammiko and Appamado
Amaravati, September 1, 2011