Saturday, 1 June 2013

Retreat Day in Newport

Yesterday two of us from the West Wight Sangha travelled to Newport and joined with the Soto Zen group there for a day retreat.

The Zen group is affiliated to the Reading Buddhist Priory. The Priory was founded in 1990 as a temple of the Serene Reflection (Soto Zen) tradition of Buddhism and is part of the Order of Buddhist Contemplatives which has temples around the UK and in Germany, the Netherlands, Canada and North America.

At present, Rev. Alina Burgess is Prior. She is a senior monk and disciple of Rev. Master Daishin Morgan, who is the Abbot of Throssel Hole Buddhist Abbey and the Priory's patron.

The Order was founded in 1978 by Reverend Master P.T.N.H Jiyu-Kennett (1924-1996). Born Peggy Kennett in England in 1924, she studied music in London and Durham before travelling to the East in 1961 to be ordained by the Venerable Seck Kim Seng as a member of the Chinese Buddhist church in Malaysia. She then continued her training as a disciple of the Very Reverend Keido Chisan Koho Zenji, the Abbot of Dai Hon Zan Sojiji monastery in Yokohama, Japan.

Certified by him as a Master in 1963, Reverend Master Jiyu-Kennett eventually returned to the West in 1969 and founded Shasta Abbey in California and Throssel Hole Buddhist Abbey in Northumberland. Both are retreat centres as well as training monasteries of the Order of Buddhist Contemplatives.

We were very lucky in that; Rev. Alina was able to travel down and join us for the day. She gave an excellent Dharma talk before lunch and I regret not having had the foresight to have brought any recording equipment so that the talk could have been shared on our Audio section.

As always, a huge  vote of thanks to Dave for arranging the day and giving us the use of his superb Zendo and beautiful garden.

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