June at Adhisthana

The excitement was palpable in the Adhisthana communities as the report came through of Maitriyogini’s (ex-Caroline) public ordination at Akashavana in Spain this month. Her private preceptor Aryajaya returned from Spain with news of Maitriyogini’s delight in her new kesa. Also significant was a presidential visit from Subhuti, who spent time with members of the men’s and women’s communities separately and together, and stimulated lively discussion about Team-Based Right Livelihood and the value of semi-monastic life. The communities also celebrated Yashodeva’s birthday with a cake created by Saddhaloka and a warm round of rejoicings.

We have many volunteers supporting us as always: Chris from London has been working with Sanghadeva in the garden, and Rush continued to work in the office but has now departed ahead of Maitriyogini’s welcome return. Athos and Vidyaruchi conjured up delicious meals (supported by Rush and Sthirabandhu) during the Eight Guidelines retreat, which was attended by about 80 women mitras and led by the women’s ordination team. This month Adhisthana has also welcomed the European Chairs Assembly, the Midland Men’s Regional Order, retreatants studying the Karaniya Metta Sutta, and, for the first time, a retreat for classical musicians. The ethereal sounds of guitar and cello floating on the breeze complemented the beauty of the gardens for a few days.

The seven young women who have been taking part in the Dharma Life Course since March have now celebrated the end of this intensive period of practise, study and work. Coming from the UK, Norway, Germany, Columbia and Singapore by way of London and Dublin, they variously described their experience as “intense, transformative, challenging, rich and inspirational.” Arriving with many questions, one participant says she now has an even longer list of things she wants to explore within her future Dharma Life.

In the garden, containers have been installed in the area around Bhante Sangharakshita’s burial mound to receive the ashes of public preceptors. The first to be inaugurated honours Sudarshana, who was a public preceptor from 2001 to 2009. The garden was also the venue for the second annual BBQ, taking place this year on the Summer Solstice and attended by local Order members, Adhisthana residents, guests, retreatants and volunteers. Many burgers, hotdogs and salads were consumed in joyful company.

Bodhiketu, who keeps a keen eye on our expenditure, deduced from the water bill that there must a be a leak somewhere on site. It was tracked down and fixed, saving us a good deal of money. Now that the solar panels have been installed and commissioned we also look forward to the saving that these should bring in future years.