Saturday, June 3, 2023
VISAKHA PUJA DAY
This day, sometimes called “Buddha Day,” commemorates three key events in the Buddha’s life that took place on this full-moon day: his birth, Awakening, and final Unbinding (parinibbana).
Tuesday, August 1, 2023
ASALHA PUJA DAY
This day, sometimes called “Dhamma Day,” commemorates the Buddha’s first discourse, which he gave to the group of five monks with whom he had practiced in the forest for many years. Upon hearing this discourse, one of the monks ( Ven. Kondañña) gained his first glimpse of Nibbana, thus giving birth to the Noble Sangha. The annual Rains retreat (vassa) begins the following day.
Wednesday, August 2, 2023
RAINS RETREAT (VASSA) BEGINS
The Vassa, a three-month rains retreat, was instituted by the Buddha himself and was made obligatory for all fully ordained bhikkhus; the details are laid down in the Mahavagga of the Vinaya Pitaka (3rd and 4th chapters). The retreat extends over a period corresponding to the North Indian rainy season, from the day following the full moon of July until the full-moon day of October. During the Vassa the monks are expected to dwell permanently in their temples and suspend all traveling.
In some monasteries, monks dedicate the Vassa to intensive meditation. Some Buddhist lay people choose to observe Vassa by adopting more ascetic practices.
Sunday, August 27, 2023
LUANG PU SUWAT (FOUNDER/FORMER ABBOT) MEMORIAL DAY
Born on August 29, 1919, Luang Pu Suwat ordained at the age of 20 and became a student of Luang Pu Funn Acaro two or three years later. He also studied briefly with Luang Pu Mun. Following Luang Pu Funn’s death in 1977, Luang Pu Suwat stayed on at the monastery to supervise his teacher’s royal funeral and the construction of a monument and museum in Luang Pu Funn’s honor. In the 1980’s Ajaan Suwat came to the United States, where he established four monasteries, including Buddhist Temple of America in Ontario, CA and Metta Forest Monastery in San Diego County, CA. He returned to Thailand in 1996, and passed away in Buriram on April 5, 2002 after a long illness.
In remembering Luang Pu Suwat, the temple will hold a special memorial event on Sunday, August 28, 2016.
Sunday, October 29, 2023
END OF RAINS RETREAT (VASSA)
Sunday, November 5, 2023
THE ROYAL KATHINA CEREMONY
The kathina is a ceremony in which donors present cloth and other requisites to the monks who have spent the Rains Retreat together without break. As it may be held only between the full moon dates in October and November, and only once a year in any given monastery, it is considered a very special opportunity for donors to join in and develop the virtue of generosity together.
In the time of the Buddha, the last month of the rainy season (October/November) was the time when monks would prepare their requisites for the upcoming eight-month period when they could wander and meditate freely in the forest. In particular, this was the time when they would patch their old robes or sew new ones if the old ones were beyond repair. Lay supporters thus took the opportunity to provide the monks with cloth at this time, and the Buddha established the custom of the kathina, in which donors would present cloth to a community of monks as a whole. The monks would then make the cloth into a robe within that day and present it to one of their members whose robes were old and worn, or who was deserving in any other way.
Sunday, December 31, 2023
NEW YEAR’S EVE – CHANTING OF METTA
A special evening chanting to welcome the new year. It starts after the daily evening chants, usually around 8 p.m.