Buddhist Voices

Fifty Years, Fifty Voices: Satyadaka & Sarvananda (Highlights)

On Thu, 27 October, 2022 - 11:26
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“I think it’s about 18 years we’ve lived together, in one form or another.”

Satyadaka’s Annals:

In 1968 I was eight years old. I was into swimming, had just realised I didn’t like mathematics and loved the Narnia books by C.S.Lewis even more than the Alice books by Lewis Carroll.

In 1978 I was taking my A-Levels but was more interested in the life that seemed to be passing me by. I associated life with the Arts in general and with music, writing and acting in particular.

In 1988 I was a Mitra who’d asked for ordination and had been a Buddhist for four years. I lived in ‘the evening team’ community in Clapham and worked in Hockney’s Vegetarian Restaurant, associated with the Croydon Buddhist Centre. This year there were big changes at the CBC and, also, Subhuti moved with his team to Padmaloka to re-launch the ordination process for men. I was very positively affected by both these developments. At the end of the year I attended my first Performing Arts retreat at Water Hall, meeting, amongst others, Sarvananda and Bodhivajra.

In 1998 I became Chairman of the Norwich Buddhist Centre, having moved to Norwich to be with Sarvananda and Bodhivajra and ‘to pursue the Arts’.

In 2008 I had been living with Sarvananda in a terraced house in Norwich for about a year having decided ‘to pursue the arts’ more effectively, even if it was all a bit late. Began ‘going out with’ Satyagita, though mainly we stayed in.

In 2018 I am still in pursuit, still living with Sarvananda and Satyagita (though she lives in a different house), playing the saxophone, translating Rilke (and some other German poets) and have self-published my autobiography, ‘Everything That Arises’. I’m involved with ‘Wolf At The Door’, a writing Sangha within Triratna.


Sarvananda’s Annals:

In 1968 I was ten years old and at Netherlee Primary School in Glasgow. A good boy and top of my class but reading lots of books about ‘bad’ boys – William Brown and Jennings…

In 1978 I was at university studying literature and drama. Reading a lot, writing plays – but looking for meaning and not finding it. Not wanting a conventional job.

In 1988 I was in Norwich – having moved down there after I was ordained in 1987. Finding my feet as an Order Member. Helping lead arts retreats with Kovida, Chintamani and Bodhivajra.

In 1998 I was Mitra Convenor in Norwich. After years of writer’s block, beginning to write again. Living in a Buddhist community. Working a lot for the Movement.

In 2008 I was living with Satyadaka still in Norwich. Working for Norwich Centre but spending most of my time writing – and earning my living as a playwright.

In 2018 I am still living with Satyadaka, working at the Buddhist Centre and earning a crust writing, and getting very interested in William Blake.

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