Monday, June 14, 2010

June update

Sadhu and welcome to all the shiny new dharmacarinis ordained at Akashavana last week. It's lovely working here at Tiratanaloka, as it means we get to know so many women and consequently most of the women who go to Akashavana. It's always exciting when the new names come out and we get to practice pronouncing those less obvious. Hopefully most of them will come on the big mixed Order weekend at Wymondham in August to be introduced to the Order publicly.

We've had a few women express an interest in the Refuge Tree retreat listed in the previous blog, but if you do fancy a smaller and hence more intimate retreat here, then do please consider coming. September is usually a lovely time of year in the Brecon Beacons too, so could be another incentive to come. Dharmacarinis also welcome of course!

We have a What is the Order retreat starting on Friday, with Kulanandi and Vidyagita coming to lead a German group too. After that we have a week of community time when we plan our programme for next year, and have Dhammadinna to stay as our president (and friend). We're planning on having a new roof put on the whole conservatory early in the year and so will probably have a retreat in February and then close until the Easter holidays in April. It's going to be a zinc roof with a couple of skylights as it won't let in so much light, but the aim is to also stop it being like a sauna in the summer or deafening us all when the rain comes down the rest of the time! It's a big undertaking and we're grateful to Gil, our architect, who designed the community end a few years ago. We're also looking into having a ground source heating pump at the moment, as we'd like to be more environmentally friendly, but we have to look at the practicalities too. We'll keep you informed.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Come to our mythic realm!

Once upon a time there was a retreat run at Tiratanaloka called “The Mythic Context”. On this retreat, magical things happened. There was space to explore what it meant to practice at the foot of the refuge tree, engaging strongly with visualization practice and entering a world where the mythic reminded us of our own deepest wishes.
The Tiratanaloka community invites you to once again enter this mythic realm on our retreat “The Refuge Tree” from 17 Sept – 1 Oct 2010.

Why do we think this retreat is important for women who have asked for ordination? The answer, perhaps surprisingly, is to do with confidence.

Effective going for refuge could be said to be when our understanding, our emotions and our will are all moving us towards the Three Jewels most of the time. And, for that to happen, we need confidence in the transcendental and in ourselves as Dharma practitioners. And this is an actual experience, not just a nice idea!

Subhuti, talking about the going for refuge and prostration practice, says “One of the strongest effect the Prostration Practice had on me was in giving me a sense of confidence, because in that practice you are representing your place in the scheme of things. You are seeing yourself in relation to what is most valuable in the Universe”. And this was my own experience of doing this practice on this retreat – a strong sense of the sort of sraddha that overcomes confusion and conflict. We may have all sorts of other roles in life – professional and personal – but on this retreat we simply engage with our own experience of being Dharma practitioners together in the biggest possible context.

We’ve suggested that the retreat’s suitable for those who have been to Tiratanaloka at least twice before – so you feel comfortable in the place, have a sense of what joining the Order is about and have an amount of Dharma study behind you. Then simply take it all into the mythic realm and see what happens!

This is likely to be a small retreat. To book a place, please send a £50 deposit to Retreat Bookings, Tiratanaloka, Aber, Talybont-on-Usk, Brecon, Powys LD3 7YS. For more information, email or ring 01874 676482.