2549 Number 75
The Forest Sangha is
a world-wide Buddhist community
in the Thai Forest tradition of Ajahn
The Chapter of Octads
Tudong in Wales
from talks by Sister Anandabodhi and Sister Thitamedha after their
two month pilgrimage in Wales.
I was born in Wales and grew up in Pembrokeshire, at the foot of
the Preseli Hills in West Wales. Our tudong began in those hills.
We also visited my mum and the house I had grown up in and a few
key people who had helped me onto the spiritual path. In part, then,
the tudong was a pilgrimage through my life, an unravelling of my
Sister Thitamedha: Tudong is translated as shaking
off; shaking off old habits, shaking off what is unnecessary.
It implies being less burdened; it implies an inner renewal. One
of the sisters asked me in what way the tudong had affected me.
One of the most powerful things was the sense within me of gently
letting go. I felt the situation gently pushing me to be present
in every moment, not letting me retreat into the past or dream about
the future. There was just one thing to do: be present. There was
often no choice; one simply had to let go. If I tried to hold on,
or plan ahead, or try to arrange some comfortable situation or other
it didnt work out. After a while I realised that its
better to let go willingly. Eventually one learns to be present
with things as they are, to let things be: the elements, the wind,
the rain, the cold, the blazing heat. If one is hungry or thirsty,
let it be as it is.
Sister Anandabodhi: We set off on 25th June from Amaravati
with our rucksacks and alms bowls on a tudong that would take us
up the west coast of Wales. We took bivi bags not tents, minimal
changes of clothing, a little stove and a few teabags. We each had
a little Buddharupa and some pictures of Luang Por Sumedho and Luang
Por Chah, our little portable shrines.
Sister Thitamedha: When one is on the road in the fresh air
one has little control apart from the ability to be present. Its
very refreshing to walk like that, just being with body. Theres
nothing to do but walk. Often we didnt even know where we
were walking to. Although we had a map and a rough direction, we
didnt plan in advance much because things changed so fast.
After a while we realised there was no point planning. It just made
things more painful and gave us more things to let go of. So we
would simply plan by the hour, agreeing to try and reach some place
or other and see what happened.
Sister Anandabodhi: When planning the tudong, some people had
encouraged us to take mobile phones. But no, no mobile phones; we
were going on faith; and as the tudong unfolded we had an increasing
sense of being guided. Although we had maps and we would make plans,
the route we followed was often outside of our control, and in a
very beautiful way we would find ourselves as if taken to particular
people who had a resonance with Buddhism or meditation.
Sister Thitamedha: We felt ourselves being continually showered
by divine blessings. I had noticed a similar effect on shorter tudongs
I have done in the past, but on this two month tudong it seemed
particularly impressive. We seemed to receive miracles daily. There
was no planning involved, but wonderful things seemed to happen
spontaneously. At times it was like being in a fantasy movie. Wed
meet people, wonderful people, friends of friends, saints, who would
care for us. At first it amazed us, but after a while it began to
seem normal. It was just miracles; nothing special.
Sister Anandabodhi: In our eight weeks tudong we were
offered food every single day. Also we spent not a single night
in the rain. On some nights when it looked like it would be fine
we ended up by chance getting a place to shelter; then torrential
rain would come down and we would say Ooh, isnt it lucky
that we are not outside in our little bags! So we were very
well cared for. It felt a very blessed time.
Sister Thitamedha: We started our walk on the Preseli Hills,
which are dangerous to walk on in winter and also when it rains
because of its bogs. Fortunately we had good weather. I found it
especially nice to sometimes walk barefoot, to feel the earth beneath
Sister Anandabodhi: Sister Thitamedha and I have been friends
for 10 years so there were not too many difficulties to work out
between us. One problem, however, was I would always get a surge
of energy at five oclock and would want to walk another couple
of hours, while she at about that time would always want to find
a place to rest for the night. So that took some negotiating.
