Fifty Years, Fifty Voices: Manjuvajra (Highlights)On Wed, 10 August, 2022 - 09:55
What’s happened over the years is I’ve got more and more confident in the existence of the Buddha, the effectiveness of the Dharma and the joy of the Sangha.
In 1968 I was 21 years old, living in London, enjoying the ‘Swinging 60’s’, studying physics at Imperial College, exploring sex and drugs, dabbling in religion and psychology, and spending the summer hitch-hiking with my future wife across Europe to Yugoslavia and Turkey.
In 1978 I was doing research connected with electric vehicles at University College, London and living on the building site that was to become the London Buddhist Centre. I’d met Urgyen Sangharakshita and friends in 1970 on an Easter retreat. I’d just returned from a very happy three year stint in Cornwall where I’d started and run a small FWBO centre.
In 1988 I was living and working at the Aryaloka Retreat Centre in New Hampshire, USA which I’d founded two years previously. Punya and Vajradaka and I had established the first FWBO presence in the USA in Boston, MA in 1980.
In 1988 Aryaloka consisted of a community of six men who supported the centre with a wood-working shop, and we ran both local classes and various retreats. It was a very demanding time – very busy and with a degree of financial anxiety.
In 1998 I’d returned to the UK after 17 years in the USA and lived and worked as part of the ordination team at Padmaloka. The previous few years in the USA had been difficult personally but Padmaloka was a new, highly satisfying and very enjoyable, lease of life.
In 2008 I was chair of the Guhyaloka Retreat Centre. I’d been supporting and leading Ordination Retreats for several years and I’d lived in the community since 2004. The lifestyle, living simply in the mountains, suited me perfectly. I was personally very happy and also felt useful to others.
In 2018 I am living on a narrow-boat on the waterways of England, re-engaging with the life of the Triratna community after six years caring for my father who had Alzheimer’s Disease. I am president of the Bristol Centre and plan to run a biannual series of three-month long retreats at Uttaraloka which is a beautiful mountain retreat in Spain run from Guhyaloka.