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The impact of the coronavirus has been felt on all aspects of our daily lives as well as the life of our sangha - severely curtailing the ability to hold in-person retreats, including ordination retreats. Ordination is a significant point in the lives of Dharma farers in our community: many of whom have been training for ordination for a number of years, in preparation for joining the Triratna Buddhist Order. The public ordination ceremony marks the deepening of their commitment to their spiritual journey - for their own sake and for that of the world - in harmony with all those in our particular Buddhist community. Sadly, earlier this year, both the women’s three month ordination course at Akashavana retreat centre and the men’s four-month ordination course at Guhyaloka retreat centre in Spain had to be cancelled in light of the global pandemic.
Despite the challenges however - lockdowns and the necessary restrictions imposed by social distancing - over the course of the last few months ordinations have continued, with all of them having to adapt to the changed circumstances of our new global reality. In March and April there were two ordinations - in Melbourne, Australia and in London, UK. Furthermore, the first ordination on Polish soil took place in Krakow in August and last weekend there was a public ordination at Dharmadhara retreat centre in northern California, US.
As our community adapts to the restrictions imposed by Covid-19, there have also been opportunities presented by an increasingly online world. The ordination teams and retreat centres have been working hard to make larger ordination retreats possible, ensuring that they meet all necessary risk assessments and appropriate hygiene standards to enable a safe retreat environment for the ordinands, but also how to include the wider community in celebrating the important step taken by these women and men.
So we are delighted to say that at the moment there is an ordination retreat for 16 women taking place at Adhisthana retreat centre in Herefordshire, UK, and Tiratanaloka retreat centre, Wales. On Monday 28th September at 14.00 BST the public ordinations of these women will be live streamed on Youtube. And, in a few days, on 25th September, Padmaloka retreat centre in Norfolk, UK will be opening its doors again to men coming on retreat for the first time since March - and this first retreat will be an ordination retreat for five men who were due to be ordained in April. Their public ordinations will be live streamed from the Padmaloka shrine room on YouTube on Thursday 1st October at 14:30 BST.
All from our sangha are welcome to join these public ordinations as they take place online and send these women and men their well-wishing as they take this significant step. 🎉
Watch the upcoming public ordinations online