Sister Thitamedha: Sister Anandabodhi had a soft spot for
derelict huts, so whenever I saw a derelict hut towards evening
time, I knew thats where we would be staying. On our first
night, this is what happened. It was a nice, quiet place. Various
animals and birds, mice and bats had made good use of it, so we
had to clear some space for ourselves, and then did a puja. It was
a cloudy but beautiful evening, and we had a lovely view over the
Sister Anandabodhi: Next morning we walked off the hills
and looked for a place to go for alms, our first pindapat. We had
to walk about 3 miles to the village. We stood for only five seconds
when a man shouted, Hello. Youre Buddhists, arent
you? He was a carpenter who lived nearby; he invited us in
and fed us. He had first come across Buddhism in prison where visiting
monks had impressed him with their peace and demeanour. He said
that each prisoner gets just one meal at midday, and this meal he
had offered to the monks. It was very nice meeting him.
Then we set off to the Gwaun valley, a beautiful valley famous for
its fairies. It was a long, tiring walk. By evening Sister Thitamedha
was unwell with a bad migraine. We found a beautiful little church,
St. Brynachs. It was open, so, having asked someone about
it, we went in. The heating was on and it had a nice, thick carpet,
so we stayed there for two nights while she recovered. St. Brynach
was a pilgrim saint who used to travel around Wales with a portable
altar, just as we were now travelling with portable shrines. His
presence there was still palpable. Elsewhere we kept finding places
dedicated to him; we felt his goodness was still present in that
part of the land.
Sister Thitamedha: By the second morning, my headache had
gone. We felt as if St Brynach had really looked after us, had taken
us under his wing. Then Sister Anandabodhis mother drove us
to the coast, to Saint Davids, Ty Ddewi, the cathedral of
the patron saint of Wales.
Sister Anandabodhi: Then we went one and a half miles south
to St. Nons. St. Non was the mother of St. David. At St. Nons
there was a little well or spring that they say appeared on the
stormy night that St. David was born.
When we started our tudong we were physically unfit. We were carrying
heavy packs and wearing sandals. By the time we reached St. Nons
our feet were sore; my feet felt like tenderised steak. But when
we bathed our feet in the spring, we found the water was very healing,
and found we could walk without pain or foot problems from then
Sister Thitamedha: That evening, sitting on a desolate beach
with neither money nor food nor anywhere particular to go to, Sister
Anandabodhis mother was understandably reluctant to leave
us. However, we encouraged her that we would be fine, and chanted
the Jayanto for her, the victory chant. It was very touching.
Then she drove off.
Sister Anandabodhi: In the following weeks, as we walked up
the coast wed see beautiful mountains and listen to the sound
of the sea and appreciate the ancient feel of the land. Although
I grew up in a very beautiful part of Wales, I had never realised
that the whole country was so beautiful.
Sister Thitamedha: On the walk we didnt do as much
formal meditation as we would do on retreat. We meditated in the
morning and evening, and sometimes during the day too. But mostly
we just walked in silence. In spite of that I found I could access
an inner stillness. What surprised me was that when I returned to
the monastery the stillness was still strong and present; I could
still easily access it. I found this interesting because although
with retreats you also get good samadhi, calmness of the mind, that
calm depends on the conditions of the retreat; so, after retreats,
my samadhi usually doesnt last long. But after this tudong
I noticed the sense of steadiness and inner silence I gained stayed
with me, and remained easily accessible.
Sister Anandabodhi: In about the third week, we happened
to be walking on an A road. It was narrow and busy,
with the cars being driven aggressively. We were on our way for
alms at a little village. We found a footpath away from the road
which we hoped would take us there. After a while it became overgrown
with brambles so we took a turn that went across a hill. Then we
got lost and were running out of time to collect alms. As we rounded
a hill I suddenly saw a gate. Enthusiastically I rushed towards
it, so didnt see a rabbit hole. I fell over and twisted my
ankle quite badly. Fortunately Sister Thitamedha is a doctor. She
examined it and said it was not too serious. She went to a hedgerow
and made a walking stick from a sycamore sapling; this lasted me
a few weeks; it was great.
Next day we decided to hitch to the next town. Sister Thitamedha
had been keen that we shouldnt take contact addresses of people
who might help us; she wanted to survive purely on faith although
she agreed to have an address for the middle of our tudong, at Machynlleth.
In spite of this, I had taken along one or two other addresses,
just in case, and at this point it became clear that this had been
a good idea. We were in this town and I had two addresses of Buddhists
we could contact, a Zen group and another person.
Sister Thitamedha: So she suddenly produced this little piece
of paper saying, Look, I have two contacts in this town. There
are Buddhists here. I replied, Thats wonderful!
