What is Vassa?
The rains retreat is a three-month monastic tradition that aligns with the lunar calendar and the monsoon season in India and southeast Asia. This tradition can be traced back to the time of the Buddha, where monks spent their lives on the road, taking shelter only in the forest. In order to protect the monks during the downpours, the community built a shelter for the monks and invited them to stay until the monsoon ends. That was, in essence, the first monastery and the first Vassa.
How is it observed today?
To this day, the tradition continues. For the monks, this is a time of study and contemplation. For lay people, it can be a time to give up meat, smoking and other things. People can also share their appreciation for the monks by bringing them meals and necessities. (We’ll have a sign up sheet at the center if you’re interested.) It begins with the community’s invitation to the monks to stay at the monastery, during which each monk will formally declare they will reside at the monastery during Vassa.
How will Triple Gem of the North observe Vassa?
During this period, we’ll have four monks in residence at the Mindfulness Center. In addition we are honored to host Bhante Medhankara, a senior monk visiting from Sri Lanka.
Invitation for Monastic Retreat
When: July 9, 10:15 am (followed by meditation)
What: The community invites the the venerable monks to reside at the Mindfulness Center in Chaska. Everyone is welcome to attend.
Where: The Mindfulness Center, 212 N. Chestnut, Chaska
Over the next three months of Vassa, we’ll host special events. Watch the schedule for special dhamma talks on Saturday afternoons, as well as chanting meditation with Bhante Medhankara on Sundays at 4 pm.