Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Amida This Week - Gareth

Amida FranceI left Amida France on a rainy day, leaving Susthama to finish her bamboo sculpture of Quan Yin, and, with the others, to tie up any loose ends, before returning home on Thursday.We had a wonderful finish to the Arts period, Liz and Gemma were our guests in the final week, who transformed the old well into a thing of beauty. On the final day, Kate a neighbour, who works as a play therapist in the UK, came and led us through an art workshop in which we jointly created an amazing piece. You can see photo's of this, and of the other pieces of art on the French weblog: We had spent the previous evening at Kate's house, for dinner and a twilight walk to an old abandoned water mill - spooky.The weather has been mixed but te rain didn't dampen our spirits which were lifted, in the company of each other and by Amida.The Buddhist HouseHello from The Buddhist House
Summer passes quickly this year. Only a few days of warm sun and fortunately the two days out we had with Catherine to Lincoln cathedral and Bradgate Park fell on two of the sunniest. What a wondeful cathedral and an excellent tour that introduced Sudhana to some of our history.
The wet weather has led to the juiciest plums I have seen from our tree, plump early raspberries and rapid growing courgette/marrows!
We had a very rewarding retreat studying the Four Noble Truths, facing our dukkha and finding new visions.
The retreat carried on into a day at Sukhavati where our own paths and the needs of the world came together in dharma discussions and focussed around Quan Shi Yin and the meaning of compassion.
The retreat also linked to an earlier intensive evening of practice with a question and answer session at Sukhavati.
We have enjoyed the company of our Bangladeshi friends, especially little Dip who has grown rapidly in her time here and joins in most of our sessions and delights our neighbours by waving at her window. We look forward very much to Mudita and Ian's baby arriving.
Yesterday Modgala felt privileged to go to our Maitri project in Leicester where she met with visitors and volunteers in intense discussions over tea and biscuits. Fun ideas came up too, one was for a minibus trip to the seaside!
Modgala has also enjoyed travelling around with Sudhana. At the Buddhafield festival we gave many talks and workshops, linking up with FWBO and NEB friends and meeting new people interested in our courses, volunteering and Amida practice. We went to a lovely evening at a nature reserve in Brighton and met with our London friends at Sukhavati. There was also time for a couple of days at Weymouth where Modgala's mother's family came from.
We have also had a number of visitors and today await Ha Ok Ran from Korea who will be living with us for a few months.
In sutra study we have been reading about the early nuns and sharing their enlightenment poems in the Therigatha. They are wondefrully down to earth and inspiring.


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