I left her sitting on the beach, feeling that it was my duty to
go and investigate. So I went to a church and asked some people
there: Can I leave my rucksack? They said Yes,
yes please. Then I asked: Could I use your phone?
They were surprised that I didnt even have a phone card (unfortunately
we had lost it on our first or second day). They allowed me to make
one or two calls, but no more. I phoned the Zen group but they had
a retreat on and couldnt take us. I tried phoning the other
contact but there was no reply.
I was sitting in this church feeling the peak of despair. I felt
so responsible. Anandabodhi was sitting there on the beach and here
was I trying to organise the universe, but the universe was not
co-operating. It made me weep. I felt that with my medical background
I had to do something. I had to organise the situation. Gradually
my sense of concern faded away and I realised Well, I cant
do anything. Thats it. Its just the way it is.
I became very peaceful; I let go of my demands and expectations
and went to a place of total surrender and humility.
I had expected that if somebody was in trouble or had an accident
or needed urgent assistance, the universe would rush to help. Then
I realised that its not the case. I suppose that the universe
will offer its blessings, but not if youre demanding it.
Having recovered, I went to collect Sister Anandabodhi. We ended
up having a lovely pindapat; many people offered us food. It was
nice. However, we were still hoping to find our contact who might
Sister Anandabodhi: So we thought, Lets just
go to the house. We got a lift to somewhere nearby and then
discovered that the address was on a very, very steep hill. You
couldnt drive down it, but also I could hardly walk. Anyway,
I slowly made my way to the house and we knocked on the door; someone
shouted Go away, Im busy. So we went away for
half an hour, then went back. When we knocked, someone again shouted
Im busy! So we thought This obviously
is not somewhere to stay.
Sister Thitamedha: I felt Sister Anandabodhi needed somewhere
indoors because of her ankle. It was seven oclock by then,
so, being nuns on tudong, we would need to leave town fairly soon.
Eventually we found a phone, then discovered it wasnt working.
Although I was already at peace, for Sister Anandabodhi, this was
her peak moment of letting go.
Opposite the phone box a lady playing with her dog had been watching
us. I waved to her and said hello. She asked if we wanted to use
her phone, and invited us into her house. We went in and she offered
us a drink. We made a call and discovered that the person we had
been looking for hadnt lived in the town for five years.
Sister Anandabodhi: There was something about that moment: things
had crescendoed; we had persisted in trying to control things, thinking,
This has got to work; its a bit of an emergency; weve
got to find this person; weve got to find a place to stay.
When we discovered that our contact didnt live in the town,
I had this sense of Ah! So now we can live on faith again
It was a relief, actually.
Sister Thitamedha: This lady was so kind to us. After our
day of struggle it helped us to meet someone so warm and generous.
She said she couldnt put us up for the night. We said it was
no problem, but asked if she knew of a field that we could sleep
in because it seemed like it would be a good night to stay outdoors.
She pointed out somewhere nearby. Her kindness really healed us.
It was very, very nice, this simple human kindness. Just a smile,
a drink, an invitation into her home and the use of her phone. It
made a tremendous difference.
Sister Anandabodhi: We found a beautiful field to sleep in;
it didnt rain and we could see the sea and the mountains.
It was a lovely spot. Once we had let go of the idea of we
have got to do something, everything was alright.
Sister Thitamedha: The long pilgrimage helped us more and
more to be present with problems and let go of things we didnt
actually need. It was helpful for two months to be involved in a
situation where there was very little choice, unlike the familiar
setting of the monastery where it is easy to find ways to make oneself
Sister Anandabodhi: When sleeping outside in our bivi bags,
I always felt that we should find the right spot, not just stop
anywhere.Therefore we would often try to find a beautiful field
with a view of the sea. Unfortunately, the dew would come down at
about 8.30 pm (or 9 if we were lucky). This forced us into our bivi
bags even though we werent ready for bed, otherwise everything
got wet. Sometimes you could have a little breathing hole open,
but if it was very damp you would have to close even that. So, commonly
we would be lying there in some exquisite spot and be able to see
. In the morning it would be the same: you couldnt
get up because if you did everything got soaked. I tried once or
twice sitting in a raincoat but it didnt work very well. This
problem kept recurring.
