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Visiting Aruna Ratanagiri

Day visit: it is possible to just come over and visit the Dhamma Hall, Library
or other public areas. You are welcome to do some meditation, join the midday

winter 2011

meal offering, join the evening puja (meditation and chanting) or just walk around.
Staying as a guest: if you are interested to stay as a guest and to join the
monastery routine, please contact:
You can also see:>about>visiting

Monastic Silent Weeks

The monastic community occasionally observes silent practice weeks. During
these times speaking is reduced to a minimal level and the community can
dedicate more time to focus on formal practice. Visitors are welcome as usual but
we ask you to respect the silence as it is a rare opportunity in this world.

Luang Por's Comment

Lost Property: please contact us, if you think you might have left something at
the monastery. It is our policy to keep lost property in store for a maximum of six
months, after which we are likely to recycle accumulated items.

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You can also download a pdf version on:>News>Hilltop Newsletter
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I am decidedly a lay person. But I

week in Kusala House. It was only many

emphatically endorse your position that a

little experience of monastic renunciation

months later, after they had returned

home, that I found out they had been told

can be of great benefit to lay people. We

have missed a great opportunity if we

on arriving in the monastery that they

had to observe the eight precepts. Peter

just come to a Wat (monastery) to enjoy

the good food and country air.

is over eighty years old and should not

have been required to refrain from eating

This is a brief extract from a letter I

recently received from our good friend,
Peter Dale Scott, who visited us earlier
this year. Peter and his wife, Ronna, were
here from the US and stayed for almost a

in the evening; it was a misunderstanding. However, as you read in the

extract above, Peter has no regrets. He
had a happy time staying here and in the
process learned a valuable lesson.
(Continue inside)

Contents: Luang Por's Comment, News & Resident Community, Notices,

Calendar, Events, Regular Meetings, From the Trustees, Contacts


2 Harnham Hall Cottages Harnham Belsay Northumberland NE20 0HF
Tel: 01661 881 612


Hilltop Newsletter


Hilltop Newletter - winter 2011

Luang Por's Comment, News & Resident Community, Notices

Luang Por's Comment (continue)
He explained to me the trepidation he

News & Resident Community

demands so much attention? Our true

There are only a few changes to the

Markus Rder originally from Germany

had felt on hearing what was required of

him but chose to simply trust in the

heart doesnt take effort to maintain.

There isnt anything to maintain. Our true

community at Harnham as we go into this

years winter retreat. Anagarika Carlos

and Robert Pugh from London are staying

as long term guests with an interest to

practice. Over and again he had read

about letting go of expectations. Having

heart is just so. Yet it certainly helps when

we can recognize that which is false

left Harnham a few weeks after he took

the eight precepts. Ajahn Sawaeng from

join the community.

sat on many retreats he had heard many

Dhamma talks about not clinging to views

within us. In fact we cant really be free

from it until we see it.

Thailand is expected to return to our

community in March. We also expect

Current residents at Ratanagiri:

and opinions. Yet on this occasion he

discovered that the actual experience of
truly surrendering, with body and mind,
delivered a shift in perception he had not

Im taking the occasion of writing

about this aspect of training because it is
often misunderstood. People sometimes

known before.

think renunciate practice is about trying

to be virtuous by putting themselves

Now when he is faced with situations

he would normally resist he finds what

through pain. In a way it is virtuous, but

not if the ego is getting off on it. We

happens instead is surrender. His

observing the Eight Precepts means he

practice putting ourselves under pressure

by way of experiment. We want to see

has now improved his repertoire of skills

for transforming the difficulties of life into

what happens when I dont get my way.

The way and my way are not necessarily

wisdom and compassion. (And he told me

I could share his letter however I wished).

the same. The way never has any

problems with anything. Hence the

Reading and listening have their

place: like going to school to get an
education. But we dont stay at school
forever; we need to get out and earn a
living. Having educated ourselves
sufficiently by studying about Dhamma,
we need to apply what we have learned.
The training conventions offered when
staying in the monastery provide
opportunities to do this. Of course there is
part of us that says, I dont want to do it.

Buddha didnt suffer because his heart

was at one with the way. He experienced
pain but he didnt suffer. No resistance.
Renunciation training gives us the optimal
chance of seeing my way for what it is.
And when we see it, we dont have to
hate it, or judge it, or get rid of it. We
simply recognize it. Like finding the faults
in the loft insulation: once we find them
we know where the heat is leaking out
and why our gas bill is so high.

