Buddhist Temple in Chisago City
Sitagu Dhamma Vihara is a monastery and temple established by a Burmese community in Chisago City, MN to promote the practice and understanding of Buddhism for all.
Theravada Dhamma Society of Minnesota (TDSM) cordially invites you, your family, relatives and friends to the Waso Robe Offering Ceremony for the venerable monks who will reside at Sitagu Dhamma Vihara for the three month Vassa (rains retreat).
Date: July 17, 2016 Sunday
Time: 11:00 am – Lunch for the monks
11:30 am – Lunch for guests
12:30 am – Waso Robe Offering
Venue: Sitagu Dhamma Vihara, 32500 Lofton Ave, Chisago City, MN 55013
Phone: (443) 985-3005
At the Sitagu Dhamma Vihara, Ashin Cintita will be conducting three graduated courses from 1 to 4 pm Saturdays and Sundays from June 10 to July 17, 2016. This is in contrast to the course for kids of previous years. Here is the schedule:
1:00 – 1:50, primarily for little kids. Starts with refuges and precepts, then “Adventures of Sitagu Sayadaw,” “Dharma the cat,” Jataka Stories, kids and Dhamma, Buddhist Values, and coloring.
2:00 – 2:50, primarily for big kids. 2:00 – Meditation, 2:05 – Movie** segment, 2:25 – Discussion of movie themes, 3:35 – Topics in Buddhist Life.
3:00 – 3:50, for teenagers and grown-ups. 3:00 – Meditation, 3:10 – Lecture and Q&A on a different topic each time, 3:45 – Metta and sharing the merits.
**Featured movies: Travelers and Magicians, It’s a Wonderful Life.
Ashin Cintita, will be returning to the Buddha Dhamma Vihara from Austin, Texas on June 2 and will be here until July 18. I will conduct a weekend class for kids, like I did last year, and help negotiate with the city and with contractors about construction projects. I also hope to focus on my contribution to Sitagu Sayadaw’s biography, a cooperative endeavor that U Aung Koe has also been involved in. I also have a plan for attracting more local people to participate in activities at the Vihara.
I have started a Meetup group called Chisago City Buddhist Meetup, which can be found on-line HERE. I have a similar Meetup group in Austin which has been very effective in attracting English-speaking people to classes and meditations there; in fact the Austin group has 492 on-line members. So far the Chisago City group has 2 members, including me. Please sign up if you would like to received our announcements. I have scheduled an organizational meeting at the Vihara for Sat. June 4, 4pm.
We will be offering the following classes on Saturdays and Sundays at SDV beginning this weekend:
- Buddhism for Children up to 7 years old, in Burmese.
- Buddhism for Children and Teenagers over 7 years old, in English.
- Abhidhamma for Adults, in Burmese.
Times will be as follows:
Saturdays and Sundays, 2:00 – 5:00 pm June 13 – July 26, 2015 Sitagu Dhamma Vihara, Chisago City
We will schedule individual classes more specifically at our first meeting June 13, depending upon demand. Also, if there is interest in additional classes, such as Burmese written language for children, we may be able to organize that at our initial meeting. Ashins Osadhasara, Anirudha and Cintita will serve as instructors.
Farmers’ Market at Adrich Arena
1850 White Bear Ave., Maplewood, MN
Having begun on September 8, 2010, we intend to continue each Wednesday during the season in which Farmers’ Market in at Aldrich Arena is open. The 2010 season runs May 12 – October 27.
The alms rounds for receiving the noon meal is a traditional monastic practice in many countries in Asia, in fact the Buddha considered it to be an obligation for monks. It is much less often performed in America though it is not unheard of. We were inspired by an American nun who has begun doing a weekly alms round at a Farmers’ Market in Colorado Springs, CO. A Farmers’ Market is appropriate for this purpose because of the availability of foodstuff for purchase, the density of people and the pleasant, wholesome atmosphere.
We are a group of from two to six monks. from two monasteries. We arrive about 9:30 and finish generally around 9:45. The procedure is quite simple: The monks walk single file once down the center of the market and accept very small food donations (an apple or a scoop of cooked rice would be an example) into our alms bowls from those who indicate that they would like to offer. You may bring small donations from home, or purchase something on site (this is, after all, a Farmers’ Market). There will be lay Buddhist supporters present if you have any questions. If people would like to talk to the monks after the ritual we will move to an area outside of the market traffic flow. We encourage participants to do your own shopping while you are at the Farmers’ Market.
In spite of its simplicity the purpose of the alms round is easier to experience than to describe. It is a practice in humility and generosity. It is not simply a way to feed the monks and nuns; it has a much greater role to play in realigning the values of both monastic and lay. Contrary to common belief, it does not involve begging, since monks are not generally allowed to actually ask for anything. Rather it is a ritual in which monks offer the opportunity to donate to anyone who chooses to participate. As you also might know Buddhist monks receive everything as a gift and cannot accumulate wealth; they also do not eat after noon. they live entirely in an economy of generosity. In this context the opportunity for lay people to offer food is experienced a gift to themselves, one that produces remarkable joy and brings out the purest values of the human mind in a public ritual. More information, with pictures, is available by following this link:
In this formal ritual the monk maintains mindful awareness, does not express thanks for donations, and receives without making eye contact. A Buddhist lay participant will generally make a gesture of respect after placing a donation in the bowl, which looks like, and is certainly the origin of, the Christian gesture of prayer.
No proselytizing is involved (which would be a violation of Buddhist principles in any case). In fact one of the most moving parts of the (albeit limited) experience with alms rounds in America is that it serves as a natural bridge with out sister faiths. The Christian understanding of charity, for instance, quite spontaneously finds a natural place here; interestingly evangelical Christians seem to be among the most appreciative of this experience. It simply appeals to common values that each religion expresses in its own way and most people “get it” very quickly.