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    Lay supporters of Cittaviveka warmly invite you to take part in this year’s International Tort Pha Pa. This wonderful and unique occasion will take place at Cittaviveka Buddhist Monastery on Sunday 23 June 2024. 'Tort Pha Pa' in Thai means ‘to offer forest cloth’ and is an occasion which brings to mind the mutual support of the lay and monastic communities. The monks and nuns aim to live simply and offer teachings and examples to people who kindly offer the material support essential to the existence of the monastery as a spiritual center for the welfare of all. It is also a warm and inclusive occasion in which any act of giving, or offer of service, contributes to a sense of cooperation and spiritual friendship. The day will probably run like this: 10:15 am – Paritta (Auspicious Chanting) 10:45 – Refuges and Precepts 11:00 am – Offering of Dana (Sanghathan) 11:15 am – Rice Pindapata & Meal Offering, followed by Lay People’s Meal 1:15 pm – Tidying up after the meal 1:45 pm – Ceremonies at the memorial of Ajahn Chah 2:00 pm – Procession round the Stupa 2:15 pm – Offering of Pha Pa Robes, funds and blessings 3:15 pm – Announcements 5:00 pm – Teatime Q&A with sangha member 7:30 pm – Evening Puja including a guided meditation For more complete information, please download the PDF of the flyer. Please join us!
    Monthly Lay Forums typically take place at the monastery on the first Sunday of the month, from 2.00-4.30 pm in the Shrine Room of the main house. Topic – The Psychology of Habits Date and time – Sunday 14 July from 2:00-4:30 pm Place – the ground floor of the main house The Lay Forum consists of a short, ten-minute meditation, followed by a talk by a layperson and then by a monk or nun. Each of these two talks will last approximately fifteen minutes. After this, there is some informal discussion in small groups of around five people for forty-five minutes, followed by a larger group sharing for thirty minutes. We usually chant one of the reflections at the end, finishing with a cup of tea and chocolate until 4.30 pm. The Lay Forum is open to all, emphasizing valuing your extensive life experience and aspirations regardless of your familiarity with Buddhism, though committed practitioners are especially welcome. Some people may wish to stay on to meet with a monk or nun for the weekly teatime Q&A at 5.00 pm in one of the ground floor rooms of the Main House. The weekly guided meditation follows at 7.30 pm in the Dhamma Hall. As always, people are very welcome to come earlier in the day and participate in the midday meal offering, which is at 11.30 am from late March through October. If you wish to receive the monastery newsletter, along with regular updates about Cittaviveka, please visit the Subscription Registration page of this website.
    Chithurst Buddhist Monastery is seeking to employ a caretaker to support the existing maintenance team in taking care of the nuns’ vihara, female guest cottage and related buildings. The following job description is by no means exhaustive, but will typically include: Checking both sites, inside and outside, for any safety hazards and decay, and informing the Maintenance Manager; followed by helping with the removal of the hazards and with the cleaning and repairs, as agreed, as well as the documentation. Regular Checkups of the Aloka Cottage wood pellet boiler and radiators and reporting back to the Maintenance Manager. Regular H&S and Fire Safety checks and documentation. The monastery Maintenance Manager will be the liaison person for this varied and interesting role. This is a paid role with a contract for 8 hours per week for this purpose, available from April 2024 onwards. The person interested in this caretaker role can choose which weekday (or half days) to come, except Friday to Monday. Applicants can be male or female. There will be a three-month trial period. Where: Hammer Lane, Iping, Midhurst, West Sussex GU29 0PF If you are interested please contact the Maintenance Manager
    Use of the Dhamma Hall Visitors are now welcome to visit the monastery from early morning until the end of the group practice session that evening, i.e. evening pujas, guided meditations, Dhamma talks and midnight vigils. ​ We ask people to refrain from visiting the monastery if they are feeling unwell with symptoms of respiratory illnesses. Sharing the Midday Meal Offering Now that it is British Summer Time, the midday meal offering is at 11.30 am. Making Food Offerings The arrangements for people wishing to offer prepared dishes for the meal will remain the same, taking dishes directly to the kitchen. Other requisites can also be offered at the house or in the Dhamma Hall. Dhamma Teachings Guided meditations take place each week on Sunday evenings at 7.30 pm. Dhamma talks are offered on the lunar quarters. You can freely download a calendar showing the lunar days by using this link. We intend to live stream the weekly guided meditation, as well as the Dhamma talk on the full and new moons. Monastery Routine Please visit our website to view the monastery's daily routine. As always, please regularly check our website for changes or updates. Also, please consider signing up for our e-newsletter and announcements. You can do this by visiting the Subscribe to Newsletter page on our website.
