Satyalila, What Adhisthana Means to Me

BY SATYALILA, Order Member, Bristol

‘If Adhisthana is anything, it is a nexus.  It is a place where the light of the transcendental makes landfall.  When two Dharmafarers meet on the basis of their Dharma practice, an alchemy happens. Between them, in their openness to each other, there is created the space in which the Kalyana can arise: something ‘more than two’ comes into being.’ 

This is what Adhisthana means to me and its invaluable contribution to our Order and movement.  I wrote this for the 2017 Adhisthana programme.  On the full moon day of September 2022 I brought a small group of Bristol Mitras here to evoke – and invoke – Padmasambhava. I know they felt it too.

Memories from the last 10 years:

  • Reciting the Dedication Ceremony on 22 September 2012 with Ksantika, Khemasuri and Prajnamati in the library building, on a floor that no longer exists, looking out on a scrubby field – now the garden and Bhante’s burial mound.
  • Attending the first retreat here in August 2013. 
  • Helping Yashodeva cut up great rolls of fleece into Shrine Room blankets – with a Stanley knife!
  • Teaching on all the Dharma Life Courses (DLC) for women, thanks to Vidyatara, who masterminded them.  The web of connection that has evolved from that.
  • Making mandalas from wool/fabric strung between the pillars in the library atrium for the DLC – and sitting in them.
  • Unpacking books for Bhante’s library in September 2014 with Vidyadevi, and others. Tea with Bhante in the atrium to celebrate our having finished!
  • Co-creating a ‘Writers’ Convention’ in 2015 with Ananda and other friends from the Wolf at The Door Sangha. Filling the atrium with poem-flags.
  • Dreaming up the ‘Blake retreats’ with Saccanama, co-creating five of them variously with Atula, Ananda, Ratnaprabha, Dhivan, Saccanama, Prakasha, Amitajyoti and Aryavacin (and the c80 people who’ve taken part!)
  • Helping librarian Danasamudra establish the library friends’ [FOSLs] weekends. 
  • Helping make library exhibitions: 2017: words/catalogue for the Triratna#50 exhibition, and an exhibition of Blake images which Bhante visited and wrote about; 2018: the Fifty Years, Fifty Voices exhibition to complement its website and blog. 
  • Coming on or co-leading retreats each year, from Bristol Sangha weekends to Area Order Weekends. 
  • Ushering for Bhante’s funeral in 2018.
  • Ordaining Maitrijyoti here in September 2020 (mid-pandemic) and then co-leading the Mitra weekend here with her in September 2022.

This blog is an excerpt from the Tenth Anniversary book which can be viewed online or bought from Adhisthana.