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December 2011


Santacittarama was honoured this year with a Royal Kathina - a first for Italy! - with a set of robes being offered on behalf of King Bhumibol in his 84th year by the Thai Ambassador in Rome. The fact that about 700 calendars were handed out at the end of the ceremony gives some indication of the huge turnout. Busloads of the faithful - some travelling through the night - came from as far away as Milan,Venice and Naples. We were also blessed by warm, sunny weather, and the presence of Tan Chao Khun Visuddhidhiraporn, as well as Ajahn Ariyasilo from Amaravati and Tan Aruno (previously anagarika Gianni) from Chithurst. Our appreciation goes to all those who made it a very special day and gave generously to the monastery and to a fund for helping those affected by floods in Thailand.

At the time of writing we have only three monks in the monastery (Ajahns Chandapalo, Ottama and Jantee), with Tan Mahapanyo visiting family in Arezzo for ten days and Ajahn Prateep spending a month at Dhammapala monastery in Switzerland. Tan Cittaviro, who was here for the summer, is on his way back to Thailand after visiting family in Germany. Ajahns Jutindharo and Suvaco are both in Thailand and are due to return during the winter retreat, while samanera Kovido (formerly anagarika Giovanni) is still at Aruna Ratanagiri monastery near Newcastle and is expected back in April. During the second half of December Ajahn Chandapalo will be staying with his mother, returning in time for the New Year, but leaving again on 6th January for a short trip to Thailand, where there is scheduled a gathering of senior monks from around the world and a commemoration of the 20th anniversary of Ajahn Chah's passing.



Here is a gallery of photos of Ajahn Chah: forestsangha.org/gallery



A calendar for 2012 in PDF format is available for download: forestsanghapublications.org/viewBook.php?id=41&ref=vec



An association of lay Buddhists connected to Santacittarama now has a website (in Italian): saddha.it. Soon the first issue of a monthly newsletter (in Italian) will be sent out via email, one can subscribe to it here: eepurl.com/fzeL6




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