Sunday, 1 August 2010

Our Visit to Cittaviveka

As reported in a previous post "A Visit to Chithurst and a Letter from Perth" the West Wight Sangha and the Newport Zen group got together for another visit to Cittaviveka, the Theravada Buddhist monastery just outside Chithurst. We were privileged to have Ajahn Succito, the abbot, lead the lay forum. It was the first time that he had done so and as he said, "I aught to find out what it's all about"!

Earlier he had explained the reason for the sudden appearance of numerous "safety" signs everywhere, the monastery had been inspected by the local council! Apparently they had been "missed" so the council was catching up on "health and safety" big time. Part of this was that the monastery is now classed as a "catering establishment" and as a result we were all asked to take any uneaten food home with us!

As Ajahn said "life's too important to take seriously".

On a "serious" point the nuns were noticeable by their absence, at the midday service I counted thirteen monks and anagarikas whereas there were only two nuns plus two female anagarikas.

On the following Friday some of us travelled into Newport  to join with the Soto Zen group for a day retreat led by Rev. Alicia, the new Prior at Reading Priory. Within this tradition gender specific titles are not used, all monastics are monks with the title Reverend and the head of a priory is a Prior!


  1. Please do not mix up the very different lifestyles and standards of Vinaya-based Theravada and later Buddhist tradition-based Soto Zen Mahayana groups. Your judgements are very misleading.

  2. As a resident of Sussex, and an ex member of the EST I have always looked to the Chithurs, and the Amaravati websites for an update on the news within the Forest Sangha. I have recently discovered this excellent site and much appreciate the open and informative tone, the wide ranging non sectarian content, and the calm reporting of difficult issues. Great stuff. Maybe one day I will make it to the events you hold and meet the human face of the Wight Sangha. With regards and best wishes Medhina