At the end of May Adhisthana hosted a long weekend for the first national People of Colour retreat for the UK. While Triratna POC events have been running in London for over thirty years, this is the first time that there has been a national retreat offered for people of colour drawing on Sangha’s from around the UK.
The teaching team for the retreat was Surygupta (Chair of the London Buddhist Cente), Bodhilila (Chair of the West London Buddhist Centre), Amaragita (Chair of Buddhafield), and Aryavacin (former Mitra Convenor at Nottingham Buddhist Centre). They were supported by a team of Order Members and Mitras, many of whom are familiar with Adhisthana.
The retreat had a range of experience, from people who had never been on retreat before to those familiar with Triratna, mitras, mitras training for ordination, and several Order Members. Although spearheaded by the London Sanghas, the retreat also brought together those from other Sanghas around the UK who have never had an opportunity to gather together in this way before. Holding the retreat at Adhisthana also meant it was possible to introduce the POC sangha to the broader Triratna context.
The retreat supports broader strategic aims to build bridges for POC to access the dharma and facilitate Triratna being able to share the dharma with all people, reflecting the multitude of demographics within the UK and enabling truly diverse communities.
When you live at Adhisthana, and a retreat finishes, the kind of atmosphere that has been created is tangible. Walking through the courtyard after the long weekend, the connections are noticeable; depth, tenderness, warmth, and friendliness.