We put in a bid for the lease of a property as a Buddhist centre in the centre of Inverness. Our offer was accepted - it’s an office property and we’re now waiting for the change of use planning permission to come through.
On the Visioning Day, Sunday 14th October, there will be time to discuss what we want from our centre and to create a mission statement.
All welcome: 28 Castlehill Gardens, 10-4pm. Bring veggie lunch to share.
The Life of Activity and the Life of Calm
The above was the theme of this year’s programme, and looking back as we approach the autumn equinox, I think we’ve lived up to it: in January we had a day looking at the Triratna system of meditation, February saw Gunasiddhi and Kuladharini lead Parinirvana Day. In March we had the weekend retreat at Gairloch on the Six Emphases of Triratna, while in April it was back to meditation with a day on the brahma viharas at Ardross. May saw our second public Buddha Day festival: Claire had the vision of holding it at Eden Court – some of us blenched at the prospect but I think ‘outstanding success’ would be a fair description, with Rupachitta’s splendid shrine the focus for Triratna activities and two other groups running stalls - the Cromarty Thich Nhat Hanh group and KSD (Samye Ling). This was the first inter Buddhist activity we’ve had so far.
Naturally we had assistance from His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who decided to visit Eden Court after we’d booked the space for Buddha Day!
Then five of us went down to the International Retreat at Taraloka. We travelled via Birmingham in order to meet Sangharakshita and have tea and dharma teachings – “Maybe the Dalai Lama will have a tantric mantra to make the monster appear” he suggested... Then back to Inverness and the Dalai Lama’s visit at the end of June. In July there was an evening celebration of Dharma Day led by Abhayadevi in her home, and in August a puja to celebrate Sangharakshita’s birthday led by Gunapala at Wester Alves.
We have another meditative day to come in September, and then Tejananda will be up in October to lead a weekend event.
I’d like to look forward to next year: this year was the first time a few of us had planned to go on retreat together further than Dhanakosa, and next some of the women plan to go together to Taraloka, the women’s retreat centre in Shropshire (let me know if you’re interested) and hopefully some of the men will make it to Padmaloka. Apart from the delight of going on retreat, going further afield enables us to put our local activities in their true context – we have a fundamental connection with all other dharma practitioners around the world – in fact throughout time and space.
And on that note, there is a Highland pilgrimage to the Buddhist holy places in India planned in 2015.
Finally, many thanks to Heather for taking on the newsletter as Sam has too many work commitments.
May all beings be well!
Satyapada - chairperson