Cittaviveka was the first Ajahn Chah monastery to be established outside of Thailand. Started by Ajahn Sumedho, its establishment coincided with Ajahn Chah’s visit to Britain in 1979. The property includes Chithurst House, its adjacent Dhamma Hall, and Hammer Wood with many meditation kuṭīs (huts). There is also the Rocana Vihāra for nuns and Āloka cottage for their female guests.
Members of the Buddhist community from across the south of England celebrated the annual Kathina festival in October 2017. Food was laid out on tables in the ground, as people arrived with food
Those attending lined the outside of one wing of the cloister, around the edge of he lawn, into the other end of the cloister, and wound its way into the grounds as monks passed by collecting alms.
An important part of the day is the offering of the Kathina cloth, which is carried around the Dahmma Hall three times in procession.
Those attending, defer to the monks, who prepare to enjoy the culinary offerings
After enjoying the donated fruit, cakes, sandwiches and other goodies, celebrants join the monks in the Dhamma Hall.
The Dhamma Hall is an inspiring conversion of a former cow shed, which has been enlarged and beautifully crafted from fine English Green Oak to provide a space for quiet contemplation and rejuvenation of mind and spirit.
The Kathina celebrations are held at Chithurst Monastery annually in October or November.
STOP PRESS : The 2018 Kathina celebrations will take place at Chithurst Monastery on Sunday 11 November 2018.
Words and pictures : Tony Knight photography & MEDIA
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