And that is the voice we want to hear. Is

that our true heart speaking? Or is it our

May your New Year start well and

continue well. May we all enjoy the fruits

false heart; the conditioned personality

that consumes so much energy and

of surrendering ourselves to Reality.

Mettacittena, Ajahn Munindo

Ajahn Abhinando to come back from his

sabbatical some time in mid-March.
Samanera Kovido will be going back to
Italy after the winter retreat. Tomas Hatch
who used to be an Anagarika here joined
us for a few months and during that time
took on the Kusala House Manager duty.

Luang Por Munindo

Ajahn Punnyo
Bhikkhu avisuddhi
Bhikkhu Akliko
Bhikkhu Ariyo
Bhikkhu Bodhinando
Samanera Kovido
Samanera Gambhro

IMPORTANT Standing Orders (reminder from the Trustees)
Donating regularly by standing order is extremely helpful, as it allows the Trustees to
manage the Monastery's finances most effectively. Your support in this way is very much
appreciated. Could we, the trustees, ask if you make a regular donation to the
Monastery, to please check that you have cancelled your standing order to the Magga
Bhavaka Trust, which is expected to eventually be wound up. The Monastery is now
being run by the newly established Harnham Buddhist Monastery Trust.
To set up a standing order for Harnham Buddhist Monastery Trust, please pick up a
form from the monastery or download one at or contact the
monastery secretary for one to sent to you.
If you need further information please contact Tina Naples at
or Penny Wakefield-Pearce on 01670 788 596, who are more than happy to help.

Looking for a New Kusala House Manager

At Aruna Ratanagiri we are looking for a new guest house manager to start in spring
2012 (after the winter retreat). If you are interested, please contact the monastery.
For job specifications please have a look at:>announcements.

Hilltop Newletter - winter 2011

Calendar, Events, Regular Meetings, From the Trustees


Sat 3

Sat 10

Sun 18



Retreats schedule for 2012:

Forgiveness & Aspiration Ceremony
at Harnham starts at 7 pm





Mixed retreat

Ajahn Tiradhammo

Fri 13th Sun 15th April

Mixed retreat

Ajahn Karuiko

Fri 18th Sun 20th May

Sat 24

Meditation for Beginners 5:30 pm



Winter Retreat Starts

Mixed retreat

Ajahn Kalyo

Sun 3rd - Sat 9th June

Ajahn Chah Memorial Day

Mixed retreat

Ajahn Abhinando

Sun 5th - Sat 11th August

Mixed retreat

Ajahn Punnyo

Mon 24th - Sun 30th September

Sun 1

Sun 8

Mon 16

Mon 23

Tue 7

Wed 15

Tue 21

Wed 29


Wed 7

Thu 15

Thu 22

Fri 30





Monastic Calendar 2012/2555

Fri 6

Sat 14

Fri 20

Sat 28

Mon 16


Meditation for Beginners 5:30 pm


Wed 7


Meditation for Beginners 5:30 pm

For more information and booking for these retreats please contact
Kath Jones at or by phone at 0120 7283361.
You can also see:

Magha Puja


Winter Retreat Finishes


HBMT Meeting

Winter Retreat 2012


Meditation for Beginners 5:30 pm

Starts on Sunday 8th January until 15th March

Evening meditation and Dhamma talk



Lay Discussion Group 5.30 pm

Evening meditation and Dhamma talk

Fri 13-Sun 15

Ajahn Tiradhammo's Retreat

From 8th January 2011 until 15th March the community will be on retreat.
Much of the time will be spent in silence and we will not be having guests
staying at the monastery. Visitors are still welcome to visit in the daytime,
and the Dhamma Hall will be open daily from 6am until 10pm for personal
meditation. The monthly meditation class and the Saturday evening puja will
continue to take place. However, Dhamma talks are not planned during this

Fri 13-Fri 20

Ajahn Tiradhammo's Visit



Evening meditation and Dhamma talk

period (though there might also be some surprises). As always, you are most
welcome to come and share the silence, join the food offerings or help with



Evening meditation and Dhamma talk


From the Trustees

Regular Meetings
Listed below are meetings that are
held regularly at the monastery. Everyone

Wednesday Tea every week at 5:30 pm.