One day we found a field that seemed perfect. It was near a little
road, but you couldnt see us from there. We were sitting behind
a rock that had an oak tree growing out of it. There were lots of
harebells, which Sister Thitamedha loves because they are common
in Russia, where she comes from, but they dont grow very much
in this country. It seemed like we had finally found the perfect
place. There was no dew, so we could sit as long as we wanted. There
was a lovely sunset that turned the hills pink. It was late at night
when we finally curled up into our bags. When we woke up there was
still no dew, so we could get up immediately. I thought: Oh!
There is a perfect place; there is perfection!
That day there was a downpour and we stood for alms in the rain.
Nobody was interested in offering us anything. Eventually some men
who worked in a shop that sold beach things took pity on us and
bought us a loaf of bread and some cheese. We found a church and
had our lunch and a cup of tea. Some women joined us and told us
that there was a Buddhist centre in the town and explained where
it was. As it was still pouring with rain we thought we might find
a place for the night there. So we went to ask. It was an old convent,
now owned by a Tibetan Buddhist group. We knocked at the door, soaking
wet. A man answered and said Oh, you are Theravada!
It turned out he had been a Theravadan monk in Thailand many years
ago and knew Ajahn Sumedho and had a lot of respect for our Sangha.
So he welcomed us in. Everyone resident there was away for the day,
so he gave us a room with a bathroom.
While showering I realised that while sleeping in that perfect
field, dozens of tiny ticks had attached themselves to me. We were
both covered. We spent two hours with tweezers pulling them off.
Most of the ticks survived this, and we took them outside. So, the
perfect field had not been as perfect as we had thought.
Sister Thitamedha: When we reached the Llyn Peninsula, both
of us noticed a sudden change in ambience. Its as if time
stops there. People are not in such a hurry. There is a magic about
Sister Anandabodhi: The whole sense of going somewhere, doing
something, so evident elsewhere suddenly disappeared.
Sister Thitamedha: We discovered that a pilgrimage route
used to pass through there in the Middle Ages. People used to travel
through there on their way to Bardsey Island, at the end of the
peninsula. So we were participating in an ancient tradition.
Sister Anandabodhi: On Bardsey, it is said, 20,000 saints are
buried. In Welsh the island is called Ynys Enlli which means the
Island of Difficult Currents. Even though it is close to the mainland,
it is difficult to reach. Many pilgrims probably died in attempting
Making our way along the Llyn Peninsula we kept coming across Christian
priests, both men and women, who warmly welcomed us, saying that
we were bringing the sacred back to the land Whether
we were Christians or Buddhists didnt seem to matter. The
main point was that we were religious people; whether you called
your practice prayer or meditation was unimportant.
The night before we reached the town of Pwllheli it looked like
it might rain again, so we had to find shelter somewhere. Eventually
we found a friendly-looking old oak to sleep under. I had a lovely
dream that night about Pwllheli, of it being a festive place with
young, joyful people wearing the national Welsh dress. When we entered
the town the next morning we found the town indeed had a feeling
of openness and friendliness with flags flying from the shops. People
greeted us, smiling, and asked what we were doing. When we explained,
they expressed heart felt appreciation.
Sister Thitamedha : They stopped us on the street and exclaimed,
Oh, the pilgrims are back! The pilgrims are back! They
shook our hands and asked us if we had letters of pilgrimage, because
in the past, pilgrims would have a letter signed by the bishop which
apparently used to have the silhouette of a shell on it. When they
asked about this shell I told them, Yes, I do have a shell.
In my rucksack, because I did indeed have many shells there.
When we stood for pindapat, people enquired what we were up to.
When we explained, within five minutes we were overwhelmed with
food. We received so many bags, I warned Anandabodhi that we had
better escape. Then a woman running behind us called out, Oh,
please wait! Please wait! She offered us two bags of buns
and bread. We had enough food to keep a monastery going. It was
Somebody on the Llyn Peninsula told us that there were many hermitesses
there. When we showed some interest in this, the person explained
to us where one of them lived. As usual I said, Well
see. If we happen to pass that way, well visit. But if not
and we took the address. Somehow we happened to travel in that direction.
When we saw the chapel we decided to have a look, to take the opportunity
to say hello. We found the door and knocked. No one replied, so
we thought maybe the hermitess was in deep silence and wasnt
receiving visitors. We waited around a bit when suddenly this woman
appeared, greeted us and asked us about ourselves. When I said Hello
she said, Oh, youre from Russia! I asked her how
she knew. She said, I am a Russian Orthodox nun
and she invited us to stay. It was a magical place, so we stayed
longer than we had expected. We had thought to stay overnight, but
it was hard to leave.
