May at Adhisthana

In May we welcomed 80 retreatants for our second ever People of Colour retreat and had the largest Philosophy Symposium yet, on Liberty, Nietzsche and Buddhism. We also had our yearly Blake retreat drawing on our retreatants’ wilder sides, and were delighted to host the York/Scarborough and Manchester sanghas. Towards the end of the month, we also had the honour of hosting the funeral for Srisambhava, with 90 guests paying their respects in the Main Shrine room.

The Operations team has been well supported this month by Karolina, a volunteer who was with us for two weeks working all around the site. Vidyaruchi has also been staying, and we celebrated his birthday while he was here. Other birthdays gave the communities the opportunity to rejoice in Prakashamitra, Lalitanaga and Dhammarati. There was further celebration on Buddha Day when the communities, volunteers and guests were joined by local friends, Mitras and Order Members. We were led in meditation by Saddhanandi recollecting the Buddha, and there were personal talks by Harry and Taylor.

We also received an unexpected visit from Will McMorran, the original architect of the library building commissioned by the Clyde Petroleum company and completed in 1987. He clearly had a strong personal connection with the project, and spoke warmly about the thinking behind the design, materials and construction of the building.

Vilāsamuni and Lalitanāga have been installing a batch of new cables around the site. Until now, our heating system has used ‘80s-era technology to control the heating in all the buildings, but the old cables were partially damaged and increasingly becoming a liability. Last month we were very pleased to replace them with modern network cables which will make monitoring and maintenance a great deal easier. 

This work was also a vital part of our preparation for the solar panels that are being installed on the east, south and west-facing roofs around the courtyard. This project was started 18 months ago, with the aim of saving money as well as reducing carbon emissions, and the installation should be completed next month.