These are opportunities to meet with a

is welcome to attend.

Sangha member for a discussion on

Dhamma practice.

Meditation Classes
On the first Saturday of each month Dr.
Adrian Bint runs a meditation class which
starts at 5:30 pm in the Kusala House
shrine room. Beginners and more
experienced meditators are welcome to
attend. Meditation instruction is combined
with questions and feedback and it gives
people a chance to meet other meditators
and gain some insight into the teachings.

Lay Discussion Group

(These meetings will not take place
during the Winter Retreat)
The lay discussion group usually meets

Saturday Evening Meditation and

Dhamma Talk
(There are no Dhamma Talks planned
during the winter retreat; though there
might also be some surprises).
Saturday evening meditation and
chanting is usually followed by a talk on
the Buddhas teachings. Meditation starts

what is available in the larder. If others

are keen to do likewise on another week
day I am happy to introduce you to the
kitchen and the routine.
Please contact me on:
Kath Jones: 01207 283361 or

Harnham Helpers

specific food shortages at the monastery.

To this end it has been arranged that a

If you would like to offer your expertise

or help to the monastery, in whatever area

This discussion group explores the

practice of Buddhism and meditation in

the monastery or visit our website for a

Harnham Helper form. This will allow you

lay life. No need to book, newcomers as

well as regular supporters are welcome.

to specify what you would like to offer and

to give us your contact details, so that we

There is an informal atmosphere and tea.

can contact you when the need arises.

We aim to finish in good time for the

evening chanting and meditation at

Meditation Groups - Contacts

7:00 pm. If you are interested or have any

queries please contact:

For further information about meditation

meetings in your area please feel free to phone
one of the contacts below:

Jean Nelson

01228 546 259

Saturday and Wednesday Tea


Neil Howell

0131 226 5044

(These meetings will not take place

during the Winter Retreat)


James Scott

0141 637 9731


Anne Grimshaw 01274 691 447

place at 5:30 pm in the Kusala House

shrine room. Saturday Tea every third,

for the Sangha. Sometimes we bring food

along to offer, at other times we use

Food Offerings

from cooking to driving, cleaning to

gardening and plumbing please contact

Saturday and Wednesday Tea take

At present myself and another lay

supporter come to the monastery on
most Fridays to prepare the midday meal

at 7:00 pm and the evening closes around

8:30 pm. All are welcome.

on the second Saturday of every month at

5:30 pm in the Kusala House shrine room.

Penny Wakefield-Pearce 01670 788 596

Cooking Volunteers

It is always helpful to know of any

lay supporter contacts the kitchen

manager at Ratanagiri every Thursday,
requesting a list of food items that are in
short supply that week. This information
is then circulated via email to volunteers,
who, if they are able, will offer to
replenish the larder. If you would like to
participate, please contact:
Kath Jones: 01207 283361 or
You might also like to know there is a
national supermarket chain that delivers
directly to the monastery via telephone

and would be prepared to offer shortterm stays to guests of the monastery

we would be delighted to hear from you.
Anyone interested please contact the

Sponsoring the Board-walk

Many of you have already enjoyed
visiting and exploring Harnham Lake and
its surrounds. You may well have noticed
that there are some marshy areas which
hinder complete circumambulation.
Having already planted a few thousand
trees, the plan now is to install a boardwalk to enable people to conveniently
walk all the way round the lake.
Anyone interested in sponsoring part
of the board-walk, even just one plank,
will find more information on:>announcements

Monastery Committee Meetings

The monastery committee meetings
are held at irregular intervals. Anyone is
welcome to attend. For further details
please contact the committee members
or the monastery.

Committee contacts
Should you need any information or
advice about visiting the monastery, or

order. Kath can give you the details.

ways of supporting the monastic

community through offerings of practical

Local Accommodation

help, food or funds, please get in touch

with us. We are also always very

There are times of high demand for

Daniella Loeb

01132 791 375


01706 219 747

guest accommodation at the monastery

and we are compiling a list of alternative


Mai Walton

01457 765 845

local accommodation. If you live locally


Ian Plagaro-Neill 0191 469 2778

fourth and (if applicable) fifth Saturday, > news > calendar - (up to date information for all events)

interested in receiving your comments or

suggestions. Our names and contacts:
Mickey MacGregor: 01434 240256
Andrew White: 07966 017884