The following was sent to VIMS after the practice Day with Ajahn Sudanto at Goward House.
What a satisfying way to spend a gorgeous summer day. Perfect environment at Goward House for walking meditation on such a day, as Ajahn Sudanto pointed out.
We were privileged to be led by Ajahn Sudanto, who leads a small group of monks in a Refuge in Washington State. It is non-residential in case anyone plans on visiting. Billed as a meditative practice day, it turned out to be considerably more than that; the Ajahn recounted his background as a young man just out of University and his first encounters with Buddhist teachings. He mused about impermanence, self and not self, and the joys and frustrations of meditation practice and enjoined us to be patient with ourselves. He mentioned an experience with a large image of a (Chinese) ‘laughing Buddha’ both amusing and, after consideration, enlightening.
I personally enjoyed his relaxed, somewhat informal demeanor, though never losing an aura of seriousness; for example the simplicity of his announcing a session of walking meditation and right away setting off himself through the assembly and out into the garden.
Many thanks to both the Abbot and to the team who looked after the logistics of the event.
A grateful participant