The visit included:
Meditation Teaching Sessions
- Albany Health Campus where mental health nurse, Darren Bodey kindly organised a meditation and talk at the Acute Psychiatric Unit which was attended by both, patients and staff. The theme of the talk was Kindfulness (a term coined by Ajahn Brahm). In meditation, it involves kindness towards oneself and to all beings every day. I discussed about the value of meditation and developing peace as an important part of cultivating a healthy mind.
- Introduction to neighbours adjacent to the proposed site. There were a few initial hiccups, but overall it proved to be enjoyable, productive and most of all well received.
- Albany Community Radio for an interview with Mr. Rod Nation, who was filling in for the usual presenter, Liz Vincent.
- Pardelup Prison Farm where their Transitional Employment Coordinator, Anne Gillespie inspired many of the prisoners to attend these regular 3-monthly sessions
- Evening and afternoon sessions at the lovely and picturesque Lawley Park Tennis Club
- Visit to Albany Regional Prison where the new chaplain. Reverend John Jones and I were pleased to see the chapel at full capacity with 20 participants enjoying 30 minutes of freedom inside peaceful meditation;
- Albany’s Senior Citizens Hall where a large group of Albany folk gathered for their regular dose of peace and stillness. Thanks to Jo Sharp for organising the venue and encouraging the attendees.
- Sanctuary Community Centre in Denmark where our final teaching and meditation session was held. Thanks to the local meditation community for organising this regular calendar event.
I met with good friend and local businessman, Mr Paul Lionetti and the local member for Albany, the Honourable Peter Watson MLA to discuss an alternative road access for the proposed Elleker monastery development – also in attendance were key local supporters, Wasana Poonwiset, Quentin Healy and Harley Dykstra’s senior town planner, Mr David Congdon. I proceeded to illustrate the difficulties experienced in convincing adjoining land owners to sell a portion of their land for a road easement enabling access the land-locked 160 acre property. I proposed to Peter Watson an alternative which may benefit DFES (Department of Fire & Emergency Services) as it would improve their access to the adjoining park and recreation reserve. This suggestion will be discussed in Parliament.
Peter Watson’s reputation for his kind assistance in serving the local Albany electorate is very well known and I am eagerly looking forward to hearing the outcome of the discussion in Parliament.
Overall, things are looking very promising for the establishment of a Bodhinyana branch monastery in Albany.
Lastly, I have some very exciting news regarding the purchase of the 160 acre Elleker property. On 28th March 2019 the Buddhist Society of Western Australia (BSWA) has initiated the purchase of the property. BSWA and the owner of the property agreed to the terms of the Offer and Acceptance with settlement to occur on 27 May 2019 subject to all conditions being met.
Following settlement, I will make the big move to Bodhinyana Great Southern Monastery, thus providing the availability for Bodhinyana Monastery to start providing ordination for more monks.
Further, our plan is to make Buddhist history in Albany and celebrate its first ever Entry to Rains Ceremony (at a location yet to be decided) on Sunday 14th July 2019.
Kind wishes, metta and many thanks to everyone helping get this project afloat.