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New Stupa at the Auckland Vihara

Visitors to the Auckland Buddhist Vihara may have noticed that near the Bodhi Tree there is now a beautiful stone stupa. This stupa was carved in Indonesia in the same style and material as the famous stupas of Borobudur. A stupa is similar to a Buddha statue in that it represents and reminds us of the path to Awakening.

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Metta for the Environmental Mirror

Vimutti is a Buddhist monastic community in the lineage known as the Forest Tradition. A key feature of our training is living in and learning from nature. That means we take nature as our primary teacher and endeavour to practice for enlightenment in more naturally secluded environments. Although the Dhamma exists everywhere, the environment we inhabit plays a powerful role in our conditioning. The Buddha himself was born in the forest, practiced in the forest, enlightened under a tree, founded monasteries in the forest and passed away in the forest. He clearly appreciated nature. Even after his full enlightenment he would still go on retreat in the forest, and he encouraged his monks and nuns to follow his example of developing meditation in secluded settings. When we try it for ourselves, we can see why. Spending time in tranquil locations inclines the mind towards peace. Observing the workings of nature encourages the growth of wisdom.

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The Vimutti Stupa

Vimutti Stupa Project

“A stupa is a symbol of inner and outer peace. Our hearts and our world can benefit from such reminders of the source of true happiness. For thousands of years stupas have served as points of inspiration, and it is our wish that the Vimutti Stupa will inspire innumerable beings to create the wholesome kamma that will propel them onwards to the realization of the Noble Eightfold Path and the full Awakening of Nibbana.” Ajahn Chandako

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The Magical Mystery Tour

Thailand is still an extraordinary place. My recent trip there reconfirmed the wonders of the South-east Asian charm, warmth and strength. Surrounded by the joy and wisdom of the Sangha and the large hearts of lay friends, it was again clear that there is indeed something special about a culture steeped in Buddhist values.

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The Material Attainments

Normally when we speak of the material attainments we are referring the first four jhanas, but over the past year there have been other developments in the material realm. Just as the jhanas provide a solid foundation for insight and liberation (Vimutti), the material developments at the monastery provide a foundation for people to practice for their heart’s freedom.

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