I have not deliberately been out of touch. I have not deliberately sent you to Coventry. I have not had my hands tied behind my back since December, but neither have I written anything here since then.
Next Thursday will be our six month anniversary of moving into the Temple, and in that time my energy has been focussed on the community here, on the people that live within these walls (seven of us, now) and the many people that pass through, rather than on the community out there.
I recently finished reading Amanda Palmer’s book The Art of Asking, and I was impressed by how wonderful she is at creating a community, and how much this is to do with communicating, how trusting she is of her community, and how powerful asking for help can be.
The temple is taking on a life of its own. It has always been bigger than me, and bigger than me and Satya, but it that is much more obvious as the energies of other people and of the group take us into lovely and sometimes unexpected directions, like the garden transformation, the Quiz night and Adam’s monthly discussion group.
As the project grows it has become obvious that Satya and I need to ask for help more, instead of imagining that we can manage the whole kit and caboodle, and not only manage it but do all the work ourselves too. We’re getting better at this, Amanda’s book helped (I feel like I can call her Amanda, now that she very nearly stayed the night here) and the house-mates and wider community are stepping up and taking on more as the temple life grows around them.
I also need to get better at speaking to the outside world, I want you all to be part of the Amida Mandala community, but there’s no community without communication.
So I’ve set that intention – let’s see how I do.
In the last six months
- My teacher Dharmavidya has led a retreat here.
- We have had the roof repaired, and a new 40% more efficient boiler fitted.
- I have dug a small veg. patch and the runner beans, potatoes, courgettes and kale are in the ground. There’s more turf to lift and soil to turn over, and the leek seedlings are nearly ready to be planted.
- Ron has helped us take down lots of Leylandii
- We have gone from three house mates (temple mates?) to four, to five.
- I have just started playing my ukulele again
- Satya and I are halfway through writing an introduction to Pureland Buddhism….
I could go on but that gives you some idea of life here. The Quiz is on Friday (we are raising money for a meditation hut), and on Sunday we have a gardening day. Today I am supposed to be writing more of that book – I’d better get back to it.