In passing through the gateway to Adhisthana we pass the mudra of great renunciation, a giving up of worldly values centred within the development of higher states of mind, even wisdom, Bodhicitta. We enter a ‘thin place’, a place of significance, and find ourselves standing on holy ground. – Saddhanandi, Chair.
In the absence of retreats the Adhisthana team have been working hard. Some of the projects we’ve enjoyed getting stuck into over the past 6 months are deep cleaning the site, beginning development of a new website, running two weekend retreats, experimenting with ways to connect with sangha online (including live pujas, zoom tea breaks & online classes), landscaping, renovating Accommodation B to upgrade fire specifications, upgrading the internet (an on-going project), hosting the recent Order Convention, contributing to International Online Buddha Day, replacing rotting windows and most importantly of all, building a more effective and harmonious team. We hope you enjoy the fruits of these efforts when you return.
Since we closed, we have been keen to welcome you back as soon as safely possible. Adhisthana feels much more vibrant and meaningful when it is alive with the flow of the Sangha. Our approach is to open as much as is possible while staying within government guidelines and prioritising the safety of all who visit and live here. You can read our Covid-19 guidelines here.
Under normal circumstances we would expect £25 000 to £30 000 per month in income. The current situation means we are using our reserves to operate. While Adhisthana isn’t in any short-term danger, we greatly appreciate any donations to help us.
The first change you may notice when you arrive here again in person is our new gate keeper.
We recently made this little video as part of a series of NewsBytes shown on the recent International Order Convention. Check it out…
A small in-person retreat led by Vajrapriya exploring the metaphors of the Diamond Sutra.
As stars, a fault of vision, as a lamp,
A mock show, dew drops, or a bubble,
A dream, a lightning flash, or cloud,
So should one view what is conditioned.
These images, when contemplated, have the imaginative power to lead us into a deeper understanding of sunyata. On this small Order retreat, we will engage with the full signiﬁcance of these images, using discussion, reﬂection exercises and contemplative meditation.
Places are still available and you can book here.
Originally planned as a residential retreat, the Towards Insight: Three Myths will now take place online for 7 days with Maitreyabandhu and Jnanavaca leading from the Adhisthana shrine room. Moving the retreat online allows many more people to participate and benefit. Through talks and meditation explore Samadhi and Prajna in the context of the three myths of self-development, self-discovery, and self-surrender as ways to insight.
In these challenging times we’ve discovered the power of this shared meditation: to resource us and link us to the Dharma, to tune in directly to our deep links with one another, and to join together on a heart level to respond to the world’s suffering. Building on the popularity of the weekly online Order Bodhicitta Practice, Vessantara will lead a week-long online retreat to explore this practice more fully and find ways to take it deeper.
For the Oceania region Maitripala and Dharmananda will run additional sessions for your time zones to give you access to a full retreat program during suitable hours. Further details to follow….
Originally planned as a in-person Order retreat The Two Arrows: Dukkha to Insight has been moved online and made available to both order members and mitras in the hope of sharing the wealth of experience of Sona, Vidyamala, Vishvapani and Vimalachitta with many more people.
How we respond to difficulty and suffering – whether physical or psychological – without piling on extra levels of distress and reaction is a central question in all our lives. It’s also a central concern of the Buddha’s teachings. The Salattha Sutta, the Sutta of the two arrows, evocatively describes this in terms of two arrows: the pain of being pierced by the first arrow describes the basic experience of pain or difficulty. The pain of being pierced by secondary arrows is a consequence of all the reactions that occur when we are not aware and wise. The Buddha also saw the profound value of positive emotion and joy in the spiritual life, and indeed in becoming fully human.
Unfortunately, the most recent women’s course was cancelled due to the pandemic. We plan to hold both a women’s and men’s course in 2021. The Dharma Life Courses are five-month residential programmes at Adhisthana providing a thorough grounding in the principles and practice of Triratna Buddhism. They are aimed at mitras and people training for ordination.
The women’s course will start early Spring and the men’s late Summer.
Each year we run a women’s ordination course for those unable to go to Akasavana. This September, led by Parami, we have the biggest yet held at Adhisthana with 16 mitras committing themselves to Bhante’s Order in the context of his last home and resting place.
The pandemic saw us turn toward offering solitaries as a way of allowing the Sangha to visit within the government guidelines. The success of these solitaries has led us to continue offering this option for the foreseeable future. We are regularly releasing more slots and if the week you want to come is not yet available, add yourself to the waiting list and be first to know when it’s released. View new availability for September and early October here.
We are pleased to offer another way for you to visit and spend time at Adhisthana with self-catered Camping Solitaries. You can bring your tent/caravan & food and set up camp in our field. We’re delighted to be able to offer these solitaries on a dana basis, with you paying what you feel you can give to Adhisthana. Dates are completely flexible, but you do need to book via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last year two new figures of Ambedkar and Dhammapala were added to the refuge tree at Bhante’s request. Chintamani update his painting of the refuge tree that we have here at Adhisthana last year. Prints of these are now available for sale in A2 size Giclee for £20 + postage. Contact email@example.com to order.
On Wednesday 26th August we will be celebrating Sangharakshita’s birthday with a 108-year puja. Please join us on Facebook for the live-streamed puja. 2pm UK / 3pm CET / 6.40pm India / 8am Mexico
Much thought, time and energy is currently focused on shaping Adhisthana’s future, from next year’s programme to the direction we want to take for the years beyond emphasising Bhante’s voice and legacy. We are excited to be in this phase of Adhisthana’s life and look forward to changes taking form over the next few years. It’s a big and exciting project and we’ll be looking for people to help make it happen. Keep your eye out for our 2021 programme which is under development.