50 Years, 50 Voices: Purna (Highlights)On Tue, 14 August, 2018 - 16:02
I couldn’t have done it any other way, as hard as it was…
In 1968 I turned 20 and was in the second year of a Maths and Physics degree. Joined my brother for a yacht trip around the South Pacific for two months, sailing to Samoa, Tonga and Fiji. Hove to for three days surviving a tropical cyclone. Finished my degree and started travelling in South-East Asia and India to find a Buddhist meditation teacher.
In 1978, having been ordained by Bhante on his first visit to New Zealand 3 years before, I made a number of trips to the UK in the 1970’s, initially to live and work at the building site that was to become the London Buddhist Centre. Started regularly attending Order Conventions, including the 1978 Convention at Vinehall School, Sussex.
In 1988 I spent most of the year travelling with my wife Malini or on retreat. I went on the ordination retreat at Guhyaloka, various Padmaloka retreats and two visits to India to help set up computers and train staff at the Mahavihara in Pune. I also did a pilgrimage to Buddhist holy sites in India with Priyananda. In the early 1980s I had lived in India with Lokamitra for three years helping set up the Movement there and for that period I was an anagarika.
In 1998 Malini and I moved into our newly built house on Waiheke Island, Auckland. There was the cremation of Shubhavajri at Sudarshanaloka, the new retreat land we had purchased out of Auckland. Solitary retreats on Great Barrier Island were an ongoing highlight of this period. I was employed at the University of Auckland as a System Analyst, where I had been working for the previous six years.
In 2008 I was a private preceptor for Dridhamati for his ordination at Sudarshanaloka. Traveled with Malini for six months through Thailand, Italy, UK, Spain, France, and India. Attended retreats at Vajrakuta and Dhanakosa. Went on a pilgrimage to Mandarava Caves and Padmasambhava sites in Himachal Pradesh. Moved into partial retirement from University job. Had ongoing involvement with Order Convening and with men’s Going for Refuge training in Australia and New Zealand.
In 2018 I attended the Order retreat and International Order Convention at Bodhgaya, India. Second pilgrimage to Padmasambhava sites in the mountains of Himachal Pradesh. Pilgrimage to Padmasambhava sites in the Himalayan regions, including Sikkim and Bhutan, have been an ongoing highlight of the last ten years. I will be 70 in 2018 and my personal focus is on giving back to the Movement something of what I have gained from it. I am mainly involved with Public Preceptor responsibilities (which I took on when I retired from my job at the University), Area Order Convening, Area International Council and men’s Going for Refuge process in Australia and New Zealand.
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