Venerable Appamado joined the Rainbows Retreat this year. After living at Amaravati for a number of years when he participated in the Family Events, he now lives in the Portuguese Monastery and came over especially to join the retreat. Here's an account he sent me of his time over the weekend.
Arriving for the Rainbows Weekend is usually a mix of looking forward with 'unsureness'.
This time it wasn't.
It seems that the relatively calm atmosphere that was lived and experienced during the weekend was already disclosing itself in advance on the days before the retreat, as if the flavor of the weekend was already in the air.
Usually I am a bit apprehensive before it all starts.
This time I wasn't.
The gladness of seeing everyone again arriving peacefully was just natural. The general sense of maturity and the development of the families' awareness it's for sure a reason for this experience to be like it was.
But I suspect that also the theme for this year - Ajahn Chah - had its contribution. Ajahn Chah was cheerful, charming, strong, but very peaceful and calm, and I think we all drunk a bit of that.
Sister Tisara was free of ornamentations on her delivery, on her presentation, being simple, calm, guiding and pointing everybody to the way things are. Without unnecessary extras. That also brought an element of soberness.
Even in situations of uneasiness we could all keep the perspective.
Can you imagine children and parents running around, jumping, shouting, laughing and playing within a mind frame of peacefulness and harmony?
That just happened.
So, amidst all the play, the fun, the laughs and the games, within an environment of calm and ease we could all look within, to what was happening inside, understand and learn from that, being a bit more aware of reality.
With congratulations for the coordinators who always do so well.