This little collection was never intended as a ‘collection of teachings.’ It came about in response to a request and a suggestion. The request was from Sarah Wallis who wanted to sponsor a publication in celebration of her sixtieth birthday, and to mark thirty years of the Banbury Buddhist Group. The suggestion, also from Sarah, was to gather together the reflections that had been individually prepared for the twice-yearly editions of our Milntuim Hermitage Newsletter.
It was a surprise to find that there are twenty of these – and even more of a surprise to find that the reflections are all quite different. Every time I wrote a reflection, my intention was to offer encouragement for practice with the prevailing conditions; it seemed to me that it was always the same Dhamma1 practice that I pointed to. However, what I had failed to appreciate was that the actual conditions were different each time!
So, after an initial hesitation, I asked some of my monastic and lay friends to read what was there. Ajahn Sucitto, Ajahn Munindo and Ajahn Sundarā all offered encouraging and helpful feedback, as did several kind lay friends. Members of the Lotus Volunteer Group gathered the material in one place, and Mariah O’Neill gave it a thorough edit. Eleonora Monti has helped to prepare the text for publication. Nicholas Halliday offered his expertise in preparing the practical and artistic elements, patiently to-ing and fro-ing with proof-readers until it was ‘just about right’ enough.
May it serve as an encouragement to attune to the Dhamma, the Timeless, as we navigate the uncharted waters of the times to come.
Ajahn Candasirī (from the Foreword)