We have had a lot of snow over night, so yesterday I had been expecting four people to come to Sunday Service here at The Buddhist House today, but now it looks as if maybe no one can make it. When asked whether I would still have a Sunday Service even if there is only me here, I said “of course”. It feels very important to keep Sunday Service going even if there is no one there but me, but I am not finding it easy to articulate why.

Part of it is about keeping it going so people know that they can just turn up without prior warning and know that it is happening, rather than feel they have to phone in advance to check. And linked to that is knowing that even if they are late and turn up half way through the service they can just come into the shrine room and join in with where things are up to.

Also when Jnanamati increased his practise last summer in France and I did a 5 day chanting retreat various people felt they benefited from knowing it was happening. Sujatin sums it up saying “I'm so touched to read this schedule you are maintaining over in France. It's a great boon to those of us who are living householder lives to know that, when we are caught in the mundane tasks such a life entails (even though we can chant through some of them!), underlying and supporting us is your direct connection with the Measureless, for the benefit of us all - all sentient beings. So people may similarly feel they benefit from knowing that at The Buddhist House there is regular daily morning practise and Sunday Service happening in an on going way.

Finally and most importantly for me personally, I want do to practise to benefit myself from doing it.

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Comment by caroline brazier on February 6, 2012 at 8:36

Thank you for sharing this. I very much appreciate that you still did the service. It is hard to carry on sometimes when you are on your own, but knowing you have people who are with you in spirit is also important. It is a funny balance isnt it. I know it can be disheartening when you are practising on your own but it can also be very wonderful. If you choose to do a solitary retreat, that loneness is intentional, but the Sunday service is about coming together so finding yourself doing it on your own feels rather different. Practice together can be very special.

Of course in this case circumstances led to the situation - heavy snow tends to disrupt everything. I hope you are keeping warm at TBH. We have the fires going in France but it is still cold. Beautiful though... everuthing has its plus side 

Comment by robert McCarthy on February 7, 2012 at 1:46
I bet you still rang the bells Aramati! in chiag mai last week i bought a gong and a set of those little bells we rang the new year in with in Ghent; for my practice sessions in Melbourne. best wishes to you.

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