The First Four and a Half Months
Amida Mandala, Malvern, UK
We have now been resident in Amida Mandala in Malvern for four and a half months. Is that all? It feels like we've had at least a year's worth of experiences! We now have four residents, Adam, Brian, Steve and James, and are currently looking for one more. We are into a new routine of running three services and one listening circle a week, and the occasional chanting day, retreat day etc. We have had a new wave of sangha members since moving and some of these are now settling into the community and practice having attended regularly since we arrived. Adam has now run his first services and has also started a monthly book study group. Kaspa and I have given talks to schools, students from theological college, and the Rotary club, and met with interfaith ministers, local politicians, neighbours...
A recent unexpected project has been major work on the garden, led by a new sangha member and volunteer, Ron. With the help of our volunteers he has already taken down several big cypresses to clear space in the garden and let in light to us and to our neighbours. We have plans for a meditation hut!
Although we are taken up with the big list of things-to-be-done here, we feel connected to and supported by the wider sangha both in the UK and beyond, and of course by Dharmavidya. We are looking forward to another visit from Jnanamati and we are in very regular contact with the Trust who are behind us (and in front of us!) all the way. I especially feel this connection when we have services and retreat days. You all have a space in the shrine room!
Over the rest of the year we hope to continue work on the garden and continue with work that needs to be done to the house - some expensive gable re-rendering, and a new boiler. We're starting up a fundraising group soon and you may hear from us soon about that.
We hope that you keep in touch with us here - through our newsletter, our website www.amidamandala.com, or by coming and visiting us. We feel very privileged to be the ones who are currently looking after this special building. We are blessed.
Namo Amida Bu!
Today I have done some writing, I have taught a meditation class, and been talking to some contractors about taking a bathroom out of what was one of the old B&B bedrooms, to make it into a more useable space.
I’ve had a chat with a couple of residents, and this afternoon I’ll be seeing my own private clients, before leading our Wednesday evening service (It’s my turn this week). After service this evening, we’ll have a short stone passing, which we do once a month.
This is a typical day, a mix of my own private work and work for the Temple, either with a management hat on or a priests hat on, so to speak, sometimes both at once.
It feels like we are just entering into a new phase here, the first couple of months new people were coming and going and we were settling in ourselves. Now some of those new people are beginning to feel like old friends, and Satya and I are feeling much more settled ourselves.
How lucky we are to have been gifted such a space, and such a community. It is a grace.
Namo Amida Bu
Weekly Scheduled Events
Wednesday evening service, Friday morning service, Sunday morning service, Sunday evening sharing circle
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Distance learning programmes.
Read previous Whispers from the Bamboo Grove newsletters here
Culturally Engaged Buddhism
Friends of the Amida Order