Sakyadhita Canada
   JUNE, 2016

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First Vesak in Toronto (1981) Reaches the Office of US President Obama
by Prof. Suwanda H J Sugunasiri 
[On the stage, as I address the gathering, are  Senseis Tsunoda and Fujikawa of the Toronto  Buddhist Church and Bhantes Punnaji and Dhammika of the Toronto Mahavihara. At the far end is a representative of the Vietnamese community who put up the huge banner in the  background.]
It was with a tinge of nostalgia that I read the Vesak greetings of President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry.
Statement by the President on the Celebration of Vesak It was 35 years ago, in 1981, that I had the pleasure and privilege of introducing the term Vesak to Canada, and organizing the first Vesak in Toronto, said to be the first in North America as well.

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"ONCE IN A LIFE TIME, ( Perhaps twice!)"
 It has been 70 years since the Summer Solstice, ( Northern Hemisphere) or Winter Solstice ( Southern Hemisphere) and the full moon fell on the same day.   

 This is a rare and powerful event, and the perfect time to celebrate, accomplish, or contemplate something. It could be a new beginning, a completion, or just a moment of compassionate reflexion. 
 Release something that you are leaving behind. Welcome in something that is new, and rich with possibilities.
Happy Solstice, and Full moon.

Solstice means sol ( sun), stitium (to stop) In the northern hemisphere the sun stands at it's most northern point before switching directions and heading south again. Hence the longest day of the year. Where I live, Whistler BC, that equals to16.20 hours of daylight.
Sayadaw U Pandita
July 28, 1921 - April 16, 2016
Sayadaw U Pandita was one of the  formost masters of Vipassana. He trained in the Theravada Buddhist tradition. A successor of the late Mahasi Sayadaw. He taught many Western teachers and students.  
With palms on my heart, 
Ayyā Medhānandī pays homage to a very rare and great being - Say daw U Pandita-bhivamsa of Burma.

Our Dear contributor Sarani is away in India on sabbatical at this time. We are hoping she will join us again for the next newsletter in August.
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