Sister Anandabodhi : It was lovely meeting this hermitess.
We were excited by each others company and we talked about
our spiritual paths. Eventually we said It would be good to
sit together. We sat for about an hour in her front room.
There was such a profound depth of silence. It was lovely being
with someone with such a deep practice. Again, the outer form did
not seem relevant; only the ability to stay in the present, to enter
into the depth of silence. That was very special. We spent two days
with her. I thought Maybe when I am an old lady I can go back
and be a hermit on that peninsula.
Sister Thitamedha : One thing I have found interesting when
talking with people is the way in which the self arises,
the energy of it, not the mental concept of it. I notice with groups
of people how everybody wants to speak. When I also want to say
something I have noticed a kind of energy arises in my solar plexus,
a kind of agitation. This has fascinated me. I realise that this
is the arising of I am. I like to put my attention on
the sensation to see what happens next. I notice that the energy
stays for a while and then slowly calms down. When it ceases I am
left feeling deeply peaceful,blissful even. I think, How wonderful!
So, whenever I have this sense of wanting to say something and feel
the I am arising I just hold it gently, let it be. If
you do that, youll find it takes you to a place of silence.
Its very helpful to practise like this.
Sister Anandabodhi : We reached the cove where the ferry
left for Bardsey Island. Somebody had arranged with the ferryman
for us to cross. However, there is only one boat a day and we had
missed it by an hour. So we waited overnight on the peninsula, a
place we found extraordinary; it had an incredible silence; it was
very conducive to meditation. Where we slept was just a sheep field
but there was something very special about it. We meditated and
eventually curled up into our bags for the night. In the morning
we discovered that both of us had woken up in the night and had
stayed awake for hours in this incredible place. I had never seen
the stars so brilliant; the Milky Way was stunning. It was a beautiful,
expansive place for meditation. That was our first night waiting
for the boat. It was lovely.
The next day the sea currents were so strong that the ferry was
cancelled. So we waited another day. The next day we discovered
there was no scheduled crossing. So we thought wed forget
the whole thing and go back up the peninsula and on to Holy Island,
another island further north. But this field was such a lovely place
to be that we couldnt leave it. So we stayed on, meditating
on the hill. That afternoon, clouds started sweeping in from the
sea but we remained sitting till the rain began. It became heavier
and heavier, but we didnt move. Eventually I told Sister Thitamedha
that we had better look for shelter because the rain wasnt
going to stop. Though she was reluctant to leave, we realised that
if we didnt move wed be drenched. Half a mile away we
found a farm. It had a barn, and we slept there on a small heap
of straw. The next day we thought that again the boat wouldnt
be going because of the terrible weather, but it did, and we managed
Bardsey is a tiny island with just six or seven cottages on it.
Three couples live there; the other cottages are rented. There is
also one little hermitage for Christian hermits; there had been
a nun living there for twenty-five years. There was also a little
chapel, an oratory, a lovely place for meditation. We were not allowed
to use the hermitage but we were allowed to use the little chapel
and were given the use of a five-bedroomed retreat centre next door.
We meant to stay just one night but the boat didnt go, so
we had an extra day. It was a lovely place, this island, very peaceful.
At two oclock the day-visitors would go back so then it was
even quieter. There were the ruins of an old abbey nearby and a
small graveyard with three Celtic crosses. One of them, a very beautiful,
simple cross, had written beneath it: Respect the 20,000 saints
buried near this spot. I found it amazing to be somewhere
that so many saints had visited.
Back on the mainland again, someone offered to drive us all the
way back along the peninsula and on to Anglesey, a large island
in North Wales. She dropped us off on a little lonely road and we
spent the night in a field. The next day we walked into town for
alms. In Anglesey we felt like we had left Wales, even though it
is still Wales, but the land was more cultivated there and money
seemed suddenly more important. Nevertheless, a lot of people approached
us and fed us well.
It was a hot day as we left town. We had not walked far when a woman
driving in the opposite direction seemed to wave at us, so I waved
back. Then I thought Maybe she was just adjusting her mirror.
