Spring Break time brought several small groups of students to learn about the temple and Buddhism in general, and also a Christian Brother in the Order of St. Augustine who was given a week of retreat time here. It was very nice to have his company and discuss some of the differences and many similarities between our practices. We hope he will come back when he has the opportunity.
On March 15 Rev. Seikai was invited to give a guest lecture at the Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara. His talk was on the basic Buddhist concepts of impermanence, change, the existence of suffering, and selflessness, and was very well received.
For the Segaki retreat we had 6 new people and just enough of our regulars to be able to do the ceremony, which is complicated and a beautiful offering of generosity.
We had a members meeting on March 10, notes of which are available on request, the next one is June 2. We strongly encourage members to come to these and help us shape the temples activities.
Rev. Seikai has finished two more meditation platforms which have been added to our meditation room. There are now three platforms on each side of the main altar. Then, we ordered new carpet, replacing the old red with a pleasant shade of green. Rev. Phoebe also gave the hall a fresh coat of white paint, thus completing the facelift; we think it looks great.
The work day, March 30, on a new length of trail saw a small and enthusiastic group of people, the work turned out not to be too hard in most places and we made more progress than expected. As we stopped for juice and cookies we enjoyed the lovely view over the valley and decided on a spot where we can use a garden bench. When this bench appears, hopefully not assembled, we will carry it up in sections, like we did with the one that sits on top of our middle hill, and assemble it in place. The trail work day scheduled for April 20 didn’t materialize. Instead, our well service man came that day and reconnected the north field well to the water lines, making it possible to water the trees. The well had almost stopped flowing, and was rehabbed by a process of internally scrubbing the sides of the well pipe. Now the well, with its new pump at the bottom, produces 15 gallons of water a minute, which is an impressive flow of water.