INFORMATION

Membership, Gifts and Projects

Membership

Support the Vihara by becoming a member! The membership fee is SEK 250 och can be deposited on the Vihara postgiro account, 269304-2 (Buddhistiska Viharaföreningen). You can also become a lifetime member by donating SEK 10.000 and contribute practically to the development of the Vihara. Members will receive a newsletter twice a year.

Gifts

The activities of the Vihara is completely dependent on voluntary gifts – the monks have no other income. In order to run the Vihara, approximately SEK 10.000 is required each month. If you like, please contribute SEK 100 (or a smaller sum) each month by autogiro to the Vihara postgiro account 269304-2 (Buddhistiska Viharaföreningen). Thanks in advance!

Some of the Vihara members and friends have started to offer support for payment of the electrical bills for the Vihara. The number of supporters are continually growing. They do this in conjunction with their birthday or in rememberance of relatives and friends. If you are interested in joining this campaign, please send your contributions to the Vihara postgiro account 269304-2 (Buddhistiska Viharaföreningen), marked “Elräkningsstöd”.

Collection of funds for a new Vihara!

Stockholm Buddhist Vihara has existed for more than twenty years and have grown both in terms of activities and number of members. In order to accomodate this growth, we now feel the need for larger premises than our current temple building at Sångvägen 9 in Jakobsberg. Most of you who has visited the Vihara has probably at some point wondered how we can have so many visitors in the Vihara building. It has been a recurring problem and sometimes the board has had trouble arranging ceremonies. The members have also sometimes felt uncomfortable with the limited space. In addition to this, overcrowding the building can cause serious wear and tear.

Considering this, we are thinking of buying a house and land property suitable for a Buddhist temple. The goal is to have a building on a site that is approximately 3000 square meters. It should be situated close to nature (maybe in the vicinity of woods and water) and not so far from town. We have already started looking for potential sites and during the time we will start a collection of funds for this purpose.

The goal is to get  more space for monks and members. In this way, we have the possibility to extend our meditation activities, for instance by hosting regular retreats. Other possibilities are to arrange better and more appropriate living conditions for the residing monks, a lecture hall, as well as a library with possibilities for members to sit and read in silence.

Everyone who wants to participate can help in the collection of funds for a new Vihara. We will continuously give information about our progress. Please support this campaign – a meritorious effort that all can participate in

If you want to join us, please send your contribution to the Vihara postgiro account 269304-2 (Buddhistiska Viharaföreningen), marked “Vihara fund”. Thanks in advance!

Newsletter contributions

The newsletter is sent twice every year to all members. Other interested persons also get our newsletter. For the members this cost is of course included in the membership. Since the total number of newsletters sent out is about 800, this creates large postage costs. We would be very grateful if non-members that have received the newsletter would like to support the publication by a voluntary contribution. You can send your gift to postgiro account 269304-2.

A heartfelt thanks to everybody helping the Vihara in different ways. May you be happy and feel joy and harmony in life!

Buddhist holidays och recurring events

Vassa

During the later half of the year, the monsoon period brings a lot of rain to India. This was true in the days of the Buddha as well as today. The rain made small living creatures like worms and insects to surface on the ground in larger amounts than usual, which caused some bhikkhus (monks) and lay people to be concerned. They told the the Buddha how sad it would be if these little creatures were trampled and killed when the monks were out walking. Buddha listened to this and proposed that the monks should stay in their temples during the entire rain season. This period is called Vassa and the tradition is followed by buddhist monks to this day.

Vesak

All over the world, Buddhists celebrate the birth, enlightenment and passing away (Parinibbana) of the Buddha on the full moon day of May. Traditionally, this is done with puja, dana (gifts) to the monks, dhamma talks and chanting.

Kathina

The word Kathina means powerful or strong and is the name of the ceremony that ends Vassa. After Vesak, Kathina is the most important holiday in Buddhism. The word Kathina expresses the force of the mutual responsibility and commitment that monks and lay people share, where the lay people provide food and the monks give Dhamma. This is the central theme of the Kathinacelebration, showing the strong and close relation between monks and lay people.

Another important aspect of the ceremony is the specific rules for giving of gifts, e.g. the sacrifice of clothing to the monks. Actions that promote spiritual development can be placed in two categories, lokattara and laukika. Lokattara signifies an action that is directly aimed at reaching Nibbana, e.g. deep meditation. Laukika is an action that, even though it does not directly lead to Nibbana, will lead to a happier life in Samsara. During Vassa, actions of both kinds can be performed. Nibbana cannot be reached unless Buddhist principles are followed, which is why lay people are given the opportunity to practice Dhamma in special ways during Vassa. Kapparukhapuja (or Kapruk) during Kathina is an activity where several lay people participate. When preparing aKapparukha tree, lay people decorate a tree trunk with money and certain smaller gifts. When decorating Kapruk (a wishing tree) with gifts and making a wish, this wish will according to tradition come true. At the same time generosity and ethics is practiced, which creates good karma and provides guidance to Nibbana.

A heartfelt thanks to everybody helping the Vihara in different ways. May you be happy and feel joy and harmony in life!