Dear Sangha,
Our Zen Winter Retreat is drawing near and I am happy to say that it is filling up nicely. While December 8th may be the traditional date to mark the Buddha’s enlightenment, our winter Sesshin will mark Rohatsu this year just a few days later, on December 11th … the weekend closest to the actual festival.

Revisiting Jampa Ling Buddhist Centre in the heart of winter will be a wonderful experience: the carpet of bluebells gone from the forests and the crunch of frozen grass underfoot when doing walking meditation outdoors in the early morning. It should prove a special experience, coming together in the warmth of Sangha at a dark time of year, to remember the morning star that illuminated everything some two-and-a-half millennia ago, for our original teacher, Shakyamuni Buddha.

I hope that, for you, a great illumination occurs in your practice this winter: to inspire in you the reawakening of joy; a joy that you bring to others you meet along the way in your daily life. Remember, that the true Sangha contains all and everybody: each sentient being you encounter, with their suffering and happiness; as well as the trees, plants and other animals that share this planet with us.

Winter is soon upon us. Under its starry, frosty skies, may the important things come into clarity for all of us, as we practice together in the weeks and months ahead.

With palms together,