Blog written by Satyamuni (posted by Bodhipaksini-witnessed by Mumukshu - it’s a team ting)

On Mon, 23 August, 2021 - 19:50
bodhipaksini's picture

Weaving into and out of Akashavana…. 

It’s been a while since an Akashavana blog … I, Satyamuni,  am now delighted to be physically back with Mumukshu and Bodhipaksini after longer in the UK than originally planned for.   Since being back from 01 July we have only had a couple of days of being three.  Our little community has been shape shifting: - also very joyous and delightful.  Firstly we were five: with Moksagandhi and Viryamani (Netherlands ) for two weeks and then we were four: joined by Acalavajri (UK) for another two weeks.  At different times, Karunavapi has joined us for a day or two at a time.  In between these visits,  Bodhipaksini and I spread our tendrils into the Spanish-speaking Mitra training retreat and cooked and (re)connected with our dharma sisters on the 10 day Ten Pillar retreat at Suryavana and joining Paramachitta, Prajnasiddhi,  Amalasiri and Karunagita.

Bodhipaksini’s and my Spanish is slowly developing and it was and is so heart opening to experience on the retreat us all stepping towards each other to (re) connect and communicate - characterised by patience, humour and good will in the listening and sharing across languages and cultures.  The week before, our community of three had attended the first dedication ceremony for the new buddhist centre of the Valencian sangha (a wonderful space and new neighbourhood to connect into).  Taking advantage of an overnight stay, we had time to walk through the amazing city river bed to the arts and science museums, and managed to stay upright bike riding to a nearby city park created out of a derelict area -thanks for the heads up Paramachitta and Saddhakara!

So it’s felt a full on time tending and preparing parts of Akashavana for specific projects as well as ongoing maintenance - let alone the hoped for women’s ordination and work retreats later this year.   

With Moksagandhi and Viryamani,  Tara’s Glade was transformed into what seems an even more magical realm to offer as a facility for a solitary ‘glamping-camping’ retreat.  Maitridaya (Netherlands) is coming towards the end of her 2 week solitary as I write.  With Acalavajri and Karunavapi we have made a good start preparing the site for the work retreat later in 2021 - to build a stupa in which we will place some of Dhardo Rinpoche’s ashes  Personally, I now have a greater sense of what a ton of rock looks like and feels like - and how many rocks and boulders a pickup can bear and how many women it takes to carry a boulder!   Such a counter to walking through carpeted pine woods to the rising up of delicate butterflies in response to the tread of feet or looking to the skies where vultures ride the evening thermals. 

Our working (and walking) days have started at 8 am in our attempts to miss the full heat of the sun - which at times has tipped 39 degrees.  Fortunately, occasionally we have managed to get to the reservoir (embalse) for a swim and even to to a beach … joining up with Siddhisvari and Karunavapi. 

In the meantime, we await the arrival of Padmasakhi in September who is joining us for a period in the community. 

Finally, as a community we have been deeply touched by the generosity of so many in response to our update on Akashavana’s financial health with no regular source of income from retreats since late 2019.   The clear expressions of love and care about Akashavana (and I’m not writing about money here) speak volumes about the place of Akashavana as a vision, a project and experience in dharmacaranis’ hearts.  I personally feel privileged to take a place in the lineage of women acting as stewards on behalf of the wider women’s wing, of this mythic land and on behalf of all beings. 

As ever we look forward to welcoming you to this realm when conditions allow.

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acalavajri's picture

Great to have been with you and to work together, walk together, play together and just ‘be’ together. I was delighted to be back in the ‘forest of luminous space’ and to be a part of preparing the foundations for the next development of Akashavana - that of a stupa for Dhardo Rinpoche. 

Thanks for being such great hosts and stewards …. hope to be back with you soon.