Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Year ending

The year is drawing to a close and many of you have already booked for a retreat here next year, which is great. There are still a few places available on the Bodhisattva Ideal retreat starting 19th December until 2nd January if you're starting to feel that you'd like to mark Christmas and the New Year exploring such an inspiring theme with friends in the sangha, surrounded by the beauty of Tiratanaloka. Just e-mail us at the office if you're interested.

We've had a busy time here recently, with the College of Public Preceptors holding their meeting here for 10 days, which we supported by cooking as a community, whilst Maitreyi and Ratnadharini attended the meeting. During that time we also spend time as a community, tuning in together, being led through 2 days of reflection by Ratnaguna, and then sharing our life stories in 15 minutes each, which were enjoyed by all. It's amazing how much you can say about your life in such a short time, and we felt we could understand things about each other more as a result. It's been interesting following areas up with each other too.

We've all just been at Padmaloka for the National Order Weekend, which was on the theme of giving the Dharma. It was a very good weekend, with 102 Dharmacharinis there at it's peak, including a number of new OMs who introduced themselves to us all. That is always a very lovely part of the weekend. It feels very special to be able to sit and practice in the beautiful shrine room there surrounded by so many other women practitioners. You understand why Bhante emphasises the importance of collective practice and gathering in large numbers.

Last night we drove through the rain (nothing unusual in that!) to see 'Kind Hearts and Coronets' on the big screen for Brecon's monthly film club night. If you haven't seen it it's an old black and white film where Alec Guinness plays 8 parts. Very funny...and Sridevi and I spotted a Kuanyin statue in the background of one scene!

We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible in 2010. Enjoy the festive period whatever you are doing!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

August update

Well, it seems summer came and went quite quickly, but how lush and green are the hills and valleys. Beautiful, if damp!

Most of the community are here at present, with only Maitreyi away caring for her mum. Amritamati is off on an intensive meditation retreat soon (up at 4am everyday!) and everyone else is on the Transcendental Principle retreat, which includes a Spanish speaking group. It's always great having groups from Europe coming together and so far we've had groups from Spain, Germany and France. It also can add a different dimension to the pujas and it's lovely to hear the Heart Sutra spoken in another language.

Talking of people from abroad...we have an extra GfR weekend coming up on 4-6 September, led by Maitreyi, Karunamaya and Tarahridaya. Tarahridaya is an dharmacharini from India and Karunamaya has been living and working there with TBMSG for many years. It is quite late notice for this weekend we realise, but it's not been easy negotiating via e-mail and phone to India, so we really hope we see a good crowd of you here that weekend. It's not often we get the chance to spend time with one of our dharma sisters from India, so do make the most of the opportunity if you can. E-mail or call the office if you'd like to come. It's called 'What is Enlightenment for?'...a good question!

Enjoy what's left of the summer.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

July update

We've been enjoying the summer sunshine and less rain than Wales often seems to offer. It's been lovely, although does appear to have caused the spinach to bolt early! A small price to pay. The garden is looking beautiful, helped by the hard work of those on the working retreat and again the recent Nature of Existence retreat and a work morning. We really appreciate all the effort the women on retreat put in to keeping this place so lovely.

The Nature of Existence retreat seemed to be enjoyed by all. It was the first time we have run this retreat here and it was good to look at the material afresh with the women who came. Over the next few days the community are meeting to decide on next years programme and which retreats we'll run again. It's always a very full few days.

Everyone is here at present, with Kalyanasri and Amritamati glued to as much Wimbledon as possible (both Federer fans!); Ratnadharini collecting palettes with a view to building new compost bins and Maitreyi, Kalyanasri and Vajrasakhi preparing for the Order study retreat. Candraprabha and Amritamati had a day out in Ikea recently...it was meant to be a day out in Cardiff but Ikea is like a vortex and sucks you in! Hopefully you'll notice the nice glasses and new salad bowls when you're on retreat! Sridevi has recently been back to Finland for a visit and Vidyalila is in the current edition of Urthona being interviewed about her painting.

That's it for now. Enjoy the summer sun.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Quick April Update

April already! Here's a bit about what we've been doing in the last few months:
Ratnadharini, Vajrasakhi, Sridevi, Kalyanasri and Sridevi went to the International convention in Bodhgaya in February - a fantastic experience. Maitreyi and Amritamati have both been on solitary retreats. Vidyalila has been in the heat in Australia. We ran a retreat in March on 'The Heart of Ordination' along with Vajratara - thoroughly enjoyed by all the team. The leylandii are now down - watch this space for photographs. We've now got quite an bit more garden! Amritamati's been preparing the veg patch and Candraprabha's been ordering obscure (to Wales!) varieties of seed potato. The Bodhisattva Ideal retreat is currently underway in the April sunshine.
If you're planning to come to Tiratanaloka later this year, then do think about booking now as quite a number of our retreats have only a few places left. If you'd like to come in May, we've got places left on our work and meditation retreats, which you can do individually (as a one week retreat) or together as a 2-week retreat.
That's the April summary! Look our for some pictures soon.

Monday, January 19, 2009

'At Home' at Tiratanaloka

We've just come to the end of two weeks of the community being 'at home', which has been really enjoyable. We decorated the hallways in the community,which took four days of full-on work. Anaglypta is a challenge to paint to say the least, but it is looking so good! If you've ever noticed the germoline pink ceilings in the hallways then you'll appreciate our delight in saying goodbye to some of it! It was a fun way to spend time together and great to see such a change in the environment.
We also had meetings, meditation days and studied with Dhammadinna, our president. And we've watched some good films some evenings! It's not that often we all manage to be here together, so it's been lovely just spending time together and experiencing the easy harmony that can be community living.
Some of us are now planning our first two week retreat of 2009 on the Heart of Ordination. It's a really interesting topic to look at and a great way to gain a clearer understanding of what it means to join the Order. There are still some places available if you'd like to come. There will be 6 of us on the team, including Vajratara, so it's also a good opportunity to meet more of us, and for us to get to know you.
Candraprabha and I (and possibly Vidyalila) are taking on to do a 10km run in Bristol in May and so training is underway. Vajrasakhi and Ratnadharini have just learned how to use a chainsaw (safely) and are having fun with that. And we're all waiting in expectation for the removal of the leylandii by the vegetable plot. They have grown too large and unmanagable and so after a very long time of discussing it they are finally due to come down next week. You'll probably notice it straightaway, but a beech hedge is being planted, although it will be some years before it really looks like a substantial hedge, but it'll be a good lesson in patience.
A happy new year to you all and we hope to see many of you up here throughout the year.