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September 2008



One of the highlights of the month of August was the brief visit of our teacher Ajahn Sumedho, now in his 75th year but remarkably well and clearly delighting in the fruits of his practice. He kindly came to join us in a remembrance service for Khun Natcharee Thananan, wife of a former Thai ambassador to Rome, who was instrumental in acquiring this property for use of the Sangha, and who died ten years ago. At the same time we also took the opportunity to remember with gratitude Vincenzo Piga, an important figure in the development of Buddhism in Italy, who donated the original property in Sezze Romano and who passed away in November, ten years ago, while we were in Thailand for Khun Natcharee's funeral.

We also took Ajahn Sumedho on a few local trips around the Sabina area, visiting some of the charming hill-top villages such as Montenero and Fara Sabina. The photograph below was taken at nearby Canneto, with Mario Thanavaro, the founder and first abbot of Santacittarama, in front of what is reputed to be the largest olive tree in Europe and to be 2,400 years old! We were also invited for a meal at the embassy, where we met many of the Thai officials based in Rome and young Thais that are studying in Italian universities. Ajahn Sumedho gave a brief talk in Thai and then we accompanied him on a visit to Piazza Campidoglio and the Capitoline Museum.




As usual August has been a busy month at the monastery, and we've had guests from all over Italy and beyond. On just one day, for example, somebody arrived from Slovenia by car and another from Sicily. Apologies to those that requested to come but we were unable to accommodate - please try earlier next time! Work has also been progressing on the men's guest house, the outside rendering has been completed in record time by the Thai monks and a few helpers. Now that the vacation period is coming to an end we are preparing for a quieter time; Santacittarama will be in retreat mode for all of September, see in the programme below for information.

Communication difficulties

For about the first ten days of August our telephone line was completely out of order. Unfortunately for people trying to call, it seemed as though the phone was ringing but that we were not answering. If you were trying to call us around that time, now you know why there wasn't even the answering machine! Any way, the good news is that it is working again, at least for the time being.

We have also become aware that some people (at least 5 or 6 that we know of) have been sending emails that have not been arriving. If you've written and not received a response, this is probably the reason. To be on the safe side you can always send a copy to this address: [email protected].

A drawback of sending out a large number of newsletters every month is that some servers interpret the messages as spam, and so they are filtered or bounced back and thus do not arrive at their destination. If there are any IT experts out there who can advise on how to get around this problem, we would be glad to hear from them.




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