Adhisthana Retreats

Event Title: “Without Contraries is no progression”: Bhante, Blake + creative tension in the spiritual life

Led by Atula, Ananda, Amitajyoti, Ratnaprabha, Satyalila and Saccanama

Bhante was 14 when he first came across this aphorism in William Blake's 'The Marriage of Heaven and Hell'. Deeply inspired, he copied out the whole book by hand. Like Blake, Bhante’s life has involved huge creativity and huge tensions. He has often spoken of 'Sangharakshita I' (the poet) and Sangharakshita II (the monk/philosopher) and the necessity - and struggle - of bringing them into relationship. He’s also spoken of the difference between a difficulty (which can be resolved on its own level) and a problem (a polarity or tension which can't).

Blake and Bhante share a vision of true creativity (insight, or even imagination) arising when we can embrace ‘contraries’. What implications does all this have for us individually and collectively as we move on and learn from the Order's early years of 'Innocence' towards increasing 'Experience'? What contraries do we need to learn to embrace in ourselves and collectively?

Guided by Atula and the team, participants on the 2017 Blake retreat co-created a 'Blake Realm'' in the Adhisthana library; we shared our personal responses to encountering Blake's images, words and songs and there was time and space for reflection (in which, for some folk, writing, images and songs emerged.) We all agreed there was much more to explore in the company of Mr Blake.

Atula, Ananda, Ratnaprabha, Satyalila and Saccanama have invited artist Amitajyoti to join them in leading an exploration of The Songs of Innocence and Experience and The Marriage of Heaven and Hell alongside the fascinating 'contraries' of our individual and collective lives. No previous experience of Blake required - just a willingness to step into Experience!

This retreat is for members of the Triratna Buddhist Order

Start Date: 13th Jul 2018
End Date: 20th Jul 2018
Deposit: £78
Price: £259 (Waged/Supported (including deposit)) / £182 (Unwaged/Unsupported (including deposit))

Bursary Fund - If you can’t afford to come on retreat you might be interested in applying for our Bursary Fund.