Teaching meditation retreats for lay people was a key feature of Ajahn Sumedho’s practice, a duty which took him away from the monastery for long periods. Ajahn Ānando also taught retreats, but also put energy into continuing the rebuilding of the monastery and training junior bhikkhus. With much of the major repairs completed by 1984, more attention was given to reafforestation; bhikkhus would also spend time on retreat in the Hammer Wood in tents and tepees or in one of two kutis that had been erected there.
A small group of sīladharā returned to Cittaviveka in 1986, and with changes in personnel, nuns have been a feature of the monastery ever since. During this period, the monastery also became more integrated into the local landscape, with the bhikkhus and sīladharā going out on alms-round on a daily basis.
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“The work of adult life is not easy. As in childhood, each step presents not only new tasks of development but requires a letting go of the techniques that worked before. With each passage some magic must be given up, some cherished illusion of safety and comfortably familiar sense of self must be cast off, to allow for the greater expansion of our distinctiveness.”
—Gail Sheehy (20th century)