In January, the Adhisthana Community traditionally have community days. These are an opportunity to come together and spend some time building and strengthening the network of friendships that is the Adhisthana residential Sangha.
Despite the lockdowns of 2020 meaning there was more opportunity for the communities to spend time together, we came together for five days in January to focus and practice more intensively.
Ratnadharini, in her recent College Chair’s letter, writes:
Saddhanandi and Saddhaloka had crafted a programme that explored our collective life and responsibilities at Adhisthana; from custom-made pizza and life stories, to discussion of the single-sex ‘idea’ and study on ‘Duties of Brotherhood in Islam’.
Dhammarati, Ksantikara and I had been asked to kick off the single-sex discussion, and Dhammarati and I had independently come across the Saññoga Sutta (AN 7:48) on Bondage. Mostly we all talked from our own experience, and the discussion was honest and harmonious. It’s a topic that comes up from time to time as we work out how best to support the single-sex element of the two communities, as well as the harmony of the overall common project. Two days of more meditation and study led by Dhammarati was welcome, and the material in Bhante’s seminar well worth attention.
It was wonderful to be able to welcome the two new community members, Patrick and Ksantikara, recently out of quarantine, during the course of these days, and the programme allowed depth and positive emotion to progressively build throughout the days we spent together.
We also heard life stories from two community members – Lizzie and Sanghadeva. It was a privilege to hear these, and in discussions afterwards, the decision was made to share life stories more frequently on combined community nights once a month.
The days were characterised by a warmth and harmony which was a pleasure to participate in and witness.