However, she turned the car around, stopped, and when she asked,
we told her we were going to Holy Island which, with my limp, would
have been a three or four day walk. She said Get in. Ill
drive you, which she did and dropped us off on the mountain
there. The first night we stayed in a field. Then we walked a bit
further and found a beautiful little cove, a little beach with cliffs
around it. We spent time on the beach until people started arriving.
Sister Thitamedha : Then we climbed up onto the cliffs, twenty
or thirty metres from the beach, and sat amongst some huge rocks.
Beneath us was the bustle of a busy weekend beach scene. But the
rocks seemed very quiet, very steady. Both of us found a nice place
to sit, Anandabodhi on one rock and me on another. The sense of
stillness and silence was so strong, it suffused my whole body.
We sat there for hours and hours. We didnt want to move. It
is not because I have good samadhi. I think it was the energy of
The sun was blazing down. Though I wrapped my scarf over my head,
it didnt stop the sun burning its way through; but this didnt
Sister Anandabodhi : As we meditated, the beach below us was
getting more and more busy. Speedboats were racing around and people
were splashing about in the water.
Sister Thitamedha : It felt as if we were looking down on
samsara; as if we were embracing it but not involved in it, not
lost in it.
Sister Anandabodhi : Occasionally we would walk down to the
beach with our walking sticks to get drinking water and then walk
back up again. We both had sticks by then because Sister Thitamedhas
knees were starting to give way. People on the beach would see these
robed figures walking down and up, so gradually we became an object
of interest for them.
Sister Thitamedha : In the evening we climbed down to the beach
because the beach warden had wanted to know where our monastery
was. So we gave him our address and invited him to visit. He invited
us to return next morning to the beach so he could offer us food.
Other people also seemed interested, explaining to us all the types
of food they were going to bring. So we said okay, we would return.
We would stay the night and come for pindapat in the morning.
Sister Anandabodhi : The next day people offered us dana
on the beach and we chanted a blessing. It had been exceptionally
busy the day before but people told us, When you came down,
the whole beach became peaceful. We realised that the sight
of a samana had touched something in them that they were longing
for, a peace and simplicity in life, and even on this chaotic and
excited beach this could still happen. People kept saying It
is lovely to see you; what a peace there is around you, even
though we werent doing anything special. We were just walking.
Sister Thitamedha : Many people brought us carrier bags of food,
so much that it was impossible to fit into our bowls. The lady who
ran the kiosk offered us cups of coffee and chocolate bars. The
beach warden had driven especially to meet us even though it was
his day off. He brought us many bags of food which we couldnt
possibly have eaten, so we asked him to let us accept just a little.
Then we chanted a blessing.
Sister Anandabodhi : We stayed for three days on the cliff.
The last night it began to rain so we went to stay with two middle-aged
women who had met us up there. They were from Cheshire and were
staying in their holiday home. They told us about the pressure in
modern life to look right, to have the right clothes, the right
car, the right everything and how shallow it all was and yet in
spite of this, how caught they were in it. It was obviously painful
for them. Seeing us with our shaved heads had made them realise
the meaninglessness of it all.
In the bedroom they gave us there was a womens fashion magazine.
We both read it and felt thoroughly depressed afterwards because
its strong message was the need to look right; plastic surgery,
whatever it cost, that was what was important. There was no acknowledgement
of the reality of ageing and death.
In the middle of this magazine there was an article about Sudan.
Somebody had gone to stay in a village there and the article was
bringing attention to the poverty and the lack of water and the
need for support. What was striking was how joyful those people
were. They were very poor and had very basic clothing, but in the
photos they were dancing and looked radiant; they looked so joyful.
Every other person in the magazine, top models with expensive clothes
and hairdos, looked miserable. All of them. It was a strong reflection
Many times on the trip we would say to each other, We are
so grateful not to have to participate in the game of trying to
be eternally young and beautiful, but to be at peace with the knowledge
that the body ages and it will die and it is not what we are. We
had such a sense of: Thank you, thank you, that this teaching
is still available, that people are still keeping Dhamma alive.
The whole time we were walking we felt a strong connection with
the Sangha here. Every evening we would share blessings with those
who had supported the tudong in any way, people in our communities,
people who had helped us get prepared, and people we had met along
the way, and with all the visible and invisible beings who also
had helped us.
So I would like to express my gratitude to everyone here and especially
to the sisters, who have been working hard while weve been
away. It is very nice to be back. I very much appreciate being part
of this Sangha.
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