    The weekly Sunday teatime Q&A with a senior monk or nun will take place on the ground floor of the main house starting at 5.00 pm. Everyone is welcome to stay afterwards and join in with the weekly guided meditation at 7.30 pm in the Dhamma Hall. The tea time Q&A does not happen during the months of January, February, and March (the annual Winter Retreat).
    A PDF of the 2024 calendar is available for download from the website. To obtain a printed copy we suggest you visit your nearest monastery and see if they still have any to distribute.
  • GEORGE SHARP – 1933-2022
    On Saturday 6 August 2022, George Sharp passed away peacefully at his home in north London, aged 89. From 1972 to 1995 he served as Chairman of The English Sangha Trust, and since then has remained a close friend and supporter of our sangha. In late 1976 he initiated the invitation to Ajahn Chah to come to England and establish the first monastery in the West in the tradition of the Forest Sangha. George was formerly an art director, as well as being an award winning artist, painter and illustrator. His work includes illustrations for James Clavell’s Thrump-O-Moto and M.M. Kaye’s Kipling. Here follows a brief account of George and his initial efforts to establish a Forest Sangha monastery in Britain, as recounted by Luang Por Sumedho: I was very impressed by George’s understanding of what was needed, that we weren’t going to be put in an impossible position of just becoming meditation teachers or writing newsletters. His whole emphasis was guided by the wisdom of Ajahn Maha Boowa and Ajahn Paññavaddho regarding the establishment of a forest monastery where the development of a bhikkhu could be made possible within the European setting. That impressed me so much that I encouraged George to come and visit Thailand and to meet Luang Por Chah, because I thought that he should at least come and see what our life is like. Living in a city townhouse is different from living in the Thai Forest tradition. But if George came to Wat Pah Pong in Ubon, then he would see for himself: ‘Is this what you really want?’
    From time to time, there is space for a lay person who wishes to deepen their understanding and practice of Buddhism by living within our monastic setting and having the opportunity to stay as a long-term resident at Cittaviveka Buddhist Monastery. Long-term residents follow the schedules and daily routine of the monastery. This involves taking part in the life of the community, including regular periods of meditation, work, chores, and occasionally having a period of solitary retreat. They are expected to have some basic experience of meditation and mindfulness practice. We are looking for someone with gardening and maintenance skills to take on the role as our gardener, that is, taking responsibility for the appearance of the garden areas of Rocana and Aloka (the buildings where the women’s community dwell), looking after garden equipment and hand tools, and working with volunteers. Also, this role includes some help with maintaining the buildings where the female guests are living. Due to available accommodation, applicants should be female. The role would include: ▪ Helping to take care of the buildings where the female guests are staying ▪ Having good household skills and being able to identify maintenance problems ▪ Working independently and as part of a team of volunteers and monastics with responsibility for grounds and maintenance ▪ Being able to identify plants and be knowledgeable about plant care ▪ Digging, planting and weeding flower beds and borders, mowing the lawns ▪ Pruning shrubs ▪ Applying nutrients to plants and watering ▪ Cleaning and maintaining hand tools and equipment ▪ Caring for garden utility areas (garden shed, compost bays etc.) ▪ Supervising experienced and inexperienced volunteers doing basic gardening tasks ▪ Implementing safe work procedures ▪ Assisting with some clerical duties such as record keeping and safety documentation ▪ Undertaking to offer approximately 30 hours of service per week ▪ Being physically fit and robust Applicants will need to demonstrate they have the right to live in the UK through having a current valid passport and, where required, a visa. We would invite a suitable applicant to stay at the monastery for a period of up to 3 months. Following a trial period of 3 months, the successful applicant may be invited to stay for one year initially. This will be reviewed every 3 months. This is a volunteer residential position, available from May 2022. If you are interested, email your CV and a covering letter to, or you can speak to Ajahn Cittapala at the monastery.
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